Pitcher-Batter Matchup Madness

From SABR member Colin Wyers at Baseball Prospectus on October 27, 2011:

With the Cardinals facing elimination, Game Six will be an all-hands-on-deck endeavor. Both managers are scouring their rosters for any potential advantage, and as part of that effort, they’ll probably be referring to historic batter-pitcher matchups. Should La Russa lean heavily on a player like Octavio Dotel, who has historically done well against Rangers hitters like Adrian Beltre and Michael Young? Or should he opt for the players with the best overall performance, regardless of what the matchups say?

Let’s say we want to predict the outcome of a particular batter-pitcher matchup. I’m going to lean heavily on True Average, which is scaled to look like batting average but captures a player’s total batting value (so a player gets a little credit for a walk and a bit more for a single, all the way up to a home run).

How would we predict the outcome if we knew nothing about how a particular batter-pitcher pair had fared against each other?

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15362

Originally published: October 28, 2011. Last Updated: October 28, 2011.