[Editor’s note: Jacob compiled the links and then had computer problems. So, I subbed in and wrote the commentary. A total team effort.]
WORLD CUP: It all starts today. The World Cup, the globe’s biggest sports festival, will be underway shortly. That means we’ve got plenty of math-y links to share from the soccer world.
Several more people released their World Cup predictions, with Brazil continuing to be heavy favorite. Michael Caley of SB Nation has a nice piece with predictions for each group. The best part of his article is his Appendix. There, he talks about the methodology of predicting the World Cup. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight compared his predictions (which are based on ESPN’s SPI rating) with other ratings. Deadspin compiled and compared the predictions from Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, Number Fire, The Power Rank, FiveThirtyEight, SB Nation, and The Economist. The biggest takeaway? Data visualization is cool.
Carl Bialik of FiveThirtyEight spent a day at Opta Sports and described how the data company tracks every “touch pass and tackle” in soccer. Mike Goodman of Grantland explained “how to watch the World Cup like a true soccer nerd.” Goodman explains lineups, tactics, and other essential information so you don’t make a fool out of yourself at the bar.
NHL: Garret Hohl of SB Nation has a useful compilation of various hockey articles that serve as an “introduction to some statistical work.” James Mirtle of The Globe talked how the Penguins’ interest in analytics may have played a role in selecting the team’s new GM. NHL Numbers explains the importance of neutral zone play. And Jonathan Quick said this about stats…
“When you get to something like this, it’s not about statistics – it’s not about statistics any time of the year to be honest – but I think those are just kind of something that people that don’t really know the game, it gives them something to judge off of.”
MLB: Dave Wallace, a former minor league player and current AA coach, talked about analytics and minor league baseball. Lewie Pollis explained his senior thesis project and discussed how front office analysts (General Managers, etc.) are vastly underpriced in MLB. On ESPN, Alex Kaufman wrote how the Indians have been using their proprietary analytics software since before Moneyball. Taylor Armosino of The Cauldron examined the increasing role (and value) of platoons.
OTHER: Fox Sports wrote how the Missouri football program is using new technology in hopes of reducing the number of ACL injuries. Charlie Zeger of The Cauldron explained how the “data revolution has been around for more than a century at the horse track.” Tom Brady said the only stat that matters is wins. Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation provided a bit of background on the Buccanners manager of analytics. NBA.com added team totals for SportVU data. Basketball-Reference added per-100 possessions player stats.