Understanding Sabermetrics

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


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SKU: 9781476667669 Categories: , Tags: , ,

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.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

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

  • “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.