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Sunday, July 08, 2018

Does batting order matter in Major League Baseball? A simulation approach

Been a while since I’ve seen an article of this type: an academic with apparently zero familiarity with the rich history of sabermetrics attempts to answer a fundamental question that many others before him have already addressed, probably in better detail and with deeper understanding.

I’ve simulated baseball games where 9 batters make successful hits according to a pre-determined Batting Average (BA) and make singles (64% of all hits), doubles (20%), triples (2%), and home runs (14%) according to league averages.

PreservedFish Posted: July 08, 2018 at 06:54 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 08, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5706920)
Someone ping Clay Davenport!
   2. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 08, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5706952)
This is why you always start with a literature review.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: July 08, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5706959)
I think this is the same article that was vetted on Reddit about a week ago. Not sure it really gives us anything we dont already know, I guess he's writing for a different audience.
   4. Sunday silence Posted: July 08, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5706967)
Just to add a few more players from a similar era:

Paul Blair; under age 30; he has about 4 seasons where he's 0.3 above average; and age 30+ he has 3 more seasons with about 0.2+. He has good assist totals throughout. In those 7 peak years he's about 7.5% better at holding runners, so a peak Paul Blair might be:

almost 50 (40 or more + 5 + 4)

Curt Flood: from age 23-31 he's about 0.25 above avg; he has fair assist totals but nothing outstanding I think he's avg or maybe a bit above and holds: his about 2% below avg. So assuming the 0.25 is a good number we get:

40 + 0 -1 = 39
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5707139)
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 09, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5707143)
I think this is the same article that was vetted on Reddit about a week ago.
Wow, is that the state of peer review these days?
   7. DavidFoss Posted: July 09, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5707159)
"vetted" is too strong of word. The article above is the author's own personal data science blog. None of the articles on his blog have anything to do with baseball. He himself posted a link to it on a handful of subreddits with mainly polite "looks cool" types of responses. The source code is publicly available on github so people learning python enjoy that type of thing.

I might have missed it, but I don't read that the author has any illusions of submitting this to SABR for publication. It's probably just random data analysis studies that he can point employers to if he ever wants to change jobs.
   8. Rally Posted: July 09, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5707171)
This is lineup analysis 101.

Assuming an average team scores 700 runs, if you add Mike Trout as a leadoff hitter you'll score 11 more runs per season than if you bat him 9th. Add Bartolo Colon as leadoff hitter and you score 19 more runs with him batting last than with him leading off.

That's best and worse case scenario. Deciding whether to bat a good hitter 3rd or 5th is going to make a much smaller difference.

I did learn something new here though, in a lineup full of average hitters the #6 batter will see the most bases loaded opportunities. I can reason through that, the #6 hitter is the first hitter in the order who could potentially see a first inning bases loaded situation with 0, 1, or 2 outs. After the first inning it's more or less random.
   9. BrianBrianson Posted: July 09, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5707275)
It's not really an article, it's a blog post. We don't grief 1st year physics professors for having websites that demonstrate the inverse square law of gravity generates elliptical orbits. This isn't M.M. Tai. Diabetes Care, Vol 17, Issue 2 152-154
   10. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 09, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5707279)
Is it 2006 already? I guess I need a new calendar.
   11. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5707322)
You know what I think would be really interesting? A careful study about whether OBP or batting average correlates more closely to run-scoring.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 09, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5707326)
Someone ping Clay Davenport!
Someone ping Earnshaw Cook!
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5707343)
I'm surprise that the response here is relatively restrained.

Most of the points mentioned here on this thread are accurate, sure it's data that is relatively well known, but as mentioned it's just a guy doing some analysis on his own and writing about it.
   14. Loren F. Posted: July 09, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5707354)
#13, perhaps people on BBTF are less snarky these days.

Or maybe there is just less traffic to BBTF in general these days. BBTF does seem to have less comment activity (at least in baseball-related threads, as I avoid the OTP threads) this season than in prior years.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5707360)
Or maybe there is just less traffic to BBTF in general these days

Sadly that is absolutely one of the cases.

I do think that the snark was a bell curve type of thing, where it increased for a while, and eventually has dropped to more humanly acceptable levels.
   16. Loren F. Posted: July 09, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5707413)
It is sad, cfb, because I've been here since 2001 (I know that I don't post that often but I visit several times a week) and have learned a lot and gotten some laughs, and I still like coming here as a distraction from things like politics (which I follow closely and sometimes need to ignore). I wonder why activity has declined. Part of it could be the unsurprising slow addition of new members to an online community that has developed lots of in jokes (John Freakin' Mabry?!?) and grown its own quirks, but is not integrated into Facebook and other popular social media. Part of it could be the loss of some popular members in recent years, such as Harveys. I look forward too coming back, and I hope the snark level remain acceptable so newcomers feel welcome.
   17. The Run Fairy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5707435)
I look forward too coming back, and I hope the snark level remain acceptable so newcomers feel welcome.

Yeah, about that... it's literally impossible to create a new account for this site now, log out and hit 'register' if you don't believe me.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 10:01 PM (#5707445)
Yeah, about that... it's literally impossible to create a new account for this site now, log out and hit 'register' if you don't believe me.

Being bbtf, you had to know I would check you on that..... as I'm in the middle of creating a bunch of accounts for a small business that a friend of mine is starting up, and you are 100% correct.


New membership accounts are not accepted at this time.

Baseball Think Factory
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5707489)
I wonder why activity has declined.

Fewer posts of interests has something to do with it. We had a decade of steroids posts which helped keep the site going, and with that issue not being a front and center issue, and considering that many on here are relatively like minded on other issues, there is just a very limited amount of discussion going on. For a brief while we had a few posts going on about catchers game calling/pitch framing, but the data has dried up there as people are really waiting on the big data that statcast is going to provide for any real study.

Ultimately the consensus of the community has slowed down the passion of the arguments. I mean I'm a moderate contrarian, but we just don't have enough arguments/threads about the things that I would participate in, and the same could be said about a lot of other stuff...

For the most part the writing community has focused on ways to increase pace of play and game time, while writing article after article belittling the game we love.... so we have been focusing a little too much on dumb ass stuff, but that is really all we have.
   20. DavidFoss Posted: July 10, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5707568)
There's nothing to argue about in this blogpost article. It just doesn't tell us anything that we didn't already know. The blogpost does link to his python source code for evaluating lineups. I was always curious as to what that looked like.

Bill James did a bit of lineup analysis in his 1997 book on baseball managers. He did variations on the 1930 Cubs as well as a few variants line-ups that contained 'N' Babe Ruths and 'M' Pitchers. Even then, I recall James mentioning in the book that he was dusting off his old lineup simulator, so maybe there is more of this type of thing in his old abstracts from the late 1970s and 1980s?

If you want lively debate here, you need to come up with controversial results. Like that old 1999 Schnell book where he used advanced statistical techniques to find out who the best hitter of all time was: Tony Gwynn. I imagine blew a few gaskets when that one came out.
   21. wjones Posted: July 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5707600)
As batting orders go, I always get a kick out of going to BR and looking up batting orders of past championship teams, or at least famous teams, and trying to guess if they had steady lineups or were all over the place. Stengel's Yankee teams are always fun....when I see someone on a team board complain about a manager not keeping a consistent batting order, I just point them to Stengel. Talk about players having to check the lineup card every day! There was one year (if you count the pitcher) where he had 154 different lineups!

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