Probability.

 

      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! 

7 Comments

well lets be accurate–it’s a 3.1 % difference not 4 %. i’m going to go ahead and say that maddon probably knows his guys better than we do and if he thinks that balfour is the guy, then i’m going to agree.

what will be interesting to me is how the next game will resume. balfour is on the mound for now with hamels coming up- i’d think that madon will wait for the pinch hitter to be announced before deciding who he’s going to go with. he’s got a bunch of fresh arms including price–nice to have the choice of 2 great lefties…i have a feeling that the phils may have lost their chance to win this series.

I think starting with Price may be a good thing, but who knows. Obviously as soon as Price gets in there, then that may be the best thing for the Rays, in my opinion. I am sick of hearing all this stuff about the weather though, the media pounds this stuff into all of us once it takes place. Maybe they should have called the game sooner, whatever, but it isn’t as though the Phillies have lost. They still get an extra half inning to win this thing.

Haha, it is actually 2.9%. I wasn’t purposely trying to prove my point by rounding up. I was thinking it was 86.5%.

yeah–there you go–i’m bad at math…

nate silver just got his site mentioned in the times!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/us/politics/28pollsite.html?ref=technology

There is a video of him talking to someone on CBS about it too from a few weeks ago. He was interviewed. I watched a little of it, but don’t have a link.

yeah i have seen him on several news shows- a friend of mine who works for MSNBC keeps me posted about his TV appearances. dan rather did a great piece with him at shea stadium in the last week of september–about half baseball, half politics.

hope you will be voting –florida is an important state!

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