Category Archives: Tableau

2016 college baseball season preview

Last year, I introduced my open-source college baseball database (which I’ve recently updated), and showed a few example applications. I looked at win probabilities, how the new flatter seams helped increase offense, the stolen base breakeven point, and the value of bunting (honest).

But this time, I want to use someone else’s data. Chris Long (now with the Detroit Tigers) has his own collection of useful college baseball tools on his GitHub. Let’s use them to generate a season preview.

Read the rest on Beyond the Box Score

International baseball: Premier 12 preview and summer wrapup

Baseball, as former commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote, “is designed to break your heart.” The World Series is over, the chill rains have come, the days are all twilight, and we’re forced to scavenge, staring glumly at the garish colors and chemical aftertaste of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Baseball!

There is one more event on the calendar before the offseason: The World Baseball Softball Confederation is hosting the first Premier 12 tournament in Japan and Taiwan next week. The event features the top 12 nations in the WBSC’s rankings, which are based on participation in other WBSC tournaments, and will serve as a qualifying event for future Olympic baseball tournaments. According to the WBSC, the Premier 12 is the “flagship professional baseball world championship.” This is not to be confused with the World Baseball Championship, which was labeled the WBSC’s “Official men’s Baseball World Championship” [sic] when the MLB-WBSC partnership was renewed in September. (WBSC did not respond to requests to clarify the distinction between the two.)

Read the rest at Beyond the Box Score

Flattened seams and raised offense in college baseball

One month into the season, the effects of the new ball are already visible. The NCAA was quick to trumpet the apparent power surge: despite a cold February, home runs per game jumped from 0.33 in the first month of 2014 to 0.47 HR per game so far in 2015. But observers claimed a number of other effects as well….

We pulled the data from the first month of the 2015 season; let’s see which of those claims hold water.

Part of The Machine that Goes “Ping”, my occasional college baseball column.

Read the rest on Beyond the Box Score.

Database available for download on GitHub. Win expectancy table available on Tableau.