The Intro and Disclaimer
Earlier this season I reset a 2021 analysis I did of the optimal Astros batting order (https://www.larrythegm.com/post/the-2022-optimal-astros-batting-order). Since then, the Astros have made two big trades, had key injuries, and some others have suffered from serious performance issues.
I put out post trade deadline what I thought the lineup should be, but let's go back to our fun lineup tool and see what it thinks. As a reminder, here is where the simple lineup analysis tool is located (https://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py). The are many flaws with this over simplified tool but directionally and within say 30% I think we can get the right answers here. I would expect teams have FAR more advanced tools to do something similar on a daily basis. So even given this disclaimer, let's pretend that the answers here give us at least an accurate magnitude type of perspective here.
For this series we are going to look at several topics:
Center Field- All-Dubon vs. All-Meyers vs. All-McCormick
Dusty sure seems to love what HE perceives are the superior defensive players in CF. What would a team full of Dubons score vs. a team full of Meyerses vs. a team full of McCormicks? Our tool can give us an idea.
Dubon currently has a 0.256 OBP and a 0.314 SLG. According to the tool a team full of Dubons would score 2.325 runs per game.
Meyers currently has a o.255 OBP and a 0.302 SLG. According to the tool a team full of Meyerses would score 2.193 runs per game.
McCormick currently has a o.327 OBP and a 0.419 SLG. According to the tool a team full of McCormicks would score 4.600 runs per game.
Before we are done with this series we will conclude with the BEST lineup and compare that to Dusty's standard lineup. For now let's estimate the impact of the McCormick vs. Dubon vs. Meyers decision every night. Above we said the difference between a lineup full of McCormicks is 2.275 runs per game better than a lineup full of Dubons. If we divide that by nine we get the impact of the single decision nightly.
Overall, playing Dubon over McCormick is costing the Astros on average 0.25 runs per game or the equivalent of 41 runs per year. What is the difference between a player that scores 101 runs a year and one that scores 60 runs a year? What is the difference between a player that has 101 RBI a year and one that has 60 RBI?
Here is a more complete set of data that shows the overall results and platoon splits.
We have said it in multiple articles and multiple formats. Chas McCormick is one of the best batters in the LEAGUE vs. LHP right now. He should play EVERY DAY a LHSP pitches period.
For context, there is NO defensive metric that is even close to this level of magnitude.
In our optimal Astros lineup, we need McCormick starting in the OF vs. LHSP and in CF vs. RHSP.
A side note on the possible accuracy of this tool- I plugged into the tool the average MLB hitter (0.312 OBP/ 0.395 SLG)- an All-average hitter lineup if you will. The tool indicates that lineup would score 4.10 runs per game. The average runs per game is 4.30. This is way better than I thought.
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