Sports Reference Blog

Has the Removal of Fake to 3rd, Throw to 1st Mattered? Yes to a degree.

Posted by admin on June 21, 2013

The below article lamenting the loss of the fake to third, throw to first pitcher gambit caught my eye back in Feb, so I made a note to check back in June on whether it mattered. It looks like it has. Below are the SB_attempts per 1000 (this is SB+CS) when runners are on first and third. The numbers have actually gone up a bit this year and then SB_success rate which I computed as (SB + Def Indiff + Adv on Pickoff error)/(SB+CS+DefIndiff+Pickoffs + pickoff errors). Essentially advances over attempts to advance to put out the runner.

BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: Morosi: Showalter balks at new pickoff rule.

| year_game | outs | count(*) | SB_att_per_1000 | SB_success_perc |
+-----------+------+----------+-----------------+-----------------+
|      2010 |    0 |     1004 |         30.8765 |              82 |
|      2011 |    0 |      941 |         41.4453 |              88 |
|      2012 |    0 |      950 |         43.1579 |              85 |
|      2013 |    0 |      429 |         51.2821 |              91 |


|      2010 |    1 |     2158 |         42.6321 |              77 |
|      2011 |    1 |     2241 |         52.6551 |              78 |
|      2012 |    1 |     2126 |         41.8627 |              73 |
|      2013 |    1 |      875 |         37.7143 |              76 |


|      2010 |    2 |     2991 |         65.8643 |              89 |
|      2011 |    2 |     2910 |         80.4124 |              87 |
|      2012 |    2 |     2950 |         83.0508 |              86 |
|      2013 |    2 |     1276 |         86.9906 |              93 |

11 Responses to “Has the Removal of Fake to 3rd, Throw to 1st Mattered? Yes to a degree.”

  1. A fake third-to-first pickoff postmortem - iSports News Says:

    [...] But has it made a difference? Baseball-Reference.com looked at the data and thinks it just might have: [...]

  2. A fake third-to-first pickoff postmortem - Todays Top Sports . com Says:

    [...] But has it made a difference? Baseball-Reference.com looked at the data and thinks it just might have: [...]

  3. A fake third-to-first pickoff postmortem - Live Sports News Says:

    [...] But has it made a difference? Baseball-Reference.com looked at the data and thinks it just might have: [...]

  4. Tim Says:

    Whatever the conclusion is, I think it's safe to say we all hated that play and are glad it's gone.

  5. Bryan Cole Says:

    None of those differences are significant, using a two-proportion Z-test. (H0: p1-p2 = 0; p = .4953 for 0 outs, .7379 for 1 out, .0579 for 2 outs) Having said that, the 2-outs case is pretty close, so maybe more data will bear this hypothesis out.

    (But I agree with Tim, that play needed to go.)

    Also, the third sentence should say, "when runners are on first and third," not first and second.

  6. A fake third-to-first pickoff postmortem | RSN Says:

    [...] But has it made a difference? Baseball-Reference.com looked at the data and thinks it just might have: [...]

  7. Timmy Pea Says:

    Great article, I don't like the rule change.

  8. A fake third-to-first pickoff postmortem - Recent Sports News - Recent Sports News Says:

    [...] But has it made a difference? Baseball-Reference.com looked at the data and thinks it just might have: [...]

  9. Chuck Says:

    The first to third move is a balk, and should have been stopped the day it started.

  10. SkipsCards Says:

    Generally I am against rule changes. When baseball announced it, my initial reaction was like Timmy's "I don't like the rule change" but thinking of it in the terms of this article I've come around. Whether it materially increases stolen bases or not can be argued, but the fact that it might is, to me, a good thing. The stolen base is an exciting play and I like to seeing more of it.

  11. Dan Says:

    The pickoff is also an exciting play. Even more so than the steal attempt, I'd opine...