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GIDP: The four letter word

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MLB: SEP 25 Astros at Blue Jays Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You may remember one of my first fanposts where I dug into GIDP, trying to find the source of the problem as we set an All-Time record (6 GIDP in a game) and had a healthy lead on the competition with the chances of catching the all-time record for the season.

In that article, I looked to see if there was anything that stood out as an obvious reason. I checked based on OBP (being on base more often obviously increases the chances), wGDP (see if our players were particularly susceptible), % of Ground Balls, How fast our players were, all leading to some inconclusive results of basically a “perfect storm” of reasoning why but a higher understanding of the players who were more GIDP prone.

OBP - Astros were in 7th. Not a single team above them was in the top 7 of GIDP.

wGDP- Astros were second worst in baseball

GB% - Astros ranked middle of the pack. None of the top 5 in GB% were in the top 5 of GIDP

Speed - 3.94 SPD vs 4.4 league average, 27.04 Sprint Speed (27 was average), above average in UBR

So with MHatter’s article in regards to striking out, I wanted to rewind and re-look at the numbers, taking that into account and getting a little more detailed in regards to the number of opportunities and the results.

Much to his credit, he was able to source the data pulling all results in 2019 for a player on 1st with less than 2 outs. This isn’t perfect but it’s close enough for us to use.

So there’s a few things that stand out here, primarily the number of Plate Appearances in this setting. The Astros have a large lead - coming in at 32 higher than the second closest. From a pure percentage standpoint, they rank 4th highest from a percentage basis in the AL, which does show it is a function of opportunities but we still are on the top 1/3rd of the league from a percentage perspective meaning it’s not just due to chances.

With that said, in my old article I had found a high K% lead to a reduced wGDP. I decided to use the data to see if there is a direct correlation/causation to K% and compared GIDP % to K%.

Unfortunately, the correlation was not as strong as it originally had seemed. While strikeouts play a contributing factor, they didn’t look to be as clear of an indicator to GIDP success/failure.

The other piece of information that was interesting was the percentage of times this turned into a run. The Astros rank 5th in the AL in scoring runs in these scenarios. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 above them have lower GIDP %’s (with LAA higher on GIDP but still scoring a higher % of runs in these opportunities). On the other end, Detroit is dead last in scoring a run but is actually 4th best in low GIDP %.

I dug in further to try to see if there was a strong cause/effect from team’s utilizing sacrifice hits to improve their results, but it only moved 1 team from their original position and overall did not cause any huge swings from a % perspective. (The Astros do rank #1 in number of sacrifice hits due to a dominant lead in Sacrifice Flies with teams ranging from 19-48).

I also checked to see if teams were attempting to steal in this scenario to diffuse the double play, the attempts ranged from 21 (Twins) to 77 (Mariners), but again not a super discernible correlation to the overall percentage.

Unfortunately guys, I still don’t have a magic bullet and am going to fall back on my summary from last year that it seems to be a perfect storm that the GIDP’s are more than the sum of their parts.

If you have a different methodology or thought process let me know! Hopefully we just use up all our GIDP before the play offs!