Fun with Run Distribution

Run distribution over a given season is an amusing thing. Most offenses are judged off their seasonal runs scored average, but that’s often a bit misleading, as Studes showed us a while back. So far this season, despite being nearly a month engaged, the San Francisco Giants are yet to score 70 runs. In fact, the Astros, Diamondbacks, Athletics, and Reds have yet to score even 75 runs. On the other hand the only team to score more than 120 runs is the Blue Jays of all teams.

125 runs for the Jays, 65 for the Giants, that’s not a perfect 2:1 ratio, but it’ll work. What you see below is a run distribution chart. Basically, I took the amount of runs scored, plugged in how many games Team X scored Y amount of runs, divided that amount of games by the total amount of games played, and bam, we have liftoff. What’s the difference between the best and worse run producing lineups so far It’s important to note that while the Jays have played three additional games, the Giants are not being punished for a less-hectic schedule.


The Jays offense has scored 4 or 5 runs in nearly a combined 40% of their games. Compare that to the Giants ability to score 4+ runs, and you end up seeing that the Jays are scoring 4 or 5 runs in nearly more games than the Giants are scoring at least four. Interestingly, the two are close to equal on the amount of one run games while the Giants are blowing the Jays out of the water in two run games.

The big key to the difference: the Jays have yet to end a game with zero on the scoreboard, the Giants are about 5% of the time.

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A small note on presentation — you might want to use a bar chart instead of a scatter plot so you get a histogram.


I second that — also, it’s a bit misleading to say that the Giants have been shut out “about 5% of the time,” when you’re talking about one game out of 18. With such a tiny sample, you don’t really have any reason to expect that the Giants will continue to score zero runs in 5% of games the rest of the season.