Have the World Series Been Fixed?

by Robert L. Helmbold

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback22 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Illustrates the kind of statistical techniques that could be employed by an agency monitoring sporting events for evidence of tampering with their outcomes. The specific question addressed is: Have the baseball World Series been artificially lengthened, especially during the 1940-1969 period? Most parties concerned — players, owners, advertisers, mass media, gamblers, and fans — would benefit from a longer series. Theoretically, the maximum probability of a series lasting 7 games is less than 0.31, but anyone betting against a 7-game series each year would have lost 15 times since 1940. There is no evidence that the distribution of series lengths is different from decade to decade. Using one example Bayesian probability model, the 1967 and 1968 series would merit investigation, having gone slightly above the theoretical upper bound on series length.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.