Calculating Skill and Luck in Major League Baseball

By Pete Palmer

This article was published in the Spring 2017 Baseball Research Journal.

One of the author's favorite topics is the contributions of skill and luck in baseball. He recently ran 1,000 simulations of a 162-game schedule that is the same as is currently being used in the majors — two leagues of 15 teams, three divisions each, with interleague play — where every team was the same and games could be decided by a coin flip, a random number generated by the computer. Here are the results. One of my favorite topics is the contributions of skill and luck in baseball. . . .

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