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Sacrifice bunts

Sacrifice bunts

Please bear with me if this has been discussed before, but which of the following two statements is closer to verifiably true, and what hard evidence makes you say that?

A: A sacrifice bunt is a waste of one of your team's 27 precious outs, and over the course of an ENTIRE SEASON can be shown statistically to cancel out more runs than it creates.

B: A sacrifice bunt is an important strategic weapon that over the course of an ENTIRE SEASON can be shown statistically to create more runs than it cancels out by giving up an out on purpose.

Note that I am not asking about personal preferences, anecdotes, or managing philosophies, but data that can be tracked over a long period of time. I am just not sure what one should measure to answer this question.

Re: Sacrifice bunts

Before I go on a long-winded journey. Look at Win/ Run Expectancy tables from a particular season or over a multitude of seasons. Tom Tango is a great guy to look up for topics like these. A runner on 1st and no out is still slightly higher than a runner on 2nd with 1 out. The later into the game you get, the more precious outs become (not getting out for the offensive team)

Here's a table of late innings :


Re: Re: Sacrifice bunts

While I don't doubt your statistics regarding the odds of scoring from 1st with 1 out versus from 2nd with 2 outs I think you have left a very important component out of the sacrifice.

How many times does sacrificing with no outs and a man on 1st prevent a Double play? I know that it's not really something that can be accurately evaluated from raw data, but it happens a LOT - also the table your link leads too only includes the odds of the HOME team scoring AND it's from the 7th inning on. Clearly insufficient and flawed data to build a premise on.

Ignoring the avoidance of the DP is silly, your data, while accurate seems incomplete to me.

Re: Sacrifice bunts

Win Expectancy is always from perspective of Home. The flip side of the percentage is always the odds from Away perspective...

Because why look at a sacrifice bunt in the 3rd inning ? Lol Outs aren't considered scarce at that point, and we're discussing whether it's worth sacrificing the out. Where that decision is gonna make it break you is the late innings onward..

Re: Re: Sacrifice bunts

Tom Tango is the godfather of modern run expectancy models. Here's an article where the author used Tom's charts, with 24 half-hour states, and breaks down why sac bunting isn't the smartest play:


Re: Sacrifice bunts

The problem with the sac bunt in PC is that the game engine will bunt with 1 out - which is only a good play with a "sure out" at the plate (usually a pitcher). I don't like leaving it up to the A.I. so I don't usually allow anyone to bunt.

- The Sheik

Re: Re: Sacrifice bunts

Well there is also more to the question the original poster asked, he didn't mention whether there was JUST a man on 1st, there could be men on 1st and 2nd in the 3rd inning, and your team is down 4-0 - a SAC Bunt in that situation leaving men on 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out is certainly preferable to a one-hopper to short leaving 2 outs and a man on 3rd, and who's to say that the sac bunt doesn't result in a hit or error?

Of Course that's in REAL Life, Just like the statistics you presented are., it has NOTHING to do with THIS Game. A SAC will not result in an IF hit or an Error on PC but that's a game mechanic, albeit a VERY important one, and it's not defined anywhere, only after playing a season and taking your lumps do you realize that some BASIC baseball plays just do not occur on PC.

PC values HR's, and SO's, but devalues speed and Game Flow - Every game is an ALL Star Game and frankly once you add in Slump Buster and Fire, it's a parody of real Baseball at any rate. It doesn't make it unenjoyable, but it is apples and oranges

So using actual Baseball stats to provide a basis for whether to bunt or not in PC is a dubious undertaking at best, at least in my opinion. In fact I submit that due to the mere fact that an error or Infield Hit could possibly occur, and the error could be a BAD throw by the way and be worth 2 bases, devalues the bunt even MORE in PC.

Those Charts while, probably accurate, don't reflect PC game play and are therefore irrelevant to the question posed, in real life they are fine.

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I never bunt. EVER. Even with a .210 Real Stats SS in the game for his 4.3 dWAR. Any guy with a stick is dangerous. Why take the stick out of his hands?

Re: Sacrifice bunts

All illuminating and helpful responses. I was indeed fudging the distinction between real life and PC play, which probably wasn't helpful. The subtext to my question was actually. "Do I follow my gut and set this at zero percent?" And I am thinking the answer is yes there.

Many thanks.

Re: Re: Sacrifice bunts

This well-written question was directed at the long, long list of PCers who have hard data, presumably accumulated tediously over seasons, on how the sac bunt affects a PC team. Check that... this was aimed at those who have hard data AND are willing to post the results of their number-crunching on the open board.

When that data comes, I would also like to see hard data on:
1. How many runners an OF's plus arm cuts down at the plate
2. If a plus arm keeps enough runners from taking an extra base to offset a weak bat (please give the exact BA's that are ideal for all stadium conditions, ie if the OF's home park is Big Boost or Big Disadvantage, does your data show different conclusions).
3. The optimum Real Stats to justify automatically alternating LH RP and RH RP. The data has to include the RPs staminas in the calculation, or your data is trash and, therefore, you can keep it to yourself.
4. How frequently the surprise bunt works for each speed batter, and if the Dwars of the C, 1b, and 3b affect the success rate. I'd also like the hard data broken down via HRs of players so I can determine the exact statistical point of negative return for all speeds, meaning show me if a guy has 15 HRs in Real Stats, as opposed to 16, exactly how often I should surprise bunt. Again, if you didn't break down your data taking ballpark dimensions into account it is useless to me. And, really, where did you get your statistcian training, at a state school???

Thank you, in advance.

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I don’t have data, but I do use the sac bunt in PC... and am a proponent of the sac (in any inning) in real baseball too... b/c baseball is a situational game... Tiger’s RE data doesn’t account for who is at the plate and who is on the bases and who is on deck, etc...

I am not a fan of swingandmiss saberball that treats all outs the same — they are not.

Re: Re: Sacrifice bunts

A few other thoughts why attempting to apply Real Life MLB statistics to PC is a bad idea are as follows.

1) Pitchers NEVER make an error

2) on a ground ball, FC type play, the lead runner is always cut down, Never does he beat the throw.

3) Stolen Base attempts never result in an error

4) Outfielders never make a Throwing error

5) Rarities for sure but, No Balks, No Interference, no Ejections.

6) Impossible to hit a HR if you didn't have one in a seasons stats, but a pitcher who made 10 errors can't make one.

Real Life stats can simply not be used a a basis in PC, its illogical because it's not the same statistical chance.

I rest my case and am interested in dissenting opinions with examples.

Re: Sacrifice bunts

The sim engine is designed to work best with a full boat of teams and players. Most recently I resimmed 2018 about 20 different times in my sandbox and the results were really solid using recommended stat levels and only a couple ballpark adjustments such as making Colorado hitter friendly. Standings were accurate, if not exact win loss, definitely the order of the finish. League wide stats were accurate. Individual players obviously have more variability due to chance. The point is, the things you mention are hardly statistically significant over the long haul. Now when it comes to leagues such as auto leagues where it’s stacked with greats vs greats the results are going to be different. That’s why we see everyone play well under real stats.

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Guy, just to be honest, the things I pointed out were not what I would call deficiencies, because they are part of this SIM.

I was only pointing out how actual game flow, and management is FAR different than a REAL game.

Real stats in may win out in the long run, but with better management options, such as

NOT sacrificing with 1 out instead of none and a man on 1st

Not stupidly trying to steal third after a lead off 2B or a leadoff BB/1B/HBP and stolen base down 1 in the 7th

Situational L/R swap, should be more intuitive, ie, if I have a 37 stamina 88 RP and he enters the game in the 8th inning up 2 and retires the 1st batter, and the next batter is a 220 hitting lefty, not pulling him for a 22 Stamina 62 LP Pitcher, with 3 RH due next

all these factors make our game a bit different, not BAD, just different

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SCM point taken. Sim manager logic can always be improved and there are some good ones to work on. But everyone plays with the same manager so it’s a level playing field from that standpoint. Doesn’t make it less frustrating when it hurts your team.