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Archive for the 'Statgeekery' Category

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 »

2018 WAR Update

15th March 2018

As you browse Baseball Reference, you might notice some subtle changes to WAR figures on the site. There are four main reasons for this:

  1. Park factors for recent seasons have been re-computed to be three-year rolling averages. For instance, 2016 Park Factors now encompass 2015-2017. This is something that needs to be done when seasons end.
  2. We've incorporated restated and expanded fielding statistics from Sports Info Solutions. SIS's Defensive Runs Saved forms the basis for our Defensive WAR calculations since 2003. From 2011 on they recalibrated data using their timer measures to measure ball hang time. There was also some recalculation based on changing shift methodology. Though we're now publishing their catcher framing stat (Strike Zone Runs Saved), we have not incorporated it into WAR at this time.
  3. Pitchers who received time as position players (whether PH or in the field) are now being treated as part-time pitchers and part-time position players. Previously we treated them as full-time pitchers. Some pitchers like Red Ruffing, Bob Lemon and Jim Kaat appeared in many games as a position player, pinch hitter or pinch runner. We used to credit these PAs as pitchers, which overvalued their offensive contributions. To handle this, we compute a percentage of time as a non-pitcher and make an adjustment.
  4. Also, we have incorporated a good deal more Retrosheet data which has affected the years we can compute more advanced fielding and baserunning measures. We're now able to roll these measures back to 1953. Another important change is that with Retrosheet gamelogs back to 1908, we can now use their IP data back to that year to get starter/relief IP splits. Some pitcher WAR changes for 1908-12 are due to WAR now being calculated using gamelog IP rather than the "official" total listed on the player's stat line. The biggest difference here was the appropriately named Bugs Raymond. The "official" record credits him with 324.1 IP that season, but the gamelogs come out to 304.1, which significantly impacted his WAR calculation (see below). For further reading on discrepancies between "official" records and more recently produced gamelogs, please read this excellent explainer by Retrosheet's Dave Smith.

For further details on WAR and its calculation, please see this WAR explainer.

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Statgeekery, Uncategorized, WAR | 8 Comments »

Pitch Framing Measures Added to Baseball Reference

8th March 2018

Our friends at Sports Info Solutions (formerly known as Baseball Info Solutions) have provided us with a pitch framing measure back to 2011, which we have added to Baseball Reference. Before I explain any further, if you're unfamiliar with the concept of pitch framing please read Mike Fast's 2011 article on the topic and Ben Lindbergh's 2013 follow up.

The stat that we have added is called Strike Zone Runs Saved. It represents the runs saved by catcher framing. In our tables, it's labeled RszC and it's available from 2011 to the present. While this statistic is a potential component of Defensive Runs Saved (and therefore WAR), please note that we have elected to not integrate this number into DRS (or WAR) at this time. We may elect to do so in the future, but for now we agree with Bill James's stance that waiting for further research is a good idea.

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, Statgeekery, WAR | 3 Comments »

Alex Bonilla Joins Sports Reference

7th March 2018

I'm pleased to welcome Alex Bonilla to Sports Reference as a User Affairs Coordinator. He'll be answering user questions, working on our new Stathead.com newsletter and much more. He's on twitter at @AlexChacon_OVA. This hire brings us to ten full-time employees.

In other news, Mike Lynch has been promoted from Users Affairs Coordinator and is now Product Manager for Sports Reference.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Statgeekery | No Comments »

LeBron James Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Win Shares List

13th February 2018

Two years ago, LeBron James passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time leader in Value Over Replacement Player (which is calculated back to 1973-74). Now, LeBron has passed Jordan on the NBA's All-Time Win Shares list. Both players still trail Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Karl Malone, however.

For more nuanced perspective on how these five players stack up, please visit this detailed comparison from our Player Comparison Finder tool.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Play Index, Statgeekery | Comments Off on LeBron James Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Win Shares List

Era-Adjusted Stats Added to Hockey Reference Player Season Finder

15th January 2018

At Hockey Reference, we calculate adjusted stats in order to more accurately compare players from different eras and different goal scoring environments. With Alex Ovechkin approaching his 600th career goal, there has been some chatter about Ovi being the greatest goal scorer in NHL history.

So we thought this made for a good time to introduce the adjusted scoring statistics into the Player Season Finder tool in order to test this hypothesis. As it turns out, Ovechkin is easily the NHL leader in "adjusted goals" through 13 seasons of play. If you click on the link, you'll see he has 691 adjusted goals (through 1/15/18), while Wayne Gretzky had 607 adjusted goals through 13 seasons.

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Data, Features, History, Hockey-Reference.com, Play Index, Statgeekery | Comments Off on Era-Adjusted Stats Added to Hockey Reference Player Season Finder

A Discussion of WAR Wherein I Ardently Attempt to Avoid any WAR-Related Puns

21st November 2017

This article assumes a lot of prior knowledge about the discussion of Wins Above Replacement, you can catch up here

First off, none of us are here without Bill James. We are all at our very best merely Chaucer or Joyce to his Shakespeare. All sabermetrics predating him flowed into his work and all sabermetrics after him carries echoes of his work.

To the discussion at hand.
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Posted in Academics, Advanced Stats, Baseball-Reference.com, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Trivia, WAR | 9 Comments »

How to Find Postseason Stats and Records on Baseball Reference

29th September 2017

Even though the temperature has been in the 80s here in Philadelphia this week, the calendar insists it's nearly October, which means it's nearly time for glorious postseason baseball! Following last year's World Series will be a tall order, but there are plenty of intriguing matchups lined up and no clear frontrunner to win it all.

To help you get ready, Baseball-Reference has plenty of postseason data. However, we've found that some users aren't quite sure where to find it or don't know quite how deep our postseason dataset goes. So, here's a quick primer on how to get all the information you need on MLB Postseason History. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Playoffs, Statgeekery | 7 Comments »

Neutralized Baseball Stats Back and Better Than Ever

26th May 2017

When we launched our new site three months ago, one of the casualties was the neutralized stats tables we printed on player pages. Those tables were originally built using code that had grown increasingly unwieldy and were not something we'd be able to adequately maintain moving forward. That said, we're happy to announce that we have rebuilt these tables and added new features, as well.

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Play Index, Redesign, Statgeekery | 3 Comments »

Russ & Harden’s Oscar-Worthy Performances

5th January 2017

We all know Oscar Robertson became the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double when he averaged 30.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG and 11.4 APG in 1961-62. Though he didn't have the benefit of first-class air travel, modern nutrition and training techniques, he did have the benefit of playing for a team that averaged an estimated 124.9 possessions per game, while playing over 44 minutes per game. Though I don't want to diminish the stamina required to perform at a high level at such a frenetic pace, the point stands that there were more opportunities for a player to accumulate counting stats in 1962 than there are in 2017, where the average game has about 96 possessions.

Still, even if we adjust statistics to a Per 100 Possessions basis, few have ever matched Oscar's production. Robertson averaged an estimated 26.7 Pts, 10.8 Reb & 9.9 Ast per 100 possessions in 1961-62. At Basketball-Reference, we have estimated per 100 possessions statistics for every player back to 1973-74 (when the advent of tracking of offensive rebounds, among other stats, made the estimates more reliable). From 1973-74 to 2015-16, a total of just four player seasons (by three players) matched The Big O's Per 100 Possession statistics. They were by do-it-all forwards Grant Hill & LeBron James (twice) and then Russell Westbrook, last season. But, now, the 2016-17 NBA season has TWO players doing that. Russell Westbrook, in his most ridiculous form yet, and James Harden, who has emerged as the perfect player for Mike D'Antoni's relentless attack. But it's not that these guys are matching Robertson's production. They're obliterating it.

Let's first consider Westbrook's numbers.

And yet, saying that Westbrook is like a combination of peak Jordan's scoring with peak Malone's rebounding and peak Kidd's passing doesn't even do justice to how breathtaking his level of activity on the floor is.

As for Harden, the numbers aren't as eye-popping as Westbrook's, but his scoring and rebounding are roughly equivalent to peak LeBron James, except with 50% more assists thrown in. So, I guess that's pretty decent.

Query Results Table
Per 100 Possessions
Player Season Age Tm Lg PTS TRB AST
James Harden 2016-17 27 HOU NBA 37.8 10.9 15.9
Russell Westbrook 2016-17 28 OKC NBA 44.1 15.0 14.9
Russell Westbrook 2015-16 27 OKC NBA 33.9 11.3 15.1
LeBron James 2012-13 28 MIA NBA 37.5 11.2 10.1
LeBron James 2008-09 24 CLE NBA 40.8 10.9 10.4
Grant Hill 1996-97 24 DET NBA 30.9 13.0 10.5
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/5/2017.
Tonight, the former teammates will square off for the 13th time in their regular-season careers, with each player owning six wins to this point. Harden is currently the overwhelming favorite to the win the MVP Award, but it's still early. Anyways, with their matchup tonight, we just wanted to take the opportunity to gawk at their absurd 2016-17 seasons.
Top Candidates Table
Rk Player Tm W/L% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS Prob%
1 James Harden HOU .750 .528 .847 8.2 11.9 1.4 0.3 5.7 28.4 57.6%
2 Kevin Durant GSW .861 .594 .868 8.6 4.7 1.2 1.6 2.3 25.8 16.1%
3 LeBron James CLE .765 .559 .683 7.8 8.5 1.4 0.6 3.9 25.8 8.8%
4 Russell Westbrook OKC .583 .462 .821 10.5 10.5 1.4 0.3 5.3 30.9 5.2%
5 Stephen Curry GSW .861 .575 .929 4.3 5.8 1.7 0.1 2.8 24.2 3.0%
6 Kawhi Leonard SAS .800 .530 .918 5.9 3.1 2.0 0.6 1.9 24.0 2.9%
7 Chris Paul LAC .632 .543 .877 5.3 9.5 2.2 0.2 2.3 17.7 1.9%
8 Kyle Lowry TOR .676 .585 .854 4.9 7.1 1.4 0.3 2.9 22.2 1.6%
9 Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL .529 .559 .779 9.1 5.8 1.9 2.0 2.9 23.9 1.5%
10 Kevin Love CLE .765 .534 .872 10.9 1.7 1.1 0.4 2.1 21.8 1.3%
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/5/2017.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Ridiculousness, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »