Baiting and Ambushing in Baseball: A Game Theoretic Approach
Program: Computer Science
The idea of ambushing is one that has been present in the sport for as long as the game has been around, but hasn’t been formally acknowledged. A player can theoretically deviate from their expected strategy to surprise, or “ambush”, their opponent, effectively gaining an advantage over them. For example, a pitcher may elect to throw a fastball down the middle in an 0-2 count when the hitter is expecting him to throw a “waste” pitch, catching the hitter off guard. In this project, we establish a game-theoretic model along with a simulation environment written in Python to capture this relationship and investigate questions regarding when, how, and for how long a player should deviate to gain the largest possible advantage from “ambushing” their opponent in certain situations.