Baseball POP: A Data-Driven Study of Baseball Microstrategies
Welcome to Baseball P.O.P.
Welcome to the Baseball Pitch Optimization Project! My goal with this site is to use huge volumes of pitch-level data to dissect the patterns, trends, gaming, and deceptions happening in Major League Baseball games to reveal the best paths to success – mostly for the pitcher, but also for the hitter.
We call these pitch-by-pitch strategies ‘pitch strategies’, which can get to the level of specificity of prescribing precise sequences of pitch types and locations. By understanding the trends revealed in millions of records of historical pitches, we can use advanced analytics and artificial intelligence tools to generate better in-game tactics.
Winning the Head Game with a Computer’s Help
If the pitcher’s objective is to deceive the hitter, then, of course, they must have good pitches that are hard to identify by the hitter. This means they move in pronounced or unanticipated ways and they look similar enough to other pitches in the repertoire that they are hard to distinguish.
However, I believe that the pitches seen recently by the hitter affect their ability to recognize and react to pitches they are seeing in the present. Changes in speed, location, and break can throw off a hitter’s timing, focal points, and mechanics. Success on confusing any of these critical elements of hitting would improve the pitcher’s chance of success.
The Baseball POP will endeavor to construct the strategies pitchers can use to accomplish this confusion.