When is the optimum time to leave a baseball game? I’m not much of a sports fan, and have never been to a professional baseball game, so it seems to me a bit strange that anyone would pay for tickets and then leave before the game is over, but apparently people do.
Baseball is probably the one major sporting event where there is no shame1 in leaving a little early. For starters, the games typically range from long to comically long. The average nine-inning Major League Baseball game in 2017 took three hours and five minutes, setting an all-time record. With a new rule to limit mound visits, the average 2018 game is hovering at an even three hours, which is still longer than “The Godfather” start to finish and would tie for the third longest mark in history.
And unlike the current marathon affairs in college football, baseball is not exactly packing the extra minutes with scoring and excitement — unless pitchers jogging in from the bullpen is exciting to you. Plus, the stakes are low. They play 162 of these things. Add it all up and you understand why lines of fans hit the exits to beat the traffic home.
Well, that explains why fans leave early, but it doesn’t explain why they bought tickets in the first place. Anyway, FiveThirtyEight crunched the statistics and calculated the odds of missing anything exciting if you left during a particular inning. For example, “you should leave after the sixth inning if the leading team is ahead by four or more runs.” Charts and graphs have this information for each inning under difference circumstances. If you bother to go to the game at all. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: One253sir)