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- Abreu is BACK!?!?!? Read my thoughts on that here.
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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 - Chris Sale for the Red Sox. His pitch mix this year has been.
Sale 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 Sale a LH Fastball dominant pitcher, but I am going to define optimal based on the table at the bottom - the overall xwOBA vs. Sale's pitch mix. The optimal lineup would be.
Notice, per this method Abreu is NOT an optimum option. To be fair, the data set for Singleton is too small. Abreu over Singleton would be a fair call.
This is the lineup Dusty is rolling out.
My thoughts on today's lineup:
It's vs. a LHSP. That helps.
Alvarez is still out. Not Dusty's fault but still -2 from ideal.
Not sure why Diaz at DH and Abreu at 1B. - minus 0.5. Diaz not the same as a DH.
OK spot to get Meyers in and not get rusty.
Overall, I would rate this lineup a 7.5. The xwOBA for Dusty's lineup is 0.346. Ideal with a healthy Alvarez is 0.354. That is a small difference. They should be OK.
Who will RAKE for the Astros tonight? Tucker and McCormick
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Here is the lineup vs. Sale's pitch mix.