Baseball Lineups

There is an order to what players go to bat on the field. It's determined by the lineup card at the start of a baseball game.

Lineup/Batting Order

The batting order, also called the lineup, is the order in which the offensive players on a team go up to bat. The lineup is determined by the field manager and other coaches, and changes with every game depending on strategy and which players are in the game.

The lineup is nine people long, having one spot for each defensive player.

REMEMBER: Baseball has nine (9) defensive positions.

National League Lineups

In the National League of the MLB, the pitcher takes a turn to bat and is usually the last person in the lineup.

Baseball National League Lineup

American League Lineups

In the American League, the pitcher does not bat. Instead, a designated hitter (DH) bats but does not play a defensive position. Unlike the pitcher in the National League, the DH is not always the last person in the lineup.

Baseball American League Lineup

How Does It Work?

As each team takes their half-inning to bat, the lineup cycles through. Except for the first inning, the beginning of each half-inning does not necessarily start with the first person in the lineup. Instead, it picks off at whoever's turn was next when the team's previous offensive turn ended. The lineup does not change except in the case of substitutions.

PRO TIP: The team's most powerful hitter usually occupies the fourth spot in the lineup and is called the cleanup hitter. The idea behind this is that the batters before him will reach base, then he will get a strong hit and advance those baserunners to home plate, in effect cleaning up the bases.

The Lineup Card

The lineup card is written by the manager to list the lineup he has created for the game. Before the game, it is shared with the umpires, the opposing team, and viewers. The lineup card also lists potential substitution players.

Baseball Lineup Card

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