The Annals of Applied Statistics

Building a model for scoring 20 or more runs in a baseball game

Michael R. Huber and Rodney X. Sturdivant

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How often can we expect a Major League Baseball team to score at least 20 runs in a single game? Considered a rare event in baseball, the outcome of scoring at least 20 runs in a game has occurred 224 times during regular season games since 1901 in the American and National Leagues. Each outcome is modeled as a Poisson process; the time of occurrence of one of these events does not affect the next future occurrence. Using various distributions, probabilities of events are generated, goodness-of-fit tests are conducted, and predictions of future events are offered. The statistical package R is employed for analysis.

Article information

Ann. Appl. Stat., Volume 4, Number 2 (2010), 791-804.

First available in Project Euclid: 3 August 2010

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Exponential distribution Poisson process memoryless property rare baseball events goodness-of-fit test


Huber, Michael R.; Sturdivant, Rodney X. Building a model for scoring 20 or more runs in a baseball game. Ann. Appl. Stat. 4 (2010), no. 2, 791--804. doi:10.1214/09-AOAS301.

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  • Huber, M. and Glen, A. (2007). Modeling rare baseball events—Are they memoryless? Journal of Statistics Education 15.
  • D’Agostino, R. and Stephens, M. (1986). Goodness-of-Fit Techniques. Dekker, New York.