AL Lineup Analysis (9/6/19)


  • Against the last three lefty starters, Shohei Ohtani has sat. His splits are almost non-existent (.843 OPS vs RHP, .817 OPS vs LHP), so I’m not sure why. Also, Justin Upton was the DH in these three games instead of Albert Pujols who has started 12 straight games, all at first base.
  • In five of the last six games, Brian Goodwin hit in the top third of the lineup. After struggling in May and June (sub-.650 OPS), he’s hitting .303/.361/.639 in the season’s second half.


  • What was normally a consistent lineup has been in flux since Carlos Correa went on the IL a couple of weeks go. Abraham Toro has taken over at third but Aledmys Diaz has snuck himself a few times into the lineup. Also, with George Springer out with a concussion, Kyle Tucker will play in the outfield. Finally, it seems like the team is giving players more off days.
  • I don’t get how Josh Reddick (.705 OPS, 11 HR) continues to start (11 of last 13 games).


Blue Jays

  • Justin Smoak has sat against two of the last three lefties.
  • The outfield continues to see quite of rotating players in-and-out. Here are the characters and how many games they’ve started in the last 10. Randal Grichuk (10), Teoscar Hernández (8), Derek Fisher (6), and Billy McKinney (4).
  • The Blue Jays are giving Rowdy Tellez a chance to prove himself (started 12 of 16 games) but he’s only hit .174/.269/.391 over the last 28 days.


  • Yu Chang (.624 OPS) has struggled since being called up to replace Jose Ramirez. Mike Freeman (.806 OPS) has started to take the starts.
  • Jake Bauers (.695 OPS) has started four of the last five games, all against righties.


  • What a mess. It’s like everyone is getting a chance. With the last few games in an NL park, it’s even more of a mess. At least they’re not Detroit’s lineup.
  • Braden Bishop has started four straight games but has struggled with the bat (.217 OPS) after being OK in the PCL (.847 OPS).
  • Mallex Smith is back to leading off (12 of 15 games) while showing no improvement (1H .666 OPS vs 2H .670 OPS).
  • Jake Fraley (.390 OPS) has started only four of the last eight games.
  • Dee Gordon continues to be himself by hitting (.279/.303/.360) since coming off the IL


  • Since coming off the IL, D.J. Stewart is hitting .259/.322/.333 with no home runs.
  • Mark Trumbo is stealing some DH at-bats and has three hits in eight plate appearances so far, all doubles.
  • Dwight Smith Jr. has only started two of five games since being recalled.



  • A nightmare to figure out.
  • Joey Wendle has started nine of the last 11 with his .603 OPS.
  • A rib injury has limited Kevin Kiermaier’s playing time (started four of the last ten games).
  • Avisaíl García has started 11 of the last 12 games after hitting .281/.324/.500 in August.

Red Sox



  • In his first two games back, Christin Stewart has hit third and fourth.
  • Since being recalled in mid-August, Ronny Rodríguez is hitting .243/.256/.500 with six homers.
  • Dawel Lugo has started in 12 straight games while having a .690 OPS in the season’s second half.


  • Jake Cave (.250/.340/.445 with 7 HR) may be a must-add. He’s started in nine of the last 10 games with two of those games against lefties.
  • Jonathan Schoop (.787 OPS) and Luis Arraez (.855 OPS) are splitting time at second base making both unrosterable.

White Sox

  • While the top two-thirds of the lineup is set, the rest is merry-go-round with a varying cast of characters.
  • What the hell is a Danny Mendick?
  • Adam Engel was starting every day but Daniel Palka and Ryan Goins are cutting into his playing time.


  • The lineup is sort of coming back together with the addition of Edwin Encarnación and Luke Voit. It’s far from normal especially with Gio Urshela hurt.
  • Owners may need to find a Mike Tauchman replacement since he’s batting at the bottom of the lineup. The Yankees replace the bottom of the order guys once someone gets healthy.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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If I’m not mistaken, Ohtani sat the 1st time because he had thrown a bullpen that day and they wanted to give him a day off. The last 2 were due to his recent slump (.316 OPS over his last 11 games with 16 K in 40 PA). He’s also been bumped to the 5th spot in the order in his last game and again today. To me, a big part of his value was batting 3rd right behind Trout and having an endless supply of RBI opportunities.