Summary and Info
This project, jointly produced by two academic associations, consists of reprints of previously-published articles in four statistics journals (Journal of the American Statistical Association, The American Statistician, Chance, and Proceedings of the Statistics in Sports Section of the American Statistical Association), organized into separate sections for four relatively well-studied sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and a one for less-studies sports such as soccer, tennis, and track, among others). As such, it provides an opportunity to step back and see what has been accomplished in the statistical study of sports. To be sure, what is offered here provides only a sliver of statistical baseball research articles, ignoring all that has been performed in other academic fields (in particular physical education, psychology, sociology, and business administration) let alone outside of academia. Nonetheless, some of the chosen articles should be viewed as essential reading for any serious student of the topic, with the proviso that the statistical analyses can be very rough sledding.
Baseball is the easiest of the "major" sports to submit to statistical analysis, and it receives the most varied attention here, with entries relevant to the statistical independence of half-innings from one another, the impact of a game event on the probability of a victory or defeat, how uninformative most "breakdown indices" such as performance with runners in scoring position are, and why we can't do much with batting performance over a small number of at bats, and comparisons of performance over decades of play, among others. Football is only represented by articles on prediction of game outcomes and field goal kicking; basketball by prediction of tournament outcomes and "the hot hand" (I found the three on the latter topic particularly interesting); hockey by team ratings, Stanley Cup playoff outcomes, and a very provocative piece comparing overtime with shootouts for deciding ties, and soccer by team ratings and the effect of player ejection on the odds of winning.
More About the Author
Jay Walter Bennett (November 15, 1963 – May 24, 2009) was an American guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer, and singer-songwriter, best known as a member of the band Wilco from 1994 to 2001.
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