How to Determine Card Patterns

By Bruce Bundy

In the proud and honorable history of gamemaking, numer­ous sports simulations have come and gone. But Strat-O-Matic play­ers can take heart knowing SOM will keep improving the cards without radical change.

For those who think radical change has been nearly constant in SOM baseball, be assured: There are many traditions left. One is the technique dictating card designs, regardless of apparent significant changes that began last year.

The hits may be placed in different patterns now, but the technique has not changed since the origin of the game.

Essentially, this is a technique, not a formula. To determine a batter's card design, use the three unripped sheets of an SOM team. (NOTE: Hit placement changed last year. To analyze cards prior to 1990, use teams prior to 1990 to dictate hit placement).  If unripped team sheets are not available, use a ripped team and read on.

Each sheet has nine players in a 3 x 3 pattern. Starting with hitters, the player in the upper left of the first sheet is given hitter's pattern #1. The ensuing patterns are read in columns: The card directly below pattern #1 is hitter's pattern #2 and the card in the upper right is hitter's pattern #7. The first sheet is all hitters. Note that they are in order of batting average.

     Now examine the second SOM sheet. This sheet will probably have at least one pitcher on it. Disregard the pitcher(s) for now. The card in the upper left is hitter's pattern #10. Below are #11 and #12. Examine #13 for NL teams and #14 for AL teams. These will still be called #13 and #14, but note that their batting averages are higher than previ­ous cards. This is due to SOM originally issuing 20-card teams, with 12 hitters and 8 pitchers.

Let's Formulate It!

This is one in a series of articles on forecasting Strat-O-Matic baseball cards. Bruce Bundy has been at it since 1968 and says he achieves up to 95 percent accuracy. But keep in mind that only the game company has the correct formulas, that many of them rely on statistics not readily available and that some ratings are subjective.

Comments should be directed to: Let's Formulate It!, do Bruce Bundy, 4474 Outlook Dr., Brooklyn, OH. 44144

   AL teams went to 13 hitters and 7 pitchers when the AL adopted the designated hitter. SOM carded the 12 or 13 hitters who received the most plate appearances, un­less it needed a second catcher, shortstop, etc.

Until last year, the additional hitter was issued the same card pattern as another player: the one with the batting average immedi­ately below the additional hitter. For example, if an AL team's top five regulars hit .300. .290, .280, .270and .260, a No. l4 hitter with a .265 average would receive card pattern No.5.

Now additional players have been issued new, original card patterns. Dutifully note them as hitter's card patterns #13-#17.

These players may have higher batting averages than other carded teammates, but lacked the plate appearances to qualify in the origi­nal 12 or 13. Additional players after #17 revert to the traditional method, claiming already-used patterns based on their batting averages.

[Pitchers follow the same procedures, based on best-to-worst ERAs, rather than batting aver­ages.]

To reconstruct the card pat­terns with ripped teams is trickier; you may need to process several teams to feel comfortable with the results. Write all the hitters' names in a column. Look at each card and write each player's plate appearances (at bats + walks) to


The formula included with the Advanced Notes under Formula #3:Batter's Hit in last month's STRAT FAN was stated incorrectly. Here is the correct formulae


(((BA -.271) + BA) * (108 -(somHBP + (somW-IW))))


Here is a recap of Bundy's formula. for hitters' success chances. Detailed explanations are in the past two issues of STRAT FAN.


WALK = (((W-IW)*216)l(AB+(W-IW)))-9

FORMULA #2: HIT BY PITCH        HBP=((HBP*216)/(AB+HBP+(W-IW)))


HIT = (((BA -.265) + BA) * ( 108-somW))


Double = ((4320 * Double)/ (AB + (W-IW))) - 90


Triple = ((4320 * Triple) ~ (AB + (W-IW))) - 15


Homerun = ((4320* HR) I (AB + (W-IW))) - 50

the right of his name. Then re­view your list and put a check next to the 13 highest PA in the AL, 12 highest for the NL. Take these 13 or 12 cards in order of batting average, highest to low­est. The remaining cards should then be sorted by batting aver­age, highest to lowest, and then be placed below the original 13 or 12.

To better understand card patterns, many comparisons need to be made.  Look at other unripped sets, or repeat the previ­ous exercise on other teams. Com­pare the different card patterns. There may be a hit out of place here and there - this is done intentionally to enhance every card's uniqueness. Hits maintain their patterns well. Walks wind up filling voids; their placement is very erratic. After enough study, even the outs will start to show patterns.

Next month, we will show you how to take the formulated chances and subchances for hits, walks and hit-by-pitches, and predict where they will appear on the cards.

About the Cards in This Issue

A delay in production of the 1991 two-team players means that we continue with the 1984 extra players, this time from the Na­tional League West.

Now you can supplement SOM's 24-man rosters for 1984 with extra hitters, extra pitchers and STRAT FAN's exclusive pitchers' hitting cards.

Computer players will find that the extra pitchers make it much easier to replay 1984, espe­cially with autoplay and the com­puter manager, which require at least 9 pitchers per team.

The statistics for creating these cards were compiled by Luke Kraemer of Beaverton, OR.