What are the best lineups in these playoffs? Here a ranking

Every year, early in the season, we try to rank the best lineups in MLB based entirely on guesswork and projections. It is a fun task, but in the end it is fruitless, because not a single game has been played and it is impossible to predict what will happen in baseball.

Now that the regular season is over, we have a full year of data to help us rank the rosters of the teams that advanced to the postseason…and it STILL IS a fun and fruitless exercise, because predicting what will happen in the postseason is still so hard! MORE impossible!

But beyond that, here is the ranking of the best offenses of the teams that will play in these playoffs.

(Stats through Sunday’s games.)

MLB Rankings: First in runs scored (838), wRC+ (120), wOBA (.337) and OPS (.777)

In summary: Aside from the number of stars, what makes this Dodgers lineup special is that they don’t hurt themselves (they’re 11th in MLB in strikeout rate and have hit for the second fewest double plays), they run well the bases (third in “Baserunning” in FanGraphs) and take advantage of opportunities (highest average with runners in scoring position).

MLB Rankings: Second in wRC+ (118) and wOBA (.331), third in OPS (.760) and fourth in runs scored (761)

1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R)

RF Teoscar Hernandez (D)

In summary: Though he has plenty of righties, he’s prone to streaking and sometimes struggles to seize opportunities (none of the postseason teams has hit as many double-plays as the Blue Jays). This lineup is very scary when he’s on.

**MLB Rankings: **Second in OPS (.761), third in wOBA (.330) and runs scored (778), seventh in wRC+ (111)

RF Ronald Acuna Jr. (R)

In summary: Atlanta had the best slugging percentage in MLB, despite the fact that Olson’s production was not at the level of what he did last year in Oakland and the Venezuelan Acuña did not have such an impactful season after returning from major knee surgery. That says a lot about the Braves’ offensive potential.

MLB Rankings: Fifth in wOBA (.327), runs (759), wRC+ (114) and OPS (.748)

In summary: The success of St. Louis’ offense this year is largely due to the age-defying accomplishments of Goldschmidt and Pujols, as well as Arenado returning to his MVP status. The Cardinals rank among the top six in MLB in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

MLB Rankings: Second in runs scored (795), third in wRC+ (115), fourth in wOBA (.327) and OPS (.752)

SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa (D)

In summary: This lineup is obviously dangerous. But she is very judge-dependent, which is why we have her fifth and not second, for example. If teams are able to throw carefully or neutralize Judge in some way, that would limit the Yankees a lot.

MLB Rankings: Fourth in wRC+ (115), sixth in runs (751) and wOBA (.324), eighth in OPS (.740)

In summary: Although Pete Alonso’s 40-homer campaign is at the center of it all, the Mets score their runs generally by getting on base as needed. Only the Dodgers have a better on-base percentage than the Mets’ .331 mark.

MLB Rankings: sixth in wRC+ (111), seventh in wOBA (.323) and OPS (.741), eighth in runs scored (724)

In summary: The departure of Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley’s season-ending injury took depth from Houston’s lineup, at least compared to the one that carried them to the World Series last year.

MLB Rankings: Sixth in OPS (.742), seventh in runs scored (742), eighth in wOBA (.323) and wRC+ (107)

In summary: The Phillies have had one of the strongest offenses in MLB thanks to Schwarber, Realmuto and Hoskins, each with more than 20 home runs and 20 doubles. The X-factor could be what happens with Harper and Castellanos, who for various reasons didn’t have their best year.

MLB Rankings: 10th in wRC+ (106), 14th in wOBA (.309) and OPS (.702), 20th in runs (666)

In summary: Dominican rookie Julio Rodriguez’s electrifying campaign has been compromised by wrist and back problems. The Venezuelan Suárez has been dealing with a fracture in his right index finger. Seattle needs both of them healthy and productive if they want to move forward.

MLB Rankings: 13th in wRC+ (102), 14th in runs (691), 15th in wOBA (.308) and OPS (.699)

In summary: Thanks to Machado and Soto, the Padres trade their walks and get on base, but power has been in short supply, despite all the midseason moves.

MLB Rankings: 16th in runs scored (682), 18th in wRC+ (98) and OPS (.698), 20th in wOBA (.305)

In summary: The contact plan could work in the postseason, as it did for the Royals in 2014 and 2015. But in the last four postseasons, 82.6% of games were won by the team that hit the most homers, compared to 77.5%. in the regular round.

MLB Rankings: 15th in wRC+ (101), 21st in runs scored (660), 24th in wOBA (.302), 25th in OPS (.686)

In summary: In this lineup there are not many stars, nor power, in general. The Rays rank 25th in MLB – and last among clubs this postseason – in slugging percentage, at .377. Limited by injuries, Dominican Franco did not have the second year that was expected.

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