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## Articles Tagged Run-scoring

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October 6, 2006 12:00 am

 Prospectus Matchups: October Musings 0

Jim cleans up some old business, ponders the all-time greats at second base, and tries to avoid throwing things at the TV set.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

October 5, 2006 12:00 am

 Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Two 0

The Play is the talk of the water coolers, but plenty of other things happened on an abbreviated second day.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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June 8, 2006 12:00 am

 Schrodinger's Bat: Swing and Miss 0

Dan discusses booting a probability, historic comebacks brought back by readers, and discusses the dampening damp of baseball at altitude.

Every fan knows that Babe Ruth struck out over 1,300 times to go along with his 714 home runs. Pete Rose made almost 10,000 outs in his career. And last week SABR members enjoyed a lively discussion on the their listserve discussing the players who made the most outs in a season (a hint: "Omar the Outmaker" takes three of the top ten spots).

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April 6, 2006 12:00 am

 Schrodinger's Bat: Wins and the Quantum 0

Dan shows the relationship between quantum physics and sabermetrics before delving into Win Expectancy.

"I'm reminded a bit of the principle of superposition--each player in the game produces a contribution that has an effect on the probability of winning, somewhat analogous to a wave function. Add up these "wave functions" for each team, and you get a result that expresses how likely the team is to win with these particular sets of contributions, yet at this point it's still unknown whether the team actually wins (much like the fate of Schrödinger's cat inside the box). However, the wave function only collapses to the actual result when the game is played (or the box containing the cat is opened)."
--Keith Woolner, “Aim for the Head” October 24, 2001

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June 15, 2005 12:00 am

 Is Small Ball Also Smart Ball? 0

Small ball might be more fun to watch, but what is its relationship to run-scoring? Sean Ehrlich takes a look.

The performance analysis community's opposition to small ball is long documented: sacrifice hits are, almost always, wasted outs while stolen bases are only useful when the player can steal with a high enough success rate. One of the most basic tenets of the performance analysis community is that playing small ball should decrease the number of runs scored by giving up precious outs.

The defense of small ball by the traditional baseball community seems a little more nebulous. A lot of the commentators and writers who speak and write glowingly of small ball seem to be yearning for what they think of as the golden days, before expansion, before bandbox ballparks, and before steroids. Or they seem to believe small ball emphasizes the fundamentals, or that it's more beautiful. It is pointless to argue with nostalgia and aesthetics (though that does not always stop me), but some have defended small ball as not only more enjoyable baseball, but as winning baseball, with the Sox' fast start taken as evidence to prove the theory.

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May 5, 2005 12:00 am

 Crooked Numbers: Do Not Pass Go 0

James Click LOBs a few thoughts on teams struggling to knock in runs.

Box scores are disappearing. While we still find them in their traditional format in newspapers and across the Web, the ability to read several articles about each game, daily updated stat reports, and play-by-play logs largely nullify the need to manually keep track of how many home runs your favorite player has or to discern the events of each game from a very limited set of numbers. The days of trying to figure out how a player scored a run without an AB or why another player has one fewer plate appearance than everyone else despite being in the middle of the order are--for the most part--gone.

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May 4, 2005 12:00 am

 Lies, Damned Lies: Introducing ORVY 0

When should a team employ one-run strategies rather than play for a big inning?

There are some situations in which the decision to play for one run or multiple runs is straightforward. With the score tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, for example, one run will make all the difference, and teams are correct to employ strategies like the stolen base, sacrifice bunt and intentional walk very liberally. Most of the time, though, the situation is much more ambiguous. To take a couple of examples:

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October 14, 2004 12:00 am

 Lies, Damned Lies: Using the Golden Run Ratio 0

Can Nate Silver break down the most common managerial dilemma in the game--the decision to replace a starter with a less-effective reliever? Of course he can.

One of the classic managerial dilemmas--perhaps the classic managerial dilemma--is whether to remove a starter who is still throwing pretty well for a middle reliever in the sixth, seventh or eighth inning. This decision is relatively straightforward if the sole concern is winning the game in question. You trot your butt out to the mound, the pitcher grabs his crotch a couple times and spits out his chaw and tells you that his arm still feels real good, and then you sit back down in the dugout ask the pitching coach what's really going on. If the pitching coach tells you that the guy throwing in the bullpen is likely to be more effective than the starter, you make the switch. Otherwise, you leave the dude out there. Certainly, it's possible to make an error of judgment now and then--figuring out just how much fatigue will reduce a pitcher's effectiveness is a guessing game of sorts--but fundamentally, the problem is simple.

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June 10, 2004 12:00 am

 Lies, Damned Lies: A Foolish Consistency 0

One of the entertaining elements to following the Cubs this year is witnessing just how the city's reactions have changed in light of the lofty expectations foisted on the team prior to the start of the season. Ordinarily, a 30-28 record during the first 90-degree week of the summer would be cause for celebration. This time around, it has triggered grave concern, as the red-on-blue Cub flag flies feebly beneath those of the Reds, Cards and Astros atop the center field scoreboard at Wrigley. One of the problems, it seems, is not that the Cubs aren't scoring enough runs, but that they aren't scoring them at the right times.

One of the entertaining elements to following the Cubs this year is witnessing just how the city's reactions have changed in light of the lofty expectations foisted on the team prior to the start of the season. Ordinarily, a 30-28 record during the first 90-degree week of the summer (note to self: when scouting apartments, "central air" deserves higher priority than "hardwood floors") would be cause for celebration. This time around, it has triggered grave concern, as the red-on-blue Cub flag flies feebly beneath those of the Reds, Cards and Astros atop the center field scoreboard at Wrigley.

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May 14, 2004 12:00 am

 Taking One for the Team 0

Rather than look at the batter's results in various sacrifice situations, we'll look at the resultant base/out situation. The reason for this is because the sacrifice is a play that both gives the defense a choice and places it under a great deal of stress. Trying to cut down the lead runner on a sacrifice is a high-risk, high-reward strategy and results in a variety of scoring decisions (errors, fielder's choices, etc.) that don't map absolutely to the resultant base/out situation. Further, the results of a sacrifice can be thought of as falling into three categories: success, failure, and overachievement. Obviously, when sacrificing, the batter is attempting to concede himself for the advancement of the runner. In "success," the batter is out, but the runner advances. In "failure," the runner is out and the batter is safe at first. In "overachievement," the runner advances and the batter is safe. (There is also the possibility of "miserable failure"--a double play--and a few other rare ending states after errors, etc.) Looking at the data for 2003 in three baserunner situations, the data yield the following results: Situation Success Failure Overachievement Runner on first 61.7 23.5 14.8 Runner on second 60.4 21.2 18.4 Runners on first and second 59.3 25.7 15.0

Last time, we established several initial estimates for "thresholds" at which point sacrificing becomes a good idea, either increasing raw run scoring or increasing the probability of scoring at least one run. While these estimates are a much more accurate way to evaluate the strategy of sacrificing, they are lacking in several key areas.

First, BP's resident Royals nut, Rany Jazayerli, pointed out that I ignored one of Tony Pena's favorite sacrifice situations: runners on first and second and no outs. This situation is easily punched into the equations developed last time and, jumping straight ahead to the conclusions, this state--nicknamed Situation 4--falls somewhere in between Situations 2 (a runner on first and no outs) and Situation 3 (a runner on second and no outs). Here are the actual numbers:

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May 10, 2004 12:00 am

 Taking One for the Team 0

The data for all regular players from 2000-2003 still shows that sacrifices are almost never a good idea. Putting the 2001 version of Ichiro--the player with the highest breakeven point for Batter One's AVG--in front of every batter, the minimum expected runs lost by sacrificing over swinging away is 0.018, when Ichiro bats in front of Chris Truby in 2002 and his massive .199/.215/.282 line while he was in Detroit. Using other batters who are also highly adept at taking advantage of a sacrifice for Batter Two yield no situations in which run expectation increases by sacrificing, at least when there's a runner on first and one out. Expanding the results to look at other sacrifice situations does not change these conclusions. Looking at the second situation--a runner on first and no outs--and using the same plan of attack, the smallest difference between sacrificing and swinging away is again Truby and Suzuki, but this time the difference is .085 runs. Other players who come close are Craig Paquette in 2002, Alex Gonzalez in 2000, and Pat Meares in 2001 with .100, .107, and .114, respectively. (Not surprisingly, the three players who should never sacrifice as Batter One are Barry Bonds 2003, Barry Bonds 2001, and Barry Bonds 2002, costing the team .466, .481, and .518 runs respectively.)

Batter One Hits for More Power

Since Batter One, who hits nothing but singles, does not exist, we obviously have to expand our information on Batter One to more realistically simulate the choices facing the manager. Thus, we'll add in the full range of result possibilities for Batter One, allowing him to do more than just single. Of course, that results in an immense formula that reveals little about the efficacy of sacrifices. Instead, viewing how the formula handles actual players can yield some more useful insights.

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October 22, 2003 12:00 am

 Prospectus Today: Game Three 0

I tried to get inside Roger Clemens' head before his last final start, which turned out to be a mistake. I won't do that this time; I have no idea how this being his current final start will affect him. None. I do know that, this being Game Four, it is his final final start. There can't be a next final start unless.you know, I don't even want to imagine what kind of scenarios Bud Selig and Jeffrey Loria might concoct to bring us a Game Eight. I do know that he was up in the zone in his Division Series outing against the Red Sox, which was his seventh or eighth "final start" after his final regular-season start, his final start at Fenway Park (which was only his next to final start at Fenway Park), his final start in the All-Star Game, his final start at Yankee Stadium (also just his next-to-final), his final start in a foreign country, his final start in front of a record-low crowd and his final start with nasty heartburn. This matchup isn't as bad for the Marlins as Mike Mussina was. Clemens works up and down with the splitter and fastball, and has shown a fairly persistent reverse platoon split since joining the Yankees. With a bunch of right-handed hitters who can drive a good fastball but who will chase once they fall behind in the count, Clemens' success will again come down to getting ahead in the count and avoiding leaving his fastball up in the zone. There's not a lot of middle ground here; look for a 3.2-7-6-6-4-2 line, or a 7-4-1-1-2-10 one.

Mention his name in some quarters, however, and be prepared for a torrent of abuse. Mussina has seen his reputation sullied by the vagaries of the support he's received, particularly in the postseason. After last night, his career postseason ERA is 3.06 in 15 starts and one relief appearance, but he has just five postseason wins. In some circles, that's enough to diminish what has been a great career.