The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Lineup analysis 8/1

Posted by disappointmentzone on 1 August 2006

Based on July’s performance and tonight’s starting lineup, here is the optimal lineup for this month (without respect to the handedness of the starting pitcher).

Martinez
Inglett
Peralta
Blake
Hafner
Choo*
Sizemore
Michaels
Luna

Hafner is batting below .200 since being moved from cleanup to the three hole early in July. July was the first month this season in which Hafner’s SLG% was below .600. Sizemore saw similar declines in July, although he has improved considerably since getting a game off against the Angles following the All-Star break. Inglett is riding his hot streak, which is bolstered by 48 at bats against right-handed pitchers against five at bat against lefties. Luna had the worst month of all the players.

With respect to the handedness of tonight’s starting pitcher, RHP Jason Johnson, and based on this season’s splits, tonight’s optimal lineup is:

Hafner
Sizemore
Martinez
Blake
Inglett
Choo*
Peralta
Michaels
Luna

Instead, the lineup is as follows:

Sizemore
Michaels
Hafner
Martinez
Blake
Choo
Peralta
Inglett
Luna

There is one glaring problem in the top of the order and that’s Jason Michaels, who is batting only .298/.355 (OBP/SLG) against right-handed pitchers this season. But the actual lineup is still pretty close to optimal: this lineup will produce (on average) only .217 fewer runs per game than the optimal lineup will produce (on average). Simply switching Michaels with Inglett would close that game to only a .052 difference, which, over a 162 game season, is about a 2.7-win increase.

*Choo was given a .275 OBP and .375 SLG% because he doesn’t have enough plate appearances.

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