Baseball Strategy

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Strategy For Baseball Batting Lineups

This is always an interesting discussion item as different people will recommend different things.  The most common strategy for baseball batting lineups is to have your best hitters at the top of the lineup with your slugger in the fourth spot.  The thinking behind this lineup is you give your best hitters the most at bats by having them at the start and you give your slugger a chance to hit with the bases loaded. The disadvantage behind this strategy is you will have inning where you only have weak hitters at the plate.  This means it is you will get very few runs during these innings.  In this strategy, you are putting all your eggs in one basket hoping that in the innings where your top batters come to bat, they will bring in enough runs to offset the innings where the weaker batters are hitting.   


Other batting lineup strategies include:  


1.    Spread your good hitters throughout the lineup.   In other words, have a good hitter and then a not so good hitter and alternate this all the way through.   This lineup allows you to have more run consistency throughout the game and affords you more opportunities to move the good hitters in scoring position.   For instance, if a good hitter gets a hit; then, the weaker hitter can bunt him over.   Since the weaker hitter was likely to get out anyway, you benefit by having him bunt the runner over in scoring position.   Then, your next good hitter has a chance to get an RBI.   


2.   Spread out your lineup with speed, weak hitters, and good hitters. This plan calls for breaking your lineup into thirds.  The first three batters should have your fastest guy or one who gets a lot of walks, then, a weak hitter, then a real good hitter.  This plan would allow you to have someone that is likely to get on base lead-off.  Then, you have a weak hitter who can bunt him over into scoring position. Finally, you have a good hitter come up who can hit the runner home.  You would also want to repeat this for batters for the 4th thru 6th positions and the batters for the 7th thru 9th positions.  This strategy allows you to have balance throughout your lineup and takes advantage of small ball elements. 



3. Hide your weak hitters. Place weak hitters after your biggest sluggers. This will limit the weak hitter’s negative impact on your run production because the sluggers will be given their chance to hit any base runners home. This strategy can sometimes work as a plus as well because weak hitters can sometimes gain walks against pitchers who just gave up a big hit because of a lack of concentration. 


Ultimately, the goal of any batting lineup is designed to do two things: (1) maximize run production and (2) tire out opposing pitchers.   By tiring out opposing pitchers, most teams will benefit by forcing the other team to bring in a lesser quality pitcher.  This is very important when in a high school playoff series with an opposing team.  By reducing the quality of pitcher you are facing, most teams will generally hit better and score more runs. 


*Find out how to keep your pitchers focused throughout the season, by looking at keeping pitchers motivated between starts

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