Putting together the strongest (while still reasonable) offensive lineup versus RHP and LHP using Zips, PECOTA, and Whelk's regressed splits tool.
With Zips and PECOTA projections released and the Rays team finally taking shape, we can accurately construct lineups. While the days of rosterbation have dimmed since the days of joeybw (RIP), I encourage the community to take a shot at it in the comments section.
As it stands, the following 25 players are likely to make the major league team:
Technically, there is still competition for the final bullpen spot, but Jamey Wright is the heavy favorite. As far as who plays where and when, there is far more in the air. Should the Rays platoon at first base? Should Ryan Roberts or Sean Rodriguez platoon with Kelly Johnson? Should Luke Scott be platooned? By using the Zips and PECOTA projections and using Whelk's regressed splits tool, I will take attempt to form the most reasonable and optimal lineup for success in 2013.
Zips Versus RHP:
And now for the Zips lineup against LHP:
Now switching things over to PECOTA. Versus RHP:
PECOTA versus LHP:
A few notes on the information....
- For the most part, Zips and PECOTA agree on the lineups, differing only on the catching situation. While Zips prefers Jose Molina versus right and left handed pitchers, PECOTA actually prefer's Lobaton's bat against right handed pitchers. Obviously, Jose Molina will not start everyday. The point is that Zips prefers him against both handed pitchers while PECOTA does not.
- Of the three left handed bats that struggle against left handed pitching, only Luke Scott managed to crack the lineup against southpaws. James Loney and Matt Joyce are replaced by Ryan Roberts and Kelly Johnson respectively. The move of Johnson to the outfield opens a spot for Sean Rodriguez.
- The two projection systems view a few players quite differently. For example, PECOTA greatly favors Loney (.311 wOBA) compared to Zips (.289 wOBA). While Zips projects Jose Molina to hit for a .282 wOBA, PECOTA is far more pessimistic, penciling him in for a .266 wOBA. Sean Rodriguez is projected to hit for a .309 wOBA by PECOTA but only for a .296 wOBA by Zips.
- While a common fear is that the lineup is much stronger against RHP than LHP, the projections and regressed splits show that by using effective platoons, the difference is minimal. Zips has the starters hitting for a .320 wOBA against both RHP and LHP. Meanwhile, PECOTA has them hitting for a .319 wOBA against RHP and a .317 wOBA against LHP.
So now I ask the community: how would you construct the lineup? Would you give Matt Joyce a good amount of starts against LHP (I would), or would you bench him? Would you utilize the rare platoon at first base?