Next up on my look at most efficient lineups is the New York Mets. I used my baseball simulator to run millions of games through various different possible lineup scenarios to see which lineup it spit out as the most likely to win a game vs a RH and LH pitcher. I tried my best to not stack left handed hitters and I always batted the pitcher 9th because no MLB manager will bat his pitcher 8th which is where most should hit.
Please keep in mind that 2014 Steamer Projections were used as input, so if you don't like some of the results take it up with them.
See the results after the break.
|vs RHP||vs LHP|
|1||RF-Chris Young||RF-Chris Young|
|2||LF-Curtis Granderson||LF-Curtis Granderson|
|3||1B-Ike Davis||1B-Ike Davis|
|4||3B-David Wright||3B-David Wright|
|5||2B-Daniel Murphy||2B-Daniel Murphy|
|6||SS-Ruben Tejada||SS-Ruben Tejada|
|7||C-Travis d'Arnaud||C-Travis d'Arnaud|
|8||CF-Juan Lagares||CF-Juan Lagares|
|9||Pitchers Spot||Pitchers Spot|
Skinny: The first thing that sticks out is that the best lineup vs RHP and LHP is exactly the same. The simulator liked the same lineup against both handed pitcher. The Mets starting lineup has four hitters that can draw walks to boost their OBP. They are Ike Davis, David Wright, Chris Young and Curtis Granderson. The bulk of the power comes from these same four people with Travis d'Arnaud showing a little bit of OBP and power and Daniel Murphy kicking in some value with his ability to put the ball in play. Ruben Tejada is solid enough to bump Juan Lagares down to 8th in the lineup and to hit in front of Travis d'Arnaud who is anchoring the bottom half of the lineup. The Mets manager might not bat the lefties Granderson and Davis back to back against a LHP but rearranging the lineup to accommodate this hurt the overall results. Chris Young is not the best leadoff hitter in the world but his saving grace is his speed and ability to mix in more than a few walks with his boatload of strikeouts.
Let's take a look at how the simulation results compare against what one of my favorite websites MLB Depth Charts has for the Mets.
One of the interesting findings in these simulation lineup exercises is when the simulation results don't match with what the manager is most likely to do.
1. Chris Young:
Though not your typical leadoff hitter, Chris Young is the easy choice here. Not so much because he matches the skill sets of a leadoff hitter (high OBP, speed) but more because of the Mets lacking any other half way decent options.
2. Curtis Granderson:
Steamer projects Granderson to hit 24 HRs, the most of any Met in the 2014 season. But that's the end of the good news for Granderson's projection, as he is pegged to hit .228 with a .320 OBP and a .750 OPS. Not exactly the type of hitter you want batting third or fourth in the lineup. Granderson fits best hitting second, immediately following Chris Young.
3. Ike Davis:
MLBDC has Ike Davis slated to hit fifth, but the simulator likes Davis in the three hole for the Mets. Davis is another low batting average (0.238 projection) player but luckily for Ike, batting average paints a small portion of the talent picture. Davis is probably the most skillful Met (not named David Wright) at drawing walks and he does possess moderate pop in his bat, enough that he is not a liability in the three hole and his tendency to reach base via the walk makes him an RBI candidate for the best hitter on the team (coming up next).
4. David Wright:
Batting fourth for your New York Mets is none other than David Wright, undoubtedly the best hitter in the Mets lineup. Wright is the last shining light in this lineup as rest of the lineup following him is a bit of a black-hole. If the Mets had a better power hitting RBI-man then I could see the simulator putting Wright third in the lineup but there is more production having Wright follow the next three best hitters in the lineup.
5. Daniel Murphy:
With Chris Young taking the leadoff spot and Curtis Granderson the best fit to hit second, Daniel Murphy falls to fifth in the lineup. This is more a reflection of the lack of firepower in the Mets lineup than how strong of a hitter Murphy is. You can kind of think of Murphy more of a post-David Wright table setter in the lineup.
6. Ruben Tejada:
MLBDC bats Ruben Tejada 8th and the simulator agrees that it is a bit of a dog fight between Tejada and and Juan Lagares as the teams worst hitter but one of them needs to bat in front of Travis d'Araud who is the last semblance of a power hitter in the remaining portion of the lineup. So Tejada is batting here because he is more likely to get batted in by d'Arnaud than Lagares is.
7. Travis d'Arnaud:
MLBDC and the simulator have a match on which players should bat 6-7-8, they just have the 6th and 8th slots reversed. Where they agree on (the first since Chris Young's spot) is that Travis d'Arnaud should be batting 7th. With his pop (0.419 project SLG%) near the bottom of the lineup d'Arnaud is the 2AM last call for runs batted in.
8. Juan Lagares:
Juan Lagares has a really low projected (0.659) OPS which really leaves him no where else to hit but 8th. The Mets bottom half of the lineup is a black hole thus the large sucking sound from Lagares' bat. His one saving grace is his speed, so if/when he does reach base he is a candidate to get bunted over into scoring position by the pitcher in the hopes that the top half of the lineup can drive him in.