Category Archives: Defense

Do hard-hit balls produce more errors?

…And whereas the home team’s fielding percentage decreases on harder-hit balls, the road team stays oddly consistent — and relatively error-free! — over the meaty part of the curve.

These data suggest home teams get the benefit of the doubt on would-be errors: a ground ball hit at the same speed is more likely to be called an error if the home team is fielding than if it is batting. If the relationship were flipped, you could argue that some of it was due to the visitors’ inexperience with the nuances of an individual ballpark. But it seems unreasonable to argue that visiting defenders get more reliable away from their home grounds. Besides, scorers are incentivized to turn close calls for home batters into hits (to boost batting averages), and close calls for visiting batters into errors (to help keep down ERAs).

Read the rest at Beyond the Box Score

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