The Hitter Card
Below is a detailed breakdown of a hitter's card. We've selected Carl Yastrzemski as the example because he displays a variety of batting skills -- he hits for power, average and puts the ball in play to all fields. Hitting cards can vary greatly from player to player based on their skills and past success, but with this guide you'll be able to get a feel for any Strat-O-Matic hitter in the game.
|L | CARL YASTRZEMSKI (1967)||stealing-(C) *2-6,12/10 (15-8)||bunting-C hit & run-C|
|Defense: lf-1(-3)e8||running 1-14|
(Scroll horizontally to see entire card)
The Strat-O-Matic Baseball 365 game engine will randomly determine whether each individual "at bat" falls on the hitter's card or the pitcher's card. There is a 50% chance of each.
After determining which card the at bat takes place on, the game engine then randomly determines which of the three columns the result will be found on, depending on whether the person being faced (the pitcher when rolling on the hitter's card, for example) is lefthanded or righthanded. Each of the three columns has the same chance of being selected.
Finally, the system simulates rolling two six-sided dice and adding the results (also referred to as 2d6)-- this represents which specific result will be applied to the at bat.
Considering the probability of different results when rolling 2d6, the most common result will be a "7" in any particular column. The next most common results being "6" and "8", then "5" and "9" and so on. "2" and "12" are the least likely results to occur.
Bats L/R/S -- Bats left, right or switch
Balance -- Denotes whether hitters perform better against righthanded or lefthanders pitchers, and by how much. A 9R is supremely better against righthanded pitchers, while a 1R is mildly better against righties. A 9L would perform much better against lefty pitchers. An "E" means even.
General steal rating -- AA is the best; E is the worst.
Detailed steal rating (following the A-E rating) -- The first number is the dice-roll (2-12) probability that the runner will get a good lead; the second number is the roll he would be picked off. Numbers not listed are the numbers he doesn't get a good lead. A wide range of getting a good lead usually means the player attempts many steals. A wide range of the second number means he gets picked too often.
Detailed steal safe chances (in parentheses at the end of the steal rating) -- If the runner gets a good lead (see number description to the left), the first number is the possibility he will be safe stealing, between 1-20. The second number is the possibility if he doesn't get a good lead. Nineteen is the highest number possible. A high first number indicates an accurate basestealer - if he gets a good lead, he usually makes it. A high second number means he is a true speed demon, able to steal even if he doesn't get a good lead.
Bunting rating -- A is the best; D is the worst.
Hit & Run rating -- A is the best; D is the worst.
All position players have a Range and an Error rating. Outfielders and Catchers have an Arm rating which is represented by a number in (parentheses) between the Range and Error ratings.
Range: from 1 (best) to 5 (worst).
Error: represents approximately how many errors the player would commit over a full season at that position. Thus, the lower the better.
Arm: from -6 (best) to +3 (worst).
Roberto Clemente (PIT 1971) is RF 1(-5)e3. In right field, he has excellent range, a cannon for an arm, and he commits few errors.
Paul Molitor (MIL 1982) is 3B 4e32. At third base, he has poor range, and commits a lot of errors.
Additionally, catchers have supplemental ratings, e.g. "T-7(pb-5)". The "T" number means that the catcher has a 1-7 chance out of 20 to commit a throwing error when there is a throwing error chance (throwing error chances occur on 15% of all steal attempts). The "pb" number means that the catcher has a 1-5 chance out of 20 to allow a passed ball when there is a passed ball chance (passed ball chances occur 2.5% of the time when runners are on base).
Running speed -- Indicated the player's speed when running the bases (1-17 is the best; 1-8 is the worst).
Percentage vs. lefties and righties -- The percentage of that player's plate appearances in the given year that were against lefthanded or righthanded pitching. This does not indicate whether that player hits one or the other side better. That number is the balance.
Power rating -- An "N" means he has consistent homer power and is able to homer when a homer comes up on pitcher cards. A "W" rating indicates the player does not have consistent homer power. Note that some players have power against lefties, but not righties, or vice versa.
HOMERUN / HR -- home run
TRIPLE / TR -- triple
DOUBLE / DO -- double
SINGLE / SI -- single
Split numbers, such as DO 1-14/SI 15-20 -- An additional 1-20 roll is made to determine the result.
SI */**/CF -- On these readings, baseunners may attempt an extra base at risk of getting thrown out using his speed rating and the outfielder's arm. Ignore the asterisks as they are a board game rule. Instead the Max Rule "More Basrunning Decisions" allows the computer the decision to attempt an extra base at risk of getting thrown out.
HBP -- Hit by pitch
WALK -- Base on balls
fly(cf)A, fly(cf)B, fly (cf)B?, fly(cf)C -- Flyout to listed position (left field, center field, right field). An "A" is a very deep flyout - all runners advance one base. A "B" is a deep flyout - runner on third scores. A "B?" means the runner on third has a chance to score using his speed rating and the outfielder's arm. A "C" is a shallow flyout - all runners hold.
gb(2b)A, gb(2b)A+ or B+, gb(2b)B, gb(2b)c -- Groundout to listed position (third base, shortstop, second base, first base, pitcher). An "A" is a hard groundout resulting in a double play, if applicable. A "B" is a medium groundout in which a runner on first is forced out at second, if applicable, and the batter is safe. A "C" means the batter is out and all runners advance one base. A "+" after the groundball means it is an automatic single if the infield is in or a runner is being held on.
PO(3b) -- popout to listed position
LO(3b)max -- Lineout into the 'maximum number of outs possible'. If one other runner is on base with zero or one outs, it's a double play. If two or more runners with zero outs, there is a chance for a triple play.
1, 2, 3 columns -- There are two sets of dice rolls in Strat-O-Matic baseball. The first die determines which column to look at (1-3 is on the hitter's card, 4-6 is on the pitcher's card) and a pair of dice follow with what number to look at in the aforementioned column to get the reading.
# -- Ballpark home run reading. An additional roll determines whether there is a home run or a flyout. Obviously, the probability varies by ballpark and whether the hitter is lefthanded or righthanded. The original result listed is ignored -- in effect, the result will be determined by "rolling against" the ballpark's home run rating (a random number from 1-20). If the number rolled is equal to or lower than the ballpark's rating for a left- or righthanded hitter, it is a home run.
> -- Ballpark singles rating. An additional roll determines whether there is a single or a lineout. The probability varies by ballpark and whether the hitter is lefthanded or righthanded. The original result listed is ignored -- in effect, the result will be determined by "rolling against" the ballpark's singles rating (a random number from 1-20). If the number rolled is equal to or lower than the ballpark's rating for a left- or righthanded hitter, it is a single.
$ -- Clutch hitting symbol. If there are two outs and a runner is in scoring position, the symbol is reversed. A hit reading would become a popout and an out reading would become a single.
Some rules have been added to Strat-O-Matic Baseball 365 that improve upon minor limitations of the original board game. These 'maximum rules' could affect about 5% of all results and are listed below.
Bunt for Base Hit -- This will allow a player to try and bunt for a base hit when the bases are empty. The players ability to reach base safely on this bunt is affected by a number of factors including his bunting ability, his speed and the position of the infield defense.
Improve out distribution -- This overrides some of the default outs assigned by the board game for a more realistic distribution of outs. For example, ballpark chart outs can become fly outs, pop outs, ground outs, etc. instead of just lineouts. This also causes foul outs to be distributed amongst other players including second baseman and short stops.
Improve baserunning realism -- This can alter the location of base hits for more realistic baserunning results. In addition using this will allow for more baserunning realism including a few additional coaching decisions such as deciding whether or not to send a runner home on certain ground balls.
Home field advantage -- This forces a statistical advantage of approximately 10 points (.010) on the batting average for the home team. This is the traditional major league difference between batting averages at home and on the road.
More baserunning decisions -- This allows for more baserunning decisions because it does not follow the board game rules for baserunning. The computer manager decides to send a runner from first to third on a Single* or a Single** reading. In the board game Single* means a single with runners advancing one base and Single** means a single with runners advancing two bases (it is automatic in both cases, no option exists). This also allows certain base hits to be stretched. For instance, some singles will have an option to be stretched into a double, some doubles to triples and some triples to inside the park homeruns!
Realistic throwing errors -- Throwing errors by outfielders can be committed on throws.
Allow extra pre-1920 errors -- Before 1920 fielding errors were much more prevelant than they are today. There were sometimes as many as 12 errors committed per game, quite an extraordinary number by today's standards. Due to these extremes we have normalized the pre-1920 teams to 1920 levels which will keep the number of errors under control (this makes for a faster playing game that might be preferred by some). However, for realism sake this allows these teams to commit errors at their historical rate.
Pitch-Around option -- This strategy will cut the offensive player's power and batting average down dramatically. However, using this strategy will also dramatically increase the chances that you will walk the batter. The pitch around strategy is only used from the 7th inning on when there are 2 outs, first base is open and the tying or go-ahead run is on base or at bat.
Correct Board Game Excesses -- This improves overall statistical accuracy by adjusting for minor variances that cannot be accounted for in the board game. This improves the statistical accuracy of certain players who had extreme performances. For instance certain pitchers such as Greg Maddux allow very few walks. Using this will enable Maddux to duplicate his real-life dominance in this area. A number of categories are affected by this option including home runs, walks and strikeouts. Also pitchers hitting will be affected by using this, resulting in less walks and extra base hits by pitchers.
Pitch-Count Fatigue -- The pitcher's condition is listed on the right of the play-by-play as a number from F9 through F0. F9 means that he is operating on all cylinders whereas F0 indicates that he has nothing left in the tank. Normally pitchers start their appearance as a 9 and maintain that level until they start to approach their pitch count. The lower the number goes the worse the pitcher will perform. When a pitcher's condition drops below F9 he starts to give up more singles, doubles, triples, home runs and walks. If a pitcher's condition drops to level F0 he will continue to fatigue the longer he stays in the game. His condition rating will remain displayed as F0, but he will start to give up more and more hits and walks if you leave him in the game.