Thursday, January 02, 2014

Best Lineup - San Diego Padres

Next up on my look at each teams most efficient lineup is the San Diego Padres.  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 | Rays
NL: Mets | Cubs

See the results after the jump...

vs RHPvs LHP
1CF-Will VenableRF-Will Venable
2SS-Everth CabreraSS-Everth Cabrera
31B-Yonder Alonso1B-Yonder Alonso
4LF-Carlos QuentinLF-Carlos Quentin
53B-Chase Headley3B-Chase Headley
6RF-Seth SmithCF-Cameron Maybin
72B-Jedd Gyorko2B-Jedd Gyorko
8C-Nick HundleyC-Nick Hundley
9Pitchers SpotPitchers Spot

Typical lineup provided by MLBDepthCharts:
Cabrera - Venable - Headley - Quentin - Alonso - Gyorko - Smith/Maybin - Hundley - Pitcher

Skinny:  The simulator rearranges the deck chairs a little bit on the Padres lineup.  It prefers to flip-flop Cabrera and Venable at the top of the lineup.  When I look closely at the box scores of the accumulated 2.5 million games to determine why this is, Venable gets an uptick in runs scored moving from second to first in the lineup and Cabrera gets a down tick in runs that evenly offsets Venables newly found runs scored.  But where the few fractions of extra runs are found with Venable hitting leadoff instead of Cabrera, is at the bottom of the lineup, where Hundley (8th) and the pitchers/pinch hitters spot cashes in on more runs and to a lesser extent the five, six and seven hitters too.  Venable is better able to drive in the bottom of the lineup than Cabrera is.  The simulator keeps Carlos Quentin in the cleanup spot where he is best suited.  Then it flips Yonder Alonso and Chase Headley, moving Alonso up to bat third and Headley down to bat fifth.  The need to bat Alonso third and Headley fifth is more pronounced when facing a right handed pitcher.  The platoon of Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin is a best fit in the six hole, while Jedd Gyorko drops to seventh and the light hitting Nick Hundley bats eighth.

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