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 - Braxton Garrett for the Marlins. His pitch mix this year has been.
Garrett is one of those pitchers I described in the optimal Astros lineup article 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 Garrett a LH Fastball dominant pitcher. The Astros will want to understand how the batters match up vs. Sliders, Curveballs and Changeups 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 vs. Garrett's pitch mix.
This is the lineup Dusty is rolling out.
My thoughts on today's lineup:
Dusty continues to believe Diaz cannot hit LHP. It's just not true. In essence, Dusty is choosing to start Singleton vs. the LHP vs. playing Diaz at first today.
Bregman and Diaz have almost identical xwOBA vs. LH fastballs but Dusty is choosing to put Tucker batting second and splitting up the LHHs. For his career Bregman rakes vs. LHP.
Overall, because Maldy has been good this year vs. LHP, this is a good spot to start Maldonado.
Honestly there are not TERRIBLE choices on the Astros facing LHP.
Overall, I would rate this lineup a 7.5.
Who will RAKE for the Astros tonight? Tucker and Altuve
I want to address this tweet
Versus LHP in 2023: Maldonado: 66 PA, 4 HR, .254 BA, .849 OPS Díaz: 69 PA, 1 HR, .185 BA, .494 OPS
This is the BS we get from Houston media. HERE is the REAL comparison between these two given the sample size.
As I said above, I LIKE playing Maldy vs. the LHSP. I also like playing Diaz vs. LHSP. Today, Singleton (a LHH with mediocre stats (0.875 OPS vs. 0.830 OPS PCL average) vs. LHP this year in AAA) should be sitting.
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Here is the lineup vs. Garrett's pitch mix.