The new season is fast approaching and with a new season comes a new lineup. We can all dream of what the approaching season holds, but, without the perfect lineup, even reaching five hundred may be a challenge. Sadly, the lineup is entirely out of our control, but that won't stop us from worrying about it. So, without further ado, here is my optimal Houston Astros lineup for next season.
Please note, I've made this lineup in accordance with what THE BOOK: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, dictates is the perfect lineup, injected it with some subjectivity and I've even listened to the opinions of some of our writers, too. In case you're unfamiliar with THE BOOK, it reads:
Your three best hitters should bat somewhere in the #1, #2, and #4 slots. Your fourth- and fifth-best hitters should occupy the #3 and #5 slots. The #1 and #2 slots will have players with more walks than those in the #4 and #5 slots. From slot #6 through #9, put the players in descending order of quality.
Before we can begin constructing a World Series winning lineup, or something similar, we must agree on the strongest starting nine, in an attempt to truly optimise the lineup. I'm discounting the fact that Lowrie, sadly, will play shortstop, and Marisnick will play left.The general consensus of the Crawfish Boxes staff was that these nine players should take the field on opening day:
- Hank Conger, C
- Jon Singleton, 1B
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Marwin Gonzalez, SS
- Jed Lowrie, 3B
- Dexter Fowler, LF
- Jake Marisnick, CF
- George Springer, RF
- Chris Carter, DH
With the starting nine settled, one can assort these nine into an optimal lineup. The general premise of creating this lineup, like the aforementioned THE BOOK quote stated, is to condense our five best hitters into the first five spots. Within those five spots, to put it bluntly, we need some good on base ability at the top, and some nice slugging behind it. The rest of the lineup is simply put in descending order of quality. So, here it is:
Lowrie is far from glamorous. What he is, however, is solid. At third base he can bring average defense and average offense, going by Steamer's projected wRC+ of 105. Once more, going by Steamer, he is projected to be a two win player, compiling a WAR of 2.1 which is solid. While almost everyone would prefer Lowrie at third, he will more than likely play shortstop this year. His defense mightn't be attractive there, but one thing I will say: a wRC+ of 105 from a shortstop, is very attractive indeed.
|Runs per Game||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9|
|4.370||Dexter Fowler||Jose Altuve||Marwin Gonzalez||George Springer||Chris Carter||Jon Singleton||Jed Lowrie||Jake Marisnick||Hank Conger|
|4.369||Dexter Fowler||Chris Carter||Marwin Gonzalez||Jose Altuve||George Springer||Jon Singleton||Jed Lowrie||Jake Marisnick||Hank Conger|
|4.369||Dexter Fowler||Jose Altuve||Marwin Gonzalez||George Springer||Chris Carter||Jake Marisnick||Jed Lowrie||Jon Singleton||Hank Conger|
|4.369||Dexter Fowler||George Springer||Marwin Gonzalez||Jose Altuve||Chris Carter||Jon Singleton||Jed Lowrie||Jake Marisnick||Hank Conger|
|4.369||Dexter Fowler||Jose Altuve||Marwin Gonzalez||Chris Carter||George Springer||Jon Singleton||Jed Lowrie||Jake Marisnick||Hank Conger|
|4.368||Dexter Fowler||Chris Carter||Marwin Gonzalez||Jose Altuve||George Springer||Jake Marisnick||Jed Lowrie||Jon Singleton||Hank Conger|
|Player||Steamer Projected wRC+|
Okay, maybe these guys aren't world beaters, but hey, this is looking like a good lineup. Only if I'm put in charge though, of course. I'm stupidly hopeful and optimistic for next season, with this lineup. Well, you've listened to me go on and on about my ideal lineup, but what would yours look like? Optimize the Astros, people.