Carleton: The questions we can’t answer

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on December 13, 2016:

I’d like to do something entirely theoretical. I’d like to propose some studies that will likely never actually see the pages of Baseball Prospectus, but would be fun to do anyway. Since it’s the offseason, let’s have some fun.

Our theme today is “things I thought of while catching up on back episodes of the ‘Freakonomics’ podcast” mostly because the “things I thought of while watching the Gilmore Girls revival episodes” article ended up not working out so well. (Did you know that Luke, the diner guy, was played by former Braves and Yankees minor-league pitcher Scott Patterson?)

One of the episodes that I listened to actually had a baseball angle. The show was on “how to make a bad decision” and talked about how the gambler’s fallacy–the faulty belief that, if an event hasn’t happened for a while, it’s “due” to happen–can affect people’s decision-making. On this episode, they reviewed a study by Toby Moskowitz which suggested (using PitchF/X data) that when umpires called a strike on one pitch, their likelihood of calling a strike on the next pitch actually went down, even controlling for where the pitch went.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: December 13, 2016. Last Updated: December 13, 2016.