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Q: How does the simulator work?

Essentially, the simulator takes the statistics you enter for the first 9 players in the line-up and uses them to determine the likelihood of various events occurring. For instance, suppose the ABs (including walks) entered for a player is 5, and the 1Bs entered is 2: the simulator will suppose that this player will hit a single 40% (2/5 * 100%) of the time he goes to the plate. Using this, along with the other statistical entries for this player (and the 8 other players in the line-up), it will then "simulate" 200,000 games. Note that the simulator is not using a mathematical formula to estimate the runs scored; rather, it actually plays out each of the games according to MLB rules, and stores the resulting statistics from each of those games.

Q: What are some common uses for the simulator?

The most popular use is to analyze possible trades. If you are curious how offensive production will be affected if Player A is acquired for Player B, you can compare the Avg Runs Per Game of the curent line-up against a line-up that has Player A inserted for Player B.

Another popular use is to compare MVP candidates. You can compare line-ups with Candidate A entered vs. Candidate B, and see which yields more production. Often times Candidate A might be lauded for his high RBI number -- with the simulator, you can see how many RBI Candidate B would have if he batted in Candidate A's line-up.

Additionally, and the original reason for its creation, was to compare the order of line-ups. Back in 2007, Tony LaRussa decided he wanted to bat the pitcher 8th in the line-up instead of 9th. The simulator was programmed to contrast the expected runs in each scenario.

More abstractly, the simulator can be used to examine the effect of certain statistics on overall production. For example, is a .250 hitter with 50 homeruns more valuable than a .315 hitter with 15 homeruns?

Q: What is the purpose of the three "bench" spots (10-12)?

These slots are ignored by the simulator. They are simply there for convenience, to allow you to quickly swap players in and out of the line-up.

Q: I recreated the actual line-up of a 2008 team. Why does the simulator say they should have scored more runs than they actually did?

The simulator runs every game with the line-up entered. Since players tend to get injured or are just rested throughout the course of an actual season, this "ideal" line-up is never maintained throughout the entire 162 games. The adjustment factor depends on a variety of complex factors, such as amount of games missed by each player, and the production of their replacements...statistics that most users are not interested in entering.

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Copyright Troy Masters, 2008-2011.