Sokojoe at Amazin' Avenue has crunched the numbers, and the numbers agree with Jerry Manuel and myself that hitting Luis Castillo leadoff and moving Jose Reyes down to third makes good sense.
The model that he used is a free one whose only inputs are OBP and SLG (blind to baserunning), so it's not as robust as it could be. But Sokojoe fed it two different sets of projections for each player. One from the all-seeing eye of PECOTA, and the other from a system I'd never heard of called CHONE (which, if it's named after Chone Figgins, should be pronounced "Shawn").
No matter which projections he put in, the optimal lineup came out:
Interestingly, the PECOTA projections recommend this order despite pegging Reyes for a .374 OBP, which is 20 points higher than he's ever had before, and Castillo for a below career-average .347 OBP. So you don't even need to think especially highly of Castillo, or poorly of Reyes, in terms of getting on base. The difference in their respective slugging percentages (.307 to .478) alone is enough to make one guy the table-setter and the other guy the three hitter.
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