By Max Kaplan, “The voice of the millennial sports fan” We millennials are losing interest and it’s not our fault. We can’t sit through another 4-hour MLB game with 11 pitching changes and 15 walks. We groan every time a batter steps out of the box to re-adjust his batting gloves for the third time since the last pitch. Or when the pitcher starts pacing … Continue reading Dear Rob Manfred, The Millennials Are Leaving
by Keith Gladstone Only the best players of a given era are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, from classic names like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, to the most recent nominees of Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. Since the MLB era tainted by PEDs saw unthinkable, sky-high hitting totals, the question of who deserves a seat in the Hall of … Continue reading Ode to the Great Bambino: How the Best of the Best Performed Relative to Their Time Period
by Ben Ulene After this year’s World Series ended in a Game 5 comeback win for the Royals, plenty of questions remain about what caused the Mets – who almost nobody predicted would go home after just five games – to lose so quickly. While sloppy defense certainly contributed to their collapse, an even bigger liability was their offense, which only managed a meager 7 … Continue reading The Mets’ World Series offensive collapse was inevitable
By Patrick Harrel With three days left in the MLB season, there is still a lot to settle. The Astros looked strong as they sat atop the AL West for much of the year, but are now just trying to hold onto the second wild card spot. Meanwhile, the Angels have surged in September, and the Twins have also stayed in the race. With three … Continue reading AL Wild Card Live Probability Tracker
By Jeffrey Gleason
Nine weeks into the NFL season, no teams remain unbeaten. This could’ve actually been said after eight weeks, after seven weeks, and after six weeks as well. Week 5 was the last time an unbeaten team remained, when both the Cardinals and Bengals were sitting at 3-0.
However, after these same nine weeks, five teams remain unbeaten at home. The Patriots, Broncos, Eagles, Packers, and Cardinals have yet to lose on their own turf.
Home field advantage is a phenomenon that gets a lot of traction in sports. Experts often use it to justify their predictions and betting lines usually reflect the perceived advantage of the home side. However, people often generalize home field advantage with a “one size fits all” approach, acknowledging its presence, but assuming it displays a constant impact across different situations.
With five unbeaten NFL home teams and the recent impetus of a road team finally winning Game 7 of the World Series (the Giants topped the Royals on October 29th to capture their third championship in five years), I was interested in how home field advantage was quantitatively different in different situations. How does it vary across sports? Do both good teams and bad teams experience the same advantage? Is it magnified in the postseason? What about differences in earlier eras? These are the questions I set out to resolve.
By Max Kaplan
The baseball playoff system is messed up. It’s a statistician’s worst nightmare. As both an Angels diehard and a statistician, I have descended into despondency.
After six months and 162 games of baseball, a 5-game coin flip decides the fate of the eight playoff teams. The Los Angeles Angels, considered by many to be the best team in baseball and considered by most to be a better team than the Kansas City Royals, were knocked out in only three games after leading the league with 98 regular season wins. That’s three games – the same length as the common regular season sweep.
I’m going to try to “fix” the randomness and unfairness of a short playoff series. And by doing so, I hope to resurrect the Angels 2014 World Series hopes.
How many games would we need in a playoff series to be fairly confident that the better team moves on? According to my calculations below, that number is 1,101.
By Patrick Harrel A few years ago, NBA teams started installing the SportVU system in their stadiums to get proprietary player tracking data and an edge over the competition, a decision that cost them $100,000 a pop. In the run-up to the 2013-14 campaign, the rest of the league caught up, making the tracking system standard and releasing the data to the public. Today at … Continue reading MLB Unveils Field Tracking System at Sloan Sports Analytics Conference