Sunday, December 16, 2012

Where To Bat Your Best Hitter - Part II


In Part I of this exercise I looked at the best lineup construction for a team that had one Albert Pujols and eight Michael Bourn's.  I then plugged these lineups, using Bill James player projections into my baseball simulator.  The lineup that won the most games had Albert Pujols batting third.

In the next step of this exercise I replaced one of the Michael Bourn's with another Albert Pujols.  What lineup with two Albert Pujols' in it would win the most games?  Logic would tell you that one of the Albert Pujols' should be batting third, right?  If so, then where would you slot in the second Pujols?  Let's take a look at the 36 total permutations of lineups and see which ones did best.  Once again, one million games were simulated.



RankLocationWins
13,4516706
23,5511683
31,3510708
43,6510632
53,7510251
62,3509860
74,5509778
82,4509761
94,6509586
101,4509485
113,8509416
123,9509403
134,9508286
144,7508221
154,8507957
162,5504511
171,5504278
185,6503953
195,7503684
202,6503585
212,7503331
221,2502535
235,8502533
241,6502452
252,8502426
265,9502345
271,7502286
286,7501978
292,9501777
306,9501361
316,8501349
321,8501145
331,9500610
347,9500166
357,8499817
368,9498778

So yes, batting Pujols in the #3 spot still pays off as the top six lineups all bat him there.  Batting the two Pujols' in the #3 and #4 spots is by far the best lineup construction, while batting him 8th and 9th are the worst.  Interestingly, batting Pujols 1/2 ranks fairly far down the list, proving that putting your sluggers in RBI positions is more important than giving them the most plate appearances of any hitters.  The difference between the best and worst lineups on this list is 2.9 wins per 162 games.  Of course an actual lineup would be constructed of pretty much nine unique plate skillsets, but in general this type of lineup construct wins out.

Part I

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