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Archive for the 'Advanced Stats' Category

Advanced Passing Revamp At PFR

20th November 2019

Earlier this season we announced our partnership with Sportradar to bring advanced offensive statistics to Pro Football Reference. We are happy to announce that for the 2019 season and beyond, we have now added additional advanced passing statistics to help provide context and key breakdowns for the quarterbacks around the league.

We can use MVP candidate Lamar Jackson as an example of the new statistics provided in the Advanced Passing table of quarterback pages. In the Accuracy tab, you'll now see batted passes and spikes in addition to previously added stats such as throwaways and bad throws. We also show passes on target and on target percentage, which ignores spikes and throwaways. Jackson has a 75.4 on target percentage in 2019.

In the Pressure tab of the Advanced Passing table, in addition to previously provided stats such as times blitzed, times hit, and scrambles, we also have pocket time for 2019. Jackson in 2019 has had on average 2.6 seconds in the pocket between the snap and throwing the ball or pressure collapsing the pocket.

In the Play Type tab of the Advanced Passing table, we provide breakdowns for run-pass option plays and play-action situations. Jackson has run 106 RPO plays this season, passing on 51 and rushing on his own for 52 of them. Jackson has run 87 play-action plays, throwing for 559 yards on those plays.

Finally, we already provided air yards information, but in order to paint a more complete picture we are now showing both intended air yards, which includes all pass attempts, and completed air yards. That information is displayed in the dedicated Air Yards tab of the Advanced Passing table.

In addition to displaying this information at the individual level, we have also implemented this tabbed approach on the team advanced stats page. As a team, the Saints lead the league in on target percentage at 81.9%. In terms of pocket time, the Chargers, Chiefs and Bengals trail with just an average of 2.2 seconds. Unsurprisingly, the Ravens and Cardinals have both run over 150 RPO plays, while no other team has even 100.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form or Pro Football Reference's official Twitter account. Thanks for following PFR!

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Data, Features, | No Comments »

xG, Passing, Plus/Minus, and More Stats Added to FBref

19th November 2019

As part of our partnership with StatsBomb, FBref has made more advanced statistics available for players in the major international leagues. We launched expected goals data a couple of weeks ago, and you can read more in depth about the process that goes into calculating those figures at our xG explainer page.

A more recent big addition to the advanced stats we carry is a new Passing table, which tracks total number of passes attempted and completed, as well as a breakdown by pass distance. Other passing information includes key passes (passes that directly lead to a shot attempt), breakdown of left-footed and right-footed passes, through balls, and passes that enter the third of the pitch closest to the goal. In the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League, among players with at least 150 long pass attempts (25+ yards), only Sergio Busquets of Barcelona and Manuel Akanji successfully completed 90% of their long passes.

A new Playing Time table includes basic stats such as minutes per match as well as breakdowns by starts and substitutions. For seasons where we have match reports, we are also able to display points earned in standings per match played, goals scored and allowed by team while the player is on the pitch, and a plus/minus stat using that information. For example, in the 2018-19 English Premier League, Virgil van Dijk and Aymeric Laporte were tied for the league lead among non-goalkeepers in plus/minus, with their teams scoring 67 more goals than their opponents when they were on the pitch.

We have also added a Miscellaneous table that provides season-level statistics we were already providing in match reports such as fouls committed and drawn, offsides, crosses, tackles and interceptions. In 2019 Major League Soccer, Jorge Moreira of Portland led the league with 69 tackles. Zlatan Ibrahimović led the league in offsides committed, 15 more than 2nd place Sam Johnson.

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

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

Advanced Team Statistics Tables Now on PFR

11th October 2019

Last month on the Sports Reference Blog we posted about the addition of advanced statistics at the individual level on offense and defense for 2018 and 2019. We've followed up on that addition and also calculated those advanced statistics at the team level and made season tables to make league-wide comparisons easier. You can find team advanced offensive statistics by going to the Other tab on the league season page and clicking on the Advanced Stats link. Here's a link to 2019 team advanced offensive statistics.

Team advanced defensive statistics can be accessed by going to the main Team Defense page, which is linked in the Defensive Stats tab of the league season page. Here's a direct link to the Team Advanced Defense table for 2019. Some team statistics we include here that aren't currently calculated at the individual level include blitz rate (blitzes per dropback), QB knockdown rate (knockdowns per pass attempt) and pressure rate (pressures per dropback).

Also, we were already including advanced offensive stats at the game level in box scores, but we've also recently added advanced defensive stats in box scores as well. For example, here's a link to the Advanced Defense table for the Chiefs-Colts Week 5 matchup. A reminder that advanced statistics across the site don't fully update until the Wednesday morning following the weekend's games.

We are continuing to expand our statistical coverage for recent seasons, so we're always open to feedback on how to best serve what you most want to know. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form or Pro Football Reference's official Twitter account. Thanks for following PFR!

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Data, Features, | No Comments »

Advanced Defensive Stats on PFR for 2018 and 2019

18th September 2019

At the beginning of the 2019 season, Pro Football Reference announced the addition of advanced offensive statistics, provided by Sportradar, the NFL's exclusive distributor for official real-time scores, player statistics and play-by-play data. This week, we have also incorporated advanced defensive statistics from Sportradar. These stats include:

* Times targeted as a defender
* Receiving yards per reception allowed
* Completion percentage and passer rating allowed on targets
* Average depth of target as a defender
* Yards after catch allowed
* Times brought on a QB blitz
* QB pressures (hurries + knockdowns + sack plays)
* Missed tackles

We've added these statistics to 2018 players and will be updating them for 2019 as well. These statistics are provided via game charting and will be populated by the Wednesday following completion of the game, if not earlier. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form or Pro Football Reference's official Twitter account. Thanks for following PFR!

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Data, Features, | 8 Comments »

Adding Advanced Stats to Pro-Football-Reference for 2018 and 2019

5th September 2019

In a huge addition for 2019, Pro Football Reference will now be bringing you advanced stats provided by Sportradar, the NFL's exclusive distributor for official real-time scores, player statistics and play-by-play data. In addition to the usual stat coverage you've come to expect from us, we're adding:

* Air yards passing and receiving - indicating how far a pass traveled in the air before it was caught.
* Yards after catch - receiving yards minus air yards, how far a receiver ran after catching the ball
* Receiving drops - receptions missed on balls given a reasonable (non-Odell Beckham-level) effort
* Bad throws by QBs - throws that weren't catchable with normal effort
* Times QBs were blitzed - either 5+ players rushed the QB or a DB rushed the QB
* Times QBs were hurried - defined as a situation when the QB is forced to throw the ball earlier than intended or is chased around/out of the pocket as the result of defensive pressure
* Times QBs were hit - occurs when the QB hits the ground after a throw, not marked on a sack play
* Quarterback scrambles and yards on scrambles (vs. designed quarterback runs)
* Yards before and after contact - defined as the number of yards gained after first contact from a defender
* Broken tackles, both rushing and receiving - the number of times that the runner does something significant to get past/through a defender

We've added these stats to the 2018 passing, rushing, and receiving pages, as well as on player pages and team pages and will be updating them on 2019 pages as soon as games start. These stats are provided via game charting and will be fully populated by the Wednesday following completion of the game, if not earlier. Look for more stat additions as the season continues!

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Data, Features, | 7 Comments »

2019 WAR Update

21st March 2019

As we approach the beginning of the 2019 season, we have made some updates to our Wins Above Replacement calculations.  You may notice some small changes to figures as you browse the site. As always, you can find full details on how we calculate WAR here.


Last season, the Tampa Bay Rays popularized the concept of the opener, where the first pitcher of the game is expected to pitch considerably less than a typical starting pitcher.  The opener is followed by a “headliner” or “bulk guy,” who enters the game after the opener but takes on responsibilities similar to a traditional starting pitcher. The Rays found success with this approach, and several other teams followed suit.

Our Wins Above Replacement calculation treats starting pitchers and relief pitchers differently, since relief pitchers have much lower ERAs than starters.  The opener strategy throws a wrinkle into this, since the opener is not expected to go deep into the game and the headliner is, so we have a starting pitcher who is behaving more like a relief pitcher and vice versa.

Tom Tango posted some thoughts on this last year, and the discussion in the comments of that post produced a working definition for the opener:

  1. Determine if we have an opener.  This pitcher must start the game and have either at most 2 innings pitched (6 outs), or at most 9 batters faced.
  2. Determine if we have a headliner. This pitcher must meet two criteria:
  3. Length of appearanceAt least 4 innings pitched (12 outs), or at least 18 batters faced
  4. Order of appearanceThey are the first reliever, OR they are the second reliever, but the first reliever entered mid-inning, and the second reliever started the following inning


If both these pitchers exist, then we have a game with an opener and a headliner.  Both pitchers must exist; you cannot have an opener without a headliner, and vice versa.

Using this definition, we have updated our WAR calculation to treat openers like relievers and headliners like starters.  This change has been applied to all seasons since 1960, the first year we apply a starter/reliever adjustment.

Ryan Yarbrough, the Rays’ most frequent headliner, is an instructive case.  He pitched 38 games and 147.1 innings, but started just 6 times.  By the above definition, 16 of his relief appearances were as a headliner.  Prior to this adjustment, the Rays’ rookie had 0.9 WAR for 2018. After the adjustment, Yarbrough has 1.5 WAR.  The new calculation recognizes that Yarbrough is behaving more like a traditional starting pitcher, and holds his performance to the same standard it would if Yarbrough had started those games.

Park Factors

Park factors for recent seasons have been re-computed to be three-year rolling averages. For instance, 2017 Park Factors now encompass 2016-2018. This is something that needs to be done each year when the season ends.

Catcher Defense Prior to 1953

With help from Sean Smith of (and of an unnamed team front office) and baserunning statistics from Pete Palmer, we now have incorporated catcher defense for the years 1890 through 1952 based on stolen bases, caught stealing, errors, passed balls, and, from 1925 on, wild pitches.  Prior to this update, these players’ defensive abilities were judged only based on errors and passed balls.

Duke Farrell is a particularly noteworthy beneficiary of this change.  His career WAR rises by nearly 8 wins, because he played in an era (1888-1905) with a lot of stolen base attempts and did a better job of throwing out runners than his contemporaries.

This change also impacts pitchers’ WAR figures, since we have more information about the quality of defenses to take into account.  For instance, Jack Taylor and Kid Nichols of the 1904 Cardinals see their WAR numbers rise by more than a win each after accounting for the fact that their catchers threw out fewer runners than the rest of the league.  Indeed, the Cardinals’ primary backstop Mike Grady saw his WAR drop by two wins with this update.

On the flipside, legendary pitcher Cy Young loses more than 4 wins over his career after accounting for the above-average work his teammates did behind the plate throughout his career.

We’ve highlighted some of the more extreme changes here, but to see full lists of the largest changes to season and career WAR totals, please see the spreadsheet here.


Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement,, Data, Statgeekery, WAR | 12 Comments »

Team Analytics Added to Hockey-Reference Season Pages

26th February 2019

Hockey-Reference has added a Team Analytics table to the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 season pages. This table shows Corsi on the team level in 5-on-5 situations, as well as possession quality and scoring chance data. We are also including this information on team pages so you can quickly see how the team compared to the league average in those measurements. We thank War on Ice for defining expected goals, scoring chances and high danger scoring chances, and you can read more about those definitions in our Hockey-Reference Advanced Statistic Glossary.

Looking at the 2018-19 table, we can see that the Washington Capitals are currently leading in Actual Goal Differential minus Expected Goal Differential, at +36. A positive differential would indicate a team is converting or stopping a larger amount of good chances compared to league average. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild find themselves at -27, currently the lowest differential. A negative differential would indicate a team is getting more good chances, but not converting or is allowing more than league norms. When looking at high-danger scoring chances, the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers have done the best at converting those into goals, while the Arizona Coyotes are the only team who has converted less than 10% of high-danger scoring chances into goals so far.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, | Comments Off on Team Analytics Added to Hockey-Reference Season Pages

Provisional 2018 Approximate Value Live on Pro-Football-Reference

8th January 2019

With last week's announcement of the 2018 All-Pro teams, we're pleased to report that we've added 2018 Approximate Value (AV) numbers to the site for all NFL players. Note that these numbers are just provisional right now; the final numbers will be released after the Pro Bowl rosters are finalized. However, there's already some interesting preliminary information to take a look at.

As of now, Patrick Mahomes is the clear AV leader at 22, with Jared Goff, Tyreek Hill, Mitchell Schwartz and Darius Leonard tied at 18. Leonard currently has the second-highest AV by a defensive rookie since 1960, only trailing Patrick Peterson's 20-AV season in 2011. As for Mahomes, his AV is second only to Priest Holmes' 2002 season in Kansas City Chiefs history.

Not sure what AV is? To learn more about PFR's attempt to put a single number on each player-season since 1960 (for the purposes of comparing players across position and era), check out this link. For this year's full AV leaderboard, go here.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, Leaders, Play Index, | 1 Comment »

Postseason WPA Added to Baseball-Reference

1st October 2018

On Baseball-Reference, we include a statistic called WPA (Win Probability Added) in our boxscores. The basic definition of this statistic is the "sum of the differences in win expectancies for each play the player is credited with". You can find a deeper explanation on our Win Expectancy glossary page.

Given we're entering the 2018 postseason, we've decided to add postseason WPA calculations to player pages, postseason series summaries and postseason leaderboards. For an individual player, you will find this in the final column of the player's Postseason Batting and/or Postseason Pitching table. For example, here's a link to Mariano Rivera's table, breaking down his career 11.69 WPA in the postseason. If you go to our MLB Playoffs section, all series summaries will now include WPA in the series stats tables.

Our playoffs section also has career and single-season leaderboards which now have sections for WPA. The aforementioned Mariano Rivera leads all pitchers in career postseason WPA, while David Ortiz occupies the top of the career leaderboard for batting WPA in the postseason.

As a reminder, you can also find more detailed regular season win expectancy and win probability stats for players in their Advanced Stats pages, accessible from the Finders & Advanced Stats tab on player pages. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, | 1 Comment »

Introducing the WNBA Player Season Finder

10th August 2018

Regular Basketball-Reference users are well acquainted with the Play Index, which allows us to compare players across eras and slice and dice season-level data by many criteria. Today we are now introducing the WNBA Player Season Finder, which will be accessible from both the Play Index page and from our WNBA home page. We have WNBA stats back to the league's inaugural 1997 season, which means you can now search all of WNBA history with this tool.

Just like our NBA Player Season Finder, with the new WNBA tool you can do single-season, combined season and total season searches. For example, with the combined season search, you can now create franchise career leaderboards, maybe to see how far ahead in first place Tamika Catchings is among point scorers in Indiana Fever history. Or with the total seasons search, you can now execute a search like players with the most qualified seasons of 2 blocks per game; Margo Dydek and Lisa Leslie lead with nine seasons each finishing with that mark in their career.

Of course, current season stats are also searchable with the Player Season Finder, so you can give them some perspective with past stats. A'ja Wilson is burning up the league in her first WNBA season, currently averaging over 20 points per game. Here's a look at the others in WNBA history who finished with 20 points per game in their rookie season.

Query Results Table
Tota Tota Per Per Per Per Per Per Per Per Per Shoo Shoo Shoo Shoo Shoo
Rk Player Season Tm Lg PTS G GS MP FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA FG% FT% 2P% 3P% eFG%
1 Cynthia Cooper 1997 HOU WNBA 22.2 28 28 35.1 6.8 14.5 4.4 8.7 2.4 5.8 6.1 7.1 .470 .864 .508 .414 .553
2 Seimone Augustus 2006 MIN WNBA 21.9 34 34 33.1 8.3 18.2 7.4 15.7 0.9 2.5 4.4 4.9 .456 .897 .473 .353 .481
3 A'ja Wilson 2018 LVA WNBA 20.3 29 29 30.8 7.1 16.0 7.1 16.0 0.0 0.0 6.0 7.7 .446 .785 .446 .446
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2018.

Stay tuned for more additions to the WNBA section of our site here on the Sports-Reference Blog. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement,, Features, History, Leaders, Play Index, Stat Questions, Statgeekery | 4 Comments »