Beating the odds on the no-hitter

My husband and I, both baseball fans, have seen three no-hitters in person over the last three years.

  • Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 on June 20, 2015,  in Washington.
  • Jordan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals, beating the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Sept. 28, 2014, in Washington.
  • Home Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on Sept. 28, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (This one was a bummer.)

What are the odds? Well, we usually attend between four and 10 games per season. So let’s say we’ve been attending games since  2002 (13.5 seasons), and we’ll be generous and say we’ve been to 135 games. We actually haven’t been to that many. But if we had, it means our overall record of seeing no-hitters is 2.22 percent.

Meanwhile, in that same period, there have been 51 no hitters. For total games played, I’m calculating 32,805 for 13.5 seasons. Which means the typical chance of seeing a no hitter is 0.16 percent.

I’m no statistics ninja, but by my reckoning and using a very conservative method, we have been 13 times more likely to see a no-hitter than a regular MLB fan.

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