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Why is batting order important

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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby kickureface » Thu May 07, 2009 11:49 pm

Protection is basically not getting walked?

Right now since Ethier is 3rd, and Loney is 4th, looks like Ethier could see more walks?
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby auclairkeithbc » Thu May 07, 2009 11:53 pm

kickureface wrote:Protection is basically not getting walked?

Right now since Ethier is 3rd, and Loney is 4th, looks like Ethier could see more walks?


It is more about getting good pitches. They don't want to walk a hitter before a great player like Manny. So Ethier was arguably getting more strikes to hit, helping out his stats if he was able to take advantage (and it looks like he was able to). He'll probably walk a little more now, but the real effect is theoretically that he'll get less juicy pitches to hit.
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby Ender » Thu May 07, 2009 11:57 pm

To be fair the 3rd hitter in the lineup gets up with the bases empty more than any other position in the lineup. Out of the top 4 spots in your order it is the worst spot to put your best hitter.

Conventional wisdom on batting order is more or less 100% wrong. You want your best overall hitter batting 2nd, your biggest power guy batting 4th and your 3rd and 4th best hitters batting leadoff and 3rd with the higher OBP guy leading off. Then from 5th on down it is pretty linear though the 9th hitter is more important than the 8th hitter especially for OBP thus the pitcher batting 8th idea.

To use my favorite team as an example the optimal Brewer lineup is probably as follows

Weeks or Hart
Fielder (higher OBP than Braun)
Weeks or Hart
Braun
Hardy or Cameron
Hardy or Cameron
Hall
Pitcher
Kendall


The Brewers have a lot of interchangable parts which confuses things some but Fielder should be batting a lot higher than he is and Braun as a 3rd hitter just wastes a lot of ABs on bases empty.
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Fri May 08, 2009 12:16 am

Ender wrote:To be fair the 3rd hitter in the lineup gets up with the bases empty more than any other position in the lineup. Out of the top 4 spots in your order it is the worst spot to put your best hitter.

Conventional wisdom on batting order is more or less 100% wrong. You want your best overall hitter batting 2nd, your biggest power guy batting 4th and your 3rd and 4th best hitters batting leadoff and 3rd with the higher OBP guy leading off. Then from 5th on down it is pretty linear though the 9th hitter is more important than the 8th hitter especially for OBP thus the pitcher batting 8th idea.

To use my favorite team as an example the optimal Brewer lineup is probably as follows

Weeks or Hart
Fielder (higher OBP than Braun)
Weeks or Hart
Braun
Hardy or Cameron
Hardy or Cameron
Hall
Pitcher
Kendall


The Brewers have a lot of interchangable parts which confuses things some but Fielder should be batting a lot higher than he is and Braun as a 3rd hitter just wastes a lot of ABs on bases empty.


That makes no sense to me- that the 3rd hitter comes to the plate with the bases empty most often. Are you really saying that the 8th and 9th batters in lineups tend to get on base more than the 1st/2nd guys in lineups? I'd be really interested to see your source on that Ender. Not that I don't believe you, Id' just love to see that study.

Then here's my next question: Is this information about the "optimal lineup" based off of managers using unoptimal lineups? What I mean by this is that for years and years, managers have used their fastest hitter at leadoff. Often this was a low OBP, "unoptimal" leadoff hitter and a "bat handler" [bunter, etc.] as the 2nd hitter, actually decreasing their chances at getting men on base for their power hitters. So if a manager actually used an optimal lineup (putting his best OBP guys at the top), wouldn't that change the way in which the manager would optimize the rest of their lineup. It would seem to me that you should lead off with your best OBP guys (top 2), then have your best power guys 3rd and 4th, and then go linearly down from there. The 8th/9th thing is interesting, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd be better off putting your 8th best hitter 9th, especially if he's a speed guy.
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby Ender » Fri May 08, 2009 8:23 am

Are you really saying that the 8th and 9th batters in lineups tend to get on base more than the 1st/2nd guys in lineups


Not sure where you got this from but I most certainly did not mean to say that. I said the 9th hitter is more important than the 8th hitter so you'd rather have your scrappy powerless MI batting 9th and your pitcher 8th.

As for "protection", it is something that is more important to fans than to hitters from what I can tell. Every study I've seen on it shows that it really doesn't help much if at all. What it basically means is a few more fastballs on 3 ball counts and not much else, few extra hits, and a few less walks.

Here is an article on lineup construction that pretty much sums it up. It also sites "The Book" which did the research that found that the 3rd hitter comes up more with 2 outs and nobody on than any other position.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/daily/arti ... g-lineups/

And another one

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/story/ ... 21329/9401
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby flloyd » Fri May 08, 2009 11:51 am

Ender wrote:
buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:Are you really saying that the 8th and 9th batters in lineups tend to get on base more than the 1st/2nd guys in lineups


Not sure where you got this from but I most certainly did not mean to say that. I said the 9th hitter is more important than the 8th hitter so you'd rather have your scrappy powerless MI batting 9th and your pitcher 8th.


Ender wrote:To be fair the 3rd hitter in the lineup gets up with the bases empty more than any other position in the lineup.


Just to clarify, what The Book says is not that the 3rd batter comes up with the bases empty the most (that would be the leadoff hitter) but that he comes up to bat the most with the bases empty and two outs (which limits his run scoring and producing ability).
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby markj11 » Fri May 08, 2009 12:07 pm

flloyd wrote:
Ender wrote:
buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:Are you really saying that the 8th and 9th batters in lineups tend to get on base more than the 1st/2nd guys in lineups


Not sure where you got this from but I most certainly did not mean to say that. I said the 9th hitter is more important than the 8th hitter so you'd rather have your scrappy powerless MI batting 9th and your pitcher 8th.


Ender wrote:To be fair the 3rd hitter in the lineup gets up with the bases empty more than any other position in the lineup.


Just to clarify, what The Book says is not that the 3rd batter comes up with the bases empty the most (that would be the leadoff hitter) but that he comes up to bat the most with the bases empty and two outs (which limits his run scoring and producing ability).


That's most likely due to the first inning.
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby auclairkeithbc » Fri May 08, 2009 12:22 pm

markj11 wrote:
flloyd wrote:Just to clarify, what The Book says is not that the 3rd batter comes up with the bases empty the most (that would be the leadoff hitter) but that he comes up to bat the most with the bases empty and two outs (which limits his run scoring and producing ability).


That's most likely due to the first inning.


Yes. Actually in all other innings, the 3rd hitter would be one of the least likely hitters to bat with 2 outs and no one on base, due to the fact that usually the #1 and #2 hitters have good OBPs.

The biggest lineup impact is in the first inning. The rest is mainly just making sure your best hitters get a large share of plate appearances. In the NL, the #1/#2 hitter can be hurt a little more in the AL because of the high likelihood of the pitcher making an out vs. a weak position player.
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby Big Pimpin » Fri May 08, 2009 12:34 pm

Good stuff Ender. Glad you pulled the links so I didn't have to. :-B

In any case, the overall impact is fairly negligible. You're only talking 10-15 runs over the course of the season from whatever lineup the manager uses to the most optimal. So you might squeak an extra win out of the deal. It has a much greater impact on an individual player though, because the surrounding players have a big impact on runs and RBIs.
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Re: Why is batting order important

Postby Steve-o » Fri May 08, 2009 1:21 pm

Here's a great chart from the Book:

Code: Select all
Order   PA Empty   PA Men on   % w/ Men on   No Runners                     
1      3.11         1.72         36%         2.39
2      2.63         2.09         44%         2.77
3      2.38         2.23         48%         3.00
4      2.19         2.31         51%         3.20
5      2.28         2.11         48%         3.10
6      2.29         1.97         46%         2.84
7      2.20         1.94         47%         2.74
8      2.17         1.85         46%         2.61
9      2.13         1.77         45%         2.48


You want your sluggers to come up with guys on base, and your guys with high OBPs to come up more frequently so the sluggers can drive them in. The best hitters should bat 1, 2, 4 and the next best should bat 3 and 5.

Here's a fun tool where you can plug in your team's lineup in and see how many runs they should generate. Try switching the order a bit to see what works best.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/ ... nalysis.py

Also, as with any discussion with batting order, it is obligatory to say an optimal lineup differs from the worst lineup by just a few runs.
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