Sports Reference Blog

Sports Reference Adds Two

Posted by admin on November 3, 2020

I'm pleased to announce that Charlotte Eisenberg and Adam Darowski have joined Sports Reference in full-time roles.

Charlotte is joining us as a Data Developer working on baseball, basketball and hockey. She was an intern with Sports Reference previously and also spent a year with the Texas Rangers front office.

Adam is our new Head of User Experience. He has been a long-time consultant for Sports Reference and is responsible for the responsive redesign we undertook in 2016-17 and the design of our new Stathead service. You can follow him on twitter @baseballtwit.

In another move, Jaclyn Mahoney has been promoted from Data Developer and will now manage our Business Intelligence efforts.

About Sports Reference.

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

Annual Stathead Subscriptions Now Available!

Posted by Mike Lynch on October 29, 2020

By popular demand, we're thrilled to announce that annual Stathead subscriptions are now available at Stathead.com. Stathead is the premier set of sports research tools available to the public and is available for Baseball, Basketball, Football & Hockey. Monthly subscriptions, which are $8/month for a single sport and $16/month for all sports also remain available. The new annual subscriptions are priced to give users who choose them two months for free: $80/year for a single sport or $160/year for all sports. If you're a current subscriber and wish to change from monthly to annual, you may do so here. To learn more about Stathead, please visit here.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | 2 Comments »

New International Leagues on BBR For 2020-21

Posted by Alex Bonilla on October 27, 2020

In addition to covering the NBA and WNBA in the United States, Basketball Reference covers an array of professional basketball leagues in Europe, Asia and Australia. For the 2020-21 season, we have added four new leagues: the ABA Adriatic League, the VTB United League of Russia, the Turkish Super League and the Israeli Super League. These leagues include teams that participate in the continental EuroLeague and EuroCup competitions, which we cover as well.

Notable former NBA players who are playing in these newly added leagues include Sam Dekker and Tyler Ennis with Türk Telekom in Turkey, Eric Mika with Partizan NIS in the Adriatic League, Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko with BC Khimki in VTB United, and Dragan Bender with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

For these newly added leagues we only have current season data right now, but if you'd like to see previous seasons for those leagues or express interest in other leagues, feel free to contact us via our feedback form.

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

Stathead Baseball Adds the Pivotal Play Finder

Posted by Dan Hirsch on October 21, 2020

Last month, we added Championship Leverage Index (cLI) and Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA) to Baseball-Reference. These stats measure how much of an impact each player had on their team's chances of winning the World Series. Today, we are launching the Pivotal Play Finder, which measures the impact that each individual play had on a team's World Series win probability. This tool allows you to customize your query using a number of different filters to find the most impactful plays in a given situation.

It's not surprising to see that the most pivotal play in MLB history occurred in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. But many would be shocked to find out that it was not Bill Mazeroski's walk-off (which is 6th all-time). The most pivotal play actually occurred an inning earlier. In the bottom of the 8th inning with 2 outs, the Pirates were down 7-6 with runners on the corners when Hal Smith put his team up by two runs with a 3-run home run. This play increased the Pirates' chances of winning the World Series from 30% to 93%. Unfortunately for Smith, the Yankees erased the lead in the top of the 9th, and then Mazeroski became the hero.

With the Pivotal Play Finder, you can search by event type and find out that Babe Ruth's caught stealing to end the 1926 World Series was the most impactful caught stealing in MLB history (10.22%), or that Fred Snodgrass' muff in the 1912 World Series was the most critical error in history (24.39%).

We can also search for plays involving a particular player. Derek Jeter was involved in many memorable moments during his career, but none more pivotal than his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series.

We can drill down even further and search by team to see that Randy Arozarena's home run off Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 7 of the 2020 ALCS was the most pivotal home run in Tampa Bay Rays history.

In addition to sorting by Championship Win Probability Added, we can also sort by Championship Leverage Index to find the most crucial moments. These situations are usually the most pressure-packed because the difference between an out and a run has an enormous impact on a team's World Series win probability. The situation with the highest cLI in MLB history came in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Giants were down 1-0 with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd with Willie McCovey at the plate. A hit would likely tie or win the game (and World Series) for the Giants, while an out would mean a championship for the Yankees. As we know, McCovey lined out sharply to Bobby Richardson to end the series.

Please note that at the time of this writing, Regular Season event data is complete back to 1973, mostly complete back to 1950, and somewhat complete back to 1916. Postseason event data is complete back to 1903. Please see the data coverage page for details.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Stathead | 1 Comment »

Baseball-Reference Adds Championship Win Probability Added

Posted by Dan Hirsch on September 30, 2020

Just in time for the 2020 postseason, Baseball-Reference has added championship win probability added (cWPA) and championship leverage index (cLI) to the site.

Just as single-game win probability added (WPA) measures how a player impacts their team's chances of winning a game, cWPA measures how a player impacts their team's chances of winning the World Series. Similarly, championship leverage index uses the same concept of single-game leverage index (LI), but expands the scope to measure the importance of a particular play, in how it impacts a team's chances of winning the world series.

These stats are highly dependent on context and are best used as "story stats" rather than determining which player was better. When telling the story of the history of baseball, we point to the greatest moments such as Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World, Bucky Dent's home run over the monster, David Freese's clutch performance in Game 6, or Madison Bumgarner's Game 7 performance. Moments like these are captured in cWPA and cLI, but it's not just history's greatest moments. Every event in our play-by-play database has a value.

How are cWPA and cLI calculated?
Let's look at Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World for example. This was the third and final game of the National League tiebreaker series. A win for the Giants would clinch the pennant with a 50% chance of winning the world series. However, a loss would end their season, meaning a 0% chance of winning the world series. The difference between a win and a loss in this game is 50%. To get the championship leverage index, we simply divide .5 by our baseline of .006 (The baseline is explained here). This means that the Giants' cLI for the game is 83.33 (.5/.006). The LI for Bobby Thomson's final at-bat was 4.74. To get the cLI for the at-bat, we simply multiply the game cLI by the at-bat's LI, which gives us 395.0 (83.33*4.74). This mean's that this at-bat is 395x more important to the Giants' chances of winning the world series than the average play on opening day.

When Thomson stepped to the plate, the Giants were down 3-1 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th, giving them just a 29% probability of winning the game at the start of the at-bat. Since the home run ended the game, the probability of winning the game at the end of the at-bat was 100%. To get the cWPA for the play, we multiply the difference between game win probability at the start and end of the at-bat by the difference between the championship win probability of a win and a loss. This gives Thomson .355 cWPA ((1.0 - .29) * (.5-0)). This means that Thomson's home run increased the Giants' probability of winning the world series by 35.5 percentage points. On the flip side, the opposing pitcher Ralph Branca is given -.355 cWPA for the play.

Note: cWPA values are displayed in percentage format, so the example above displays as 35.5%.

There are currently a number of places to find cWPA and cLI on Baseball-Reference:
Regular Season Leaderboards: Career Regular Season Batting Leaders
Postseason Leaderboards: All-Time Batting Leaders
Batting and Pitching Game Logs: Yaz's amazing 1967 season
Batting and Pitching Win Probability Tables: Sandy Koufax's Pitching Win Probability
Postseason Series Pages: 1991 World Series
Box Scores: 1960 World Series Game 7
League Batting and Pitching Win Probabiliy Pages: 2020 MLB Batting cWPA
Team Batting and Pitching Win Probability Tables: 1975 Reds Batting
Team Schedules: 1978 Yankees

If you have any questions or feedback on this new feature, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Baseball-Reference Adds Championship Win Probability Added

Introducing Football’s Premier Research Tool: Stathead Football

Posted by Mike Lynch on September 15, 2020

In previous months, we have launched Stathead Baseball, Stathead Hockey and Stathead Basketball. Today, we're thrilled to announce that Stathead Football has joined our suite of Stathead tools, the most powerful set of sports research tools available to the public. In fact, they're so good that the pros (whether they're running teams or covering them) also swear by them.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | 3 Comments »

ABA Game-Winning Buzzer-Beaters Added to Basketball Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 29, 2020

In February Basketball-Reference added a list of every Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater in NBA history. Today, we're happy to announce that we've also added a list of every Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater in ABA history.
Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

Sports Reference LLC Acquires The Baseball Gauge

Posted by admin on August 27, 2020

Sports Reference LLC has acquired the Baseball Gauge from owner Dan Hirsch. Dan was hired as a developer by Sports Reference in 2018 and has spearheaded our work on fbref.com. This week, Dan migrated The Game-Changer from the Baseball Gauge to a new home on Baseball-Reference.com. Work is continuing on the migration of additional features like Championship Probability Added and Championship Leverage Index.

Following the re-launch of these features on Baseball-Reference.com, The Baseball Gauge will be shut down. You can follow Dan on Twitter.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, General, Statgeekery | 2 Comments »

Introducing the Baseball Reference Game Changer

Posted by Alex Bonilla on August 25, 2020

Baseball Reference is happy to announce the launch of the Game Changer tool, which allows you to customize how you view baseball on MLB.TV. The Game Changer may be familiar to those who were using it when it was hosted by The Baseball Gauge, a site run by Dan Hirsch who has adapted the tool to work from Baseball Reference now. The Game Changer functions in a similar way to the NFL RedZone channel, but for Major League Baseball, prioritizing the key moments you want to catch. All you need to do is set your priorities and click "Launch Video". The Game Changer will do the rest by automatically switching to the game that meets your highest priority at that moment.

Some of the different priorities you can set include:

- If a pitcher you want to see is on the mound pitching

- If a batter you want to see is at bat
- There is also an option to switch to the game if that batter is on deck with less than 2 outs

- If a player you want to see is on base

- If the game situation is high-leverage, meaning it could have a big effect on the team's chance of winning

- If there's a no-hitter going through x innings

- If there's a position player pitching

- If a game has entered extra innings

This is currently not available on mobile. So, if you have MLB.tv access on your computer and wanted a way to personalize your watching experience, check out the Game Changer and give it a try! Feel free to send any suggestions or feedback through our feedback form, we'd love to hear your thoughts on this new tool.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features | 1 Comment »

Gap Years on Basketball Reference

Posted by Alex Bonilla on August 14, 2020

Thanks to work from summer intern Amy Huddell and the research of APBR President Emeritus Robert Bradley, Basketball Reference has greatly expanded its database of gap years for NBA players. Specifically we've added 704 new records in addition to the previous gap year data we had on the site. This includes mid-season career interruptions, first-season injuries and situations where they were still on the roster for their final season but did not play.

Often mid-season career interruptions are injury-related, such as Derrick Rose's ACL in 2012-13 or Greg Oden's various knee ailments. Occasionally there are other reasons like Robert Reid in 1982-83 voluntarily retiring to pursue the ministry or Red Morrison in 1956-57 who went into the construction business before making a return the next season. There are a couple of players such as Charlie Paulk and Dick Rosenthal who had gap years due to military service.

Notable end-of-career notes that we've added include Wilt Chamberlain sitting out his final year under contract with the Lakers and Alex Groza being suspended indefinitely for his involvement in the CCNY point shaving scandal.

Another gap year situation is players in international leagues between getting drafted and making their NBA debut, or players extending their careers internationally. Recent examples of this that were added in this batch include Patrick Beverley and Stephon Marbury.

We hope that adding this context to player pages helps people browsing the site understand their careers a little better. Thanks again to Amy Huddell and Robert Bradley for their help with this project. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Trivia | 2 Comments »