2.3 Moneyball: The Power of Sports Analytics

2.3 Moneyball: The Power of Sports Analytics

Quick Question

Which of the following is most likely to be a topic of Sabermetric research?

 Evaluating how the attitude of managers influences player performance  close
 Determining the correlation between scouting predictions and player performance  close
 Predicting how many home runs the Oakland A's will hit next year  check
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Explanation Sabermetric research tries to take a quantitative approach to baseball. Predicting how many home runs the Oakland A's will hit next year is a very quantitative problem. While the other two topics could be an area of Sabermetric research, they are more qualitative.

While Moneyball made the use of analytics in sports very popular, baseball is not the only sport for which analytics is used. Analytics is currently used in almost every single sport, including basketball, soccer, cricket, and hockey.

Basketball: The study of analytics in basketball, called APBRmetrics, is very popular. There have been many books written in this area, including “Pro Basketball Forecast” by John Hollinger and “Basketball on Paper” by Dean Oliver. There are also several websites dedicated to the study of basketball analytics, including 82games.com. We’ll talk more about basketball during recitation.

Soccer: The soccer analytics community is currently growing, and new data is constantly being collected. Many argue that it is much harder to apply analytics to soccer, but there are several books and websites on the topic. Check out “The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know about Football is Wrong” by Chris Anderson and David Sally, as well as the websites socceranalysts.com and soccermetrics.net.

Cricket: There are several websites dedicated to building models for evaluating player performance in cricket. Check out cricmetric.com and impactindexcricket.com.

Hockey: Analytics are used in hockey to track player performance and to better shape the composition of teams. Check out the websites hockeyanalytics.com and lighthousehockey.com.

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