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Get a Free Baseball-Reference Play Index Trial Through April 15

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 27, 2015

We're offering free access to the Baseball-Reference Play Index through April 15. Just sign up here and use this coupon code: Analytics

The Play Index is the most thorough and powerful publicly available baseball research tool. Subscriptions are normally $36/year. Below is a sampling of some of the search tools:

The Batting or Pitching Season Finder. This tool allows you to search full-season or multi-year totals to find your own custom leaderboards. You can look at the entire history of baseball from 1871-2014 with every year, team, and position available, or you can filter the results in a vast number of ways: by specific years, by age, by first six seasons or last ten seasons, by American League only, by Cubs only, by switch-hitters, by catchers, by outfielder or infielder, by year of debut, but active or retired, by Hall of Famer, by height and weight, by living or deceased, or by a range of common statistical categories. Then you can sort the results by any common statistic, by the teams with the most players matching that category, by players with the most seasons matching that category, or by most recent, youngest, oldest, final year, or year of debut, and others.

The Batting or Pitching Game Finder. This tool allows you to search player game totals (think 4 for 5 with 3 RBI, or 10-SO shutouts) filtering on any of a dozen or more choices. This can be done either on a single player level or on any batter from nearly one hundred years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Totals.

The Batting or Pitching Split Finder. This tool allows you to search player splits (think most road home runs, biggest lefty/righty splits or most hits in Yankee Stadium) filtering on any of a dozen or more choices. This can be done either on a single player level or on any batter from nearly 100 years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Splits.

The Batting or Pitching Streak Finder. This tool allows you to search player games looking for the most consecutive games matching a particular set of criteria. This can be done either on a single player level or on any batter from nearly sixty years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Streaks. Note that when searching for batters, you should limit your searches to 20-25 years when searching through all games.

The Batting or Pitching Event Finder. This tool is player specific and will out put a detailed summary and play-by-play list of all events of a specific type from a single year or an entire career. For example, you can see all of Harmon Killebrew's triples or even his outs to the second baseman.

The Batter vs. Pitcher Tool. This tool presents a complete sortable list of batter or pitcher with totals for every opponent they faced by career or by year. Clicking on the player's name will lead you to a detailed output of their head-to-head plate appearances.

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, expire21d, Features, Play Index

MLB Games are Lower Scoring and Longer Than Ever

Posted by Hans Van Slooten on March 25, 2015

It's been reported in numerous locations, and now we've added an additional page to our League Encyclopedias that confirms it: games have reached scoring lows not seen regularly since the 1960's (8.13 R/G) and are longer, on average, than they have ever been (3 hours and 7 minutes per game in 2014). Additionally, 9-inning games were over three hours long, on average, for the first time in MLB history last year (3 hours and 2 minutes).

This new page also includes historical averages for extra-innings games, pitches/PA, pitchers/game and season, batters/game and season, pinch runners/game, and pinch hitters/game.

To find these pages, click on the menu Seasons > All Seasons, then click on Misc on the right side of the page for any of the leagues.

Screenshot 2015-03-25 11.54.01

 

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

Comparison Tool Shortcut Added to Player Pages

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 25, 2015

Regular visitors to the site have likely noticed a small tweak we recently made to the layout of player pages. The change is the addition of a shortcut to our Player Comparison Finder tool. For instance, from Stephen Curry's page, someone might decide that they want to compare him to James Harden. This can now be done very simply by typing Harden's name into the "compare to" box shown in the image below:

Steff Curry Compare

 

Once you type in Harden's name and click on it, this career comparison page is generated:

Curry-Harden Comp

This is the default comparison search, but you can easily edit it to just compare 2014-15 (or any other season(s)). Just click the red "Show/Hide Search Form" link on top of the stat tables to bring up the search form. From there, edit your search to compare "single seasons" in the yellow part of the search form. Then select 2014-15 for both players and click "get results." This will take you to this page, comparing two leading 2014-15 MVP candidates in a variety of statistical categories, from basic to advanced.

As an added bonus, if you go back to the search form, you'll notice there's room for up to 6 players in a comparison. You can go ahead and populate any players you'd like there. For instance, here's 6 leading 2014-15 MVP candidates compared:

MVP Comp

We should note to longtime fans of this tool that it is still accessible from the main Play Index page, but we've added this search to player pages as an added convenience.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features, HowTo, Play Index, Tips and Tricks

Organizational Depth Charts Added Back to 2010

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 17, 2015

We have added historical snapshots of franchises with the creation of organizational pitching and batting depth charts back to 2010. These pages are accessible from the team's page. For instance, if you wanted to see the 2010 Phillies, first go to their team page. From there, to see the pitching depth chart, hover over "Pitching" on the gray bar and then choose "Org. Depth Chart."

Phillies screen shot

 

This will then lead you to a page where you can look at a breakdown of the various pitchers (LH starters, RH relievers, etc) throughout different levels of the organization with their stats and levels played at for that season.

The same thing can be done for batting and these pages are available for all franchises back to 2010.

Please note that the formatting on these pages may appear a bit wonky at times, as these are mainly there as historical artifacts.

No Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History

College Basketball Player Game Finder Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 11, 2015

We have rolled out a Player Game Finder on our College Basketball site. Fans of our other sites are likely familiar with this tool, but for the uninitiated, this tool allows users to make custom searches through player box score lines since 2010-11. These searches can be for single games, cumulative season games, cumulative multi-season games, season games or total games.

Queries can be made using filters such as season, school, opponent, month, location, result, position, etc. One filter not currently available is class, but we may add that in the future. To give a better idea of what this tool is capable of, here are a few sample queries:

As you can see, there's a variety of different search combinations available. Like the rest of our Play Index tools, this finder is available via the Play Index menu. We encourage you to play around with this new tool and hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features, Play Index

Most hockey teams played for in 1 year?

Posted by Adam Wodon on March 10, 2015

We've added a page on Hockey-Reference.com that shows the most teams played for in one season, and the most in one career. This table is available via our frivolities section, which can be accessed via the "more" tab towards the top right of the page underneath the search bar.

This list was inspired by Marc Arcobello's "accomplishment" this season. Arcobello recently became just the third player in NHL history to play for four teams in one season. Arcobello, who is a Yale graduate, got off to a hot start with his fourth team, Arizona, with 5 goals in his first 7 games.

He does have some work to do, however, in getting on the other "most played for" list. Mike Sillinger leads that with 12 different teams played for in his career.

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

Get Hockey Player Stats for any Range of Games

Posted by Adam Wodon on March 9, 2015

Hockey Reference has added a feature popular with some of the other sites in the Sports Reference family.

Now, if you go to a player's Game Logs page, you can click two different rows and get cumulative statistics for that player just within that range.

For example, from any player's page, click the "Game Logs" tab. That will show the player's game-by-game statistics for the given season. Click on one game, then click on another. A window will pop up showing the player's cumulative statistics in that span.

This is handy for all sorts of purposes. Please let us know if you have any questions or additional feedback about this tool.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Features, Hockey-Reference.com, Tips and Tricks

Year-By-Year Referee Register Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 6, 2015

We have had referee statistics back to 1988-89 on Basketball Reference for some time now. However, these stats are now more accessible than ever, as we have created a sortable table for each season back to 1989, allowing users to compare various statistics in games involving a particular referee.

Now you can discover which referees home teams love to see, which referees are friends to folks betting the over & and who tends to be involved in the games with the most whistles.

One important thing to remember with these statistics is that they represent all of the calls made in games each official works. Obviously, there are 3 officials working every game, so there is certainly noise in this data. Nonetheless, enough people are interested in these stats that we thought it was worth sharing as a launching point for users to draw their own conclusions or conduct further research.

Our referees section can be accessed by hovering over "more" on the far right of the bar towards the top of Basketball Reference. "Referees" is located between "NBL" & "Europe" on the menu that pops up when you hover over "more." It will lead you to this menu. From there, you can choose to view any referee's statistics, or to view all refs in a given season since 1989.

We hope everyone enjoys this new feature.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features

SRS Calculation Details

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 3, 2015

One of the more common subjects for queries we receive at Sports-Reference is our SRS (Simple Rating System) figures. For some background, the first of our sites to add SRS was Pro-Football-Reference, when Doug Drinen added it to the site in 2006 and provided this excellent primer. The important thing to know is that SRS is a rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. For instance, the 2006-07 Spurs won games by an average of 8.43 points per game and played a schedule with opponents that were 0.08 points worse than average, giving them an SRS of 8.35. This means they were 8.35 points better than an average team. An average team would have an SRS of 0.0. The calculation can be complicated, but the premise is simple and it produces easily interpreted results.

However, there are some variations in the way we calculate SRS across our various sites. We'll break down these differences below.

Pro-Football-Reference.com SRS: PFR's SRS is unique in that a home-field advantage is included as a part of the calculation because of the short schedule compared to the other sports (we don't want a team to look relatively weak at the halfway point because they've only played 3 of their first 8 at home, for instance). This HFA fluctuates yearly based on game results, but it is generally somewhere between 2 and 3 points (2006 being an outlier, as you'll see). Below is a look at the HFA numbers we have used since 2001. If you'd like to calculate these HFAs yourself, just sum up every team's home point differential and then divide by the total number of games played across the league that season. This data can easily be found in the Play Index for each season:

  • 2001: 2.0081
  • 2002: 2.2461
  • 2003: 3.5547
  • 2004: 2.5078
  • 2005: 3.6484
  • 2006: 0.8477
  • 2007: 2.8672
  • 2008: 2.5586
  • 2009: 2.2070
  • 2010: 1.8945
  • 2011: 3.2656
  • 2012: 2.4336
  • 2013: 3.1055
  • 2014: 2.4883

College Football SRS: Our CFB SRS does not contain a home-field advantage element, but it does have some other quirks. Most importantly, we have capped the margin of victory considered for the formula. Due to the number of mismatches seen in college football, the maximum point differential a team can be credited with in a game is 24. We also credit all wins as a minimum of plus-7 margin of victory (so if you win by 1 point, it's treated the same as a 7-point win). The same logic is applied to losses, as well. One other wrinkle for CFB is that all non-major opponents are included as one team for the sake of the ratings.

College Basketball SRS: SRS for college hoops is straight forward (no HFA & no adjusted MOV), but one item to note is that games against non-major opponents are not counted in our calculations.

MLB, NBA & NHL: All of these SRS calculations are straight forward with no adjustments for HFA and no capping of MOV. It should be noted, however, that no special consideration is given for extra-innings, overtimes or shootouts, either.

We'll close with a quick rundown of the various merits and weaknesses of SRS, from Drinen's original 2006 post. These bullet points were created to describe the system used for NFL SRS, but many of the strengths and weaknesses can applied to the other sports, as well:

  • The numbers it spits out are easy to interpret - if Team A's rating is 3 bigger than Team B's, this means that the system thinks Team A is 3 points better than Team B. With most ranking algorithms, the numbers that come out have no real meaning that can be translated into an English sentence. With this system, the units are easy to understand.
  • It is a predictive system rather than a retrodictive system - this is a very important distinction. You can use these ratings to answer the question: which team is stronger? I.e. which team is more likely to win a game tomorrow? Or you can use them to answer the question: which of these teams accomplished more in the past? Some systems answer the first questions more accurately; they are called predictive systems. Others answer the latter question more accurately; they are called retrodictive systems. As it turns out, this is a pretty good predictive system. For the reasons described below, it is not a good retrodictive system.
  • It weights all games equally - every football fan knows that the Colts' week 17 game against Arizona was a meaningless exhibition, but the algorithm gives it the same weight as all the rest of the games.
  • It weights all points equally, and therefore ignores wins and losses - take a look at the Colts season. If you take away 10 points in week 3 and give them back 10 points in week 4, you've just changed their record, but you haven't changed their rating at all. If you take away 10 points in week 3 and give back 20 points in week 4, you have made their record worse but their rating better. Most football fans put a high premium on the few points that move you from a 3-point loss to a 3-point win and almost no weight on the many points that move you from a 20-point win to a 50-point win.
  • It is easily impressed by blowout victories - this system thinks a 50-point win and a 10-point loss is preferable to two 14-point wins. Most fans would disagree with that assessment.
  • It is slightly biased toward offensive-minded teams - because it considers point margins instead of point ratios, it treats a 50-30 win as more impressive than a 17-0 win. Again, this is an assessment that most fans would disagree with.
  • This should go without saying, but - I'll say it anyway. The system does not take into account injuries, weather conditions, yardage gained, the importance of the game, whether it was a Monday Night game or not, whether the quarterback's grandmother was sick, or anything else besides points scored and points allowed.

 

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Data, FAQ, Features, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, SRS, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Uncategorized

Cuban Stats Added to Baseball-Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on February 5, 2015

We are happy to announce that we have added Cuban National Series statistics from 1997-98 to 2013-14 thanks to the efforts of Brian Cartwright. First thing's first, though. You should go ahead and gawk at Jose Abreu's Cuban stats. That's right, he hit .453 in 2010 with 1.583 OPS. Those both led the league, but his 33 HR merely tied Yoenis Cespedes for first.

These statistics can be navigated to via our Minor Leagues section here. Once in the minors section, look for Foreign leagues and select Cuban National Series. You can select a season and access batting leaders & pitching leaders from there.

Alternately, if you just want to find Cuban stats for an MLB player like Yasiel Puig, just go to the Minors tab from his player page. Or you can use the search form to go right to the page of a hot prospect like Yoan Moncada. On a player's minor league stats page, the Cuban statistics will show up with the league abbreviation CNS like in the image of Erisbel Arruebarrena's page below.

Cuban Screen Shot

 

We hope you enjoy this new feature. We would also like to note that we will be adding statistics from the current season once is it completed.

5 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features

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