FanPost

Best Lineup - Houston Astros

In this exercise I will use My Simulator to play actual baseball games, in fact over 2 million games per lineup to find out which lineup is the most productive vs both a RHP and a LHP. Each lineup is compared in wins per 162 games against the default lineup from MLBDepthCharts. Player projections are taken from Bill James.

Below are the results...

Default lineup from MLB Depth Charts.
1. Tyler Greene
2. Jose Altuve
3. Carlos Pena (L)
4. Chris Carter
5. Brett Wallace (L)
6. Justin Maxwell
7. Jason Castro (L)
8. Fernando Martinez (L) ... J.D. Martinez (vs LHP)
9. Matt Dominguez

Best Lineup vs RHP
1. Carlos Pena (L)
2. Jose Altuve
3. Brett Wallace (L)
4. Chris Carter
5. Justin Maxwell
6. Tyler Greene
7. Fernando Martinez (L)
8. Matt Dominguez
9. Jason Castro (L)
Wins/162 Games Better Than Default Lineup: 0.50

Best Lineup vs LHP
1. J.D. Martinez
2. Tyler Greene
3. Jose Altuve
4. Justin Maxwell
5. Jason Castro (L)
6. Chris Carter
7. Carlos Pena (L)
8. Matt Dominguez
9. Brett Wallace (L)
Wins/162 Games Better Than Default Lineup: 0.43

Now something new. I also plugged in the OBP and SLG into Baseball Musings lineup generator and plugged the lineup they projected as the best into the simulator. The Baseball Musings lineup generator does not take into account batter handedness, so I used their lineup against both RHP and LHP with J.D. Martinez used against LHP and Fernando Martinez against RHP.

Here is the lineup they suggest.

Best Lineup (Baseball Musings) vs RHP
1. Jose Altuve
2. Justin Maxwell
3. Carlos Pena (L)
4. Chris Carter
5. Brett Wallace (L)
6. Tyler Greene
7. Fernando Martinez (L)
8. Matt Dominguez
9. Jason Castro (L)
Wins/162 Games Worse Than Sim Lineup: 0.36

Best Lineup (Baseball Musings) vs LHP
1. Jose Altuve
2. Justin Maxwell
3. Carlos Pena (L)
4. Chris Carter
5. J.D. Martinez
6. Tyler Greene
7. Brett Wallace (L)
8. Matt Dominguez
9. Jason Castro (L)
Wins/162 Games Worse Than Sim Lineup: 0.14

And just for fun, I flipped the best lineup that the simulator spits out vs RHP upside down just to see how much worse it came out. The answer was 0.82 runs per 162 games.

Skinny: A lot of info here, but a few things stick out. First off, the simulator thinks that Tyler Greene should not sniff the top portion of the lineup against RHP but with the platoon advantage batting him 2nd is Ok. Jose Altuve is properly placed 2nd or 3rd in the order. Carlos Pena should leadoff against RHP, he has the 4th highest BB% in all of MLB over the past two years, but man that batting average is a killer. The simulator agrees with MLBDC that Chris Carter should bat cleanup against RHP and he drops from 5th to 6th against LHP to avoid batting lefties back to back. Brett Wallace runs the gamut, batting 3rd against RHP and last against LHP. The simulator actually likes Justin Maxwell quite a bit as does Baseball Musings. The simulator bats him 4th and 5th while Baseball Musings bats him 2nd. Jason Castro bats (2nd leadoff) or 9th vs RHP and shoots up to 5th against LHP. He would've been 6th, but I didn't want to bat back to back lefties against a LHP. There is good agreement on batting Fernando Martinez in the bottom third of the lineup (he only faces RHP). Same with Matt Dominguez. The simulator likes J.D. Martinez leading off when he plays against LHP while Baseball Musings bats him 5th.

So in a nutshell, that is your Houston Astros lineup analysis. There doesn't seem like huge amounts of wins to be saved by batting the most efficient lineup. National League lineups in general, have more runs to squeeze out of lineup construction due to the pitcher batting and surrounding the pitcher with the proper hitters and batting the pitcher in the proper spot (8th).

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