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Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

Product ID: Articles
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Strategy for a Runner on Second

Author: Rachel DeWitt & Nate Izewski


We offer a simple model of pitching and batting choices of Major League Baseball players and use game theory to investigate strategies for when a runner is on second base. We find that while a runner on second base can affect the outcome of the game, it does not fundamentally change the strategies of interaction between pitcher and batter.


Due to health concerns during the covid pandemic and growing worries about player health in general, Major League Baseball (MLB) introduced a rule in 2020 for extra-inning games: Each team starts its half-inning with a runner on second base [Skiver 2022]. Later, this rule was kept as part of speeding up, or "streamlining," games. The rule has been criticized for making the game "unauthentic."

We explore the impact of such a runner on the decisions that batters and pitchers make.

©2023 by COMAP, Inc.
The UMAP Journal 44.2
9 pages

Mathematics Topics:

Discrete & Finite Mathematics, Game Theory

Application Areas:

Sports & Recreation, Baseball

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