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:
I broke down the specific position battles in the links above. Now let's look at the optimal lineup vs. a RHSP
The Optimal Lineup vs. RHSP
Dusty's Lineup vs. LarryTheGM's Lineup vs. Baseball Musing's Lineup
For this analysis I am going to assume that Aledmys Diaz is back.
With the injuries to Diaz and others lately perhaps one forgets what Dusty's primary lineup has been. Dusty was consistently sitting Mancini, Vasquez, and McCormick inexplicably.
As shown below, my lineup includes all three.
Dusty's lineup projects to score on average 4.738 runs/game. The Musings most effective use of Dusty's personnel projects to score on average 4.896 runs/game.
The LarryTheGM lineup projects to score on average 5.308 runs per game. This is an average increase of almost 0.6 runs/gm. The Musings most effective use of Larry's personnel projects to score on average 5.41 runs/game. The difference is pretty small in the two lineups.
The consistent stubborn commitment to play Mandonado, Gurriel, AND Dubon does indeed cost this team runs. You may not think 0.6 runs per game is a lot but I think it is. We are talking about over 90 runs in a season. There is no way perceived defensive value is even 20% of that.
You may ask why I did not include Yuli in the lineup batting 6th after showing this data in the Pena article.
In short, I would NOT build the lineup for what is best for arguably the 7th-9th best batter on the team at this point. IF Mancini was given a day off in this lineup, I would bat Pena second and probably Gurriel sixth.
Next we will look at the optimal lineup vs. LHSP.
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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