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Old 01-20-2018, 02:04 AM   #1
joseph
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Writer Seeking Help On Article/Concept

Hey,
I'm currently writing/researching an article that critiques MLB batting orders, the misconceptions and dogmas that guide a manager's poor decision making in that area and provide practical, concrete examples based on historic teams backed by statistical analysis.
I've found three such teams that I believe perfectly encapsulate my thesis. The problem I am having however, is I'd like to hypothetically rearrange these teams' batting orders for that particular season, keeping each players stats exactly as they are. Then, and here in lies the problem, I'd like to extrapolate the teams' productivity based on my "new" batting order. A sort of "what if" scenario. A quick example: Could you calculate how many runs the NY Yankees would of scored in '27 had Ruth batted lead off (keeping everyone's stats exactly as they are).
I imagine, mathematically, a pretty accurate number for runs produced can be achieved for these hypothetical teams since each player's stats are known. I just can't find a formula or run a simulation based on these numbers. I also run into an obvious problem; for instance, in the '27 Ruth scenario, he would obviously have 50+ extra PA, in turn, giving the guys behind him more PAs, etc.
So I'm looking for a collaborator who would be able to generate an accurate accounting of a teams' offensive changes using actual stats from that year, but only juggling the batting order.
I'd prefer to keep the teams I am working on private at the moment, but if anyone was seriously interested and are mathematically inclined, I'd love to work with you and split the credit as co-author.
If you are interested please let me know as soon as you can. You can message me via this site.

Thank you,

Joseph
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Old 01-20-2018, 10:52 AM   #2
msupoke
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This is an interesting idea, but the obvious objection to your experiment is that the statistics would change if you change their order. Hitters may see more strikes, fewer breaking balls, fewer fastballs, etc. if they are hitting in front of/behind different hitters.
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joseph (01-20-2018)
Old 01-20-2018, 12:21 PM   #3
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there are multiple ways to estimate runs scored by stats.

i believe markov chains are the best method.

http://www.pankin.com/markov/btn1191.htm

there's 1 linkn i quickly found in google... way, way, way better info than you will find in a forum... unless that forum is filled with math PhD's.

the biggest hurdle for managers is their own insecurity about somethign they may not understand. fear is what held baseball back. same reason why 40% of americans still do not believe in evolution.

i actually heard someone use the 'incredulous monkey' argument. "i aint come from no monkey" lol. reeks of fear. similar arguments made by people that don't understand what math tells us beyond the black and white #'s it spits out.

msupoke -- that's always something to consider with any mlb-cultural change (the general "how"). e.g. shifting... if they are not adjusting to the new data as stategies change, they aren't doing it right.

in this case we can see that even with common use it's still effective... we will see if players put their ego aside and start slapping it the other way for a single... then we'll need suitable sample to see if that is actually a net negative or positive etc etc. as far as i know, very few players do this... most stubbornly maintain their normal batting strategy and ignore the changes to the defense -- which is retarded.

it's ever-changing. not always logical in nature, but ever-changing.

Last edited by NoOne; 01-20-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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joseph (01-20-2018)
Old 01-20-2018, 12:25 PM   #4
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Yeah, that's the problem I'm running into. But I'm sure you can get close estimates based on the statics. I'll give you one example I'm working on the 2002 Yankees. Although the line up was stacked 1-9, my biggest interest is Giambi and Soriano. Their respective AVG and HRs- Giambi: .314/41 - Soriano: .300/39 are for all intents and purposes nearly interchangeable. But Torre batted Soriano lead off in over 140 games and Giambi clean-up mostly. The only reasonable explanation for Soriano batting lead off was his speed; he led the AL in SBs with 41. Other than that he had no business batting lead-off. He walked 32 times. Giambi's OBP was literally over 100 points higher than Soriano's. That's a huge 10% difference. Added to that, Soriano had 60 more PA than Giambi, by virtue of leading off. If Giambi led off, he'd have those 60 extra at bats plus he would of made 60 fewer outs, probably giving him an addition 40 PAs. It would also give the 4 and 5 hitters 2 or 3 dozen additional PAs. Now since we already know every players HRs per PA and other important stats it would be easy to prorate those numbers to fit the higher PAs, plus the added production of having Giambi on base almost 100 more times than Soriano.
Batting Soriano 5th would still give you 40 HRs, so no lost production there.
There obviously would be no way to know how this would affect opposing pitchers' pitch count, if Giambi was capable of hitting lead-off and the million other variables... but I'm sure there is a way to simulate a season by plugging in the numbers. I remember Bill James ran simulations to see if intentionally walking Ruth the entire '21 season would of produced fewer or more runs. So I know its possible. I just don't know where to start.
I appreciate your input. and if you could pass off the idea to anyone interested and capable of such an experiment, I'd love to give it a go.

here's a link to the 2002 yanks' team page
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2002.shtml
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
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soriano was wasted leadoff that's for sure... seniority, whatever else at play makes it ~normal i bet. ie i'm not knocking the choice from a broad perpsective of RL realities of the MLB, but it was a bad choice nonetheless. power is objectively wasted leadoff, and it's way less prevalent than a leadoff hitter.

simple break-even analysis of whether they give more value scoring runs or raking them in. would be relative to team and spot in order etc etc (this info is readily available to teams). as far as a simple easy to consume theory, you won't find one. it's too open ended and relies too much on human speculation about ability. a team full of vets is more easily predicted than kids.

the soriano situation may be "hindsight" in nature. he was young then,eh? you don't knwo what they are going to do ahead of time even with a healthy track record. you simply estimate their ability with the info at-hand.

i don't think anyone was putting soriano behind giambi in 2002. i just don't have a good enough memory and didn't click that link (boo-hiss yankees, red sox, dodgers, cubs.. pretentious lil teams)

giambi is a suitable leadoff play, but his power makes him more useful eslewhere.

power with more PA/AB is great, but what's in front of him? the 3 worst hitters on the team and a backup catcher 1/3rd of the games. if they are future hoF, maybe it's a good idea? even then i bet it would be ~close at best.

don't think of it as 1-9, it's 1-X (27+ repeating pattern)... starting at 1 is key only for initial order. best players near front (without getting into who goes where in the front). the loss of ab moving obp guys from "1" to "9" outweighs the benefit of giambi getting 60 more AB with no one on base leading off.

i said that oddly, but you get the idea, placing 1 or 2 players or starting at "7,8,9" instead of "1" with your "best" players is a net negative. power with no one on for 1 ab 100% every game is a bad thing. very difficult to overcome the mathematical repercussions.

let's say 1/3 of the time somoene will be on base and he averages "4" ab for easy math. 25% fewer runners on instances from batting leadoff. it's more complicated than that obviously, but you can see the weight it carries and imagine the rest.

it'll be higher due to the other factors too (more than 1 player in front of the guy will matter) and then a reduciton because i didn't consider % change a non leadoff hitter leads off an inning etc.... but 1 full PA guaranteed every game is heavy.

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Old 01-20-2018, 01:45 PM   #6
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Most of what No One said is true, but I do not buy the part about power being wasted at the lead off spot. Springer has amazing power, and that put opposing pitchers in a bind immediately in games. He could put the pitcher in a one-run hole or pitching to Bregman, Altuve, and Correa with a runner already in scoring position with no outs.

Of course, the Astros also had a ton of production at the back end of the lineup, so that negates the part about not having guys in front of him to drive in.
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Old 01-20-2018, 10:14 PM   #7
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it's a comparitive criticism. if the #'s say it's better, it is better. i would never argue that.. (assumes integrity of testing methods and results)

But, it definiteyl negates a large poriton of guys ahead of him to drive in... if he average ~4-5ab, he gets 1/4th to 1/5th less rbi opportunities in a season + crappiest hitters on team batting 7-8-9 and a backup catch often ==> that is a huge difference to overcome by what ever gain you have of putting him leadoff.

springer and soriano examples are young players... trust me, springer won;t be leadoff unless they literally have no one else that can fill that role... an extreme situation only. he will score the ~same amount of runs batting 3rd, and knock in 20-25% more RBI. if he does score less it will be far outweighed by rbi increase.

it's not a total waste leadoff. It can be used elsewhere with greater returns all other things remainings the same in a higher % of situations you'll encounter, i'd feel safe with that bet.

most realities will force you to put sluggers in predominantly slugging roles in the lineup -- harder to procure them and can only afford so many. if you have the luxury to put a power guy leadoff, that's awesome.. and a 1100-1300 run offesne, most likely allows that to be a realistic option without sacrificing much or even a possible net gain. (not a power surge stat environment, my baseline era is ~4.10. it's rare to reach 1300 even with 9 best batters playing 162g each). > ~'27 yanks.

i don't look for players that fit roles... i look at who my best rakers are, since they are the toughest to get -- they go 3-4-5 and then i start filling in around it based on best ability relative to role. i.e. if somewhat similar i put speed 1-2 rather than 7-8-9, but high ba/obp is my key for leadoff even if a bit slow. (1100r offense - about a 20 run difference if a ~.380-400obp guy can run very fast vs very slow from experience, even smaller in a lower scoring offense). a good leadoff guy gets ~140runs... excellent ~160.. if they don'tmeet that i don't like them leadoff. every choice i make is about break-even analysis, not a guess. but a ~1000run offense is alot different than a ~800 run offense.

800+ish RS team: batting leadoff with a ~.300 BA and ~30hr might net ~80-100 rbi on average and ~100runs. batting 4th it's ~120+ rbi average and ~100runs. runs scored isn't that large of a difference. it's easier to score runs than drive them in relative to talent you can procure with consistency.

at an extreme - 1000-1100run offense -- still ~80-100rbi leadoff (see plenty sub-100 with 30hr and high average, and i have solid hitters 7-8-9 most years), and about 140-150+ rbi batting 4th. the better the offense the more this will be exagerated for obvious reasons... it's possible with crappy offenses the difference is small enough to be outweighed by unusual choices, but who cares with a non-WS-caliber team.

As well as the repercussions of moving sluggers up in the lineup 1 spot to fill the gap left when you moved one to leadoff -- i.e. most often lesser players moved up 1 spot for comparison of entire picture and net loss/gain. This is a huge hole to dig out of... borderline easy to tell with the eye, here for any reasonable situation. gaining ~20 xbh where they are less likely to be helpful cannot possibly outweigh all of this.

if they are top% rbi rakers, reducing their rbi opportunities doesn't bode well. even 2nd is rough. in those ~1100run offenses, even 2nd doesn't get more than 110-120rbi. it's a significant jump 3-4-5-- same player, noticeably more rbi (+20 at least just from 2nd to 3rd in lineup - well with a ~1100r offense. batting 2nd may be worth it in a 800rs offense for a soriano/springer like situation, but i don't think they have 5-6+ sluggers do they?).

Last edited by NoOne; 01-20-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:35 PM   #8
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thanks for your thoughts NO ONE.

while i agree with most of what you said: about loosing the RBI potential; i purposely choose the 2002 yankees because batting Soriano in place of Giambi, you're essentially loosing no power. remember Soriano had 39 HRs that year to Giambi's 43 and .300 to Giambi's .314.
in a perfect world (and i know the following example is far from perfect but hopefully the point apparent), Soriano essentially had the same productive capability that year. batting him 4th would not change hit and HR% from clean-up in any significant way. the only change would be the same or close to same %s of hits and HRs coming from the 4 hole would be happening with at least 100 additional men on base.
i do however, understand your point. and i can give you a perfect example: the mid 50's Yankees. in 1957, Mantle had a godly .512 OBP. the primary lead-off hitters that year were Tony Kubek and Bobby Richardson, who barely combined for a .300 OBP, but it would be ludicrous to hit either of them 3-4-5-6, even if Mantle was on base 90% of the time.
I only bring up the 2002 Yankees because of Soriano's power proximity to Giambi's.
you can also think of it this way; what if they both had 10 HRs that year? who'd better fill the leadoff spot?
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:06 PM   #9
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
joseph wrote:
@dissertation writer
So I'm looking for a collaborator who would be able to generate an accurate accounting of a teams' offensive changes using actual stats from that year, but only juggling the batting order.
I'd prefer to keep the teams I am working on private at the moment, but if anyone was seriously interested and are mathematically inclined, I'd love to work with you and split the credit as co-author.
If you are interested please let me know as soon as you can. You can message me via this site.

Hello Joseph,


I'm interested in the results of your research. Have you managed to find the best methods for the successful calculation? I've chosen the topic on Sabermetrics and need help with the examples.

Last edited by DrPsyche; 01-08-2020 at 07:53 AM. Reason: typos
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