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Which of these lineups would be better?

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  • Which of these lineups would be better?

    I've created two lineups of National Leaguers who played between 1971 and 1976.

    Team A:

    HTML Code:
    				B	G/P	 AVG	 OBP	 SLG	OPS+	HR	oWAR	dWAR	 WAR
    
    1972	Dave Rader	C	L	127	.259	.306	.333	81	6	 1.3	 0.9	 1.4
    1973	Tony Perez	1B	R	151	.314	.393	.527	159	27	 5.2	-1.0	 5.1
    1976	Rennie Stennett	2B	R	157	.257	.277	.341	75	2	 0.6	 1.6	 1.7
    1976	Ron Cey		3B	R	144	.277	.386	.462	143	23	 4.9	 1.3	 5.9
    1971	Dal Maxvill	SS	R	140	.225	.307	.258	59	0	-0.4	 1.9	 0.7
    1972	Billy Williams	LF	L	144	.333	.398	.606	171	37	 7.0	-1.9	 6.0
    1975	Johnny Grubb	CF	L	139	.269	.342	.363	102	4	 2.2	-2.2	 0.1
    1976	Ken Griffey	RF	L	144	.336	.401	.450	140	6	 5.5	-1.9	 4.4
    										105	26.3	-1.3	25.3
    Team B:

    HTML Code:
    				B	G/P	 AVG	 OBP	 SLG	OPS+	HR	oWAR	dWAR	 WAR
    
    1975	M. Sanguillen	C	R	132	.328	.391	.451	136	9	 4.6	 0.7	 4.4
    1974	Lee May		1B	R	145	.268	.294	.444	109	24	 1.9	-1.1	 1.7
    1973	Joe Morgan	2B	L	154	.290	.406	.493	154	26	 7.9	 1.7	 9.1
    1972	Don Money	3B	R	151	.222	.278	.343	75	15	 0.6	 1.5	 1.8
    1975	Chris Speier	SS	R	136	.271	.362	.415	112	10	 3.3	 1.5	 4.0
    1975	Ralph Garr	LF	L	148	.278	.327	.384	95	6	 1.1	-1.5	 0.5
    1973	Rick Monday	CF	L	148	.267	.372	.469	126	26	 4.1	-2.0	 2.2
    1976	Bobby Murcer	RF	L	146	.259	.362	.433	124	23	 2.9	-1.8	 1.9
    										139	26.4	-1.0	25.6
    As you can see, they total about the same in WAR, but perhaps you can spot the fundamental difference between them. I want to know which one you think would be better, or if perhaps you think they'd be about the same.
    Baseball Junk Drawer

  • #2
    Well, it's a shame there's no one interested in this thread. I only wanted to raise the question of whether value up the middle is more important than value at the corners. It's possible this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find it anywhere.
    Baseball Junk Drawer

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    • #3
      I find it interesting, but unfortunately don't have an opinion to give yet.
      “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

      "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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      • #4
        My first take is that technically, these lineups and defenses should provide similar results. I would have completely missed the differences you devised. While it's common to hear commentators use that cliche, I never took it as literal. As long as the production is coming from somewhere, I think it will be fine.

        Having said that, the up the middle approach was centered on defense, I thought. So, C-SS-2B-CF, which arguably are the most important defensive positions. If I really could pick and choose, I'd want a team with a great defense at 3B-SS-2B and then I'd try to collect a bunch of sinker ball control artists on the mound. I'd accept that with mediocre defense in LF-RF-1B-C.

        I don't think you can get synergy effects in many places in baseball, but sinkerballers and great infielders seems like a sure winner.
        Last edited by drstrangelove; 10-15-2012, 10:35 PM.
        "It's better to look good, than be good."

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        • #5
          I'm stumped. The top group has an eleven point edge in BA, the bottom a 34 HR advantage. The offense for the top group is spread out way more, with 4 very good hitters, 3 poor ones, and one average; while the bottom group doesn't have the extremes. I guess I'd go with the home runs and the more consistent lineup, but I don't know why.

          Oh, now I see your explanation, Ian. But the two groups defensive strength up the middle doesn't look too different by dWAR: 2.2 vs 1.9 WAR, distributed over 4 people. (I think, I did it in my head). Isn't defense what the catch phrase is about? Or is that actually a pretty big difference?
          Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 10-16-2012, 01:38 AM.
          Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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          • #6
            Thanks for the responses, guys.

            My thought when I put this together was that you could have two identical hitters (say, about a 125 OPS+), one a first baseman, one a shortstop. Due to positional value, the shortstop could be one of the best players in the game at his position while the first baseman would be just average. If that's the case, wouldn't it then make sense to prioritize the guys in the middle of the field? You'd still be getting solid hitting from your average corner players while your guys in the middle would be among the best. You'd end up with a more balanced lineup.

            As far as defense goes, I tried to give the players at each position roughly equal value on both teams. I only wanted to consider positional value as it relates to offense.
            Baseball Junk Drawer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
              Thanks for the responses, guys.

              My thought when I put this together was that you could have two identical hitters (say, about a 125 OPS+), one a first baseman, one a shortstop. Due to positional value, the shortstop could be one of the best players in the game at his position while the first baseman would be just average. If that's the case, wouldn't it then make sense to prioritize the guys in the middle of the field? You'd still be getting solid hitting from your average corner players while your guys in the middle would be among the best. You'd end up with a more balanced lineup.

              As far as defense goes, I tried to give the players at each position roughly equal value on both teams. I only wanted to consider positional value as it relates to offense.
              In fantasy baseball this actually happens. Usually the top drafted guys are very good hitting middle IF guys while at 1B or OF you often still get a quite solid hitter with the 4th or 5th best first baseman or left fielder.
              I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ian2813 View Post

                As far as defense goes, I tried to give the players at each position roughly equal value on both teams. I only wanted to consider positional value as it relates to offense.
                I think, in general, you are better off being strong up the middle because there are less of these players available. Corner outfielders and infielders are easier to pick up. But if you are assuming equal defense, I can't see why it would make a different if you are making the difference up in another position to get to the same total value.

                i imagine there is a difference in distirbution among that value - 1 person having all the value on the team vs. it being spread equally - but taking that out of the equation, I don't see why it would matter where that value is coming from

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