play the percentages

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play the percentages

To take a tactical approach to something that follows or ensures the likeliest course of success. I decided to play the percentages and put in a right-handed pinch-hitter against the left-handed pitcher. It just seems like their business plan is simply playing the percentages, lacking any real passion or intuition behind what they're selling.
See also: percentage, play

play the percentages (or the percentage game)

choose a safe and methodical course of action when calculating the odds in favour of success. informal
See also: percentage, play
References in periodicals archive ?
Angels manager Mike Scioscia, playing the percentages, opted for Salmon in place of the left-handed hitting Brad Fullmer.
But instead of playing the percentages at the treacherous par three eighth hole, he went for broke by attacking the pin at the front of the green.
FRESH APPROACH Rory McIlroy is playing the percentages game in Dubai this week s
Frustrated his side tried to push Gloucester around in the wrong areas of the field in the second half, paying the price through five Nicky Robinson penalties and a drop-goal, Bates said the Falcons must stick to playing the percentages to lay a platform.
I think the way Stoke play can work, playing the percentages.
Playing the percentages game is a risky business, given that not only do you have to calculate who is most likely to incur the housemates' and the publics' wrath, but also how many contestants will face the telephone and internet poll.
Spread betting is all about playing the percentages, and the numbers suggest simply that we should sell the favourite in this afternoon's Gala Group Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
If you cannot clear your lines against the Dons, then Olsen's ploy of playing the percentages will prove your undoing.