Predicting use of the Sacrifice Bunt in Major League Baseball

Project Details




Charles Gallagher, Brian Gilbert, Neelay Mehta, Chao Rao





The goal of this project is to create a model for the St. Louis Cardinals that predicts the tendency of an opposing team to execute a sacrifice bunt in certain situations. While the occurrences of the sacrifice bunt in a given season are small when compared to the total number of plate occurrences that provide an opportunity to bunt, a successful defense of a sacrifice bunt or a sacrifice bunt executed in the right situation can mean a win for the manager ordering the bunt. It is often the case that teams advancing to the playoffs do so by a margin of one win over another team.

We thank Sig Mejdal, Senior Quantitative Analyst for the Cardinals, for sharing a dataset of 65,535 different events that occurred during the 2004 baseball season

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