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The Real Problem with Baseball’s Defensive Stats

Posted by admin on September 8, 2014

After reading Jeff Passan's article about WAR and his view of its failings, I got a little hot under the collar and intemperate in my discussion of the issue on twitter.

The defensive metrics are constantly critiqued. I agree that there may be issues with the defensive stats, but my issues aren't the ones brought up by the critics. I believe that the metrics do a decent job of measuring the percent of time a particular ball with a particular hang time has been caught in the past. All you need for that is a stopwatch and a way to mark the play's location on the field. Sure there may be biases in this, but there are biases in who batters and pitchers face or even what umpire they appear against. So this isn't the biggest issue with fielding stats.

It's also true that fielding stats don't correlate quite as strongly year to year as the batting stats do (see chart after break), but there is also a lot more variability in opportunity for fielders than for batters (and more variability in batting stats than people perceive). A batter is going to get 3-6 PA's per game every game. The distribution of balls hit to fielders is much more random. But even this isn't the big issue with fielding stats.

20 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com

More #FancyStats Features Added to Hockey-Reference.com

Posted by Hans Van Slooten on September 3, 2014

It's been a while since we last announced new "advanced stats" features to Hockey-Reference, but with the latest shake ups in the hockey stats world, we felt that this was a good time to begin rolling out new features for the more statistically-minded fans out there. This is by no means the only roll out, as there are numerous features to come, but we feel it is better to roll out features as we complete them rather than waiting until they are all done.

That said, here's what we've added:

1) Additional Possession Stats to the Player Additional Stats Page

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 12.21.15 AM

We've added Situational TOIRelative Corsi For %, Relative Fenwick For %, On-Ice Save and Shooting %, and Offensive and Defensive Zone Start %. You can find these on any player page after 2006 by clicking on Additional Stats at the top of their regular stats.

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 3.26.02 PM

2) A Play Index Finder for Team Advanced Stats

Until we can add additional stats to all of the league and team pages, we've created a simple Finder that allows you to run queries against the team advanced stats. To find this tool, just go to the top-left menu and click play index, then Team Advanced Stats Finder. This report can be run on any or all teams from 2007-2014.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 12.30.12 AM

3) Finally, as a small addition to the play-by-play stats, we've included Faceoff Wins and Losses.

We hope you enjoy these new features and keep checking back often as we add more #FancyStat features as we approach the new season. As always, we appreciate any questions and feedback.

8 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Hockey-Reference.com, Play Index

Additional Possession and Play-by-Play Enhancements on Hockey-Reference

Posted by Hans Van Slooten on June 17, 2014

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we continue to work on our possession and play-by-play stats, and we have released the next enhancement, additional situations.

As a brief primer on what the new situations mean:

  • All Situations, Even Strength, Power Play, and Short-Handed are the traditional situations and mean what you expect them to.
  • 5-on-5 is situations where there were five skaters on the ice for both teams. It is similar to Even Strength, but doesn't include 4-on-4.
  • 5-on-5 Close is situations where there were five skaters on the ice for both teams and:
    - The score is within 1 point in the 1st or 2nd Period, or
    - The score is tied in the 3rd Period.
  • 5-on-5 Tied is situations where there were five skaters on the ice for both teams and the score was tied.

When you click on a situational tab, all of the stats on that page are for that situation (Blocks, Hits, Corsi For, etc.).

Where are they?

To find these stats, go to a player's page (one who's played in a game since the 2007-08 season) and you will see a link to "Additional Stats":

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 3.26.02 PM

Clicking on that will take you to the Additional Stats pages where you can see these new enhancements.

We welcome any feedback or questions you have about these new features.

Comments Off | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, Hockey-Reference.com

Introducing Per 100 Possessions Statistics

Posted by David Corby on June 17, 2014

If you've been browsing recently, you've may have noticed that we added per-100 possession statistics tables to the player pages and team pages (and for both the regular season and playoffs). For now, we're able to estimate team possessions going back to the 1973-74 season.

We also have league-wide tables that correspond to those on the player and team pages, with stats for every player, and even totals for all individual team stints for those players that were traded, re-signed, etc. Sometimes users tend to not to find these but they're extremely useful for sorting or exporting and doing your own analysis.

Here's the easiest way to find those tables: Mouseover the 'seasons' link and click on Per Poss on the dropdown menu:

 

per_poss

 

(Similarly, these are available for the playoffs, as well - corresponding links can be found in the 'playoffs' site section)

 

Per-Possession statistics are an easy way to nullify the distorting effects of pace and compare players more easily across teams and eras. For the record, we estimate league pace going back to the 1973-74 season using the formula provided in our statistics glosssary, and estimate it for individual teams going back  to 1950-51 by estimating component statistics.

 

 

9 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference

Beta Play-by-Play Stats Now Available for Players on Hockey-Reference

Posted by Hans Van Slooten on June 5, 2014

We are beginning to release some new stats on Hockey-Reference that we are lumping together into "Play-by-Play Stats". In this initial release, we are including basic counting stats on the player level -- like Hits, Blocks, Takeaways, and Giveaways -- as well as possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick.

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 3.27.14 PM

We intend to provide a full introduction to all of these new stats on the site before they come out of beta, but for now take a look at this article over at Grantland. These stats come with a few of caveats, which is why they are being released as "beta":

  1. There are a few games missing from the data that we are working to remedy.
  2. This release only includes individual players. Teams and a Play Index are under development.
  3. Corsi and Fenwick numbers are not scaled to 60 minutes as is standard. These will be added in the future.
  4. The Corsi/Fenwick numbers are only provided for Even Strength situations. Other situations (e.g. SH, PP, 5-on-5 close, etc.) will be provided in the future.
  5. This data only goes back to the 2007-2008 season.

To see these new stats, simply go to a player page of someone that has played since the 2007-08 season and click on the "Additional Stats" tab in their NHL Stats table:

Additional Stats

With that in mind, we welcome any feedback and look forward to expanding this area significantly in the off-season.

 

4 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Hockey-Reference.com

Team Positional Comparison Tool–in our opinion it’s pretty cool – Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on May 30, 2014

Positional differences and performance by position are interesting ways to look at team performance. For instance as Phillies fan I know that CF and LF are hurting the Phillies, but just how much are they hurting relative to the league. This tool answers that question and many many more. (answer: a whole lot of hurt)

You select a year, the league and a stat, and we rank every team at each position by that stat and in some cases a summary of positions. This uses our positional splits to allot stats to positions or in some cases a prorated assignment of WAR and related stats by time played at each position. Now in one table you can see the worst or best team-positions in baseball.

There are some additional tools that allow you to highlight a particular team and mousing over a table cell informs you the players involved in producing that value.

I like this output so much I've also added it to our base league pages just below the pitching stats.

2014 AL League page

Team Comparison Tool - Baseball-Reference.com.

6 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Statgeekery

2014 Korean Baseball Organization Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on May 27, 2014

2014 Korean Baseball Organization Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com.

Updating daily. We are working with Brian Cartwright on this project. Thanks to Brian for putting together these stats.

2 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com

Tooltip for Blown Saves, Holds on Main Pitching Table

Posted by admin on May 6, 2014

The pitching table is getting pretty wide on the team and player pages, so we've added a new little twist to our player pages (soon to be on team and league pages) where if you hold your mouse over the save column for a pitcher a little box pops up and it will show you the blown saves, save opps, save situations and holds for that pitcher. See the screenshot below.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 16.52.18

This data is already on the "More Stats" page linked just above the pitcher's primary stats, but not everyone makes it onto those pages.

test on Mariano Rivera Page

4 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Uncategorized

Split Finder Allows you to Excludes Incomplete Results when PBP is Missing

Posted by sean on May 5, 2014

This is a subtle one, but as you may know play-by-play and ergo certain split data like platoon info and count data is not complete back to 1914. We have 100% of play-by-play back to 1973 and the 98%+ back to 1954. Details Here.

So we are now allowing you to exclude the split seasons from the Play Index Split Finder where incomplete totals may occur, so a pre 1973 platoon split, or a pre 1988 by count split.

See the location of this checkbox below.

Screenshot 2014-05-05 15.25.49

Play Index Split Finder.

3 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Play Index

Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) added to Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on April 17, 2014

Last night, I added FIP (short for Fielding Independent Pitching) to the site. This is a sabermetric stat for pitchers that approximates ERA without the effect of their team's fielding ability. FIP actually correlates to future ERA better than ERA itself making it a superior indicator of future performance.

The idea is that the pitcher most directly controls the number of walks, home runs and strikeouts that occur and that the batters and fielders have a bigger say on whether balls in play are turned into outs and that most pitchers' Batting Average on Balls in Play (BAbip) reverts to a league average from one year to the next.

FIP is (13*HR + 3*(BB+HBP) - 2*SO)/IP + Constant(year). The constant is set so the yearly avg FIP equals the yearly avg ERA.

FIP can be looked at exactly like ERA and is scaled to exactly the same league average as ERA, but it's range will be slightly smaller.

Often a player with a low FIP and high ERA will improve, while a low ERA and high FIP indicates a likely regression as more hits start falling. I've placed FIP next to ERA to make this comparison more obvious, but if it begins making the ERA lookup too hard, I may move it further right on the pitching tables.

I've also added FIP and K% to the Play Index Season Finder. Right now, I don't believe we will add xFIP given the inconsistency in batted ball data, but that could change.

Player with big gap in FIP and ERA: Ricky Nolasco.

10 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Most Wanted, Stat Questions

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