I discovered a fun tool over at Baseball Musings the other day that analyzes any nine-man lineup, and suggests an "optimal" lineup.
If you enter the player's name, on-base-percentage, and slugging percentage, the tool will also predict the average number of runs scored per game.
Needless to say, it is a very fun tool. I found myself messing around with it for hours over the weekend.
Now, before I am flooded with comments charging that I have bad information, that I am missing key players, or that I am completely loony, I think it is time for a disclaimer:
These lineups were taken from RotoTimes on March 29th. Anything that has happened since then was not taken into account when I put this together.
This list does not include injured players. For example, Detroit's Curtis Granderson, who would be a starter, is not included in the Tiger's optimal lineup.
Please just take this for what it is: a neat way to see how your team stacks up against the other teams in the league, and for you to see if there are any changes that your teams' manager needs to make.
Let's dive in, shall we?
Current lineup: Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora, Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff, Ramon Hernandez, Luke Scott, Kevin Millar, Adam Jones, Luis Hernandez
Average with current lineup: 4.992 runs
Optimal lineup: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff, Kevin Millar, Luke Scott, Luis Hernandez, Melvin Mora, Adam Jones, Ramon Hernandez
Average with optimal lineup: 5.051 runs
Difference per season: 9.558 runs
Boston Red Sox
Current lineup: Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Varitek, Julio Lugo
Average with current lineup: 6.011 runs
Optimal lineup: Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Ramirez, Julio Lugo, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew
Average with optimal lineup: 6.090 runs
Difference per season: 12.798 runs
New York Yankees
Current lineup: Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera
Average with current lineup: 6.009 runs
Optimal lineup: Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Johnny Damon
Average with optimal lineup: 6.118 runs
Difference per season: 17.658 runs
Tampa Bay Rays
Current lineup: Akinori Iwamura, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, Cliff Floyd, Jonny Gomes, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett
Average with current lineup: 5.466 runs
Optimal lineup: Cliff Floyd, Carlos Pena, Akinori Iwamura, B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford, Dioner Navarro, Willy Aybar, Jonny Gomes, Jason Bartlett
Average runs with optimal lineup: 5.537 runs
Difference per season: 11.502 runs
Toronto Blue Jays
Current lineup: David Eckstein, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Frank Thomas, Lyle Overbay, Shannon Stewart, Aaron Hill, Marco Scutaro, Gregg Zaun
Average with current lineup: 4.899 runs
Optimal lineup: David Eckstein, Frank Thomas, Gregg Zaun, Alex Rios, Aaron Hill, Lyle Overbay, Shannon Stewart, Vernon Wells, Marco Scutaro
Average with optimal lineup: 4.963 runs
Difference per season: 10.368 runs
Check back soon for the rest of the MLB!AL Central