PLAAY Games

Sports Simulation Board Games

In Defense of the 2-6-6 Roll, HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL

There was a discussion on the PLAAY Games Delphi forum a couple months ago about the 2-6-6 result on HMB's main chart, with some expressing the sentiment that it was too-frequent an occurrence. So I did a little research on it. I found statistics here for batters being picked off first base, from the 2015 season.

In 2015 there were 138 runners picked off by the pitcher, and 1064 runners caught stealing. That's a total of 1202 runners on first, either picked off first base or thrown out stealing second. (A few of the PO/CS figures are from pick-offs from other bases or attempts to steal third or home—few enough so as to make them coincidental for this discussion.)

2015 there were a total of 183,628 plate appearances, 91,790 in the NL and 91,838 in the AL.

Assuming that for 38% of these PAs, there was a runner on first base or first and third base, that's 69,778 to work from. About 1/7 of the game's results are generated from a mini-chart, rather than the main chart. That reduces the universe of applicable PAs to 60,009. The odds of rolling 2-6-6 are 1/72, 0.0139.

Thus, in this scenario you would hit that result with a man on first base 834 times, season-long, compared to the 1202 times the runner on first base was either caught stealing or picked off first base in the real 2015 season. So, if anything, it appears that the result occurs too FEW times, rather than too many. I say "if anything," because I designed the game with the assumption that gamers would call for some manual steals with the "attempt stolen base" card, resulting in some additional caught stealing numbers. Specifically, in a universe of 183,628 plate appearances, that would only require one manager-induced "caught stealing" result for every 500 at-bats, or roughly one every sixth or seventh game.

Now, I do understand that if second base isn't open, then it becomes harder to justify/visualize a pick-off or CS at first base (and please note that the above calculations exclude that scenario). But, if you want to generate more reasonable caught stealing/picked off figures WITHOUT having to call manual steals, rather than ignore a 2-2-6 result in that case, maybe a better idea would be to throw out/pick off the lead runner instead?

I've read comments posted independent of each other that there are too many pick-offs, and not enough caught-stealing results. But if you combine these two stats and use common sense in applying the 2-6-6 results it seems like the numbers shouldn't be much awry. Specifically, the numbers seem to suggest that 80-90% of the time, the 2-6-6 "runner at first thrown out" result should be considered to have been a "caught stealing" result, the remaining 10% to 20% of the time a "pick off" result. Obviously, it makes sense that those percentages should be on a sliding scale relative to the speed of the base runner, with ACTIVE runners more likely to attempt stolen bases.