There is an office pool for the MLB post season that goes like this: Each participant is assigned a half inning per game in the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series. A participant may get the top of the 1st in one game and the bottom of the 6th in another game. There are 20 participants for each half of 10 innings and innings after 10 roll around to the beginning. Every run scored in an inning assigned to you earns you a point.
The challenge is to distribute the innings among the participants. If you always get the bottom of the 10th (an inning that’s rarely played for you non-sportsballers), you wouldn’t fair very well. But what other innings are traditionally good or bad? Is the first inning littered with runs while the fourth is sparse? I couldn’t find any historical data online, but I do have the results of a pool from last season.
Based on this data, I don’t think one post season (21 games) is enough. Why would innings 3, 6, and 7 be higher? Why would the bottom of the innings total 68 runs, 24 more than the top of the innings cumulative 44 runs?
I thought I could assign some sort of value to each half inning, then make sure that each participant got roughly the same value. But I didn’t expect such disparity in innings nor in top/bottoms, so I’m not sure that works. I think I’ll end up making sure everyone gets the 10th inning once, then an even distribution between 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9. And if someone gets the bottom of the 9th more than once, bad luck for him.