Strategy in Baseball – A Look at Pitch Count

One of the simplest applications of game theory and strategy to sports is pitch selection in baseball. On every single play, the pitcher has dozens of possibilities in his arsenal. For example, Arizona Diamondbacks’ star Zack Greinke has five main pitches: two types of fastballs (four seam and two seam),...
NHL Draft Pick Probability

NHL Draft Pick Probability

Getting the top pick in the NHL draft is a big deal for NHL teams and fans. Each year the league holds a lottery to determine the order teams receive draft picks. To discourage teams from purposely losing to guarantee the top pick, all 15 teams that didn’t make the...

Balanced Play in Social Deduction Board Games

You’ve been carefully observing the actions of the players around you, knowing full-well that they might not be who they claim. No, you’re not a character in John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” or stuck at a speed-dating event. You are playing “The Resistance: Avalon,” a social deduction board game. Players in...

Poker Quiz #2: Base Rates and Combinations

The use of base rates comes up often in poker, and can be useful when making decisions to fold, call, or raise. Most poker games involve hidden cards, but this does not mean we have to blindly guess what these cards might be. By using knowledge of the distribution of...

Rooting for the Favorite

Imagine this hypothetical scenario: The Patriots have advanced to the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs and are waiting to see who will play the Falcons in the NFC Championship game. The Eagles are playing the Packers in the divisional round for the right to play the Falcons in the...

Insuring the Indians’ Win Streak

ESPN recently ran an article about an Ohio-based window company that guaranteed any of its customers who installed windows (the kind that makes walls transparent, not the PC operating system), siding, or doors in the month of July would have their money returned if the Cleveland Indians had a 15-game...
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