Stat Chug: A specially brewed stats based draft.
The Five-Run Innings: Do the Stats reveal the secret to reaching every offense’s goal?
In the details, Tapey Beercone is a very unique sport. In what other sport do players prepare for the game by drinking a few beers so they have the materials needed to make the ball? But if you take a few steps back, and view the game from a distance, it will look much like the other base and ball sports, such as baseball or softball. A pitcher, a batter, some fielders, and runners on the bases. It’s all pretty much what you would expect. Still, set aside the obvious equipment differences, and there and many characteristics of Tapey Beercone which are distinct from the other similar sports. One of these major differences between how Tapey Beercone is played, is the innings limit on runs and outs.
To limit scoring and move the game along each inning is limited to five combined runs and outs.(in addition to an inning ending as soon as a third out is recorded) This rule gives every team an immediate goal when they come up to bat to start an inning: Get on base, keep the line moving, avoid making any outs, and reach the five run max. Easier said than done, in fact it’s achieved in less than 5 percent of regular innings played, but maybe a dive into the stats can shed some light on how team’s successfully reach the ultimate goal:
Since logging of statistics during games began in Season 3, there have been 296 regular half-innings of Tapey Beercone, and in only a select 14 of those halves did the offense immerge unscathed, bringing a fifth runner home before yielding a single out. The rarity of this event is extreme, on par with a pitcher tossing a perfect inning. At also turns out to be about as rare as one would expect. Based on league average offense, modeling would predict this to occur about four percent of the time. That’s a little less than the actual rate, but then again as we will see the 14 successful teams have had a little bit better than average batters.
Just how much above average? Well by weighting the batters by the plate appearances they made in successful five-run innings and averaging their career stats we can make an estimate. Instead of league batting average of .612, five-run innings batters hit .666 for their careers. Choose your preferred stat:
OBP: .705 instead of .651
SLG: .863 instead of .774
wOBA: .706 instead of .651, all about 8 to 12 percent above average.
10% above average doesn’t seems like much, but that ratio uses a .000 average as the baseline, which isn’t the best measure. A better comparator would be to look at the advanced stats, particular the regressed stats which are the closest stats we have to projections and compare against a more relevant replacement level. Here we find a much larger jump. Instead of a league average Regressed Runs Expected per Game (rRE/G) of 4.36, Five-Run Inning teams rate at 5.41 runs, a 24% jump! And their Regressed Win Shares per Game (rWS/G) sits at 17.4%, over 1.5 times the league average of 11.4%. Clearly for the fourteen lucky teams, it wasn’t all luck, they also have some serious skill.
Looking specifically at each of the 14 teams, we see that using rWS/G as our guide, every team save one rates as above average offensively. The one outlier: Team Professor Decibelle Coach, who slugged and slapped their way to five of the seven runs they would score all game in one amazing top half of the fourth inning.
The advanced stats also hold another clue to the puzzle. Beyond the batting line, the Five-Run Inning teams rate as exceptional base runners. Their Regressed Baserunning Runs per Game (rBRR/G) of 1.60 runs is 40% than the league average of 1.14. So, in addition to batting well, the players move about the bases well, avoiding the costly mistakes which would quash a five-run inning, and advancing extra bases to eliminate possible force out situations and bring runners home with fewer necessary hits. Only three of the fourteen teams have below average baserunning skill by the rBRR/G metric, and again it’s the outliers Team Professor Decibelle Coach which rates as the lowest, scoring out at just 0.84 runs per game.
This analysis wouldn’t be complete without looking at the other element of the sport, to determine if drinking holds the key to unlocking the magic inning. Looking specifically at the 14 successful half innings, the teams drank about 0.6 beers per player. But averaging in beers consumed in the previous and subsequent halves to best estimate the player’s BPI during their full inning of play brings the number up to a 1.17 BPI, exactly league average!
So drinking doesn’t seem to hold the key, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo it. Of the 14 teams, 4 had BPIs of over 1.75, with two above 2 BPI. The record holder is Team Natural Coach, who drink to a 2.25 BPI (and 2.53 CHG) in the first Season 3 match at The Ranch. On the other hand, only two teams were able to complete a five-run inning with a BPI under 0.75. One of these, again, the outlier Team PDC.
For the complete stats from the 5-Run Innings and their teams, see the expandable table below.
5-Run Inning Table
So is there a secret source to reaching the five run milestone? No. But to give yourself the best odds, start with an above average group of batters, who can run the bases well, add a healthy dose of luck, and above all, do not forget to drink.