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 LHSP
The Optimal Lineup vs. LHSP
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 Vazquez and McCormick. As shown in the 1B article Mancini and Gurriel are about even vs. LHSP and therefore I would use these opportunities to keep Gurriel engaged and playing. Due to Maldy's power vs. LHP, it would also be an opportunity for a Maldonado spot start too.
I will add a side note related to Bregman. Breggy is a career 153 wRC+ batter vs. LHP which is far better than his current 107 in 2022. Keeping him in the top of the lineup makes sense.
Dusty's lineup projects to score on average 4.86 runs/game. The Musings most effective use of Dusty's personnel projects to score on average 5.213 runs/game.
The LarryTheGM lineup projects to score on average 5.548 runs per game. This is an average increase of almost 0.7 runs/gm. The Musings most effective use of Larry's personnel projects to score on average 5.854 runs/game. The Musing's lineup would be a radical shake up of the lineup. From a practical sense, the best lineup vs. a LHSP- knowing the bullpens have mainly RHRP- tweaks from the RHSP lineup in a way that delivers the most run potential. I think my lineup does that.
Dusty's personnel deployment does cost this team runs. You may not think 0.7 runs per game is a lot but I think it is. We are talking about over 110 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.
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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