Strategy Guide
OS Tip of the Day: Know the Count To Steal

It's a 3-0 count with 2 outs...you probably don't want to steal home.

Know the Count

There are ideal "stealing counts," based around when a pitcher might throw fastball and if he'll pitchout. Again, a faster pitch means it's less likely you'll be successful.

Any count in the pitcher's favor (0-1, 0-2, 1-2) can be good, since they may tempt the batter with off-speed junk in the dirt. Plus, many pitchers will start with a first-pitch fastball, reducing the odds that they'll throw again for a strike.

2-1 is a good count to go too, since the pitcher will most likely not pitchout to force a pure hitter's count. However, without the fear of a walk, he may still rely on a good off-speed pitch. This is also a good hit-and-run count.

Of course, many know the full count, two outs rule for putting the runners in motion. There's no risk, really (unless you get picked off)

What's your favorite count to steal on?

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Member Comments
# 1 jmik58 @ 04/26/12 03:57 PM
2-2 counts with a runner on first is a good one. The pitcher doesn't want to go to a full count and you can stay out of the double play this way as well.
# 2 nomo17k @ 04/26/12 04:03 PM
Any count before two balls, there's a chance that they pitch out against an aggressive base stealer.
# 3 bcruise @ 04/26/12 04:07 PM
Originally Posted by nomo17k
Any count before two balls, there's a chance that they pitch out against an aggressive base stealer.
Yeah. Personally, I love playing opposite the "he'll throw off-speed ahead in the count so I can run" philosophy, and throw fastballs that will either be balls or just catch the corners and not be hit hard. I throw a ton of fastballs anyway so having runners on doesn't change my approach a whole lot.

Best time to run is when your opponent doesn't expect it.
# 4 nomo17k @ 04/26/12 04:24 PM
I actually think AI pitches out too often against a prolific stealer, essentially getting the pitcher behind needlessly.

Since I expect AI does pitch out (with someone like Jose Reyes... was using the Mets), I actually don't steal till there are two balls.
# 5 SDwinder @ 04/26/12 04:54 PM
Nah, you want to steal when your hitter has Count Leverage. Pitcher less likely to do pitch out and easier to be successful with hit and run.

If my runner gets a good jump, I do a straight steal. If he does not, and it's a fastball, I will protect the runner and hit behind him for a hit and run.

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