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Batting order
Posted: 20 May 2006 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m almost afraid to ask this after doing some web searches on “batting order”... some of the articles I read dive headlong into a sea full of abstruse mathematical formulae… but here we go!

Can you explain to me in simple terms which types of hitters (strong or weak) go where in the batting order and why? I’m still trying to sort out some of the nuances of the game, and I’m not sure what the thinking is behind batting order.

Thanks.

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I don’t want to play golf.  When I hit a ball, I want someone else to go chase it.  ~Rogers Hornsby

Posted: 22 May 2006 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well now some 1 has askt what spot do guys go in in a batting order I will tell you every thing I know.  At the top you need some 1 who can steel a base like Potsetting and below him some 1 who can bunt like our 2B on the Sox little Gucci who is Asian-American though I do not mean to say it must always be an Asian little guys from the Latin countries are good too.  Then in your 3rd spot a guy who can steal an other base and in 4th another bunter and in fifth you need the hit and run man some 1 like German Die.  No. 6 should be a base stealer and no. 7 can bunt and no. 8 some worthless catcher who can not hit the Lotto numbers with a Ouiji Board and a time machine and then no. 9 should be a base stealer who can bunt this is called Lidle Ball and was invented by Ozzie Guillen.

Posted: 23 May 2006 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]

.....but when is it necessary to alter the batting order. I mean, for example, the Phillies’ lead off man (Rollins) at one point was batting .190 from mid-April to mid-May and his avg isn’t much better. So, if your lead off man is not getting on base, and he is fast, and usually steals bases, then, well you get my point…...that kinda’ screws things up a little right?

Posted: 25 May 2006 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I really want to see one day a lineup where the best hitter hits first and the worst hitter hits last…

line them up from highest OPS to lowest. Just see waht the hell happens

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Less Racism, More Cowbell!

Posted: 24 June 2006 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]

While I think there have been some good answers to this question Ill take a crack at it…..these are all just ideal situations and my personal opinion, flame at your leisure

At the top of the order you want a guy who makes good contact and is willing to take a few pitches.  While its not important that he get a ton of walks, he needs to be selective enough that he has high pitch count at bats and doesnt strike out a lot.  Footspeed is a very useful tool but not neccessary, its just as important that he be a good baserunner…..the high pitch count is udeful to the guys behind him, as information is imparted (i.e his curve is breaking 12 to 6 today, or his slider is breaking early)

2nd you want a guy who (regardless of average or power numbers) doesnt miss the ball a lot.  In fact bat control will be his highest priority.  Its his job to move the runner along if he makes it to first.  If the leadoff guy steals bases, yer second guy has to be willing to take a pitch or two to give the man a chance.  He also has to be able to bunt and put the ball on the ground to the right side of the infield.  And lastly he cant strike out a lot either.  He needs to be a hit and run capable hitter as well.  If he has any power thats a bonus, as your lead off guy may be a credible basestealer, your number 2 hitter will be saying more than the normal share of fastballs. 

3-4-5 These all go together in thought process so Ill lump him.  3rd should be your most disciplined power hitter….the guy that hits it out but is willing to take a walk now and again.  He needs a reasonable avg. slug percentage and on base percentage.  Ideally he’s going to come up with a runner or two in scoring position a lot of times and should be capable of hitting the ball consistently.  4th can be your big bopper….the guy does not need to be a high contact guy but its his job to knock runs in so he has to be able to hit the ball hard.  Your 5th man “protects” him, i.e. a good enough hitter that you cant just walk the 4th guy or give him 4 pitches in the dirt that he may swing at. 

Assuming this is the national league, your pitcher is going 9th.  Do what you want with 6 and 7 but your 8th spot becomes more important than you think.  Knowing the pitcher is rarely going to get a hit, you dont want your 8th spot to be a high walk kind of guy.  A free swinger that strikes out is fine as long as his average is decent enough.  A walk is wasted with the pitchr coming behind him.  But a single could score a runner now and again, and the 8ths mans job is to make sure there are no runners left on base in scoring position before the pitcher gets up.

Hope that helps

Posted: 24 June 2006 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]

In terms of offensive skill:

#1=OBP+Speed+Pitches Taken
#2=OBP or AVG or Speed (very variable spot)
#3=SLG+AVG/OBP
#4=OPS
#5=SLG+AVG
#6=AVG+SLG
#7=SLG+AVG
#8=AVG
#9=AVG AND SPEED, SOMETIMES SLG

In terms of quality:

Best= 3,4,5
Worst=9,8,2
Special= 1
Average=6,7

In terms of Physical Type:

Big Guys=3,4,5,6,7

Small Guys= 2, 8, 9

Fast Guys= 1,2,8,9

Strong Guys= 3,4,5

Posted: 24 June 2006 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Over the years, there has been a lot of research done on batting order, with everything from Markov chains to regression analysis.

Here is the general conclusion amongst the sabermetric community: the difference between the optimal batting order and the worst batting order is about two or three wins.

If you’re looking at optimal batting order, Dan Scotto’s cheat sheet is very useful. His ideas are based off David Pinto’s optimal lineup program, which was written by Ken Arneson, which uses the statistical findings of Cyril Morong. As you can tell, there were a lot of people involved with this.

I’ll give you what, according to the regression analysis, is you best possible lineup:

1. Best OBP hitter.
2. Lineup’s most balanced hitter, in respect to OBP and SLG.
3. Your second worst hitter, or the guy who doesn’t fit anywhere else.
4. Your best hitter, with the focus on power.
5. Second choice to the #2 slot.
6. Biggest difference between SLG and OBP (high SLG, low OBP)
7. Less extreme #6 hitter.
8. Worst hitter…if in the NL, this would be the pitcher.
9. acceptable OBP, just about no power.

A lot of that is counterintuitive. Keep in mind that it only takes SLG and OBP into account, regressed to runs scored.

Posted: 24 June 2006 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Around February there was a lot of research done on batting order, with everything from Markov chains to regression analysis.

This research has been done many times over the years. 

Here is the general conclusion amongst the sabermetric community: the difference between the optimal batting order and the worst batting order is about two or three wins.

That pegs it pretty close.

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All comments by Jeff K. are opinions and are not presented as fact.  Jeff K.‘s statements should not be considered the opinions of Jeff K. management.

Posted: 04 July 2006 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]

Here is How I view the front end of the batting order

1. OBP. Speed is a plus but as long as he doesn’t clog the base paths he should do. First-to-third, First-to-Home. (Although Jeremi Giambi batted leadoff for the A’s and he was probably the slowest guy in the lineup.) Smart Hitter, takes ptiches, works the count, good baserunner.
2. OBP.  A good doubles hitter would be perfect.  Bill James made a great point in his historical baseball abstract that a lefty is best suited for the number 2 hole for several reasons.  1. Hit and run is easier for a lefty 2.  A lefty gets in the way of a throw to second on a stolen base attempt.
3. Best Overall Hitter. Power, Average OBP.

Posted: 04 July 2006 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]

At the top of the order you want a guy who makes good contact and is willing to take a few pitches.  While its not important that he get a ton of walks, he needs to be selective enough that he has high pitch count at bats and doesnt strike out a lot.


I disagree with your assessment of the leadoff hitter on two counts.
1 Makes Good Contact/Doesn’t Strike Out.  If you mean puts the ball in play but still gets out its not true, no one bats more with the bases empty than a leadoff man expecially in the NL.  I would say that bat control would be more beneficail out of the two hole than the leadoff spot.
2. Taking walks.  A leadoff hitters only REAL job is to get on base.  Taking pitches, working the count are jobs but I would consider those more part time than full time with benefits like getting on base. 

I bet that if we put your leadoff in the two hole behind my leadoff that that lineup would score more runs just a thought maybe some can run it.

I am just going to throw some numbers out.
My guy
162G .315 AVG .412 OBP 100 K
Yours
162 .330 AVG .375 OBP   40 K
Let Me know what you think.

Posted: 05 July 2006 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Another theory (that I do not support, but I can understand) is to put your best hitter in the number one spot. This sort of piggybacks to what I already said, as often times a club’s best OBP hitter is the team’s best hitter overall.

The theory stems from the fact that you score most of your runs in the first two innings, and that the first at-bat is an extremely important event.

So, yeah, high-OBP is all that matters there.

Posted: 13 July 2006 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]

And another thought of that theory is that having your best hitter hit first gives him a certain number of at bats per season more than he would’ve had hitting 3rd or 4th.

Posted: 21 July 2006 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]

The best resource available in terms of explaining (and actually teaching youhow to compute) optimal lineup construction is, “The Book”, available at http://www.InsideTheBook.com  Of c.ourse, as one of the authors, I am biased.

Bottom line is that it does not make all that much difference (in most cases, less than 10 runs or one win per year) as long as you put your best at the top and your worst at the bottom.  One exception to that is that in the NL, it is better to put your pitcher (assuming he is a bad hitter) in the 8 hole, as LaRussa did in 1998.  The biggest mistake that managers make is putting a crappy hitter in the 2 hole.  That should be one of your best, if not your best, hitters overall.  Managers seem to forget that each spot in the lineup gets around 60 more PA per year than the one below it.

Posted: 21 July 2006 12:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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mgl - 21 July 2006 12:20 AM

The best resource available in terms of explaining (and actually teaching youhow to compute) optimal lineup construction is, “The Book”, available at http://www.InsideTheBook.com  Of c.ourse, as one of the authors, I am biased.

Bottom line is that it does not make all that much difference (in most cases, less than 10 runs or one win per year) as long as you put your best at the top and your worst at the bottom.  One exception to that is that in the NL, it is better to put your pitcher (assuming he is a bad hitter) in the 8 hole, as LaRussa did in 1998.  The biggest mistake that managers make is putting a crappy hitter in the 2 hole.  That should be one of your best, if not your best, hitters overall.  Managers seem to forget that each spot in the lineup gets around 60 more PA per year than the one below it.

That’s a great book. And as a reader, I’m not biased.

Posted: 24 July 2006 08:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]

That should be 18 PA and not 60 of course.