Not surprisingly, the bottom of the order is pretty obvious, from 6th on it’s clearly Ortiz, Drew, Scutaro and Saltalamacchia. They appeared that way in a plurality of the top batting orders.

Excluding them from the first five positions, I ran 1,000 seasons each of the remaining 120 lineups.

The optimal lineup, statistically, both in terms of games with 5+ runs and average runs per game is:

Youkilis

Crawford

Ellsbury

Pedroia

Gonzalez

Ortiz

Drew

Scutaro

Saltalamacchia.

Just to produce 4+ runs, it’s a little different:

Pedroia

Youkilis

Crawford

Ellsbury

Gonzalez

Ortiz

Drew

Scutaro

Saltalamacchia

Now I think I need to find vs lefties and righties stats…

Let me know here if you think there’s a lineup that’s statistically better.

]]>The batters do WORSE, argument is basically irrelevant when discussing hitting behind base stealers when factoring in defensive placement because it isn’t factored into the original statistical equation to begin with. So you are comparing apples and oranges. When sabermetrics becomes Dogma it suffers from the same deficiencies it was created to enlighten. ]]>

The best times to have your basestealer on is in front of the lightest hitting players, because the value of a stolen base is far less when the guy behind you can hit a double or a homer.

]]>I would flip flop both Pedroia/Crawford and Gonzalez/Youkilis vs. lefties and possible even bench or put Ortiz in the 7 hole then. ]]>

Don’t confuse speed with stolen bases. They are two different things entirely. Speed at the top of the order is very important.

Having a guy who can steal bases in the lineup is important also, but he should hit where his steals would be maximized, not just at the top of the order if his OBP isn’t good enough.

But speed it always important. Stolen bases aren’t.

]]>In this scenario, I would go with Ellsbury leading off maximizing his speed, which is more that just basestealing. For me the harder decisions lie at 2-3 and 4-5. Crawford at 2 takes advantage of the holes in the defense Ellsbury will create and gives him a greater opportunity to use his speed. Pedroia at 3 is problematic, but he is just to complete a player to be buried later so he gets the nod. I would probably go with Gonzalez at 4. Youkilis would probably adapt to number 5 easier and you would break going R/L/R/L in the heart with Ortiz at #6. Drew/Cameron, catcher and Scutaro round out the lineup. ]]>

Contrast that with the cleanup spot, which often either leads off an inning or comes up with multiple men on base. And, at least the first time through, never comes up with two men out and no one on.

]]>I’m going to tell my boss I want a 9-figure raise, then tell him what I do and don’t like doing at the company. Let’s see how that goes.

Suck it up and do what the manager tells you is best for the team. In the mean time, let’s all start speculating about what kind of douchey beard Crawford will grow to fit in with the clubhouse culture…

]]>1. Kevin Youkilis

2. Adrian Gonzalez

3. J.D. Drew

4. David Ortiz

5. Dustin Pedroia

6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia

7. Carl Crawford

8. Marco Scutaro

9. Jacoby Ellsbury

Obviously that has no chance of happening. And perhaps rightly.

Plenty of lineups not far below that in run expectancy have Pedroia leading off, which most likely (but not definitely) means he’s the second best option to lead off.

The worst possible lineup loses you a third of a run a game over the best, but that does lead to about 50 fewer runs over the course of the season, which is quite a lot.

The lineup I listed above as the most probable lineup is about 13 runs worse over the course of the season than that extremely unlikely optimal lineup, which adds up to (I think) about 2.5 wins worse.

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