CHARLIE vs. THE COMPUTER
By MARK KRAM
I. Data compiled by adding together the 2005 and 2006 (through May 21) seasons, including each player's batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage:
Player AVG OBP SLG Rollins .281 .334 .421 Utley .295 .382 .540 Abreu .287 .421 .483 Burrell .279 .393 .511 Howard .288 .358 .567 Rowand .277 .336 .426 Bell .252 .317 .370 Lieberthal .268 .339 .417 Pitcher .150 .182 .190
II. Career splits vs. righthanded pitcher applied to data in Table I. (Note: Howard data is from this year only; all the others include stats prior to the 2006 season.) Below is an actual lineup used this year by Manuel.
Player AVG OBP SLG Rollins .281 .334 .421 Utley .315 .392 .572 Abreu .291 .430 .517 Burrell .268 .374 .496 Howard .272 .361 .561 Rowand .273 .326 .412 Bell .239 .304 .352 Lieberthal .257 .325 .393 Pitcher .150 .182 .190Average runs per game: 5.220.
BEST LINEUP FOUND
Average runs per game: 5.261
Run differential per season: 6.64
Pankin: "Abreu and Burrell are at the top of the order due to their on-base percentage. The feeling is that with Howard and Utley, Manuel has enough power in the order to enable to use Abreu and Burrel one and two. Utley has a higher on percentage than Burrell but he is in the fourth spot because of his high slugging percentage against RHP. Rollins is batting fifth because he is the best of the remaining hitters."
Manuel: "What do I think of it? I think it is off. There are far more things that come into play [than statistics]. Batting Abreu in the leadoff never even crosses my mind, because he is a guy, if you look at the stats, he not only gets on base on base but hits with runners in scoring position. And there is no way you could hit Burrell second. That is not going to work."
III. Career splits vs. lefthanded pitcher applied to data in Table I. Career splits vs. righthanded pitcher applied to data in Table I. (Note: Howard data is from this year only; all the others include stats prior to the 2006 season.) Below is an actual lineup used this year by Manuel.
Player AVG OBP SLG Rollins .281 .334 .421 Utley .218 .345 .421 Rowand .286 .353 .455 Abreu .270 .387 .395 Burrell .307 .436 .546 Howard .324 .355 .587 Bell .284 .346 .406 Lieberthal .294 .376 .456 PITCHER .150 .182 .190Average runs per game: 5.343
BEST LINEUP FOUND
Average runs per game: 5.389
Run differential per season: 7.45
Pankin: "Again, Abreu and Burrell are one-two because of their high on-base percentages. Utley is eighth because of his weak hitting against lefthanded pitchers. But he seems to be doing better this year, so Manuel probably thinks he is better than his statistics show. Batting Lieberthal second and Burrell third and leaving the others the same vs. lefthanded pitchers reduces runs by about ½ per 162 games, so that somewhat more traditional lineup is essentially just as productive."
Manuel: "Without a doubt, I would argue with this lineup. Again, you have Abreu and Burrell at the top of the lineup, which I think is wrong. And how can you bat Utley eighth? Utley is the type of hitter that if Rollins gets on, he can pull the ball [into the hole between first and second]. And he has been hitting the ball hard against lefties. I look at how you run and move on the bases and both [Rollins and Utley] do that well. You have to look at the larger picture."
Part 3: Description of Markov Process model