What's the ideal starting lineup for the Phillies in the NLDS?

Let's take a look at how Rob Thomson should set his starting lineup against both LHP and RHP.
Wild Card Series - Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

There were a number of surprises when Rob Thomson announced the starting lineup for the NL Wild Card Series. He switched Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm in the lineup, moved Bryson Stott down to the seven-hole and started Cristian Pache in left field and batting eighth.

These changes were made mainly due to the Marlins carrying a left-handed heavy pitching staff. Both starters in the Wild Card Series were lefties, and the bulk of the Marlins’ bullpen were left-handed.

The same cannot be said for the Atlanta Braves, who will be starting two right-handed pitchers with more righties coming out of the bullpen, including their closer. Thomson will most definitely adjust his lineup to account for the right-handed pitchers in the NLDS.

So what's the ideal lineup for the Phillies in the NLDS against both righties and lefties?

Phillies ideal lineup versus LHP

Against a southpaw, Thomson will likely stick with what worked against Miami:

1. Kyle Schwarber, DH
2. Trea Turner, SS
3. Alec Bohm, 3B
4. Bryce Harper, 1B
5. J.T. Realmuto, C
6. Nick Castellanos, RF
7. Bryson Stott, 2B
8. Cristian Pache, LF
9. Johan Rojas, CF

While, for the most part, this lineup worked, the Phillies left plenty of opportunities on the bases. Over the two NL Wild Card games, the Phillies went 5-23 with RISP. They were able to make it work against the Marlins but might not have the same luck against the Braves.

Thomson should consider moving Harper back to the three spot to provide additional protection with Bohm batting behind him. It’s also prudent to have the team’s most dangerous hitter batting third and getting up in the first inning.

Realmuto played like the hitter we’ve all come to know in the Wild Card, so leaving him in the five spot would make sense. If he begins to falter again, look for Castellanos to move ahead of him. Thomson might also consider replacing Pache with Weston Wilson who has, historically, shown more pop and ability to get on base.

Phillies ideal lineup versus RHP

Against a right-hander, the ideal lineup would include Marsh and a slightly different order:

1. Kyle Schwarber, DH
2. Trea Turner, SS
3. Bryce Harper, 1B
4. Alec Bohm, 3B
5. Bryson Stott, 2B
6. J.T. Realmuto, C
7. Nick Castellanos, RF
8. Brandon Marsh, LF
9. Johan Rojas, CF

This is the lineup the Phillies primarily used when facing a left-handed pitcher in the regular season. It features left-handed Brandon Marsh in left field batting eighth in place of Cristian Pache. Marsh is slashing .292/.387/.864 against RHP and .229/.321/.717 against LHP. The difference is stark, and Marsh can provide the needed pop against a righty.

Stott also moves up in the lineup to bat fifth behind Bohm to give Thomson the right-left split he likes to see and provide a better contact hitter behind Harper and Bohm.

Thomson has a number of decisions to make with his lineup as he looks to match up against the Braves. We were given a sneak peek of what he thinks is the right look against a lefty, but it will be interesting to see his strategy against the Braves' hard-throwing righties.