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Today's Astros Optimal Lineup Analysis- 9/5/23

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

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.

If you use it for that purpose, at least support the site at Patreon.

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 Nathan Eovaldi of the Rangers. His pitch mix this year has been.


Eovaldi is coming back from injury and will be on a pitch count. He 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. Eovaldi's curve is his most dominant pitch that he throws only 14% of the time. He has 5 competitive pitches! For our purposes today I will label Eovaldi a RH Fastball dominant pitcher, but I am going to define optimal based on the table at the bottom - the overall xwOBA vs. Eovaldi's pitch mix. The optimal lineup would be.

Eovaldi SHOULD have had a rehab start. Dunning is in for a long stretch, I THINK. This is his pitch mix.

astros optimal lineup

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.

astros todays lineup

Folks, I KNOW some of you place bets based on the info here. I would be VERY careful about doing that tonight. We don't know how long Eovaldi can even go. The Rangers may be planning a tandem thing with Ian Kennedy (called up today) or they may go to the LHRPs too.

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 0.232 hitter vs. RHP with this pitch mix- minus 2 AGAIN

    • Diaz is a xwOBA 0.400 hitter vs. this pitch mix. That would be the SECOND most productive bat and he is sitting- minus 1

  • Moving Pena to 2 is bold. I do not love this vs. Eovaldi but might like it vs. the LHRP.

  • Putting Bregman in between Alvarez and Tucker when he is hot is probably the right move vs. all of the LHRP the Rangers have- PLUS o.5

  • Has Abreu fixed his issues vs. sliders and changeups? I added a tracker (link) to monitor this. I won't add nor subtract until we have a bigger post IL sample size.

  • The Astros are starting Dubon a lot lately as he has been hot. Not sure if this is the right SP for him to face. He might not even see Eovaldi though.

  • My Optimal lineup projects to a 0.351 xwOBA or 5.7 runs per game. Dusty's lineup is a mediocre 0.328 xwOBA or 4.9 runs per game. I will deduct 1 just for my lineup projecting to be better. 0.8 runs per game is very significant to choose to not go after.

Overall, I would rate this lineup a 6. Again, I would stay away from any bets.

Who will RAKE for the Astros tonight? Tucker and Alvarez

Who might struggle? Maldy vs. RHP of course. Hope he gets a LHRP PA

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Here is the lineup vs. Eovaldi's pitch mix.


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