There has been some discussion recently about the Rays batting lineup so we decided to look at the issue a little closer.
We used the projected stats for the Rays hitters using the CHONE projection system found at BaseballProjection.com. We then submitted the Rays projected totals to the lineup analysis tool at Baseball Musings.
First we used Joe Maddon’s opening day lineup and compared his batting order to the top four batting orders generated using the same players…
First of all, there are some weaknesses with the lineup analysis tool. The lineups generated using only a player’s OBP and SLG. So some very important factors are not considered such as speed and starting pitcher.
That being said, two things immediately stand out to us:
- BJ Upton should be leading off, despite his poor ’09 season and Jason Bartlett’s strong ’09 season.
- Pat Burrell should probably be batting 9th.
We then substituted Dioner Navarro and Reid Brignac in various combinations and just compared the top lineup of each combination…
Another factor that is not considered is defense. However, if we ignore defense, the best offensive lineup includes Sean Rodriguez and Kelly Shoppach and the worst lineup uses Reid Brignac and Dioner Navarro.
As a side note, 5.4 runs per game would translate to 877 runs scored during the season, which would be a 74 run increase over last season.