Lineup Construction

Using linear weights values that are specific for each spot in the line up, we can figure out what a team’s ideal lineup would be. I thought this would be an interesting project, so I took a look at the Red Sox. According the ESPN.com the Sox most of often use this lineup:
1. Damon
2. Renteria
3. Ortiz
4. Ramirez
5. Nixon
6. Millar
7. Varitek
8. Mueller
9. Bellhorn
(Note: I adjusted the line up slightly because Mueller had the most plate appearances in both the 7 and 8 spots).
Now what was the best lineup? It was, adjusted to have a good left/right balance, this:
1. Bellhorn
2. Millar
3. Mueller
4. Ramirez
5. Ortiz
6. Renteria
7. Damon
8. Varitek
9. Nixon
Practically the reverse image of the Sox’s actual most popular lineup! This lineup would be expected to score 8.2 runs more than a lineup that was randomly put together. In other words, all this work was not really worth it.

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