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Studes on Lineup Construction

I'm moving Sal's diary to the front page.

It's the latest craze on the Internet: constructing lineups (at least it was, until Barry Bonds dressed up as Paula Abdul). It all started a couple of weeks ago when Cyril Morong posted a regression analysis of how much to weigh On-Base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Average (SLG) for each lineup position. Pretty quickly, everyone started using Cyril's analysis to construct lineups for their favorite teams.

The Pastime did it for Oakland, which inspired Ken Arneson to write a script to implement Cyril's findings, which inspired David Pinto to incorporate a lineup optimization tool on his blog, which further inspired many other blogs to apply the logic to their teams. Dan Scotto wrote a nice summary of the insights gained from Cyril's analysis.

In the beginning of this article, I mentioned Cyril Morong's analysis and all the subsequent attempts at lineup construction. Did you read Dan Scotto's review of Morong's analysis? If not, you may want to. Dan's summary and The Book are actually very much in sync. They both emphasize the importance of good hitters upfront, and they deemphasize the strategy of batting your best hitter third. What's more, they both endorse the "second leadoff hitter" strategy. I'll admit that I was skeptical, but The Book validates many of Dan's points.

See, Dan?  Even a blind squirrel finds nuts sometimes!  All kidding aside, you and Cyril are getting some well-deserved recognition.

Marc: Make sure to order a copy of The Book.