The subtitle is How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football and the author is Wayne L. Winston.

I read only the sections on the NBA.  He proposes a four-factor model to evaluate teams: Effective Field Goal Percentage, Turnovers per Possession, Offensive Rebounding Percentage, and Free Throw Rate, or how often a team gets to the line.  He claims you can raise your PER by taking lots of bad shots and for that reason PER isn't a great measure.  Kevin Garnett was an underrated player.  Playing four games in five nights hurts you by an average of four points.  The raw data, unadjusted for the Lucas Critique, indicate that when you are up by three points, and there are less than seven seconds left, you should not foul the other team.

Some people will enjoy this book.  Baseball receives the most attention.  Each chapter simply ends and the author moves on to another topic without any overarching narrative other than the statistical method itself.

Here is some of his blogging.


I know nothing about basketball statistics beyond the traditional ones. Still, it looks to me like it would be very hard to improve on measures of individual performance, because so much depends on interaction among the players and the blend of skills involved.

I am somewhat familiar with baseball statistics. In that game individual performance is much easier to observe and measure, yet there are still issues about the effect of player interaction, batting order, pitcher-catcher combinations, etc.

Great read if you like sports and statistics, so great theories in there.

My mum helps me with the hard questions, but I do all of the rest myself. I love being in your class this year.

It's pretty good.

It is very interesting topic you've written here..The truth I'm not tied to this, but I think a good oppurtunity to learn more about it†¦ And as well talk about a different topic to which I used to talk with others..

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