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Sac bunting

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Offline  Sac bunting
#1

Posted: February 15, 2008, 1:01 PM Post
Posts: 12323
It was brought up in the "Baseballs Secret Formula" thread and I was wondering what other people thought of sac bunting. The studies I have read show that it decreases your run expectancy, but I have also read that it improves your chances of scoring one run. What do you think about sac bunting?

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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Offline  Sac bunting
#2

Posted: February 15, 2008, 1:32 PM Post
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It has value in certain situations I believe, but overall it is used way too often.


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Offline  Sac bunting
#3

Posted: February 15, 2008, 3:26 PM Post
Posts: 9297
Use this as a starting point:

http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902score.html

Chance of scoring at least 1 run:

0 out, runner 1B ~44%

1 out, runner at 2B: 41%

Of course, that's just in an average situation, so I would never say never. Just the possibility of the sac bunt improves the odds for the batter, so it probably makes sense to at least keep it a threat. Also, if you have an especially poor batter up, it might make sense to ask him to sacrifice sometimes. But the average success rate of a sacrifice attempt is something like 80-85%, so you have to consider that as well.

I don't think baseball should ever remove the sacrifice entirely but it should be used very sparingly (at least for a non-pitcher).


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Offline  Sac bunting
#4

Posted: February 15, 2008, 5:41 PM Post
Posts: 12323
rluzinski wrote:
I don't think baseball should ever remove the sacrifice entirely but it should be used very sparingly (at least for a non-pitcher).
I think I read somewhere that anybody who hits over .200 BA should never sac bunt which eliminates almost everybody except most pitchers and Nefi Perez. Also The Book says you should ocassionally sac bunt just to keep the defense honest.

If I am reading the chart right, a sac bunt increases your chances of scoring one run from 17.6% to 23%, but at the same time decreases your overall chances of scoring runs from 43.7% to 40.6%. Interesting to note that an opposing manager can decrease the chance one run scores from 23% to 16.1% by walking the hitter after the sac bunt, but that also increases the cahances runs score by 2%.

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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Offline  Sac bunting
#5

Posted: February 16, 2008, 2:42 AM Post
Posts: 9297
If I am reading the chart right, a sac bunt increases your chances of scoring one run from 17.6% to 23%, but at the same time decreases your overall chances of scoring runs from 43.7% to 40.6%.

Yes you are. That's why I always just look at the chance of scoring at least 1 run. Alll managers usually end up doing with small ball strategy is shift the chances of scoring multiple runs to a 0 and 1 run inning. But again, we are talking about a traditional sacrifice bunt attempt. Catch the defense off guard and a sac bunt attempt also has a reasonable chance to turn into 1st and 2nd and no out. That's why you shouldn't take it out of the bag o' tricks completely. The less a team uses it, the less the opposition guards against it and the more valuable an attempt is.


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Offline  Sac bunting
#6

Posted: February 17, 2008, 4:37 PM Post
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It's very situational, as has been mentioned. If you have a burner of a runner on base and a crap hitter up to bat with great hitters behind him, it looks much better than having a decent hitter lay down a bunt to move Estrada over. Plus it depends on how many runs you need. If it's tied in the bottom of the ninth, it's a better move than when you're down by a run in the 7th, because you know you only need a single run.


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Offline  Sac bunting
#7

Posted: February 18, 2008, 2:42 PM Post
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Worthwhile reading...

Article:
Too Much of a Sacrifice?

Old threads:
To Bunt, or Not to Bunt
Article: "Too Much of a Sacrifice?" (bunting)

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.
-- Sigmund Snopek


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Offline  Sac bunting
#8

Posted: February 18, 2008, 4:40 PM Post
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To logan's post #3 (from casey's first linked article):


"With a runner on first base and no outs, any hitter with an on-base percentage (OBP) of at least .206 and/or a slugging percentage (SLG) of at least .182 -- numbers that would encompass practically every hitter in the majors, including many pitchers -- should swing away. The only exception is when a team is playing specifically for one run, in which case the thresholds are a .282 OBP and/or .322 SLG."


Wow. I knew the sac bunt was overdone, but - wow! That's incredible.


"The bunt is kind of a lost art," said Milwaukee Brewers Manager Ned Yost. "Even our pitchers who are supposed to be good bunters -- and we work on it every day -- they struggle to bunt. A lot of times, our success or failure [in a game] hinges around the bunt. And if a pitcher can't get a bunt down early in the game, it can kill us. Bunting is still a big part of the game, but it's fallen by the wayside in the last 10 years or so."

Yikes. I wonder how those 200+ HR factored in last year? (yes, I know the article is from 2005) This article is another good example of how guys insist that they 'know how the game should be played' & aren't open to new & different ideas.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate


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Offline  Sac bunting
#9

Posted: February 18, 2008, 5:49 PM Post
Posts: 12323
Ok, OBP of .206 and SLG of .132. I knew it was something pretty low. Eliminates almost everybody except pitchers. Bad hitting pitchers at that. Those thresholds were also qualified with "league average hitter" meaning a guy with league average speed or bunting ability. Where would the threshold be for sonebody with better speed or bunting ability? How fast or good at bunting does that guy have to be? When do you bunt in a sacrafice situation with a faster guy and expect an infield hit instead of a sacrafice? Can you tell I like the more ambiguous areas of baseball?

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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