Braves Lineup Analysis

OK, this is really cool. Cyril Morong analyzes run-maximizing lineups based off player OBP and SLG. Ken Arneson “perls it up” for the A’s and posts the script. Then Dave Pinto writes a program that allows you to enter in player stats to generate an optimum lineup for any team of real or hypothetical players. The results are fully linkable, and with the help of, you can e-mail and post on the web these lineups with ease.

So, in a matter of moments, I used my 2006 SSPS estimates for the Braves to generate the 2006 Optimal Braves Lineup.

Pitcher (Based on Smoltz’s career OBP and SLG)

Pretty cool! I love the internet.

Update: I made a slight change to the above analysis, by giving half of the pitcher’s plate appearances to Langerhans, but it didn’t change the order. I wonder why it puts the worst hitter in the 8-hole? I’m going to have to review Morong’s post.

6 Responses “Braves Lineup Analysis”

  1. Very interesting. Last offseason I was praying to God that Theo didn’t sign Renteria, and instead looked at Julio Lugo or Placido Polanco. Well, it turned out he did, and I was expecting Renteria to have a dismal season–and he proved me to be correct. I’m not surprised that the Braves would be more prodctive with their pitcher (Smoltz) hitting eigth, while Renteria is ninth.

  2. xdog says:

    My recollection is that most optimal lineup studies place the pitcher 8th. The benefit lies in making it more likely the 3-4-5 boppers come up with MOB.

    I’m as apprehensive as anyone about the Renteria deal, but not because a lineup simulator stuck him in the 9 hole.

  3. JC –

    You might find this interesting. Dan Scotto and myself spent a good portion of the afternoon posting hypothetical lineups one after the other until we came to some conclusions. Dan posted an article here at Beyond the Box Score, and it may answer your question.

  4. David Gassko says:


    I frankly don’t think this works. Regression is too simplistic tool to work here correctly. Guy M’s post at BTF captures why. It’s also not a “sensitive” enough tool. Full Markov chains are the only thing that really work here. Here’s a good link about using Markov chains to optimize batting orders:

  5. JC says:

    I’m not sure that regression is the way to go either, but not necessarily for the reason suggested on BTF. It’s just interesting.

  6. BosoxBob says:

    Just wanted to throw my own work into the mix, as I followed up on Arneson’s work by writing my own program for lineup analysis, and presented the results for the 2006 Red Sox (see “Optimizing the Red Sox Lineup“). I tipped off David Pinto to my work, as well as Arneson’s and Morong’s, and he got inspired to write his Lineup Analysis tool. BTW, check for an article today or tomorrow at, where I take a further look at American League lineups, factoring in stolen bases.