Now that the 2011 projections are all finished up, it's time to take these and add another layer of analysis and see what it means for the team this season.
For this I will use my projections and the lineup analysis tool (LAT) from Baseball Musings and the lineup reported by Andrew Baggarly as the teams "A" lineup, which they'll likely use most often to start the season.
Here are the results:
- Probable lineup: 4.488 runs per game
- Best lineup: 4.717
- Worst lineup: 4.238
The biggest divergence from optimal is the LAT wants Aubrey Huff or Buster Posey leading off with the other in the 2 spot because I have them projected as having the best OBP on the team. The other thing is Miguel Tejada should be moved toward the end of the lineup with Freddy Sanchez.
The only move that could realistically happen is Tejada moving down in the order but only if guys like Pablo Sandoval or Pat Burrell really out-hit him. That other stuff isn't going to happen, so I wont even worry about it. If Tejada moves to 8 with everyone else moving up a spot, it adds 0.035 runs a game. This isn't a huge difference, but could be about half a win over the course of the season. In the grand scheme of things, that isn't much and with the way that Bochy juggles the lineup so often, it won't make a huge difference.
This lineup, with my projections, would come out to about 727 runs over a full season, which is good for a 30 run improvement over last year. This falls in line with my general thought that this offense is head and shoulders better than last year's opening lineup.
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