Paired Pitching – How to Avoid an Arms Race

Abstract: For every successive time a pitcher faces a batter in a game, that pitcher is more likely to allow runs to that batter. An analysis of covariance confirms this observation and suggests that by limiting the number of times a pitcher faces a batter in a game, the pitching team will prevent more runs from being scored. In order to prevent multiple plate appearances against a pitcher a strategic shift in pitching staff construction must be made. This paper proposes the Paired Pitching system, in which four pairs of average pitchers are responsible for innings one through eight, with each member of a pair taking exactly four innings of work. Four bullpen pitchers would be responsible for all other innings. Through a careful analysis of the data this paper shows that the Paired Pitching system would significantly increase wins. Furthermore, MLB teams spend a majority of their player payroll on a five-man rotation. This analysis shows that the Paired Pitching system would significantly decrease the cost of achieving the desired pitching production. Lastly, this paper quantifies additional benefits from the Paired Pitching system, suggests additional research topics, and provides a suggested implementation technique for this new pitching model.

The full paper can be found here

The conference poster can be found here

RESEARCH PAPER POSTER – NO PRESENTATION GIVEN

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