Developer: Strat-O-Matic Media LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
It's the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded and your team is up by three. Do you keep your pitcher in who has thrown a solid game or do you bring in your star closer?
These are the types of questions, that as a manager, you'll have to know in Strat-O-Matic's 3-Minute Baseball app where putting in a southpaw closer might bring you the victory you've practiced for all year. Consequently, it may be the end of a solid run and put a bitter taste in your mouth.
Baseball, America's favorite pastime, is by far a game of statistical strategy and each move you make will affect your outcome.
However, 3-Minute Baseball is a simple concept so don't be discouraged once you open up the app as it's easier to setup than you think. When you do open the app I suggest diving right into the Play Now button, which is the green baseball.
Here is where you need to know the rules of the game. The basic premise of 3-Minute Baseball is that you're battling against the computer. You are one of two teams with ten total players. There are five hitters and five pitchers. This is where knowing how to read stats such as HRA, ERA, HR, etc. comes into play because it will affect who you pit against your opponent.
For instance, at the first screen of 3-Minute Baseball, you can pick Mike Piazza, Andruw Jones, Luis Gonzalez, Luis Castillo or Barry Bonds as hitters. For pitchers, you can pick Mariano Rivera, Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay, Eddie Guardado or Mark Buehrle.
At first glance, you'd probably pick Barry Bonds for his home run king stats. However, which pitcher will he be the most successful against? One look through the stats and you'll notice that Buehrle has a higher HRA or Home Runs Allowed than the others. In fact, it's about double than the others. So that would be a wise choice, statistically speaking.
Then you confirm your choice and go to the actual game. Your goal is to score as many points before you get three outs. On the gameplay screen you'll notice columns and rows. If you land on a section that has a dash, then you're out. If you land on a section with a number then you get that many bases or hit a four and you get a home run.
To determine which you'll get, an out or a run, you'll need to roll the dice. The white die is rolled first to determine the column and then the two red dice are rolled to determine the row. This part is fairly easy. Picking the best matchup is the hardest part.
Once you've reached three outs, you must select a new batter and pitcher and so on and so forth until all are retired. Once they're all used up, the game is over and hopefully you've chosen wisely and have a great score for a "W" in the outcome column.
The strategy behind the gameplay along with the fact the teams and players will change every few weeks, makes 3-Minute Baseball a great app to have in your sports arsenal so cook some hotdogs, pour yourself a frosty beverage and get ready because ducks are on the pond.