View Full Version : Strikeouts - how much do they matter?

09-21-04, 08:13 PM
I'm talking from an offensive standpoint, not pitching.

The Sox are first in the AL in striking out with 1089. The Yanks rank 10th in the AL with only 928. I used to think this didn't matter, since a K isn't much different than your average popout or groundout. But when you put the ball in play you have a greater chance to reach base, since you're at least giving yourself a chance for it to fall in for a hit or for the defense to make an error.

Does anyone know if BP has done any studied on how much K'ing influences an offense's chance of scoring?

By the way, the Yankees in past years had been among the league leaders in team strikeouts, even leading the AL in K's in 2002, but there has been a significant cutback this year, thanks largely to the additions of Sheff and Lofton who don't K a lot, the trade off between Soriano and Cairo, and for some strange reason Posada has largely cutback on K's this year.

09-22-04, 12:14 PM
Linear Weights sheds some light on this problem.


Basically, a strikeout is better than an out-in-play only when there is a runner on first (a strikeout means no possibility of a double play). However, when runners are in scoring position a strikeout is worse than an out-in-play because runners cannot advance.