Are We Sacrificing by Sacrificing?
The game of baseball offers a team's manager relatively few tactical decisions to affect their team's chances of winning on any given day. The manager chooses the batting lineup and where the fielders are positioned; the pitchers who start the game and appear in relief, and to some extent what pitches are thrown; and if or when to attempt a stolen base or sacrifice bunt. Those decisions comprise all the levers in baseball a manager can pull to gain an advantage. Given this, the question facing baseball managers is how to optimize this limited set of decisions such that they maximize their team's odds of winning as many games as possible. In this exercise, student will measure how one of the strategic decisions a manager can make-whether to sacrifice bunt or not-affects runs generated or lost.