The Most Popular Scores in Baseball History

On the heels of the Craig Calcaterra-inspired7-3 score day” post, there was a request for the most frequent final scores in baseball history.  Fortunately, the VORG is prepared with the Retrosheet game logs of most every contest from 1871-2010, so one crosstab of home and visitor scores later, and I’ve determined there have been approximately 611 unique final scores (from many instances of 0-0 up to one game on June 28, 1871 that ended 49-33).

Here is the top 10 (combined totals based on either team winning):

3-2        6,511        4,382        10,893
4-3        6,341        4,180        10,521
2-1        5,288        3,545          8,833
5-4        5,143        3,122          8,265
4-2        3,554        3,449          7,003
3-1        3,333        2,976          6,309
5-3        3,016        3,046          6,062
6-5        3,720        2,316          6,036
5-2        3,031        2,687          5,718
4-1        2,932        1,408          4,340

The 1-run games should and do favor the home team (from 1901-2011, they’ve won 61% of such games), as any tie game in the ninth (or beyond) need only see the home team push across a single run.  The situation of the road team winning the slight majority of 5-3 games is actually well within the realm of possibility, as road teams have won 50.1% of 2-run games since 1901.

7 thoughts on “The Most Popular Scores in Baseball History

  1. Thanks!

    A 4-3 game is probably a good game. Enough action to keep everyone interested, but not so much as to indicate lousy pitching or horrible fielding. It’s close enough so that there’s a threat of tying it up right down to the last batter.

    • I’m sure someone out there has charted the percentage of 1-run games over baseball’s history. As offense has increased, I’d expect that % to decrease (due to increased range of scores)

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