Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best Lineup - Philadelphia Phillies

In my previous post I used my baseball simulator to look at the best lineup for the Seattle Mariners vs both a LH/RH pitcher. Up at the plate this time are the Philadelphia Phillies. Keep in mind that the input projections I am using are from Bill James and the input projections go a long ways in determining which lineup is the best.  The starting nine players are determined by taking the starting lineup projections from MLBDepthCharts.  What you will see with the Phillies are some pretty big differences between the lineup that the Phillies are projected to use and the one that the simulator thinks is the most efficient.  Let's take a look at the results and then analyze a little bit what is going on.

First a look at the default lineup from MLBDepthCharts

1. Jimmy Rollins (S)
2. Ben Revere (L)
3. Chase Utley (L)
4. Ryan Howard (L)
5. Michael Young (R)
6. Delmon Young (R)
7. Dominic Brown (L) vs RHP
8. Erik Kratz (R)
9. Pitchers Spot

Note: John Mayberry (R) platoons with Dominic Brown.

Now, what did the simulator spit out as the lineup that could score the most runs and win the most games?

vs RHP

1. Michael Young
2. Jimmy Rollins
3. Chase Utley
4. Ryan Howard
5. Dominic Brown
6. Erik Kratz
7. Delmon Young
8. Pitchers Spot
9. Ben Revere

now vs LHP

1. Michael Young
2. Jimmy Rollins
3. Chase Utley
4. John Mayberry
5. Erik Kratz
6. Delmon Young
7. Ryan Howard
8. Pitchers Spot
9. Ben Revere

Back of the napkin analysis: As with all the NL teams the simulator thinks the Phillies should bat their pitcher 8th.  The next thing that sticks out is that Ben Revere should by no means be sniffing the top of the lineup.  The simulator has him suited as the Phillies best 9 hole hitter.  As a 9 hole hitter Revere acts as a leadoff hitter who comes to the plate less times.  This is a perfect way to leverage his speed, mediocre OBP and terrible SLG.  Michael Young is best suited to leadoff for the Phillies and is the player the Phillies should give the most at bats to.  The Young-Rollins-Utley trio should bat 1-2-3 vs both RHP and LHP.  The simulator drops Ryan Howard from cleanup to 7th against LHP with John Mayberry, a platoon outfielder getting the cleanup spot against LHP.  Erik Kratz bats a respectable 5th against LHP and drops one slot to 6th vs RHP - with Delmon Young hitting one slot below Kratz in both lineups.

Notes of interest: Of all the lineups I've ran through the simulator to find the most efficient lineup so far, the Phillies lineup has the biggest difference in win percentage between the default lineup and the simulator picked lineup.  Against RHP using the simulator lineup over the default lineup garners the Phillies an extra 5.59 wins per 162 games.  Against the LHP it garners 5.31 more wins per 162 games.

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