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article imageHitting streaks at baseball creates a better team

By Tim Sandle     Dec 24, 2012 in Sports
A scientist has undertaken analysis which has shown that a baseball player on a hitting streak lifts the performance of those around him. Teammates who play regularly with a streaking player hit at a pace above their own average during those games.
Baseball folklore has long included the belief that hitting is contagious, meaning that when an individual batter’s hit production rate increases over some period. Now mathematical evidence adds some weight to this belief, the Daily Kos has reported.
The baseball research has been carried out by Joel Bock, an engineer at Scalaton, a software engineering firm in La Mesa, California, according to Science News. Bock analyzed the baseball records of teams on which someone got at least one hit in 30 consecutive games or more. There have been 28 such streaks since 1945, starting with Tommy Holmes’ 37-game tear with the Boston Braves in 1945 and ending with Dan Uggla’s 33-game streak with the Atlanta Braves in 2011.
For players on a good hitting streak, the data showed that the player’s teammates also hit better, by 11 points on average, during the 28 streaks than during the rest of the year.
To show this, a statistical model was developed to study the effect of a hot hitter upon his teammates’ batting during a consecutive game hitting streak.
The study has been published in the science journal PLOS ONE.
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