Does Batting Order Matter?

Hey guys I haven’t done an article in like forever, but I’m back with a special article today. A few weeks back I got in an argument with someone on twitter who said something along the lines the of “Batting order doesn’t matter I only want players at the top of the lineup.” Well I’m here to tell you it does.

We are all creatures of habit in one way or another. The same can be said about athletes. Baseball players are probably the best example of this. If something isn’t going right they change in their swing, change up their approach, some even change their walk up music, for baseball players it’s the little things that matter. So why wouldn’t where they bat in the lineup matter too?

We have seen many players go on huge power surges without anything changing other than where they are batting. Take Alex Bregman for example he has 19 home runs this season, and 17 of them have come when he has hit second in the lineup. In his career he has 47 home runs, and 32 of them coming from the 2 hole. Bryce Harper and Anthony Rizzo leading off games is another great example. In 29 career games leading off Harper has 8 home runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 19 RBI’s and is hitting .273. While those numbers are great let’s take a look at Anthony Rizzo. In 17 career games leading off Rizzo has 6 home runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 14 RBI’s and is hitting .317. Obviously Rizzo likes leading off games.

There were top of the order guys, let’s look a little lower starting with Eugenio Suarez. I’m not sure how many of you have followed Suarez over his career, but he crushes lefties, and absolutely dominates hitting 5th. This season he has 9 homeruns, 10 doubles, 2 triples, and 36 RBI’s while hitting .325 in the 5 hole. Now let’s look at career, he has 23 home runs, 33 doubles, 3 triples, 87 RBI’s, and is hitting .263 in 164 games. This is basically the equivalent to hitting 5th for a whole season (162 games in MLB season).

5th was still too high for you? Then let’s go to one of my favorite plays from last season Jose Iglesias. Over his career Iglesias has mostly been a guy who has hit 8th or 9th. He has 157 games hitting 8th, and has a stat line of 34 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 52 RBI’s, and a .276 average. In his 371 games hitting 9th he has 73 doubles, 4 triples, 10 home runs, 110 RBI’s, and is hitting .267. For a guy who FanDuel had priced between 2200 and 2800 for most of last season I would take the production any day. Also usually got him at some #CriminalOwnership because no one wanted to play him because he was hitting 9th.

My favorite example of this is Whit Merifeld. Whit had a 20 or so game hit streak last season hitting 6th. He ended up getting moved to lead off the next day and went 0-4. He also happened to be chalk in DFS that day because everyone saw the hit streak and leading off. I warned people of the risk.

An example like that from this season would be Gleyber Torres when he got moved up from 9th in the order. In his 42 games this season hitting 9th Gleyber has 5 doubles, 12 home runs, 31 RBI’s and is hitting .308. He has 21 total games hitting 4th-8th as well, and in those games he has 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 11 RBI’s, and hitting .264. These are numbers are a lot lower than when he hits 9th.

Leave some comments on this post with your thoughts about batting order, and if it matters to you.

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