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Sabermatrics in sports

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Sabermatrics in sports

Postby MaudDib » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:30 pm

Over the past ten years I have gotten more and more into baseball mostly due to fantasy baseball and sabermatrics has of course helped in this as well. I find it fascinating to learn about some of the statistics that have come around with baseball. Being able to figure out how good a player's defense is by using statistics or whether a pitcher is pitching over his head because his other numbers don't match his actual output. I love the idea that our eyes betray us and that the eye test in baseball can be very wrong.

What I want to know is there anything like this going on in football or basketball. Has anyone come up with a way to know if a CB or SS is better than anyone thought using some sort of metric? I would think it would be similar to baseball where you look at where the ball is thrown and see if that particular player gets to it or not. I know there a different variables in football than baseball but it is still doable I would think. Same thing in basketball, could you figure out who is a good defender by looking at how many steals they get vs how many they go for but miss which gives up an easy shot for the other team. Or figure out if a QB is really good but his WR's don't run the field well or catch the ball well and hurts his value which doesn't show up in any stat. I could go on an on here with but I am sure you can come up with your own.

Maybe I am just not into these sports as much (although I do play both fantasy sports and have for years) but I just don't hear about this type of things. I think it is interesting that in baseball sabermatrics has taken a big step forward and we no longer let our eyes tell us who is good and who isn't. A lot of it is debatable but that makes it more fun. But in almost all other sports we rely on our eyes and stats to tell us who is the best. I know we talk about WR's that don't run their routes well and there are stats for dropped balls but these are questionable stats that could be similar to errors in baseball or thinking that Jeter is a good defender because he dives so much. So my question is...is there sabermatrics for other sports and if not why?
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Re: Sabermatrics in sports

Postby Skin Blues » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:24 pm

Other sports are extremely difficult to analyze with stats. They're far too dynamic, and have way too many variables. How can you tell if a QB avoids throwing to a receiver because the CB is amazing or if the WR is garbage, or some combination, or it's a good WR with a sore hamstring... there are a thousand scenarios that all affect one another and it just makes it damn near impossible to nail down with stats. That's what I love about baseball, how most things can be analyzed in a vacuum and be meaningful. Sports like basketball, hockey, and football are such that the same player could be a superstar on one team or a scrub on another team. The situation and role of a player matters so much to his success. Maybe certain areas of other sports can be more deeply analyzed. It's worth looking into I guess.

With baseball it's so beautiful. There will always be debate about what stats are phony and what ones are revolutionary, but the debate is one of the most interesting parts, at least to me.
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Re: Sabermatrics in sports

Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:35 pm

There's a statistical revolution underway in basketball that's still in its infancy, but I doubt it every reaches the level that baseball has, mainly because of what Skinny Jeans up there pointed out: too dynamic. Baseball is a series of individual efforts (or 1-on-1 matchups) with very little (relative to other sports) impact from other teammates and opponents on the field. In football and basketball what every other player on the field does impacts everyone else in a major way on almost every play.
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Re: Sabermatrics in sports

Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:42 pm

Football Outsiders does some "football sabermetrics" stuff. And I've seen some in basketball as well. So people are trying to do it, but it's not as easy as baseball since other sports truly have everyone playing "together", whereas beaseball is a collection of individuals more or less.
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