In my recent article describing the optimal Astros lineup, I described that every night might have a different answer depending on if the SP was RH or LH and what their dominant pitch types were.
So today, let's do the quick application of that thought process. Let's compare the optimal Astros lineup with the choices Dusty Baker has made today.
Today's pitcher is - Chase Silseth for the Angels. His pitch mix this year has been.
Silseth is one of those pitchers I described in the optimal Astros lineup as hard to classify in my labels of dominant pitch type. The Astros will want to dig into the pitch to LHH/RHH data. For our purposes today, we are going to label Silseth a RH Fastball dominant pitcher. The Astros will want to understand how the batters match up vs. Sliders and Split Fingers too. The optimal lineup would be.
Abreu is on the IL. Hensley has been added to the tables.
At the bottom I also added the table that projects Silseth's pitch mix.
This is the lineup Dusty is rolling out.
There are a few suboptimal choices here starting with the obvious:
Maldonado should never start vs. an RHP. Diaz would have been my prediction to rake as his xwOBA vs. Silseth's pitch mix is second only to Alvarez.
This is not a great matchup for Dubon.
In limited data, Kessinger may do well today. Do not be shocked.
The optimal lineup vs. Silseth has an xwOBA of 0.359. Dusty's lineup today has an xwOBA of 0.335. This is why us data nerds get so upset. That difference is a HUGE difference in expected performance.
Any lineup with Maldy in it vs. a RHP starts with a max of 8. Not having Diaz DH at least brings it down to 6. Dubon over Pena takes this lineup to my rating of a 5.
Who will RAKE for the Astros tonight? Alvarez and likely Tucker too
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