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News about TruMedia and articles featuring TruMedia data and analysis.

Is the third-time-through-the-order effect being reduced?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle uses TruMedia's research tool to examine how and why the third-time-through-the-order effect may be reduced this season:

“Since 2009, the OPS-allowed progression for pitchers by number of times facing a hitter in a game goes like this: 1. .706, 2. .746, 3. .780. After that, the progression breaks down due to selection bias -- only pitchers throwing especially well are allowed to get into a lineup for a fourth time. …

Thus far, at the aggregate level, the third-time-through effect is not present at this juncture of the season. I wouldn't want to declare why without doing a thorough deep-dig on it, so consider this a theory: The selection bias that we have always seen with fourth-time-through measures has now expanded to the third time. In other words, managers are doing a better job at weeding out those pitchers who aren't effective the third time through opposing lineups, and doing a better job of identifying when pitchers are throwing well enough to take on that challenge.”

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