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Sports: What is a good template for starting baseball lineups?

There is a lot of conventional wisdom, and there's thinking outside the box. Convential wisdom says your best hitter is #3, and your most powerful hitter is #4, with #1 being a speed guy, and #2 being a contact hitter/OBP guy, hopefully with enough speed to grab a couple bags on a single from #3 or #4. Problem is, the higher a guy is in the lineup, the more plate appearances he'll get in a game, and in a season. So now your best hitters (#3 and #4), over the course of a season, will see far fewer plate appearances than weaker hitters in the #1 and #2 spots. There is another school of thought that says you need to simply line your hitters up by descending OBP (on-base percentage). Who is most likely to get on base, then next most likely, then next most likely, etc., #1 - #9. Doesn't matter if your #1 hitter is a big fat slug, but hits bombs and takes walks. Remember, you have to touch the bases to score runs. And if that guy loses at-bats in the season, you lose bases, and therefore, runs, and therefore, games. No big league managers really do this, but it's something to think about. As for batters #5 - #9, it's not that controversial that you line them up from better to worse. #5 is usually also a power hitter too, probably better than your #1 and #2. Of course you may not have any stats at all, and you may be dealing with kids. In that case, some kids just don't have the mental make-up to be the leadoff batter, no matter how good they are. Others have cooler heads, and have no problem leading off a game. At whatever level, it is a very difficult thing. There is no magic formula that will get you X runs per game, and you'll do a lot of tinkering. Good luck!

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