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Offense v. Defense thought experiment

Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco , 09 September 2018 · 599 views

I posted this idea in a discussion thread, but I do think it fits better in the blog section or in its own thread, but chose blog. I will leave the scenario as I posted it in the other thread.

Anyway, in light of a recent debate on the value of defense, I came up with a problem. It would be interesting to run a simulation on this or hear what inputs others might have on it.

Anyway, here it goes:

There are two teams.

One team is full of great hitters, 1 through 9, these are .950 OPS, 40 HR types of guys, don't strike out much, can draw a walk, but they are sloppy with the defense, all of them, and some in fact are downright terrible (the worst one is trying to hide in left or right field). Also, let's say they don't run much and are station to station baserunners.

The other team is full of defensive whizzes, who make all the plays, throw to the right bases, great range, great gloves, rarely make an error, but are sub-.200 hitters.

The great offense hits against the great fielders, and the poor hitters hit into the poor defense.

All pitching is equal.

They play a game.

What happens?

Now, the two teams play a 162-game season against each other. How does that turn out? Or say these two teams existed within MLB as it is now, 2 teams among the 30. Again, all pitching normalized. Where does each team finish in the standings?

Have at it, blog readers!!

  • nclahammer likes this



Forced to make a decision. Hmmmmm In a short series, the sticks. In a season the gloves. Since the pitching is the same. Hitting is volatile and cyclical. Plus hitting stats pile up in big margin wins. Defense is far more consistent.
What does the math say?
    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this
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The Wise One
Sep 10 2018 08:33 AM

An estimator showed roughly that OPS to runs were somewhere around 1 run per .1OPS. per year The greatest defense in the world is not going to overcome 2 hr/game. which a starting lineup of 40 hr hitter will produce. A team of -20 DRS fielders would give away a run a game. The HR hitters wins. 

    • Hosken Bombo Disco and Tomj14 like this

Hitters all day, who cares how well you field against a bunch of .200 fielder?

against a balanced team, I would probably still go with the hitters, but I guess it would depend on the pitching staff.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

Doesn't take much defense to play against poor hitting teams.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 10 2018 12:36 PM
I think I agree hitters, especially the way I wrote it there. But doubt there are 9 players at any given time capable of hitting 40 home runs, so if the conditions were different I think the fielders would be more competitive.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 10 2018 12:51 PM

Forced to make a decision. Hmmmmm

In a short series, the sticks.

In a season the gloves.

Since the pitching is the same.

Hitting is volatile and cyclical. Plus hitting stats pile up in big margin wins. Defense is far more consistent.

My heart says fielders, my head says bats :)

...at least for the scenario as it was presented. I saw Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Sano play outfield, and it wasn't pretty.

My heart says fielders, my head says bats :)

...at least for the scenario as it was presented. I saw Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Sano play outfield, and it wasn't pretty.

I re read your post, and really didn't comprehend the power your lineup envisioned. It's other worldly. But I stand by my belief that overall defense wins over a season. Hitting is simply volatile. Offense is all sports comes and goes, defense is far more consistent.