The Pitcher Card
Below is a detailed breakdown of a pitcher's card. We've selected Don Drysdale as the example because he displays a variety of pitching results. Pitching 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 pitcher in the game.
|bk- 0 wp- 8||e43 #8NR pitcher-2 starter(8)|
|DON DRYSDALE (1965)||throws RIGHT hold 0||bunting-C|
(Scroll horizontally to see entire card)
(Singles: L / R / Homeruns: L / R)
Overview of an at bat:
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.
Throws R/L -- Throws righthanded or lefthanded
Balance -- Denotes whether pitchers perform better against righthanded or lefthanded hitters, and by how much. A 9R is supremely better against righthanded hitters, while a 1R is mildly better against righties. A 9L would perform much better against lefty hitters, and so on. An "E" means even.
"S6" or "starter(6)" means the pitcher can start games, and in general he can go 6 innings before being susceptible to tiredness.
"R2" or "relief(2)" means he can be used in relief, and in general he can go 6 outs (3 x 2) before being susceptible to tiredness.
"C4" or "relief(2)/4" (does not apply to ATG or players sets prior to '90s) means he is effective in closer situations (9th inning or later with the lead, tying run on base or at bat); in general he can go 4 outs before being susceptible to tiredness in those situations.
Defensive range rating (the first number) -- A player with a "1" rating would have the ability to make plays on the most balls; a "5" rating has minimal range.
Defensive error rating (the "e" and the number following the range rating) -- Predicts how many errors that player would make at that position if he were to play 162 games there (a "0" is the best).
Hitting ability -- The first number is his overall offensive rating (1 is the worst; 8 is the best - the cards used for each rating can be found here). The second character indicates whether the pitcher has home run power (a "W" means no; an "N" means yes). The third character is what side the pitcher hits (righthanded, lefthanded or switch).
Balk rating -- the lower the number, the better.
Wild pitch rating -- the lower the number, the better.
Hold rating -- The ability to hold baserunners close. The pitchers with good pickoffs moves have "minus" numbers (-4), while those with slow moves have "plus" numbers (+3). Those numbers are subtracted from or added to the probability a baserunner has of stealing a base.
Bunting rating -- A is the best; D is the worst.
Percentage vs. lefties and righties -- The percentage of that player's batters faced that were against lefthanded or righthanded hitting. This does not indicate whether that pitcher was more effective against any side. That number is the "balance," which is described above.
Defensive positions -- You will see these all over the card, especially in the result of the at-bat. Here are the positions: 1B = first base, 2B = second base, 3B = third base, SS = shortstop, C = catcher, LF = left field, CF = center field, RF = right field, P = pitcher.
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.
gb(SS)X or fly(lf)X -- A tough groundball or flyball that must refer to corresponding position's defensive rating chart. Could result in an out, hit or error.
CATCH-X -- A tough play for a catcher that must refer to the catcher's defensive rating chart. Could result in an out, hit, wild pitch or passed ball.
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.
4, 5, 6 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.
@ -- These @ symbol is ignored as Pitch-Count fatigue is used instead.
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.