Steve's Lineup Toy
To use the Lineup Toy:
  • Choose a year from the menu above the left-hand list box.

  • Choose nine players from the left-hand list (you can navigate the list with the keyboard or arrow keys; you can select from the list by hitting the "Enter" key.

  • Checking the "No DH" box will add a Pitcher to your lineup.

  • When you have selected 9 players, hit either the "Simple Lineup" or the "Tango Lineup" button. Either button will suggest a lineup based on the real-life statistics of your players.

A Simple Lineup algorithm
The Simple Lineup Toy uses On-Base Percentage (OBP), Slugging Percentage (Slg) and On-Base plus Slugging Percentage (OPS) to come up with a suggested lineup.

In baseball, runs are generally scored by players getting on base and other players knocking them in. So it makes sense to put the best players at getting on base in front of the players who are best at getting them home.

The players at the top of the batting order get more plate appearances than the players lower in the order. The higher a player's OBP, the fewer outs that player makes. Since the length of your game is limited by 27 outs, putting high OBP guys on top of a lineup gives your team more plate appearances as a whole, and more chances to score runs.

This suggests a fairly simple-minded strategy for constructing a reasonable lineup:
1. Put the best OPS in 3rd
2. Put the best remaining Slg in 4th
3. Put the best remaining OBP's in 1st and 2nd (with the better Slg in 2nd)
4. Arrange the remaining players in order of descending Slg

Now, this might lead to some pretty strange-looking creations. But like I said, it's a simple-minded method. The Lineup Toy doesn't take into account factors like speed and stolen bases. Take the Lineup Toy's suggestion and use some common sense to tweak it.

Tango's Lineup method
The "Tango Lineup" uses the principles inspired by
Tom Tango in "The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball". In "The Book", Tango suggests putting your best batters 1st, 2nd and 4th in the order, the next two batters in 3rd and 5th, and the rest 6th-9th in order of descending quality.

Tango's favored measure of batter quality is wOBA, weighted on base average.

The algorithm employed here is a very simple-minded application of the full-on Tom Tango treatment. Read his site, especially this thread for more authoratative information.

RC27 is the estimated runs scored for 27 outs of the given lineup. It's computed by figuring out how many plate appearances each player will get on average; scaling the player's stats to that number of plate appearances; adding the stats up to produce a team's total bases and on-base percentage; and multiplying those to come up with a simple Runs Created figure.

Tango's analysis, based on Markov Chain methods, are necessary to measure the efficiencies of actual batting orders. RC27 may not accurately reflect the differences in these lineup creation methods.

This is Version 3 of the Lineup Toy. You can find Version 1 here, and Version 2 here.

If you'd like to discuss the Lineup Toy, leave a comment on my Lineup Toy blog entry or Email me, please.

Thanks for stopping by,

APBA Card Computer