1.21.2013

How Likely Are You To See An Angels Home Run?

If you have ever done considerable walking in Brooklyn neighborhoods like Prospect Heights or Park Slope you will notice the tendency for there to be "free boxes" outside of beautiful, massive brown stones. These boxes are just as you would expect: full of stuff that the residents no longer want and are free to take.

Usually, these free boxes consist of books…that you probably don't want. Guide to the LSAT 2004? No, thanks.

Last night, though, I scored a gem called simply Home Run. The book, edited by George Plimpton, is a collection of stories and non-fiction about what they describe as "baseball's greatest moment." I took pause at the tag line once I grabbed it. Is it really baseball's greatest moment?

That led to me thinking about how frequently home runs are hit. What are the chances that if you go to a game, you will see a home run?

Seeing how this is an Angels blog, let's focus on them. In 2012, the Angels hit 187 home runs last year. That was good for ninth most in all of the major leagues. If you went to a game last year and the Angels were playing, you had a pretty good chance of seeing an Angels player hit a home run since the Angels averaged 1.15 home runs a game. Coincidentally, you had almost the same chance of seeing the other team hit a home run with Angels pitchers giving p 186 home runs in 2012.

Chances are that you weren't able to attend every single Angels game though. Maybe you could only catch games at the Big A. Strangely, the Angels hit 82 home runs at home which is an average of exactly one home run per home game. Arte Moreno's fan experience is something else, isn't it?

Of course, that also means the Angels hit more home runs on the road with a total of 105. In fact, there wasn't a single stadium that they played in that the Angels didn't hit a home run in during the 2012 season. If you saw them at Rangers Ballpark, you had the best chance with the Angels hitting 24 home runs in 10 games for an average of 2.4 home runs per game! The second most home runs were hit at Yankees Stadium with 11 in just six games. And yes, every time I have been to see the Angels at Yankees Stadium, they've hit a home run. Unfortunately, they've never won, though.

For "baseball's greatest moment," the home run is pretty frequent for Angels fans. But what about your favorite player?

Mike Trout is probably a lot of people's favorite player. In 639 plate appearances during the 2012 season, Trout hit 30 home runs which is generally considered a lot of home runs. Yet, it accumulates to the very small number of just 4.69 percent of Trout's plate appearances. In 300 plate appearances at home over a 69 game stretch, Trout hit 16 home runs or 5.3% of his plate appearances. That's roughly 23% of those 69 games. Trout averaged a home run at Angels Stadium almost exactly every four games. (Not to be confused with Trout actually hitting a home run at home every four games) If Trout continues this rate, then if you went to a fourth of the home games Trout played last year (a reasonable number of games for the fan on a budget) at Angels Stadium, then your percentage of seeing a Trout home run is roughly 23%. Still not a great chance.

Basing "baseball's greatest moment" simply on it's frequency is probably not the best way to go about assessing it. Still, if we do, home runs happen quite often actually. How often you get to see them in person from your favorite player, though? That might be the great moment you are hoping for and it in itself, is not so frequent. 

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