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2022 Abstracts

The Efficiency of Defensive Shifts in Major League Baseball

Presenters: James Clark
Authors: James Clark, Benjamin Funk
Faculty Advisor: Joshua Price
Institution: Southern Utah University

In recent years major league baseball has implemented dramatic defensive shifts to the batter’s pull side utilizing sabermetrics. This frequently leaves a noticeable gap in a team’s defensive layout on the opposite side of the field that a professional athlete could theoretically hit the ball towards this gap regardless of the power behind it and get on base. This study aims to analyze the legitimacy of the defensive shift on expected run value in Major League Baseball utilizing multivariate regression analysis. Additionally, we examine any differences in shift efficiency in high leverage and postseason games.