The Game of Numbers
The term sabermetrics will not mean anything to people who do not know about baseball, but to those who do know about baseball this term changed the game. Sabermetrics is the statistical analysis of baseball. There are statistics that players will get paid millions for such as home runs, earned run average, and batting average. Some statistics are over looked, and will win a team a game such as one statistic which is RE24 which is defined as “runs above the average by the 24 base/out states,”(Appelman 1). The 24 base/out states are all situations that can happen on a baseball field while up at bat in a given inning. Another way to look at it would be whether there is zero outs and there can be no men on base, a man on first base, there can be a man on second base, a man on third base, men on first and second base, men on first and third base, men on second and third base, or bases loaded. Those are eight situations all those situations can happen with one outs or even two outs so if you add all those situations together that would be 24 base/out situations. That is just what RE24 means, there is another meaning for the actual statistic and how to calculate it. The RE24 is “the difference in run expectancy (RE) between the start of the play and the end of the play. That difference is then credited/debited to the batter and the pitcher,” (Appelman 1).
RE24 may be compared to other statistics such as ERA (Earned Run Average), but there is a difference between these two statistics. ERA is “the number of runs earned multiplied by 9 and then divided by the number of innings pitched,” (“Calculate” 1). As people can see between the two statistics ERA is found over nine innings, while the RE24 is calculated by every at bat and situation that a pitcher or batter could be in and over all of the situations in the game they are added together to get their RE24 for that game. The statistic RE24 will win games for your team. It can be considered a “winning statistic” because if your team has a RE24 percentage than the team you are playing against you will win the game. Every game has this statistic, and it is for pitchers, and batters. The batters have the opportunity to ruin the other team’s statistic, but that is where the competition happens, it is the pitchers against the batters. The batters also have the opportunity to increase their RE24 by getting hits off of pitchers when they have runners on base and by increasing their RE24 they decrease the pitcher’s RE24. This “winning statistic” shows up in every game, but I will give you examples from two specific World Series which are the 2002 World Series between the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants and the 2003 World Series between the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees. These two World Series demonstrate the teams’ RE24 average in each game and whoever had the better average won the game no matter if the team had a team of all-stars and the other team had role players such as the New York Yankees vs. Florida Marlins.
The 2002 World Series between the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants had two good teams with players that had roles and players that were all stars also such as Barry Bonds of the Giants who would go on to break the Major League Baseball home run record later in his career. For game one pitchers for the Giants had an RE24 of 1.9 while the Angels had an RE24 of 0.9 the Giants went on to win this game 4-3. The pitchers that messed up the team average for the Angels were Jarrod Washburn who had an RE24 of -0.9, and Scott Shoeneweiss who had an RE24 of -0.3, Shoeneweiss had come in the eighth inning faced one batter and walked him then got taken out. Game two had the Giants losing to the Angels 10-11, the Giants had an RE24 of -6.7 while the Angels had an RE24 of -5.1. Game three had the Angels beating the Giants by a score of 10-4, the Angels had an RE24 of 0.2 while the Giants had an RE24 of -5.8. Starting pitcher for the Giants Livan Hernandez contributed with an RE24 of -3.5. Game four had the Giants defeating the Angels 4-3, the Giants had an RE24 of 1.2, while the Angels had an RE24 of -0.2 with starting pitcher John Lackey contributing an average of -0.6. A big part of that average happened in the bottom of the fifth inning where Lackey gave up three runs, four hits, and faced eight batters that inning. Game five had the Giants defeating the Angels by a score of 16-4. The Giants had an RE24 of 0.2 while the Angels had an RE24 of -12.2. Three pitchers for the Angels had very bad averages they were Jarrod Washburn who had an RE24 of -4.1, Ben Weber who had an RE24 of -4.0, and Scott Shields who had an RE24 of -4.6. Jarrod Washburn gave up six runs on five hits in the first two innings, in the bottom of the seventh inning Ben Weber gave up four runs on four hits, and Scott Shields gave up four runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth inning. In Game six had the Giants losing to the Angels by a score of 3-4 the Giants had an RE24 of -1.7 while the Angels had an RE24 of -0.1. The series came down to game seven where the Giants lost to the Angels by a score of 1-4, the Giants had an RE24 of 0.4 while the Angels had an RE24 of 3.9. (“2002 World Series Anaheim Angels vs. San Francisco Giants” 1).
According to baseballreference.com RE24 was an important statistic in the 2003 World Series, and it was as well in the 2003 World Series between the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees. In game one the Marlins defeated the Yankees 3-2 , the Marlins had an RE24 of 2.8 while the Yankees had an RE24 of 1.8, the Yankees pitchers did not have anyone over a 1.0 average while the Marlins had two pitchers with averages of 1.1 who were Dontrelle Willis, and the Marlins closer Uguetha Urbina. In game two the Florida Marlins lost to the Yankees by a score of 1-6, the Marlins had an RE24 of -1.7 while the Yankees had an RE24 of 3.8. The Marlins starter Mark Redman had an RE24 of -3.3, he had problems in the bottom of the first giving up three runs on two hits, while the Yankees starter Andy Pettitte had an RE24 of 3.3. In game three the Marlins lost to the Yankees by a score of 1-6. The Marlins had an RE24 of -1.4 while the Yankees had an RE24 of 3.6. The Marlin’s starter Josh Beckett had an RE24 of 2.4, but the closer Braden Looper had an RE24 of -2.5 which happened in the top of the ninth inning where he gave up four runs on two hits. The Yankees starting pitcher Mike Mussina had an RE24 of 2.6. In game four the Marlins defeated the Yankees by a score of 4-3. The Marlins had an Re24 of 3.1 while the Yankees had a RE24 of 1.6. Contributing to the Marlins average were starting pitcher Carl Pavano with an RE24 of 3.1 and closer Braden Looper who had an RE24 of 2.1. In game five the Marlins defeated the Yankees by a score of 6-4. The Marlins had an RE24 of 0.6 while the Yankees had an RE24 of -1.9. In game six the Marlins won the World Series with a score of 2-0 . The Marlins had Josh Beckett pitch a complete game shutout and his RE24 was 4.8, the Yankees had an RE24 of 2.8. (“2003 World Series Florida Marlins vs. New York Yankees” 1).
Both World Series show how the team with the better RE24 for that game will win the game. This statistic can be tracked for players over a whole season, and that would be very beneficial for scouts and also managers to know about. This statistic is important because it shows the situations that the pitcher was in and also how they got out of it or how it hurt the team by either letting up a hit, a walk, or a run. This statistic shows a pitcher’s or batter’s situation hitting or pitching. This statistic is not all fool proof although, this statistic does not count into effect if the player is on a hot streak or cold streak. From watching baseball, and playing it competitively I can tell that at some points in the season a player can go on a streak that he cannot get a hit if the pitcher underhanded the ball to him. Players can also go on streaks that they will hit the ball every single at bat. The game of baseball is like that, it is a game of streaks most players find their streak throughout the season and they only have a month or so of cold streaks, but looking at the statistics the managers and scouts do not get to consider the streaking factor. The statistic RE24 also does not prove that the underdog has a better chance of winning than the favorite team. It is based on the players on each team and the situations that they are in and the outcomes of the situations. If you have an all star player against a player that is not known either player can come out with a better RE24, the all star player can get struck-en out or hit into an out, an all star player can also strike the not known player out or hit a home run. The possibilities are endless. The statistic will not tell that the underdog has a better chance of doing anything, it is solely based on the situation and whatever outcome happens.
Appelman, David. “Get to Know: RE24.” Web log post. Baseball Statistics and Analysis. 14 Mar. 2008. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.
“Calculate Earned Run Average.” Basic- Mathematics.com. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.
“2002 World Series Anaheim Angels vs. San Francisco Giants.” Baseball-Reference.com. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.
“2003 World Series Florida Marlins vs. New York Yankees.” Baseball-Reference.com. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.