Understanding Sabermetrics

An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, 2d ed.


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About the Book

Interest in Sabermetrics has increased dramatically in recent years as the need to better compare baseball players has intensified among managers, agents and fans, and even other players. The authors explain how traditional measures—such as Earned Run Average, Slugging Percentage, and Fielding Percentage—along with new statistics—Wins Above Average, Fielding Independent Pitching, Wins Above Replacement, the Equivalence Coefficient and others—define the value of players.
Actual player statistics are used in developing models, while examples and exercises are provided in each chapter. This book serves as a guide for both beginners and those who wish to be successful in fantasy leagues.

About the Author(s)

SABR member Gabriel B. Costa is a catholic priest and a professor of mathematical sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Michael R. Huber is a professor of mathematics at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He has been studying sabermetrics for more than 20 years and is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

John T. Saccoman is a professor in the department of mathematics and computer science at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber and John T. Saccoman

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6766-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3502-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

­­­­Pre-Game: Abbreviations and Formulas
Batting Practice: Introduction and Statistics

Top of the First: Sabermetrical Reasoning
Bottom of the First: Simple Additive Formulas
Top of the Second: Peak versus Career Performances
Bottom of the Second: The Best Teams and Players
Top of the Third: The Equivalence Coefficient—Batting
Bottom of the Third: The Equivalence Coefficient—Pitching and Defense
Top of the Fourth: Park Effects
Bottom of the Fourth: OPS+ (On Base Plus Slugging Plus)
Top of the Fifth: Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP)
Bottom of the Fifth: Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP)
Top of the Sixth: The Linear Weights School—Offense
Bottom of the Sixth: The Linear Weights School—Pitching
Top of the Seventh: The Linear Weights School—Defense
Seventh Inning Stretch: A Sabermetrics Conversation with Rico Brogna
Bottom of the Seventh: The Runs Created School—Basic
Top of the Eighth: The Runs Created School—Tech
Bottom of the Eighth: WAR (Wins Above Replacement)
Top of the Ninth: Joe DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak—A Probability Study
Bottom of the Ninth: Joe DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak—A Simulation

Extra Innings: Regression Analysis
­­­­Post-Game: Musings and Opinions
Clubhouse: Solutions to Problems
Appendix I. Linear Weights League Batting Factor (ABF), by Season
Appendix II. Getting and Using Data
References: An Informal Bibliography and Websites

Book Reviews & Awards

Reviews of the first edition:

  • “Intriguing title”—Choice
  • “Three university math professors have collaborated to lead neophyte baseball fans into the science of baseball statistics, especially toward an understanding of Sabermetrics…the new popular calculations are made comprehensible and inviting”—Sports Collectors Digest.