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.
BREAKING NEWS- Alvarez is out. This has been updated.
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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 - Tanner Houck for the Red Sox. His pitch mix this year has been.
Houck 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 I will label Houck a RH Fastball dominant pitcher, but I am going to define optimal based on the table at the bottom - the overall xwOBA vs. Houck's pitch mix. The optimal lineup would be.
Abreu is on the IL
At the bottom I also added the table that projects vs. Houk's pitch mix.
This is the lineup Dusty is rolling out.
My thoughts on today's lineup:
The Astros are facing a RHP and Dusty is starting Maldonado. That immediately drops the max score down to 8. Let's take a minute to reset a tweet I made today- Minus 2
Maldonado has been consistently HORRIBLE vs. RHP except in May. Continuing to play Maldonado vs. RHSP has now reached the level of insanity. Doing the same thing and expecting better results.
First it was Diaz out and that was bad. NOW, it is Alvarez out. That is worse. - Minus 2
Playing Dubon is defensible offensively.
Overall, I would rate this lineup a 4.5. The xwOBA for Dusty's lineup is 0.327. Mine with a healthy Alvarez is 0.354. That is a huge difference.
Who will RAKE for the Astros tonight? Tucker and Diaz- shocker
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Here is the lineup vs. Houk's pitch mix.