Not sure if this is going to be a series for all teams or just some teams, but I am going to kick things off with the best lineup for the Los Angeles Angels. The methodology is to use my simulator to find out which lineup wins the most games vs RH and LH pitchers. I do this by making the team of interest the "away" team, playing against a "make believe" team whose stats don't change from one sim to the next. In fact no stats (or input projections) change for either team, the only difference from one simulation to the next is the lineup of the team of interest. For player projections, I am using Steamer projections which are available on Fangraphs. The lineup results will only be as good as the projections. I am not a subject matter expert on every teams personnel but I try to use MLBDepthcharts as a guidance as to which players are starters and I tend to avoid hitting LH back to back when reasonably possible. Two million simulations make up the sample size.
See the results after the break.
Los Angeles Angels
|vs RHP||vs LHP|
|1||CF-Mike Trout||C-Chris Iannetta|
|2||RF-Kole Calhoun||CF-Mike Trout|
|3||1B-Albert Pujols||3B-David Freese|
|4||3B-David Freese||1B-Albert Pujols|
|5||LF-Josh Hamilton||RF-Kole Calhoun|
|6||SS-Erick Aybar||SS-Erick Aybar|
|7||DH-Raul Ibanez||LF-Josh Hamilton|
|8||2B-Howie Kendrick||2B-Howie Kendrick|
|9||C-Chris Iannetta||DH-Raul Ibanez|
Skinny: First thing that probably sticks out is where Mike Trout is hitting. One might think that a player of his caliber would be best off hitting in the third or fourth spot where you tend to see your good hitting power hitters hit. But with Pujols, Freese and Hamilton in the lineup Trout's speed and on-base percentage play better hitting at or near the top of the lineup after on-base percentage guru Chris Iannetta. Iannetta bats 9th, and ahead of Trout vs RHP and hits leadoff and ahead of Trout (2nd) vs LHP. Remember, there is no such thing as a "clogging" the bases penalty and clogging the bases is kind of exactly what you want your lineup to do as opposed to clogging the end of the bench after making an out. The Steamer projections really like Kole Calhoun, that is why you see him bumping Aybar down in both lineups. Aybar, while not a bad hitter for a shortstop just does not get on base enough to hit at the top of the lineup.