Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stat of the Day 7/25/15: Lineups & OBP

There have been a lot of studies on lineup construction and optimization. Should your best hitter bat second? Should the pitcher bat eighth? None are conclusive, but if you do certain things your team is likely to generate a few more runs.

But one thing is seen as being pretty straightforward, you want the guys with the highest OBP toward the top of the lineup so they get more opportunities.

Here is the Pirates OBP by lineup spot going into Saturday's game:

#1  .322
#2  .307
#3  .385
#4  .330
#5  .316
#6  .299
#7  .341
#8  .334
#9  .196

Obviously what jumps out is that the 7 & 8 spots are significantly higher than 1 & 2. If you follow the Pirates you know why, but suffice it to say this is one of the reasons they've had trouble scoring runs for significant stretches at various times this season.

The silver lining? The numbers at top have gotten better. 1 & 2 were both around .300 a month ago.


  1. I've liked polancos approach at the top of the order. I think I saw the other day he leads or is 2nd in pitches seen on the bucs. No reason why marte shouldn't be in the 2-hole or even kang. Move walker down lower in the order.

    1. Polanco certainly looks a little better the past few weeks and again had a few good at bats tonight. My view of pitches/PA has changed a little over the past year. Yes it's good to see a lot of pitches, but more importantly it's good to attack pitches in your zone if you get them early in the count. It's a great philosophical conversation about a team approach and each individual player's approach. I had it with Clint last interview and with Jeff Branson. Maybe I'll post those here.

  2. Great topic, David - I've seen the guys pass on a lot of early meatballs, and I'm guessing that's based on working the count.

    1. Yes, I've asked Clint about that. There is the individual approach and looking for a pitch that they can drive and then the team approach of making a pitcher work. They can work in conflict at times. With more teams going to bullpens early and pitchers not working as deep into games, I think the former takes precedence over the latter.