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Approximate Value Added for Kickers and Punters

Posted by Neil on June 14, 2013

Today, we added a new feature to our popular Approximate Value metric on the site -- AV totals for kickers and punters. (Don't worry, we've warned Doug Drinen, and he hasn't suffered any adverse health side-effects that we know of.)

The methodology is described in tortuous detail on the AV formula page, but we basically looked at salary data to calibrate kicker and punter AV against our existing AV data, and used some simple metrics (kicking points added above average using distance data; punting gross yards per attempt w/ an adjustment for blocks) to measure kicking/punting performance. The best career AVs in each category are as follows:

We're still working out some AV kinks (particularly in terms of All-Pro bonuses) with certain players who played both kicker/punter and another position -- think Lou Groza -- but for the most part we're happy with the results, and we thought it was time special-teamers got their AV due.

5 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Statgeekery

Search Our Stats Using the Play Index

Posted by Neil on June 10, 2013

It's the Finals, so that means it's time for a reminder to check out the Basketball-Reference Play Index. In case you don't already know about the PI, it's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. With the PI, you can:

  • Use the Player Season Finder to search through all NBA, ABA, & BAA players' regular season and playoff statistics for performances that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Game Finder to search through NBA players' regular season and playoff game logs (since 1985-86) for games matching your criteria.
  • Use the Head-to-Head Finder to search for games in which two selected players played against each other.
  • Search for player and team consecutive-game streaks that match your criteria using the Streak Finders.
  • Search for team performances that meet your criteria with the Team Season Finder and Team Game Finder.
  • Use the Draft Finder to search through every NBA/BAA draft for picks that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Comparison Finder to compare the stats of up to four players through (or in) a given season.

Also, take a look at the Play Index Plus for even more data-searching goodness. The PI+ lets you sift through the play-by-play data of every game since 2001, making it possible to look for specific events, lineup data, and shooting stats (including clutch shots and shot breakdowns by distance).

Best of all, these features are 100% free to use! So go ahead, give them a try, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.

Comments Off | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Features, History, Play Index

2013 MLB Draft Tools

Posted by Neil on June 6, 2013

The Major league Baseball draft is tonight, so here are some tools you can use to prepare for the event:

Check them out as you get ready for the 2013 Draft!

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Draft, Features, History, Tips and Tricks

Everything You Wanted to Know About Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

Posted by Neil on June 5, 2013

With Wins Above Replacement (WAR) gaining more prominence since last season, it's a good time to remind everyone about our WAR 2.2 guide:

  • Baseball-Reference.com WAR Explained - This explains the basics of WAR, the philosophy behind the stat, and some of the changes we made to the formula the past few years.
  • Weighted Runs Above Average (wRAA) Explained - This describes how wRAA, the core hitting stat of WAR, is computed.
  • Position Player WAR Calculations and Details - This explains how we turn wRAA, Baserunning & Double-Play Runs, Fielding Runs, Positional Adjustment Runs, and Replacement level Runs into WAR for position-players.
  • Pitcher WAR Calculations and Details - This explains how we take a pitcher's runs allowed & innings pitched, and turn it into WAR.
  • Converting Runs to Wins - This further describes the process by which Runs Above Replacement (for both pitchers and position players) are converted into Wins Above Replacement.
  • WAR Comparison Chart - This chart shows the differences between the WAR found here at Baseball-Reference and those from a variety of other sources, including FanGraphs & Baseball Prospectus.
  • WAR Data Downloads - If you want to download the raw WAR data yourself and play around with it, you can also get the Batting and Pitching data from our site.

Many of the questions we typically get about WAR can be answered by reading the guide linked above.

8 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, FAQ, Features, Stat Questions, Tips and Tricks, WAR

Injury Report and Recent Transactions

Posted by Neil on June 4, 2013

Here's a page you may not know about, because even I didn't know it existed until Sean pointed it out this morning:

2013 Major League Baseball Recent Transactions & Injuries

Simply put, it contains a list of recent transactions, as well as a report on who's currently injured (i.e., questionable for tonight's game or on the disabled list).

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Tips and Tricks

Subscribe to the Play Index!

Posted by Neil on May 30, 2013

The start of June is the perfect time to check out the Baseball-Reference Play Index if you haven't already signed up. What's the Play Index? It's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. Using the PI, you can:

  • Search full-season or multi-year totals to find your own custom leaderboards - Look at the entire history of baseball from 1871-2012 with every year, team, and position available, or 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 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.
  • Search player game totals - Filtering on any of a dozen or more choices, search for games on a single player level, or on any batter from 1916-2012, or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Totals.
  • 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 in the last 97 years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Streaks.
  • Search the records of a specific player - Output 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.
  • Search Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups - 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.
  • ...And more!

Personal Subscriptions to the Play Index still cost just $36 for a year, $6 for a month, or $2 for 24 hours. Subscriptions may only be used by a single user, and there are discounts for users sponsoring at least $35 in pages.

Organizational Subscriptions can be set up for either an unlimited number of users ($600/year), or for up to five users ($125/year).

There are Two Steps to Subscribe to the Play Index:

  1. Login to or create a Sports-Reference.com account (the same account used to sponsor pages).
  2. Already logged in (or just created an account)? Go to our subscription page to sign up.

Our Always-Available Free Trial: Non-subscribers can use the PI's features as much as you like. However, your outputs will be restricted to a limited number of results.

The Play Index comes with a money back guarantee. We will gladly return the unused portion of any Play Index Subscription should you be dissatisfied with the Play Index.

So go ahead, give the Play Index a try -- we're confident that once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index

Check Out B-R’s Bullpen Wiki!

Posted by Neil on May 22, 2013

The Baseball-Reference Bullpen: Baseball's collaborative encyclopedia

Here's a reminder for everyone to check out the B-R Bullpen Wiki, the collaborative baseball encyclopedia that anyone can edit. We have 65,285 articles -- and counting -- thanks to users just like you, and we hope to add many more as we collect and organize as much baseball knowledge as possible. To get you started, here are some links on the project:

Or you could just go to a Random Page.

Give it a try, explore a little, and maybe even take a shot at editing a page. There's a lot of baseball knowledge out there just waiting to be added to these pages!

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

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