NYT’s The Upshot analyzed spin rate on pitches before and after enforcing a ban on sticky substances that provide more grip on the ball. The rule has been in place for decades but wasn’t enforced. However, there’s been more strikeouts than usual, which makes for less exciting sports, which means less people watch, and therefore, the league makes less money. So, bye sticky stuff. Tags: baseball, pitching, Upshot
Mark Rober, who is great at explaining and demonstrating math and engineering to a wide audience, gets into the gist of machine learning in his latest video: Tags: baseball, machine learning, Mark Rober
Pitch speed starts to decrease with a baseball player’s age at some point. This makes sense. That’s why athletes retire. The Statcast pitch distributions show when this happens for individual players, categorized by pitch type. I like the transparent distributions for past seasons as a mode of comparison. [via @statpumpkin] Tags: age, baseball, speed
Post-game sports interviews tend to sound similar. And when you do say something out of pattern, the talk shows and the social media examine every word to find hidden meaning. It’s no wonder athletes talk in cliches. The Washington Post, using natural language processing, counted the phrases and idioms that baseball players use. We grouped phrases that were variations of each other together (within a one- or two-word difference) into...
Oh. So that’s why I was always placed in right field that one year. Little League Analytics pic.twitter.com/THf5FyqRF7 — PetrosAndMoneyShow (@PetrosAndMoney) June 14, 2018 Tags: baseball, humor
When watching baseball on television, we get the benefit of seeing whether a pitch entered the strike zone or not. Umpires go by eye, and intentional or not, they tend towards finishing a game over extra innings. Michael Lopez, Brian Mills, and Gus Wezerek for FiveThirtyEight: The left panel shows the comparative rate of strike calls when, in the bottom of an inning in extras, the batting team is positioned...
After the crackdown on performance-enhancing drugs, home runs in professional baseball dipped the past few years. They seem to be back up though, and new metrics on hitting angle might have something to do with it. Dave Sheinin and Armand Emamdjomeh for The Washington Post delve into the angles, along with hit speed, and how they lead to more home runs. Tags: baseball, Washington Post
Earlier I used small multiples to show how each Major League Baseball team’s 2016 season progressed relative to the .500 line. Here are those same line charts, but this time I’ve grouped them by division:
I live in South Korea, where it isn’t always easy to watch American baseball (unless you’re a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Texas Rangers). So I’m catching up with data. These charts show teams’ performance by tracking how many games above (or below) .500 they moved as the season progressed. The Chicago Cubs did best (45 games over), while the Minnesota Twins did the worst (-44 games)....