Finally, with the help of a fellow reader of Keith Law’s The Dish website, independent of ESPN, I found what I was looking for. The probablity that a run will score in two different situations. The first situation: Runner on third with no one out. The second situation: Bases loaded with no one out. THESE odds refer to a run being scored, as it says, and not the average amount of runs being scored in these particular situations. Because with a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, the one that Joe Maddon was facing in Game 3, only the first run that crosses the plate, matters.
The odds of scoring when the bases are loaded, and nobody out, is 85.6%. The odds of scoring with a runner on third, and nobody out, is 82.7%. So in walking the bases loaded, the odds increased that Maddon would lose the game if one took out the variables (pitcher, hitter, etc), but the margin is very slim and probably did not matter all that much. But again, it was still a 4% increase in the chance of a loss when the bases on balls were issued. Now, my argument was that a guy like Balfour was less likely to handle this situation because his mentality is somewhat Farnsworth-esque. Of course, that cannot be measured, like the probablity of scoring runs in these situations can. I would probably have played the odds and left the man at third as the only intentional baserunner at that point. But it is very close, so it probably didn’t matter too much either way. But I thank this commentor, because I had been looking for this information before I posted my first blog on the scenario. Little did I know, I had the book anyway!