Ideal Lineups: American League Central

Andrew KneelandSenior Writer IApril 2, 2008

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.

I found the lineups for every team over at RotoTimes, so I punched in every team's lineup, got the stats over at Baseball Reference, and I was off.

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? 

AL Central

Chicago White Sox 

Current lineup: Orlando Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Crede, Brian Anderson, Juan Uribe 

Average with current lineup: 4.510 runs

Optimal lineup: Nick Swisher, Jim Thome, A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Joe Crede, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Uribe, Brian Anderson

Average with optimal lineup: 4.650 runs

Difference per season: 22.68 runs 

Cleveland Indians 

Current lineup: Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko, Jhonny Peralta, David Dellucci, Franklin Gutierrez, Casey Blake

Average with current lineup: 5.389 runs

Optimal lineup: Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez, Casey Blake, Travis Hafner, Ryan Garko, David Dellucci, Jhonny Peralta, Franklin Gutierrez, Asdrubal Cabrera

Average with optimal lineup: 5.430 runs

Difference per season: 6.642 runs

Detroit Tigers 

Current lineup: Ivan Rodriguez, Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria, Brandon Inge, Jacque Jones

Average with current lineup: 5.814 runs

Optimal lineup: Edgar Renteria, Magglio Ordonez, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, Brandon Inge, Placido Polanco, Ivan Rodriguez, Jacque Jones

Average with optimal lineup: 5.956 runs

Difference per season: 23.004 runs

Kansas City Royals 

Current lineup: David DeJesus, Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Teahen, Jose Guillen, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Ross Gload, John Buck, Tony Pena Jr.

Average with current lineup: 4.731 runs

Optimal lineup: Mark Teahen, Jose Guillen, Ross Gload, Billy Butler, Mark Grudzielanek, Tony Pena Jr., Alex Gordon, John Buck, David DeJesus

Average with optimal lineup: 4.764 runs

Difference per season: 5.346 runs 

Minnesota Twins 

Current lineup: Carlos Gomez, Joe Mauer, Delmon Young, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Brenden Harris, Mike Lamb, Adam Everett

Average with current lineup: 4.725 runs

Optimal lineup: Joe Mauer, Mike Lamb, Brenden Harris, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Delmon Young, Adam Everett, Jason Kubel, Carlos Gomez

Average with optimal lineup: 4.840 runs

Difference with optimal lineup: 18.63 runs

Stay tuned for the latest!

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