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Archive for the 'Statgeekery' Category

2019-20 NBA Player Projections Added to Basketball Reference

18th October 2019

Basketball-Reference has added 2019-20 NBA player projections, using our Simple Projection System, which is adapted from Tom Tango's Marcel the Monkey Forecasting System.

Since we're not controlling substitution patterns, all projections are for per-36 minutes statistics. In addition to the full list of player projections linked above, we are also displaying them on individual player pages. Please use these responsibly and enjoy! Also, take the time to check out some other features you may be unaware of in the site's Frivolities section.

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

Old Hoss Radbourn: 59 or 60 Wins?

10th April 2019

Keen-eyed Baseball-Reference users have written us asking about an update made to the statistics of Hall of Fame pitcher Old Hoss Radbourn. In the past, we had displayed Radbourn with 59 wins in his 1884 season with Providence. However, in a recent update, Radbourn has been bumped up to 60 wins.

Before we delve into what the correct number is, let's zoom out a bit, first. It will probably surprise most baseball fans to discover that there was no league-mandated rule in place for assigning wins and losses before 1950. Wins were awarded, but they were entirely up to the discretion of the official scorer. Compounding this issue is the fact that while the leagues tracked pitcher wins for much of the Deadball Era, they made many errors, and even briefly stopped officially counting pitcher wins and losses for a few years in the 1910s as ERA was first gaining popularity. A SABR member named Frank Williams meticulously corrected the record, and his research formed the basis for the accepted totals you see today.

Williams unveiled his groundbreaking work in 1982 with the article All the Record Books Are Wrong. I'd encourage you to read the article at that link (and thank you to John Thorn for re-posting it in its entirety).

Williams was the original source for the 59 wins attributed to Radbourn in 1884. He arrived at this number by determining what practices were used at the time to determine pitcher wins and losses. Earlier record books had retroactively applied the 1950 rule to Radbourn's era and given him 60 wins as a result. However, it was discovered by Frederick Ivor-Campbell that this was done in error and that one of his 1884 wins (on July 28) should have actually been credited to his teammate Cyclone Miller.

Miller was indeed the correct winner if you applied the 1950 rule, since he pitched 5 innings and left with a lead. However, Radbourn pitched 4 shutout innings and was more effective. Practice in the 1880s allowed for the more effective pitcher to be deemed the winning pitcher, per Pete Palmer. While Williams originally concluded that Miller was the correct winner of this game (giving him 59 wins on the season), he has recently concluded that using practices of the time Radbourn is the correct winner, and therefore has 60 wins in 1884.

Ironically, we end up back at the original 60 wins attributed to Radbourn's 1884 season all the way back in 1920, but hopefully we've learned a good deal along this path. We hope this serves as a reminder how valuable the research done by SABR members is.

In conclusion, we are now showing that Old Hoss Radbourn was credited with 60 wins in his 1884 season.

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, History, Statgeekery | 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.

Openers

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 baseballprojection.com (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, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Statgeekery, WAR | 12 Comments »

“Own Goals” Added to NBA/ABA Box Scores

12th March 2019

At Basketball Reference, we're constantly working to beef up the accuracy and content of our historical box scores. A coverage map of our progress can be seen here.

We recently undertook a mission to ensure that the sum of player points within our box scores correctly adds up to their team's points in that game. We uncovered an interesting wrinkle in the way the NBA (and the ABA) attributed points to players and teams decades ago.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, History, Statgeekery | Comments Off on “Own Goals” Added to NBA/ABA Box Scores

Full Shooting Details for Every* 50-Pt Game in NBA History

6th February 2019

Through the games of February 5, 2019 there have been 533 50-point games in NBA history (497 in the regular season and 36 in the playoffs). We have a box score with FGM, FTM and Points scored for every player for every game in NBA history. What we don't always have (particularly for older seasons) is FGA and FTA. However, we have made a concerted effort to get these details for every 50-point game in league history and we now have the full shooting details for all of these performances with the exception of three one.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Play Index, Statgeekery | 4 Comments »

Get to Know Mike Daum & Chris Clemons: CBB’s Next 3,000-Pt Scorers

4th November 2018

They've been playing college basketball for well over 100 years. And yet only eight men in the history of major men's college basketball have managed to score 3,000 career points: Pete Maravich, Freeman Williams, Lionel Simmons, Alphonso Ford, Doug McDermott, Harry Kelly, Keydren Clark and Hersey Hawkins. Notably, none of these players joined the 3,000-pt club in the same season.

In the 2018-19 season, we could see membership in this club jump from eight to 10 as Campbell's Chris Clemons and South Dakota State's Mike Daum seem poised to become the first pair of players in NCAA history to join the 3,000-point club in the same season. Clemons, a 5'9" high-flyer, and Daum, a 6'9" double-double machine, have few things in common in style of play, but they each enter their senior seasons with identical career totals of 2,232 points. Every NCAA D-I men's basketball player that has entered their senior year with 2,200+ points has gone on to reach 3,000 that season. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, History, Statgeekery, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get to Know Mike Daum & Chris Clemons: CBB’s Next 3,000-Pt Scorers

Ejection Totals and In-Game Tendencies Added to Manager Pages

24th October 2018

For manager pages on Baseball-Reference, we have added a column for ejections to their primary Managerial Stats table. Bobby Cox's career 162 ejections make for a nice finishing piece on his collection of accolades. We have ejections data for managers all the way back to the 1889 season, so even classics like John McGraw are fully accounted for. We'll also take the opportunity to mention that if you want to dig into what the cause for these ejections were, Retrosheet's Managers section will have that for you.

We have also added a new Managerial Tendencies table to managers' pages, showing how often their teams employed certain strategies and how their rate compared to the league they were managing in. We show a manager's tendencies in stolen base attempts at 2nd and 3rd, as well as how often their teams attempted sacrifice bunts, issued intentional walks, or made player substitutions.

Using one recent example, in Dusty Baker's final year with the Washington Nationals, his players attempted to steal 3rd base on 2.9% of the chances they had. Using 100 as the league average, Baker in 2017 had a league-adjusted rate of 180, meaning that Baker's team was attempting this almost twice as much as the average NL squad that season.

We have intentional walk tendencies back to 1955, while the other managerial tendencies are available since 1925. If you have any questions about this new feature or any other section of Baseball-Reference, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Statgeekery, Trivia | 3 Comments »

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 Basketball-Reference.com: 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, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, History, Leaders, Play Index, Stat Questions, Statgeekery | 4 Comments »

Web Developer Job at Sports Reference | Sports-Reference.com

5th June 2018

We are Hiring! Please see our job ad. Web Developer Job at Sports Reference | Sports-Reference.com

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Bleg, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, FBref, Features, General, Hockey-Reference.com, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

Save Percentage and Goalie Minutes Coverage Extended

24th April 2018

Hockey-Reference has now added goaltenders' Shots Against data back to the 1955-56 season; we previously only had that back to 1983-84. This addition enables us to calculate season and career save percentages for all goaltenders, including several Hall of Famers. For example, a contender for greatest goalie of all time, Jacques Plante, is now listed with a career .9196 SV%, putting him at eighth all time and fifth among retired players. Plante also now occupies two of the top five spots in the single-season Save Percentage leaderboard. Johnny Bower is the top addition to the career Save Percentage leaderboard, as his career .9219 SV% puts him at third all time and second among retired players, only trailing Dominik Hasek.

We also now have data available that gives us precise Time On Ice numbers for goalies down to the second, going all the way back to the beginning of the NHL. As a result, there have been some changes to the Minutes Played data, and subsequent re-calculations of everyone's Goals Against Average. This pertains, mainly, to goalies prior to 1999. We always had Time On Ice data for goalies from 1999 onward.

We pride ourselves on providing the most accurate information available and we hope fans of NHL history enjoy this addition. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Announcement, Data, History, Hockey-Reference.com, Leaders, Statgeekery | 2 Comments »