Lead off walks....

Lead off walks....

Post by Andy Knipp SE Anders » Thu, 01 Oct 1992 14:48:52


Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  

---
Andy Knipp                    |
Sun Microsystems              | The secret to success is sincerity,
Chicago Loop District         | once you can fake that,  you have it made.

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Roger Lust » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 00:19:43

Quote:

>Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
>made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
>hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

>I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
>inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
>does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  

Sherri posted something on this a few months ago.  It compared leadoff
walks to leadoff singles, and found a slight difference in the third
decimal place.  In other words, more mediocy.

Roger

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Sherri Nicho » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 00:52:07

Quote:

>Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
>made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
>hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

>I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
>inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
>does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  

I don't have exactly what they were talking about, though I assume they
*really* meant that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than a leadoff
*single*, not hit.  There's a very, very slight effect in the difference
between a leadoff walk and a leadoff single.

Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991

Leadoff         Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
-------------------------------------------------------------
single          .428                    .855
walk            .432                    .865
error           .441                    .867
out             .156                    .255
other           .742                   1.215

Sherri Nichols


 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Sherri Nicho » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 05:18:04


Quote:
>Looking at the single/walk/error part of the above I'm inclined to
>think we are looking at noise.

I agree.

Quote:
>doesn't have good stuff, ergo more runs. The error part is
>interesting though. Evidently the pitcher 1) threw strikes and
>2) induced the batter to hit a playable ball so why should the
>scoring rates be higher? Well, two things come to mind. The error
>may have been a more than one base error (of course a single can
>be followed by by a same play error too). The other is that the
>sample size for the error line above is probably pretty small
>and so the resulting estimate isn't very precise.

I would tend to guess (2) more than (1).  I posted some numbers a while
back about infield errors and how often the hitter ended up beyond first on
an infield error, and it was about 7% of the time.

Sherri Nichols

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Gerald R Hob » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 03:05:03

Quote:
>>Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
>>made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
>hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

>>I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
>>inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
>>does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  
>I don't have exactly what they were talking about, though I assume they
>*really* meant that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than a leadoff
>*single*, not hit.  There's a very, very slight effect in the difference
>between a leadoff walk and a leadoff single.
>Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991
>Leadoff             Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
>-------------------------------------------------------------
>single              .428                    .855
>walk                .432                    .865
>error               .441                    .867
>out         .156                    .255
>other               .742                   1.215

[Responding to the initiators post but using Sherri's data to do so]

First, thanks to Sherri for the numbers because I sure didn't have
them.

Looking at the single/walk/error part of the above I'm inclined to
think we are looking at noise. I guess one can argue that a walk
indicates a certain wildness on the pitcher's part, ergo more
scoring. Someone else can argue the a single suggests the pitcher
doesn't have good stuff, ergo more runs. The error part is
interesting though. Evidently the pitcher 1) threw strikes and
2) induced the batter to hit a playable ball so why should the
scoring rates be higher? Well, two things come to mind. The error
may have been a more than one base error (of course a single can
be followed by by a same play error too). The other is that the
sample size for the error line above is probably pretty small
and so the resulting estimate isn't very precise.

                                   Gerry

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by z_cop.. » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 00:36:20

Quote:


>>Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
>>made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
>>hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

>>I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
>>inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
>>does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  

> Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991

> Leadoff            Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> single             .428                    .855
> walk                       .432                    .865
> error                      .441                    .867
> out                        .156                    .255
> other                      .742                   1.215

        Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:

        The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives up a
single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't be another
hit that inning. OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a walk, the batting
team still has that hit they are likely to pick up later in the inning. Since
it is slightly easier to score a run with a hit than without, a walked leadoff
man will score slightly more often. A leadoff hitter reaching on an error has
basically just given his team (or rather, the fielder has) an extra out to play
with, so is even more likely to score.

Brandon Cope

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Roger Lust » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 07:06:40

Quote:



>>>Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
>>>made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
>>>hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

>>>I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
>>>inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
>>>does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  

>> Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991

>> Leadoff                Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>> single         .428                    .855
>> walk                   .432                    .865
>> error                  .441                    .867
>> out                    .156                    .255
>> other                  .742                   1.215
>    Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:
>    The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives up a
>single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't be another
>hit that inning.

WAAAAAAAUGH!

"To avoid terrorist attacks, carry a bomb in your suitcase.  After all,
the odds of a bomb are a million to one, so the odds of TWO bombs on the
same plane must be a TRILLION to one."

Nope, sorry.  It doesn't work like that.  A pitcher gives up one hit
for every three outs, right?  

So, how many outs does the pitcher have left after that leadoff hit?

And howcome league batting averages RISE with men on base?  If your
balancing effect existed, they'd have to fall.

Quote:
>OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a walk, the batting
>team still has that hit they are likely to pick up later in the inning. Since

They still have it either way.  The pitcher still has to face as many
batters (barring a DP).

Quote:
>it is slightly easier to score a run with a hit than without, a walked leadoff
>man will score slightly more often.

Do we know this?  Or is the observed .004 difference merely noise?  (Hint:
probably the latter.)

Quote:
>A leadoff hitter reaching on an error has
>basically just given his team (or rather, the fielder has) an extra out to play
>with, so is even more likely to score.

Huh?  An error means you get four outs that inning?  First I'd heard of
it.

Actually, if there IS something to explain, I'd explain it by pointing
to the high position in the batting order of those who walk: they have
hitters behind them.  Maybe.   As for errors, reaching on a leadoff error
often has to do with speed.  It's something that Vince Coleman, for instance,
used to do a lot.  And Vince on first is more likely to score than some
other guys on first.

But remember: there's no point explaining something that's probably
just noise anyway.

Roger

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by David Grabin » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 03:41:02

Quote:

>> Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991

>> Leadoff                Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>> single         .428                    .855
>> walk                   .432                    .865
>> error          .441                    .867
>> out                    .156                    .255
>> other          .742                   1.215

>    Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:
>    The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives
> up a single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't
> be another hit that inning. OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a
> walk, the batting team still has that hit they are likely to pick up
> later in the inning.

This is the gambler's fallacy.  The chance that a coin will land heads
does not depend on the previous flip.  Likewise, the chance that a team
will get a hit in the current inning does not depend on what happened in
the earlier part of the inning.

My explanation, aside from the small sample size, is that the average
leadoff walk is given up by a worse pitcher than the average leadoff
single, and in a better part of the lineup.  (The leadoff hitter is more
likely to score following a walk than the #5 hitter is, and he probably
draws more walks.  The ratio of singles is not as large.)

Quote:
> A leadoff hitter reaching on an error has
> basically just given his team (or rather, the fielder has) an extra out to play
> with, so is even more likely to score.

Again, this doesn't make sense.  The team gets an extra out for the
error, but that's just a returned out which the player should have given
away.  The error might put the batter on second, which increases his
chance of scoring.

--

"We are sorry, but the number you have dialed is imaginary."
"Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again."
Disclaimer: I speak for no one and no one speaks for me.

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Mike Jon » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 06:50:50


|>Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991
|>Leadoff            Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
|>-------------------------------------------------------------
|>single             .428                    .855
|>walk               .432                    .865
|>error              .441                    .867
|>out                .156                    .255
|>other              .742                   1.215
|
|...The error part is
|interesting though. Evidently the pitcher 1) threw strikes and
|2) induced the batter to hit a playable ball so why should the
|scoring rates be higher? Well, two things come to mind. The error
|may have been a more than one base error (of course a single can
|be followed by by a same play error too). The other is that the
|sample size for the error line above is probably pretty small
|and so the resulting estimate isn't very precise.

Another item I think could be significant is that errors are more likely to
be commited by bad teams. Errors are not distributed randomly among
fielders; Jose Offerman and Ryne Sandburg are not equally likely to make an
error. Teams that put a lot of bad fielders out on the field (see Dodgers
and Red Sox) tend to a) make more errors and therefore b) allow more runs.


A host is a host from coast to coast
And no one will talk to a host that's close
Unless the host (that isn't close)
is busy, hung or dead

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Stan Macasi » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 03:34:52


Quote:

>>Watching the Sox/Twins game last night,  Hawk & Wimpy (the Sox Commentators/homers)
>>made a comment that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than say a leadoff
>>hit. Probably not as often as a leadoff homerun... :-)

>>I assume that their comment was statistically baseless,  except for the
>>inning where the leadoff walk happend to score in this game, however,
>>does a stat hound out in net.land have any info on this ?  

>I don't have exactly what they were talking about, though I assume they
>*really* meant that a leadoff walk tends to score more often than a leadoff
>*single*, not hit.  There's a very, very slight effect in the difference
>between a leadoff walk and a leadoff single.

>Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991

>Leadoff             Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
>-------------------------------------------------------------
>single              .428                    .855
>walk                .432                    .865
>error               .441                    .867
>out         .156                    .255
>other               .742                   1.215

So, a leadoff walk is no better than a leadoff single when it
comes to scoring runs, statwise. I think what most broadcasters tend
to believe is that, when a pitcher gives up the leadoff walk,
it is a sign that the pitcher is having some control problems.
Unless it was a frozen rope, a leadoff single is not as much
of an indicator of the pitcher's performance at the moment.

If I read this correctly, the bottom line is that, when the leadoff
man gets on, the pitcher may be on his way to a trip to the showers.

Sometimes I think Hawk and Wimpy just can't wait to get home after
this season is over. In this case, it's their mouth that betrayed them.

******************************************************************************

--Motorola, Land Mobile Products Sector           |  Catch "Civil Wars" on
--Schaumburg, IL (just another suburb of Chicago) |  ABC tonight at 9:00 PM CDT
--------------------------------------------------|
~~The opinion expressed in this post is not       |  Mariel Hemingway bares
~~necessarily those of this corporation.          |  all on US network TV
~~Copyright 1992, all rights reserved.            |  And it's part of the plot!
******************************************************************************

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Citecheck He » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 07:23:03

Quote:
>>Effect of first event in inning, both leagues, 1984-1991

>>Leadoff         Prob of >= 1 run     Avg. number of runs
>>-------------------------------------------------------------
>>single  .428                    .855
>>walk            .432                    .865

I'm assuming that over eight years of data, the difference is statistically
significant.

My hypothesis: more runs score with a leadoff walk than a leadoff
single because walks are relatively more likely to come in the middle
of the lineup with good hitters up.  (In other words, with the 7-8-9
sequence of batters, the #7 hitter is going to have a higher ratio
of singles to walks than the #3 hitter.)

Don't have a quick way to test this, my GABSB with the lineup spot
breakdowns of hitters is at home.

Quote:
>>error           .441                    .867

Similarly, faster runners are more likely to get on base via errors
than slower runners, and are therefore (1) more likely to be hitting
in front of good hitters in the Conventional Wisdom lineup, and (2)
more likely to successfully steal bases and get themselves in scoring
position, go from first to third on a single, etc.

(I am right about the Rickey Hendersons of the world forcing errors
much more often than the Tony Penas, right?)
--
           .. . . .  .  .   .    .     .     .    .   .  .  . . . ..

         the university of chicago law school, chicago, illinois 60637

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by z_cop.. » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 08:31:47


Quote:

>>        Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:

>>        The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives
>> up a single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't
>> be another hit that inning. OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a
>> walk, the batting team still has that hit they are likely to pick up
>> later in the inning.

> This is the gambler's fallacy.  The chance that a coin will land heads
> does not depend on the previous flip.  Likewise, the chance that a team
> will get a hit in the current inning does not depend on what happened in
> the earlier part of the inning.

        No, it is not gambler's fallacy; the chance of a team getting two hits
in an inning is less than the chance of them getting one hit in an inning.

Brandon Cope

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Harold_Broo » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 22:24:52

Quote:



>>>    Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:

>>>    The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives
>>> up a single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't
>>> be another hit that inning. OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a
>>> walk, the batting team still has that hit they are likely to pick up
>>> later in the inning.

>> This is the gambler's fallacy.  The chance that a coin will land heads
>> does not depend on the previous flip.  Likewise, the chance that a team
>> will get a hit in the current inning does not depend on what happened in
>> the earlier part of the inning.

>    No, it is not gambler's fallacy; the chance of a team getting two hits
>in an inning is less than the chance of them getting one hit in an inning.

That's not the real question.  You're saying that the probability of a team
getting a hit in an inning is greater than the probability of a team getting
a hit in an inning which begins with a man on first (who happened to get
there with a hit).  Since Major League batting averages go up with men on
base, that seems unlikely.

Harold
--

National Severe Storms Laboratory/CIMMS (Norman, OK)
Cal Ripken   April-August   .248 BA  .354 SLG  .328 OBA
Cal Ripken (1 Sep.-30 Sep.) .245 BA  .336 SLG  .278 OBA

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by Roger Lust » Fri, 02 Oct 1992 21:00:14

Quote:



>>>    Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:
>>>    The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives
>>> up a single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't
>>> be another hit that inning. OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a
>>> walk, the batting team still has that hit they are likely to pick up
>>> later in the inning.
>> This is the gambler's fallacy.  The chance that a coin will land heads
>> does not depend on the previous flip.  Likewise, the chance that a team
>> will get a hit in the current inning does not depend on what happened in
>> the earlier part of the inning.
>    No, it is not gambler's fallacy; the chance of a team getting two hits
>in an inning is less than the chance of them getting one hit in an inning.

Exactly -- this is the gambler's fallacy in its pure form.  Yes, the
chance of getting two hits is smaller -- but the team doesn't NEED two hits!
It only needs one, because it already HAS one.   The conditional probability
of two hits total, GIVEN that there's already been one, is HIGHER than
the raw probability of getting one, as we know from split-stats.

See the example with the bomb in the suitcase.

Roger

 
 
 

Lead off walks....

Post by David Marc Niepore » Sat, 03 Oct 1992 03:53:19

Quote:



>>>    Okay, time for bad-but-possible-explaination-time:
>>>    The avergae pitcher gives up a hit an inning. If a pitcher gives
>>> up a single to lead off the inning, there is a good chance there won't
>>> be another hit that inning. OTOH, if the pitcher leads off yeilding a
>>> walk, the batting team still has that hit they are likely to pick up
>>> later in the inning.
>> This is the gambler's fallacy.  The chance that a coin will land heads
>> does not depend on the previous flip.  Likewise, the chance that a team
>> will get a hit in the current inning does not depend on what happened in
>> the earlier part of the inning.
>    No, it is not gambler's fallacy; the chance of a team getting two hits
>in an inning is less than the chance of them getting one hit in an inning.

Yes, it's the gambler's fallacy all over again.  The chance of a team
getting two hits in an inning, once they've gotten a hit, is EQUAL to the
chance of them getting one hit in an inning.  Why?  Because they need
the same thing -- one hit.  (Pitchers being equal, of course.)

It's like arguing that the chance of getting two heads in a row is less
than the chance of getting one head.  True, UNTIL you've gotten the
first head.  Then the chance is the same.  The second coin flip doesn't
"know" that you've already gotten one head.

--
David M. Nieporent   | Orioles 1993 World Series Champions

   princeton.edu     | Roland Hemond: SIGN BARRY BONDS!!!!!!!!
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