Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Taking the Extra Base

Thinking about Vinny Castilla getting thrown out at second prompted me to consider all of the situations where a runner can take the extra base, and what the risk/reward is for each situation. I'm sure someone has calculated this before, but below is the table from the 2004 ERV data. It shows the percentage of time you must be successful in taking the base to make it work the risk (the text in parentheses are other runners on the bases). Conclusions drawn from it are:

(1) The Rule of 70: In most situations (like stealing 2nd) you have be successful at least 70% of the time to make the risk worthwhile.

(2) The old adage "Never make the first out or last out at third base" is generally true if no other runners are on.

(3) Never try to take 3d with two outs.

(4) Never try to score from 3d with no outs.

(5) Trying to score from 3d with two outs is usually a good risk.
SituationNo Outs One Out Two Outs
1st to 2nd 73% 73% 73%
1st to 2nd (3d) 76% 78% 84%
2d to 3d 75% 70% 93%
2d to 3d (1st) 70% 73% 88%
3d to Home 93% 73% 33%
3d to Home (1st) 80% 68% 42%
3d to Home (1st & 2nd) 86% 76% 55%


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