Anatomy of a lineup 

Looking back to the 80's we saw a big change in MLB. The era of the hitter was ushered in and a change in managing styles started to take place. The Whitey Herzog’s style of manufacturing runs early in the game gave way to the Davey Johnson style of waiting for the 3 run HR, and the big inning. In SOM leagues, the same applies in that if you are not playing for the big inning early in games and only late in those tight games trying to manufacture a go ahead. Chances are you will not be able to compete amongst the top teams in your league. Below I have broken down a batting order and listed tips that will help you get the most out of your line-ups. I suggest that you try your best to match your players ability's with the proper spot in the batting order then run replays and tinker with your line-up to achieve best results. Most teams will have trouble matching all of these requirements for the perfect line-up because of usage of a various number of reasons but just do your best!  

#1 Leadoff: This is where you need to put the player with the best on base percentage, and speed.  If the guy steals it is a bonus, but not a must. One little known thing to remember is watch this guys clutch rating and try to have a guy no worse than a -3 in the clutch. Statistics show the leadoff hitter as one of the fewest times to appear in the clutch, but I believe you must remove 1 AB from every game from the calculations since it is a given the first AB will never come up in the clutch! Do this and you will see that the leadoff spot is one of the most frequent to appear in the clutch. 

#2 Spot: This is the spot for your second best on base player. The more walks the better, as this will move your leadoff hitter to 2nd base if he can't steal.  

#3 Spot: Here is where your hitter with the best average goes. The number of hits on his card are far more important than on base, or clutch because the #3 spot not only appears less in the clutch it also leads off innings less than any other position. Tony Gwynn in his prime was a good one for this position.  

#4 Spot: Here we need the best power man with good on base. Homer's are great but if you got guys that are close use the guy with the best OB+slugging percentage and you can't go wrong.  

#5 Spot: Your best man in the clutch must go here to protect your #4 hitter. If you don't then HAL will attack this spot in the line-up with a vengeance by IBB your forth hitter more often to bring this guy up in the clutch.  

#6, #7, #8 Spots: Now we get to the best of the rest where again if your in doubt put these guys in order of best to worst OB+Slugging percentage. However this part of the line-up can kill big innings with the double play so if at all possible put the hitters with the least amount of DP's on their card behind the guys with no speed.  

#9 Spot: Here is where you put a speed guy that doesn't have enough OBP to lead off.  The 9th spot is a big reason why you need to pay attention to your leadoff hitters clutch because so many times these guys will get on and steal 2nd or end up there with 2 out.  

Some final things that are not quite as important, but can give you an edge in line-up construction are to try not to have all your lefty's, or righty's in a row. This sets them up for a one sided reliever. Also, try not to have all of your platoon players in a row as this will set up your line-up for an opposite hand reliever as well.