Sports Reference Blog

Archive for May, 2019

Find Best Performances vs *Any* Opponent With Split Finders

31st May 2019

In honor of Gleyber Torres's ridiculous performance against the Orioles this season, we've made a subtle, but very useful, tweak to the Split Finder tools in the Baseball Reference Play Index.

Previously, when you selected split by opponent and selected "match any listed" you were served results that included all opponents .500 or better, all opponents under .500 and interleague opponents lumped together. While those are technically opponent split options, it didn't really match the spirit of the search, which was users searching for outstanding (or awful) performances against any single opponent. So we've made a tweak to "match any listed" opponent split searches and now show only splits vs individual teams in those searches.

Here's a few examples of searches you can now run easily, without having to sift through records against teams above and below .500:

We hope you enjoy this addition. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

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WNBA Season Starts Today! Check Out Basketball-Reference for Stats & New Features

24th May 2019

After a long offseason, the WNBA is returning for its 23rd season! The league's already been heating up with a dramatic trade that sent Liz Cambage, last year's leader in points per game, to the Las Vegas Aces, where she'll team up with Rookie of the Year A'ja Wilson. Will it be enough to overcome the reigning champion Seattle Storm, who will be without league MVP Breanna Stewart, and the Washington Mystics, who will attempt to avenge their 3-0 sweep last season in their third season with Elena Della Donne? Read the rest of this entry

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FBref Adds Player Career Details Page

23rd May 2019

The latest feature we've added to FBref is a Player Career Details tab to team season pages. This takes you to a list of all the players on the team, and each player's statistics in the two seasons before and after the season you're currently viewing. This feature is very helpful if you're interested in additional context for a player's performance in a given season.

Some examples of Player Career Details pages you can check out:

You can keep up with the latest additions of country coverage and new features here on the Sports Reference Blog, or by signing up for our FBref Stathead Newsletter. Feel free to send us any questions or suggestions through our feedback form or FBref's official Twitter account.

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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 for contributing to this addition to our site. If you have any questions or suggestions about College Football at, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

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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.

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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, 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.

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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,, Features, SRS | Comments Off on Baseball-Reference Adds Playoff Odds

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 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 | Comments Off on CFB-Reference’s School Streak Finder Adds Scoring Margin Criteria

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.

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