Title: What the numbers say about optimizing the Blue Jays’ 2023 batting order
Date: February 23, 2023
Original Source: Sportsnet
Synopsis: In my latest at Sportsnet, I wrote about the tough decisions facing the Blue Jays near the top of their batting order, and whether it’s better to overthink or oversimplify such decisions.
Batting order construction is an art for the perpetually angsty.
The long baseball season affords us a spring camp, 162 games, and, you hope against the best efforts of the voice in your head, a lengthy playoff run. In each of those stages you can nitpick, debate, and rearrange the optimal order for a team’s nine position players. Assume all 13 rostered position players are worthy of being in the debate, and you have 259,459,200 possible combinations to consider.
Today, we rank those 259,459,200 possibilities from our least favourite to favourite.
Kidding. Come back. In seriousness, even just limiting the order to your starting nine, there are 362,880 possible orders. It’s enough to cause swells of anxiety and, in the end, that terrible feeling that it probably doesn’t matter very much, and you’ve spent the show or article or season fretting over fractions of a fraction.