Ok so those that watched the game saw a play early in the game that may have been a good idea to challenge.
Of course, I’m talking about Colby Rasmus’s lead-off walk in the third. It sure looked like David Price picked him off, but the play was close so even with replay we’re probably talking like a 50-50 that it could go either way. What do the numbers show? Well a runner on first and no outs leads to around .95 runs on average while if the out is called then you’re staring at nobody on and one out, a situation that averages around .30 runs.
Right off the bat you see that you’re talking about this play being worth around .65 runs, but we also need to factor in leverage since it was already 3-0 and it was early. The leverage of the situation was .81 so we can multiply that by the run expectancy to adjust for the situation. This yields .53 context runs for the situation. If Maddon thinks that another play will be close, reviewable and worth more than .53 context runs between the third and the end of the sixth then absolutely sit on the challenge, but I don’t think anything else would be worth much more than that while still being reviewable.
So here’s the problem, manager’s don’t see that baserunner as a big deal, but you’re talking something like half a run which is a huuuge deal in a single game. Plays like that might seem small in the big picture, but these are exactly what you should be challenging because with the unlikelihood of a more important play being missed later there’s no reason to keep the review in your pocket.
Instead we are treated to a dog and pony show on the field where are young heart throb Sam and Diane’s the umpire until he gets a thumb’s up which breaks up the game, slows it down, and ultimately will rarely lead to a review. Instead of dicking around out there once you break the chalk that should signify that you’re requesting a review. If you think it’s close then review it. If you’re right you get another and if you’re not it’s not like you’re the District Attorney aiming for a 100% conviction rate. Throw it out there and see what happens, but holding on to it for a rainy day is going to leave a lot of runs on the field.