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.
I had a follower on social media tell me. "Your charts have won me a lot of money." That is not why I put them together but clearly it may help you.
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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.
It is a HUGE series. Read more here.
Today's pitcher is Andrew Heaney of the Rangers. His pitch mix this year has been.
Heaney is a LH Fastball dominant pitcher, but I am going to define optimal based on the table at the bottom - the overall xwOBA vs. Heaney's pitch mix. The optimal lineup would be.
The lineup choices are going to be more challenging since there are several good options every night.
This is the lineup Dusty is rolling out.
My thoughts on today's lineup:
I know why he did it but Dusty has to stop this catcher goes with this pitcher immediately.
Maldonado is a xwOBA 0.372 hitter vs. LHPs with Heaney pitch mix. He would be expected to be the fourth most productive bat in the lineup. He is sitting
Diaz will out produce his numbers most likely, but he is a 0.325 xwOBA vs. Heaney's pitch mix.
I cannot believe I am about to say this- minus 0.5 for not starting Maldy
Moving Pena to 2 is bold. It is a good pitcher to try this with- +0.25 credit
Has Abreu fixed his issues vs. sliders and changeups? Continue to MONITOR THIS TONIGHT. Batting Abreu 5th tells me the Astros think they fixed him.- the early data agrees.
My Optimal lineup projects to a 0.365 xwOBA or 6.1 runs per game. Dusty's lineup is also a 0.348 xwOBA or 5.6 runs per game. I will deduct 1 just for my lineup projecting to be better. 0.5 runs per game is significant to choose to not go after.
Overall, I would rate this lineup a 8.5. Not a bad lineup
Who will RAKE for the Astros tonight? Tucker and McCormick
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Here is the lineup vs. Heaney's pitch mix.