Friday, January 18, 2013

Best Lineup - Seattle Mariners

In my previous post I used my baseball simulator to look at the best lineup for the Anaheim Angels vs both a LH/RH pitcher. Up at the plate this time are the Seattle Mariners. 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 Mariners are some typical differences in lineups based on the handedness of the starting pitcher.  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. Dustin Ackley (L)
2. Franklin Gutierrez (R)
3. Kyle Seager (L)
4. Michael Morse (R)
5. Kendrys Morales (S)
6. Jesus Montero (R)
7. Raul Ibanez (L) vs RHP
8. Michael Saunders (L)
9. Brendan Ryan (R)

Note: Jason Bay (R) platoons with Raul Ibanez.

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

vs RHP

1. Dustin Ackley
2. Kyle Seager
3. Kendrys Morales
4. Michael Morse
5. Jesus Montero
6. Raul Ibanez
7. Franklin Gutierrez
8. Michael Saunders
9. Brendan Ryan

now vs LHP

1. Jason Bay
2. Kyle Seager
3. Kendrys Morales
4. Michael Morse
5. Jesus Montero
6. Franklin Gutierrez
7. Michael Saunders
8. Brendan Ryan
9. Dustin Ackley

Back of the napkin analysis: Franklin Gutierrez should not hit at the top of the lineup.  He does not have the on base skills to be hitting there, nor does he have the power.  The weak bottom half of the lineup does push him up to a respectable 6th or 7th though.  Dustin Ackley, who the simulator thinks should be leading off against RHP, gets dropped to 9th against the southpaw pitchers.  With Jason Bay in the lineup against LHP, he gets the nod to hit first - bumping Ackley down.  Of your weaker hitters, it is usually best to put your best OBP guy 9th to get men on base for the better hitters who are coming up.  The two thru five hitters are the same in these two lineups - with Seager hitting in the two hole ahead of Morales, Morse and Montero.

Notes of interest: Before the trade that sent John Jaso packing and brought in Michael Morse, the simulator had Jaso-Ackley hitting 1/2 against RHP and Smoak-Bay hitting 1/2 against LHP.

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