All good points above, but here's a little of the logic behind why the batting order goes as it does. The manager decides the batting order before each game and it just makes sense to put his best hitters at the top of the order. They stand to get the most at bats per game. (At the final out of the game, the batter on deck is probably not the leadoff hitter, 1 in 9 chance, so that batter will have had 1 more at bat than those at the bottom of the order from the on deck hitter on) Leadoff hitters tend to be fast runners who create scoring chances through speed on the bases and hopefully a high on base percentage. Then, if he gets on base, the following hitters try to advance, or score him. The #4 hitter is usually a slugger with plenty of power whose job it is to get those high average players who have batted before him, and are hopefully on base, across home plate (runs), hence the term "cleanup hitter". #5 should not be a pushover either, otherwise pitchers will not give #4 any good pitches to hit, preferring to walk the cleanup hitter to face the weaker #5 hitter. Batters #6-9 are your weaker hitters, not expected to do much with the bat. In the National League, the pitcher almost always is #9, the weakest hitter. The American League does indeed have a "Designated Hitter" for the pitcher, which I think is an abomination, a pox upon the game, who is usually a fat, over the hill but high priced player who can no longer play well on the field but can still swing a bat. The player's union will never allow the AL
to drop it coz they would lose those high paid union members. The DH
is a joke.
Hope that helps, and if you explain the game to anyone over the pond, don't forget to stress how stupid the Designated Hitter rule is.
Ghosts appear and fade away.....................