Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Lineup - Tampa Bay Rays

Next up on my look at each teams most efficient lineup is the Tampa Bay Rays.  In this exercise 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 too many LH back to back when reasonably possible.  Keep in mind, the results are not intended to match what a certain teams manager is most likely to do during the season.

Previous teams:
AL: Angels | Rangers
NL: Mets | Cubs

See the results after the jump...

vs RHPvs LHP
1LF-David DeJesusCF-Desmond Jennings
22B-Ben Zobrist2B-Ben Zobrist
31B-James Loney1B-James Loney
43B-Evan Longoria3B-Evan Longoria
5DH-Matt JoyceLF-Brandon Guyer
6CF-Desmond JenningsRF-Wil Myers
7RF-Wil MyersSS-Yunel Escobar
8SS-Yunel EscobarDH-Sean Rodriguez
9C-Ryan HaniganC-Ryan Hanigan

MLB Depth Charts Lineup:
(vs RHP) DeJesus - Zobrist - Longoria - Myers - Joyce - Loney - Jennings - Escobar - Hanigan

Skinny: The Rays will probably platoon Joyce and DeJesus out of the lineup for Rodriguez and Guyer so that is what I went ahead and did in this exercise.  The Rays could probably use a better RH bat to sub in for Matt Joyce.  On to the lineup... no big surprises at the top of the lineup, as David DeJesus leads off against RHP and another pretty speedy outfielder, Desmond Jennings leads off against LHP.  There are four hitters that slot in to the same lineup position against both RH and LH pitchers they are... Ben Zobrist batting second, James Loney batting third, Evan Longoria hitting cleanup and Ryan Hanigan batting ninth.  The top three hitters in the Rays lineup provide solid "table setting" and enough punch of their own for the four, five and six hitters in the Rays lineup.  The most controversial thing here will be putting Evan Longoria in the cleanup spot instead of batting him third, but that is where the simulator thinks he provides the most synergy.  Ryan Hanigan is an on base machine and works well as a second leadoff hitter at the bottom of the lineup.  Good enough to bat in front of the top hitters but not good enough to warrant the extra plate appearances to.

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