Category Archives: Predictions

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: South Korea wins inaugural Premier 12

A three-run homer by Byung-Ho Park capped a five-run fourth inning as South Korea rolled past the United States, 8-0, to claim the inaugural Premier 12 baseball championship in front of 40,411 fans at the Tokyo Dome.

For South Korea, the victory marked their first global baseball title since the 1982 Baseball World Cup hosted in Seoul. The championship comes on the heels of a gold medal at September’s Asian Baseball Championship. As in September, South Korea needed a furious ninth-inning rally to upset Japan in the penultimate game. Seven innings of one-hit ball by Japanese ace Shohei Otani had the visitors facing elimination, down 3-0 with three outs to go. But six straight batters reached base for South Korea, with Dae-Ho Lee’s line drive single into the left field corner bringing in the tying and go-ahead runs.

Read the rest at 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

MLB 2015 over/under win totals: Vegas vs. regression

February is the time when baseball news starts peeping through the snow like seedlings, giving little reminders that warm weather is just around the corner*. The sports book at the Atlantis offered one such sign Friday when they posted the first over/unders of the 2015 season.

* – Sorry for the bad metaphor. We’ve gotten an Altuve and a half of snow over the last three weeks and I’m going a little stir-crazy.

Read the rest at Beyond the Box Score