So, the Angels just signed Josh Hamilton to a new five year deal. Now, it is time to take a look at what the most efficient lineup should be. Today I tackle that exercise in a look at how the Angels sluggers should be stacked up against your typical right handed pitcher.
To do this, I am whipping out my simulator which plays actual baseball games using sabermetric principles. Each worthy lineup will be simulated one million times in a game against an opponent that remains constant, with a right handed pitcher. The Angels will be the away team in all these simulations to give them at least nine innings of at bats in each game. I picked a group of opponents such that the game results are close to 50% wins and losses for the Angels.
I used the starting nine players as listed at the Angels MLB Depth Charts page. The measurement to determine the best lineup will be number of wins out of a million games. Now, I did not try every single permutation of possible lineups so the exercise is not totally complete but after you play around with switching the lineups around you can quickly narrow down the best ones. Bill James 2013 player projections were used for input.
Below is the best lineup that I found.
1) Mike Trout
2) Josh Hamilton
3) Albert Pujols
4) Kendrys Morales
5) Mark Trumbo
6) Erick Aybar
7) Howie Kendrick
8) Alberto Callaspo
9) Chris Iannetta
This lineup won 523636 out of one million games. For reference the lineup that MLBDepthCharts provides with Aybar hitting second, Hamilton 4th with Morales and Trumbo pushed down one slot wins a total of 522341 games. The question then becomes, how significant is this? Over a 162 game season, this would net the Angels an extra 0.21 wins. This is obviously an amount not worth fretting over. The big differences come when you totally screw around with the lineup which not even Scoscia would dare do.
Here is a breakdown of how the box score broke down for this lineup.