CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

Articles Tagged Gambling 

Search BP Articles

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

No Previous Tag Entries No More Tag Entries

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

March 6, 2013 5:00 am

Pebble Hunting: How Baseball Returns Our Investment

10

Sam Miller

A review of a book about betting on baseball.

In 2010, a writer named David Bentley Hart wrote an essay about baseball for the theological magazine First Things, in which he argued that baseball “captures traces of eternity’s radiance in fugitive splendors here below.” That is to say, as I understand Hart’s piece, baseball reflects God and is Godly. It’s a beautiful piece with big and hopeful ideas, but that’s not to say that it isn’t also pompously romantic. For instance:

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

If it doesn't make sense to call for pitchouts, why do major-league managers keep doing it?

Last week, my colleague Sam Miller ran a few numbers on the pointless, yet poignant play that is the pitchout (a billion points to whomever catches that reference) and concluded that pitchouts are actually a net loser: they cost the defense/pitching team more in runs than they gain. Sure, individual pitchouts sometimes nab a would-be base stealer (and that's a good thing), but overall, managers guessed wrong so often that the expected payoff wasn't high enough to justify the strategy. Rule number one of strategic thinking is that just because you got lucky on a stupid bet, it doesn't negate the fact that it was a stupid bet.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

No Previous Tag Entries No More Tag Entries