I wrote two posts yesterday at ESPN's saber blog, optimizing the batting orders of the best AL and NL lineups according to The Book's rules of thumb. Here's what they looked like, against right-handers: Yankees 1. Nick Johnson (L) 2. Mark Teixeira (S) 3. Curtis Granderson (L) 4. Alex Rodriguez (R) 5. Robinson Cano (L) 6. Derek Jeter (R) 7. Nick Swisher (S) 8. Jorge Posada (S) 9. Brett Gardner (L) Phillies 1. Victorino (S) 2. Utley (L) 3. Werth (R) 4. Howard (L) 5. Ibanez (L) 6. Rollins (S) 7. Polanco (R) 8. Pitcher 9. Ruiz (R) Given that these posts were 500 words each, lots information was simplified or skipped altogether. The comments section for each had some good (and not so good*) discussion. The more interesting things to consider are: - Nick Johnson's platoon split. He's had a lower AVG against righties than lefties over his career, making his OBP about 30 points lower against them (with a higher SLG). But it's only 800 career PAs, and I believe its been shown you need at least 2000 PAs (3000?) to regress 50% towards the typical player's platoon split. So, given Johnson's ZiPS projection of .275/.418/.433, what would we expect his line against righties to look like? - I've got Jeter in the sixth spot and Johnson's leading off (Zomg crazy!) Jeter's one advantage is baserunning. How much of an advantage is that, and how many runs would the Yankees gain just due to baserunning by flipping that order? - The Book's heuristics are certainly better than the traditional heuristics, but lineups are so complicated that we really need a simulator to get results we're confident in. Anyone want to take a stab? Via Dan Szymborski, this one appears to be pretty good: lineupsimulator.com. - For the Phillies, might there be a better leadoff option than Shane Victorino, who is, at best, the fifth best hitter on the team. Other options present the challenge of finding appropriate hitters for spots 2-5 without putting three lefties in a row. Ideas? Other thoughts? * The not so good: "Numbers can do a lot - but they can’t think. So people who rely on stats ... aren’t thinking."