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To what extent can changes in scoring be traced to temperature?

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Alan Nathan is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After a long career doing collisions of subatomic particles, he now spends his time studying the collision of ash with cowhide. He maintains an oft-visited website devoted to all things related to the physics of baseball: go.illinois.edu/physicsofbaseball.

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April 27, 2012 3:00 am

The Stats Go Marching In: Scoring Runs, Revisited


Max Marchi

If you want to estimate run-scoring accurately, what are all the factors you need to take into account?

The forces that influence run-scoring
As a reader of this site, you would be suspicious of any article that compared a starter’s ERA and a reliever’s ERA without making any adjustment for role: it has been shown several times (including by yours truly) that the luxury of pitching in short bursts and not having to face the same batters multiple times in a single outing significantly deflates relievers’ ERAs.

Similarly, we can’t model run-scoring on a team level without accounting for all the factors at play at any particular time. Many elements combine to shape the distribution of runs scored. Some of them are quite obvious, while others remain hidden until they’re exposed by the most brilliant analysts. In the following paragraphs, I’ll try to evaluate as many of those components as possible in an attempt to isolate their individual effects on offensive outcomes.

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This week's question comes from Joel Wirth:

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