Understanding Sabermetrics

An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics


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SKU: 9780786433889 Categories: , Tags: , ,

About the Book

Born in the 1970s as a radical challenge to traditional baseball statistics, sabermetrics has developed into a new way of understanding many aspects of the game. Its practitioners have created new statistical tools and revised our old ways of thinking about established measures such as the batting average, tactics such as the sacrifice bunt, and even who among the greats was truly great. This introduction to the basics of sabermetric analysis explains concepts including normalization, peak versus career performance, linear weights and runs created, as well as popular calculations like OPS (On-Base plus Slugging), WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched), PF (Park Factor) and others increasingly used by baseball fans.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Gabriel B. Costa is professor of mathematical sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he is also an associate chaplain.

Michael R. Huber is the dean of academic life and a professor of mathematics at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

John T. Saccoman is a professor and the chairman of 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: 190
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3388-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5131-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Pre-Game: Abbreviations and Formulas     xiii
Batting Practice: Introduction and Statistics     1
Infield Practice: Sabermetrical Reasoning     7

Inning 1: Simple Additive Formulas      13
Inning 2: Peak versus Career Performance      22
Inning 3: The Equivalence Coefficient      30
Inning 4: The Linear Weights School—Offense      40
Inning 5: The Linear Weights School—Pitching and Defense      56
Inning 6: The Runs-Created School      67
Inning 7: Win Shares      78


Inning 8: Park Effects      95
Inning 9: Creating Measures and Doing Sabermetrics—Some Examples      105


Clubhouse: Answers to Problems      133
Appendix: Sabermetrics in the Classroom—A Primer     149
References: An Informal Bibliography and Web sites      171
Index      173
About the Authors      176

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