We know the Yankees have a potent offense. Just last week, ESPN’s Keith Law said that the Yankees offense would be fine, even if they put a wooden stick in left field. Some fans believe that Brett Gardner’s offense will amount to little more than a wooden stick’s offense would. I’m not that low on Gardner, but I’m also not terribly high. So long as he can maintain an on base percentage of about .340-.350, I’ll be happy–especially if his defense stays strong…but I digress.
Using the Lineup Analysis tool from Baseball Musings, let’s try to predict how many runs the Yankees could score this season. I’ve run this simulation before during this offseason, back when I was at BBD. However, since time’s passed, and the lineup is pretty set, it seems appropriate to once again run this simulation.
Now, before we get fully started, I’ll say that it’s unlikely that the Yankees actually use the lineups put forth by this analysis. Some of them will have names in spots in which we’re not used to seeing them. The difference, though, between an “optimized” lineup and a non-optimized lineup is not that great. I’ll give the results best run scoring lineup, the worst run scoring lineup, the average, and the one that most closely resembles the lineup I think the Yankees will roll with, which is:
Anyway, here goes.
The average lineup containing these nine players, in any order, is 5.766 runs, which is equal to about 935 in a 162 game season. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me–or anyone.
The most possible runs this team could score would be 5.887 a game, or 954 over a season. This lineup looks different, but it’s definitely plausible:
Gardner remains at the same, but Johnson and his supreme OBP skills get bumped up to the leadoff spot. Putting A-Rod in the two hole would be great, too, because it would get him more at bats, and more chances to hit the ball out of the park. Of all the lineups under the “best” category, which range from 5.873 (951) to 5.887 (953), one of Jeter or Johnson is in the leadoff spot.
What’s very encouraging is that even the worst configuration of the Yankees offense projects to score 5.533 per game, which would be about 900 runs over the course of the season. That lineup is:
I think it’s pretty self-explanatory as to why that lineup wouldn’t score as many runs as a normal lineup.
All of the best/worst lineups can be found here. I didn’t include the probable Yankee lineup–or something close to it–because none of the presented models had that. Of course, this tool isn’t exact, and neither are the projected OBPs/SLGs that I’m using (CHONE projections). Regardless, it’s still something fun to play around with and to waste time on while we wait (im)patiently for Spring Training to begin.
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