Cubs Lineup Fun

With the wind chill factor in Chicago approaching 137 degrees below zero and Spring Training still 21 days, 14 hours, 9 minutes and 41 seconds away, I found this fun little diversion courtesy of David Pinto at Baseball Musings.

Based on work by Cyril Morong (Beyond The Box Score), Ken Arneson (Catfish Stew), and Ryan Armbrust (The Pastime), Pinto has fashioned a Lineup Analysis machine. You simply feed nine players into the formula along with their OBP's and slugging percentages, and what you get back is a series of run projection numbers, based on various lineup permutations of the players you entered.

For yucks, I entered numbers for Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome, Pie, DeRosa and Soto, plus a generic Cub Pitchers line (.167 OBP, .207 SLG, based on the Cub pitchers’ ’07 hitting performance).

For all of the Cub starters except Fukudome and Soto, I used the 2007 stats; for Fuku and Soto, I went with Dan Szymborski’s 2008 ZiPS Projections.

Results:
Best case: 5.218 runs per game
Worst case: 4.421 runs per game

The most productive lineup was constructed this way:

Lee
Ramirez
DeRosa
Soriano
Fukudome
Pie
Soto
Pitcher
Theriot

FYI--5.218 rpg equates to 845 runs for a 162-game season, which would have been third best in the NL last season. In reality, the Cubs averaged 4.64 rpg last year, good for 8th in the NL.

For further yucks, I substituted Sam Fuld for Pie.

Results with Fuld:
Best: 5.356 rpg (would have been second best in NL)
Worst: 4.608 rpg

Finally, for the ultimate in yucks and with complete disregard for the fact that someone would have to play shortstop, I pretended that the Cubs managed to land Brian Roberts and get him in the lineup with Mark DeRosa, with Roberts' line replacing Theriot's.

Ultimate yucks results with Roberts instead of Theriot:
Best: 5.478 rpg (would have been second in NL in ’07, just five runs behind the league-leading Phillies)
Worst: 4.742 rpg

Hey, look at that: only 21 days, 14 hours, 3 minutes and 29 seconds until Mesa.

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