Editor’s note: This post is part of our new Sports Analytics Roundup series. You can read more about the new series here. One of the goals of this new series is to foster engagement within the analytics community. Thus, I encourage you to comment with your opinions and thoughts.
Hockey stats: It’s been odd: As a Cleveland fan, I’ve been enthralled by a number of hockey analytics articles over the past week or so. Let’s start with Michael Lopez’s two-part series (Part 1 and Part 2) on debunking the randomness of NHL shootouts. Lopez made some niche notoriety earlier in the year for calling out the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference’s research paper process. Here’s that original link too.
The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk also has an article on future advancements in NHL analytics innovations, perhaps motion-tracking technology like the NBA’s SportsVU and the recently announced MLBAM? And on Monday, during the site’s debut, FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine wrote about how Wayne Gretzky might have mostly been so successful because of archaic goaltenders and their padding.
NBA player tracking: Speaking of SportVU, let’s look into two articles about the data. Hickory-High’s Seth Partnow had a tremendously detailed piece on how all the data works. There are videos and formulas and more. Plus, Dime Magazine’s John Friel shares five neat stats from the 2013-14 season thus far. I was particularly impressed by the stat about the Lakers’ Kendall Marshall.
Sabermetrics news: First, as a news item, it appears that The Sabermetric Revolution by Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimablist is now available. I’ve read a few Zimbalist books before. This one should be good. Keith Olbermann has two interviews (Video: Part 1 and Part 2) with Zimbalist.
Secondly, Baseball Prospectus’ Ben Lindbergh had the vital post-SABR Analytics Conference read. He covers all of the major talking points from the three days in Arizona, with specific detail to injury research, front-office valuations and the next steps of analytics. I highly recommend this one for baseball fans.
Complaints about soccer stats: The Score’s Richard Whittall asked Twitter: “What are the common complaints you hear against advanced statistics in soccer?” He was overwhelmed with responses and shared the top seven most common reader comments in this great post. Here was an enjoyable line:
“That soccer is the way soccer is puts analysts at a disadvantage, if the aim of the analyst is to find market inefficiency in how players and teams are evaluated. If your goal is to do something else, like predict which team will likely finish first and which team will likely be relegated, or which player is creating better chances on a regular basis than an another player, analytics can be very helpful indeed. Plus X,Y positioning data can offer more depth, though I’m not sure it will foment a revolution in how teams play the game. I doubt it.”
Blatant self-promotion: In case you didn’t see it yet, I wrote at length at the Cleveland sports site WaitingForNextYear about the Cleveland Cavaliers and analytics. Hope you give it a look.
Jacob Rosen is a graduate of the University of Dayton, where he majored in applied mathematical economics and was the school newspaper's editor-in-chief and sports editor. Currently, Jacob (an Akron native) contributes to WaitingForNextYear, a website dedicated to Cleveland sports.