“What’s the State?” is a programmer’s way of asking the same question you’ve probably posed to the person in the next seat over when you were late getting back from the ballpark rest room – it’s shorthand for, “How many out? Any men on base?” Of course, programmers tend to be a little more nitpicky, so they want to know exactly how many runners there are, as well as which bases they occupy. When you exhaust all the possible combinations, it turns out there are 24 such “States,” ranging from nobody out/nobody on, to two out and the bases loaded. Which brings us to the chart, which tells you two things with respect to the 24 aforementioned states: 1) how often a team reached a given state; and 2) how many runs the team scored (on average – and labeled as such), from that point until the half-inning was over. The major league average is also presented, in order to give you a basis for comparison.
(Note: the Average does not represent the percentage of time that the team scored. Rather, it is the average number of runs the team scored – the Team Runs Scored divided by the Number of Occurrences. This is quite different than the pure percentage of time that the team scores, since it’s always possible to score multiple runs, and they all count here.)