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The best and worst from MLB lineups in 2013

May 24, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

This is a quick look at the very best and worst each major league lineup spot has to offer this year. Posted along with each line is the player most responsible. We’ll start out with the good before moving on to the bad.

1. Reds: .292/.442/.517, 9 HR, 37 R, 20 RBI, 5 SB (Shin-Soo Choo)
2. Brewers: .348/.394/.572, 9 HR, 33 R, 23 RBI, 14 SB (Jean Segura)
3. Tigers: .385/.460/.690, 14 HR, 39 R, 55 RBI, 1 SB (Miguel Cabrera)
4. Rockies: .346/.396/.622, 12 HR, 32 R, 50 RBI, 3 SB (Troy Tulowitzki)
5. Orioles: .314/.397/.686, 16 HR, 31 R, 45 RBI, 0 SB (Chris Davis)
6. Mets: .247/.361/.494, 10 HR, 23 R, 20 RBI, 1 SB (Lucas Duda)
7. Rangers: .274/.346/.500, 10 HR, 25 R, 18 RBI, 1 SB (A.J. Pierzynski)
8. Braves: .321/.384/.497, 6 HR, 16 R, 27 RBI, 2 SB (Ramiro Pena)
9. Tigers: .291/.315/.451, 4 HR, 26 R, 23 RBI, 1 SB (Omar Infante)

- I decided to go strictly by OPS here. Taking ballparks into account, Rays cleanup hitters (Evan Longoria) have been better than Colorado’s.

- The Rangers’ 7 hole is a true group effort. One might guess that Mitch Moreland was most responsible, but he’s actually struggled in his seven starts there, posting a .579 OPS. Jeff Baker has an 1.134 OPS in 17 AB there, Pierzynski is at 1.053 in 33 AB, Geovany Soto is at .845 in 31 AB and David Murphy has a .794 OPS in 56 AB.

- Incredibly, Braves No. 8 hitters have been better than any other team’s No. 6 or No. 7 hitters. And they’ve managed an .881 OPS while the Braves’ No. 1 and No. 2 hitters have come in at .665 and .551, respectively. Again, it’s been a group effort: six different players have put in at least five starts there.

Here’s are the worsts of the bunch:

1. Twins: .200/.242/.246, 1 HR, 24 R, 12 RBI, 4 SB (Aaron Hicks)
2. Marlins: .225/.267/.272, 1 HR, 15 R, 9 RBI, 4 SB (Placido Polanco)
3. Athletics: .204/.293/.342, 6 HR, 27 R, 26 RBI, 3 SB (Josh Reddick)
4. Mets: .192/.255/.337, 6 HR, 19 R, 20 RBI, 0 SB (Ike Davis)
5. Twins: .198/.271/.281, 1 HR, 17 R, 16 RBI, 1 SB (Ryan Doumit)
6. Rays: .199/.283/.313, 4 HR, 15 R, 22 RBI, 1 SB (Yunel Escobar)
7. Dodgers: .163/.246/.213, 1 HR, 11 R, 15 RBI, 1 SB (Luis Cruz)
8. Mets: .177/.233/.280, 3 HR, 14 R, 19 RBI, 1 SB (Ruben Tejada)
9. Mariners: .168/.235/.206, 1 HR, 10 R, 11 RBI, 3 SB (Brendan Ryan)

- I excluded NL teams from the No. 9 spot. The Mariners are actually 23rd in the majors, so eight NL teams are beating them in OPS from the nine hole. The Phillies (.571) and Cubs (.567) are tops there among NL teams, and those two are also beating the White Sox and Orioles from the AL. The Pirates are the true No. 30 team for OPS from the ninth spot; they’re hitting .113/.173/.127.

- Braves No. 2 hitters are batting just .171, but at least that’s come with 12 extra-base hits and 20 walks, giving them 11 points of OPS on the Marlins. Astros, White Sox and Nationals No. 2 hitters have all been similarly dreadful, with OPSs in the mid-500s.

- Of course, the Marlins are near the bottom in a lot of spots here. Only from the sixth hole, where Rob Brantly has been pretty good, do they even rate average. They’re getting sub-.600 OPS from the first, second, fifth, seventh and ninth spots in the order.

  1. cur68 - May 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    The Beavers are neither in the best or the worst spots. Oddly enough, no Yankees are on either list either. What can this mean????

    • chill1184 - May 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      It means that You cant predict ball?

    • historiophiliac - May 24, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      DOOM!

    • Matthew Pouliot - May 24, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      The Yankees weren’t anywhere close to showing up on either list. I’m guessing they have the smallest gap from best (.817 from No. 3 hitters) to worst (.657 from No. 8 hitters) of any team.

    • bigharold - May 24, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      ” What can this mean????”

      One can Never have enough pitching. The Yankees are playing great defense and their hitting has been more timely, .. dare I say clutch, .. than prodigious. But, their pitching, rotation and pen, has been outstanding. And, Giraridi’s handling of the pen has been, once again, masterful.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 24, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        dare I say clutch,

        Nothing wrong with saying there has/have been clutch hits/outs/pitches. It’s when you want to say a particular player is clutch is when you run into trouble.

  2. moseskkim - May 24, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    lucas duda? really?

    • Matthew Pouliot - May 24, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Incredibly enough, Duda has an 1.119 OPS in 15 games as a No. 6 hitter, an .828 OPS in nine game s as a cleanup man and a .461 OPS in 16 games as a No. 5 hitter.

      Marlon Byrd has also done well from the sixth spot, with a .940 OPS in nine games.

      The Mets lineup has just been bizarre:

      1. .525 OPS
      2. .873
      3. .826
      4. .593
      5. .584
      6. .854
      7. .807
      8. .513
      9. .498

  3. oatmeel - May 24, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I think there’s been a mistake with Shin Soo Choo’s numbers.
    He’s been posting .300/.449/.535 so far this season, not .292/.442/.517.

    • Matthew Pouliot - May 24, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      It’s the lineup spot as a whole. So that’s 45 games of Choo and two games of Derrick Robinson going 1-for-8.

      • oatmeel - May 25, 2013 at 2:28 AM

        Thank you and sorry. I should’ve have the article more closely:(

  4. lew24 - May 24, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Luis Cruz leads the majors in infield pop ups!

    Unreal!

  5. tommyshih - May 25, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Imagine how good the Braves #8 hitter spot would be if Fredi hadn’t moved BJ for 6 games. And even then, that is one of the line up slots he’s hit better in because he hit a home run to bump up his SLG. (.190/.227/.333)

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