IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is Batting Last an Advantage?


  • Theodore L. Turocy

    (Texas A&M University)


This paper applies the theory of zero-sum stochastic games to assess the validity of baseball's ancient wisdom that batting last confers a strategic advantage. Results from numerical calculation of Markov perfect equilibrium suggest that the team that bats last will have an advantage if in fact the offense has, in some sense, more useful strategic actions available than the defense. An example is provided where the advantage depends on details of the teams playing. Regardless of which team has the advantage, all calculations indicate the advantage is negligible in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore L. Turocy, 2003. "Is Batting Last an Advantage?," Game Theory and Information 0309002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0309002
    Note: Type of Document - TeXmacs; prepared on Linux; to print on PostScript; pages: 24 ; figures: none

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Extra innings start with a runner on second base
      by Tyler Cowen in Marginal Revolution on 2017-02-09 20:40:47

    More about this item


    zero-sum games; Markov perfect equilibrium; baseball;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0309002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.