Special fanshot for GobbleforCyYoung

Just noticed in the Sunday game thread where you were getting beat up pretty bad for defending Jose Guillen's attempt to reach 3rd on a Jacobs single. Just wanted to post something about the true odds in that situation (or at least a good approximation of the true odds).

To recap, for those who missed it, Guillen was gunned down at 3rd with 1 out on a single by Jacobs. Considerable debate ensued, where Gobbleforcyyoung defended Guillen, followed by a few people ripping him for doing so.

I went to Baseball Prospectus and used the dandy Run Scoring Matrix to calculate this. Here is the relavent data for this situation:

Man on 1st and 2nd, 1out - run expectancy is 0.9132

Man on 1st and 3rd, 1 out - run expectancy is 1.17692

Man on 1st, 2 outs - run expectancy is 0.22588


Obviously, these 3 situations are if Jose holds, if he goes for 3rd and makes it, and if he goes for 3rd and is out, respectively.


The question is, in my mind, is what % of the time does he have to be successful for it to be a good gamble? In other words, what is the "breakeven" % for trying for 3rd in this situation?


(1.17692-0.9132) / (1.17692-0.22588)

= 0.26372 / 0.95104



In other words, Jose needs to make it 72.27% of the time in order to "break even"


Proving the math, (1.17692 * .7227) + (0.22588 * .2773) = 0.9132 runs,

AND (0.9132 * 1.0000) = 0.9132 runs



the debate should have been along the lines of, "that's a good gamble by Jose/windmill Dave Owen, as long as there was about a 73% chance of him making it to 3rd safely", or "that was a bad gamble by Jose/windmill Dave Owen, there was less than a 72% chance of him making it".


Of course, no one knows these odds off the top of their head, but I think if everybody took a second and guessed it, they probably could have come reasonably close.


To conclude, I think you and your detractors were arguing about what the % was on this particular play - and that can be pretty damn hard for us to know as fans. The fact that the Pirates made it look riduculously easy sorta (perhaps?)  made it appear that the % was far below 73%, thus making your detractor's argument appear to be an easy one. I just think if every one involved had argued in this manner, rather than the manner which was used, would have resulted in a more enjoyable game thread debate.


Not trying to stir up any shit, or get on anyone at all - the situation was interesting, and I was interested enough to want to know exactly what the odds were on this play.

Another interesting aspect of this, to me, is that one would hope to have a team full of intelligent players, who instinctually know the odds in their heads, and thus know when and why to gamble, even if they don't know the odds per se. This sorta thing can be quantified, to some extent, in baserunning ratings, which I believe is yet another area in which the Royals are below average.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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