Sports Reference Blog

Archive for May, 2019

CFB-Reference Adds Preseason Championship Odds

21st May 2019

Earlier this month, Pro-Football-Reference made an addition of preseason Super Bowl odds. In a similar vein, Sports-Reference's college football site now has preseason national championship odds back to the 2002 season. From the year summary page, you can find this information in the Polls & Ratings tab.

2018's preseason odds show that Alabama was the favorite at +175, but eventual champion Clemson had the second-best odds, at +400. A champion with longer odds was 2010 Auburn, which was tagged at +5000 in the 2010 preseason to win it all. Texas, Georgia and Oregon State, who went on to have losing seasons, received better preseason odds than Auburn to win it all that year.

For the first time since 2015, a school that is not Alabama may finish with the highest preseason championship odds, as Clemson is leading 2019 odds at +180, as of May 17, 2019. Those odds will update periodically as we approach the beginning of the 2019 season. We want to give a special thanks to sportsoddshistory.com for contributing to this addition to our site. If you have any questions or suggestions about College Football at Sports-Reference.com, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference, Data | No Comments »

QB Starter Splits on Pro-Football-Reference

20th May 2019

In past blog entries, we announced the addition of starter and substitute data for every quarterback since 1950 to Pro-Football-Reference, and how that allowed for the Player Game Finder to now have the capability for "First x QB Starts" searches.

Another addition that stems from this added starting QB data is a section in quarterbacks' splits pages that easily lays out their statistics just in games they started. This can be a useful additional piece of information for quarterbacks who played a substantial number of games as both a backups and starter during their career, such as Gus Frerotte or Don Strock. It can also help to make the winning record of a quarterback without their appearances as a holder or backup clearer on the splits page; one modern case of this is Tony Romo.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com | No Comments »

2019 NBA Draft Preview at Basketball-Reference

15th May 2019

Now that the lottery balls have been sorted out, the 2019 NBA Draft order is set. With that, Basketball-Reference has activated a 2019 NBA Draft Preview page to give you a quick lay of the land as we approach the draft date, June 20.

Of course, we've got the draft order there, from the New Orleans Pelicans holding the 1st overall pick down to the 60th pick held by the Sacramento Kings. We also have the calculated expected value in Win Shares for each draft pick, as well as the percentage of players selected with a pick that go on to play at least 1 NBA game. The table shows the top players selected at each pick to give you a quick look at best-case scenarios. For example, having the final pick of the 1st round may not seem that exciting but when you see David Lee and Jimmy Butler were 30th overall picks, that could help your mindset a little.

Our 2019 NBA Draft Preview also includes a list of the top 50 prospects as ranked by CBSSports.com, along with a statistical overview of their 2018-19 college season where applicable. For prospects who played in Europe, such as Sekou Doumbouya, clicking on their name will take you to available European statistics.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Draft, Features | No Comments »

Baseball-Reference Adds Playoff Odds

14th May 2019

Starting today, while you browse Baseball-Reference, you can find probabilities of each team to reach the postseason, win the division, and advance to each playoff round including winning the World Series.

To compute these odds, we simulate the rest of the season and the postseason 1,000 times each day. The methodology relies on Baseball-Reference’s Simple Rating System (SRS), which provides a strength-of-schedule-adjusted rating of each team, expressed in runs per game better or worse than an average team.

Prior to going into the details, we should tell you what our goals were for the system. Systems can vary in what they focus on, so having a clear idea of the questions we are trying to answer can add some insight and guide you in how you might use the system. We wanted a relatively simple system that would most accurately estimate the team's end of the year win total. This system could answer questions such as: Should a team go for it at the trade deadline? or Is a team in second place at the All-Star Break likely to fall off or contend for the division? or Is it too early to be certain a hot start will continue? This system is not designed to predict World Series win odds as well as possible since it's tuned with regular season data only. We are assuming that teams are as likely to win in the postseason as they are in the regular season and this is probably a poor assumption given the increased importance to bullpens and superstar starting pitchers.

Additionally, since we wanted a simple system, we are not considering player movement at the trade deadline or individual pitcher matchups which could become relevant during the final games of the season. If you want a more complicated system that considers roster composition, we would point you to the fine system at Baseball Prospectus or FanGraphs.

Typically, SRS is calculated and displayed (for example, on the standings page) based on the season to-date.  For the purposes of the playoff odds simulation, though, we are calculating a value of SRS using each team’s previous 100 games, adding in 50 games of .500 ball for regression to the mean. After a lot of backtesting, these are the numbers that provided the most predictive value. Running the simulation as of July 15 and August 15 of each year from 2009 to 2018, the simulation produced a root-mean-square error of 4.63 wins when compared to teams’ actual end-of-season win totals. For example, last season, both the July and August simulations predicted the Atlanta Braves within 1 win of their eventual season total of 90. This error was the lowest of any of the 50 potential inputs we considered. It was lower than a system that used just the current season SRS, any system with no regression to the mean, and, as a sanity check, a system that just flipped a coin for each game.

Of course, using past performance to predict future performance has its quirks, especially early in the season. For instance, look at the Philadelphia Phillies, who experienced significant roster turnover this past winter. The Phillies added Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto via trade, as well as David Robertson and Andrew McCutchen via free agency (I think that’s everybody). Looking back over their final 100 games of 2018, Philadelphia’s SRS comes in at -0.7. In other words, they were 0.7 runs per game worse than a league average team.

As we get further into the season, the numbers start to shift, as 2019 performance makes up a larger portion of that 100-game population. Through the games of May 12, Philadelphia’s SRS value over the past 100 games is -0.6, boosted by their 0.4 value in the current season.

While teams like Philadelphia have obvious additional context to keep in mind, using a system that takes into account last season’s performance as well as this season’s prevents the simulation from being fooled too early on by a team that’s simply off to a hot start. The result is a more skeptical simulation that needs to be convinced over time that a club’s new success is legitimate.

Check out this season’s current playoff odds for all teams here, and be sure to check out team pages to see how a team’s odds have changed over time.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

 

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, SRS | No Comments »

CFB-Reference’s School Streak Finder Adds Scoring Margin Criteria

10th May 2019

One of the tools available in the Play Index section of College Football at Sports-Reference.com is the School Streak Finder, which is able to search schools' game results all the way back to 1869 as long as they were classified as a major school. The School Streak Finder could search for longest overall winning streaks or most consecutive games allowing 28 points or more. Now, we have added scoring margin as a searchable criteria in this tool.

One streak that was making the rounds last season was Alabama's 12-game streak of beating their opponents by 20 points or more. As it turns out, that was the longest such streak in over 100 years. The absolute longest streak remains Michigan, who won 17 consecutive games by 20 points or more from 1901 to 1902. In the opposite direction, did you know that Florida International has the longest streak of losses by double-digits in history, losing 14 consecutive games by 10 points or more from 2006 to 2007?

If you have any questions or suggestions about this feature or other parts of the site, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference, History, Play Index | No Comments »

FBref Adds Match Reports and Fixture Lists

9th May 2019

FBref's goal is to be your preferred source for football statistics, no matter your club, country, or language. We've taken a big step towards that goal with the addition of match reports and fixture lists for the many leagues and competitions we currently cover. This includes over 50,000 match reports from more than 50 competitions.

On the FBref front page, the latest scores and upcoming matches for your selected favorite league will now be displayed right next to that league's statistical leaders. You can get a quick look at the latest scores from around the world by going to the Matches tab at the top of FBref.

To go through what a complete FBref match report looks like, let's use the May 8, 2019 Ajax vs. Tottenham Hotspur game. At the top, you can see the score of the game, with the goal scorers for each team on either side. Since this particular game was a 2nd leg, we also make sure to note the aggregate score at the top, along with a link to the 1st leg match.

What you first see when opening an FBref match report

Next on the match report, we have a visual representation of the starting formations and lineups, flanked by a list of the full squad, including bench players. If you hover your mouse over one of the numerical markers on the field, you'll be shown the player's name and headshot. The list of players on the side also offers symbols for whether they scored goals, were involved in a substitution or were carded during the game.

What the visual display of starting lineups looks like on an FBref match report

We then display the match summary in a timeline format, taking you from kickoff to the end, marking all the major events of the game. Below that is a breakdown of team-level statistics, such as possession, passing accuracy and shots on target. The match report finishes by giving you the individual statistics for all players who appeared in the game, including not only goals and assists, but also fouls drawn, tackles and interceptions.

With the addition of match reports also comes the ability to go through a team's fixtures list, now available on their respective team pages. For example, on the 2019 North Carolina Courage's page you will find their NWSL schedule below the individual statistics tables. For teams that play in both international and domestic competitions, there are tabs that will allow you to switch from a combined fixtures list to a competition-specific list. If you prefer to see all teams' fixtures in a competition, that is also now available from that competition's page. Here's a link to the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League's Scores & Fixtures page. In competitions with multiple stages like the Champions League, we also include tabs if you prefer to look at a specific phase.

FBref currently has fixtures lists and match reports back to 2016, and with varying levels of statistical coverage depending on the league. We would appreciate any and all feedback you can provide us on these new features. You can contact us via feedback form, on Twitter, or on our subreddit. A special thanks to Adam Wodon and Dan Hirsch for building this new feature and Adam Darowski for providing most of the design for these pages. At FBref, we want to be your resource for keeping up with the latest news and stats in the world of football.

Posted in Announcement, Data, FBref, Features | 1 Comment »

2018 and 2019 KBO Stats on Baseball-Reference

8th May 2019

In addition to MLB and U.S. minor leagues, Baseball-Reference also tracks statistics from leagues in other countries, such as the Mexican League, Japan's Central and Pacific Leagues, and the Australian Baseball League.

We also cover the Korean Baseball Organization, and we recently added 2018 full season statistics for the league. We are also tracking the ongoing 2019 season and will be updating KBO stats daily.

Merrill Kelly made his MLB debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, coming over after spending 4 years in the KBO. In 2018 Kelly had a 12-7 record for SK Wyverns and finished 2nd in the league in SO/9 among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.

With 2019 statistical coverage, you can also keep track of former MLB players who are playing for the first time in the KBO this year. José Miguel Fernández made his MLB debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018 but now he's in the top 5 of batting average and home runs in the KBO. Tommy Joseph spent two seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies, and is now playing for the LG Twins this season. On the pitching side, William Cuevas, Deck McGuire and Jake Thompson all find themselves in the top 5 in strikeouts in their first KBO seasons.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

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

Basketball-Reference Individual Career Playoff Game Logs

7th May 2019

Basketball-Reference has individual game logs for all of NBA playoff history. Previously, if you wanted to see a player's performance in the postseason, you would need to choose a specific season's game logs to see their game logs in that particular playoff run. But now, we have added a Career Playoffs section that will list all playoff game logs in the player's career on a single page. The Career Playoffs section, in addition to having the same game log information you'd find in the yearly pages, also includes the playoff round and game number of the series for each line.

Here are links to some examples of Career Playoffs game log pages:

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, History, Playoffs | 1 Comment »

Basketball-Reference Adds League Leaderboard Appearances to Team Pages

7th May 2019

Basketball-Reference has added a section to team pages that displays what players on the team finished in the top 20 of league leaderboards in various statistical categories. This section is found near the bottom of team pages, and is useful if you want a quick view of which players on the team were best in the league in a certain field. For example, the 2018-19 Golden State Warriors section will show you Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry's appearances on many leaderboards, with cameos from Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. A more stark example of a single-player dominated team would be the 2002-03 Minnesota Timberwolves, where Kevin Garnett was the lone Timberwolves player to appear in the top 10's of most of the league leaderboards, aside from stray appearances by Rasho Nesterovic and Troy Hudson.

Keep an eye on our Sports Reference Blog for more announcements of added features to Basketball-Reference! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, History, Leaders | No Comments »

PFR Adds Preseason Over/Unders and Super Bowl Odds

6th May 2019

Pro-Football-Reference has added preseason Super Bowl odds back to 1977, as well as preseason over/unders on win totals back to 1989. This information can be found on a team's season page in their information profile. For example, you can go to the 2011 Eagles page and quickly spot they were +800 to win the Super Bowl before the season, and that the over/under for their win total was set at 10.5. (They would go on to finish under that year.)

You can also see the preseason Super Bowl odds and over/unders for all teams in a season by going to a league season page, and then following the Preseason Odds link located in the Other tab. Here's a link to the 2018 odds table, where you can spot the Super Bowl-winning Patriots having the best odds before the season and the highest-set over/under (which they pushed on).

One question that can be answered with this information is: who were the unlikeliest Super Bowl winners based on these preseason odds? Here's a look at the top 10 longest odds since 1977.

RAM 1999 +15000
NWE 2001 +6000
SFO 1981 +5000
PHI 2017 +4000
RAI 1980 +3500
WAS 1982 +3500
NYG 2007 +3000
RAV 2000 +2200
NYG 2011 +2200
NOR 2009 +2000

Also, here's a look at the teams since 1989 that outperformed their preseason over/unders the most.

O/U Wins Over by
RAM 1999 5.5 13 7.5
SDG 2004 4.5 12 7.5
PIT 2004 7.5 15 7.5
ATL 1998 7 14 7
MIN 1998 8.5 15 6.5
CLT 1999 6.5 13 6.5
ATL 2008 4.5 11 6.5
CAR 1996 5.5 12 6.5
CAR 2015 8.5 15 6.5
CHI 2001 7 13 6

A special thanks to sportsoddshistory.com for contributing to this addition to our site. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form. Also, please keep your eyes peeled for similar content coming to our other sites in the future.

Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Super Bowl, Trivia | 1 Comment »