This New NBA Stat Is A Huge Step Forward For Basketball Analysis

This morning on Grantland, Kirk Goldsberry introduced the stat Expected Possession Value Added (EPVA), which he developed with some colleagues as part of a Sloan Conference paper. EPVA still needs some work, but it may represent an enormous development in NBA analysis. Here's why. » 2/06/14 2:18pm 2/06/14 2:18pm

How Creighton Created The Craziest, Deadliest Offense In The Country

The box score from last night's Creighton-Villanova game—a game that ended with Creighton upsetting the No. 4 team in the country behind 21 made three-pointers—looks like a fluke. No team is supposed to heave 35 three-pointers in 40 minutes, let alone connect on 60 percent of them, right? Wrong. The Creighton Bluejays… » 1/21/14 12:42pm 1/21/14 12:42pm

Cherrypick Your Way Through 143 Years Of Baseball Stats

Did you know that Curt Schilling led the league in complete games from 1992-2001? That Tim Raines led the league in hits from 1981-87? That Fred McGriff led the league in home runs from 1987-95? All great stats to argue for your favorite player's HOF admission, made possible by the magic of cherrypicked, arbitrary… » 1/09/14 3:48pm 1/09/14 3:48pm

​Which NBA Coaches Are Best At Designing Plays During Timeouts?

There is something impossibly satisfying about watching a team come out of a timeout and run an ornately designed play that springs someone for a wide-open look or an easy layup. A gorgeous play there, a nonsense turnover here, the very best reputations might be well won over years, but overall, our sense of which… » 12/16/13 11:48am 12/16/13 11:48am

Where Does David Ortiz Rank Among The Best World Series Hitters Ever?

Over the last five games, David Ortiz has hit .733/.750/1.267. This would be a crazy line for any stretch of the season, much less the fucking World Series, and it's brought his career line in the Fall Classic up to .465/.556/.814, which is good enough—the best of any hitter with at least 50 plate appearances—to back… » 10/30/13 1:34pm 10/30/13 1:34pm

How Statistically Unlikely Was The Lions' Comeback Against The Cowboys?

Maybe gawking at the convergence of unlikely comebacks and predictable collapses will get old someday, but by god, that day isn't today. So let's look at how the Cowboys went from a 99 percent chance of winning to a Matt Stafford impromptu Marino in less than 90 seconds. » 10/28/13 12:36pm 10/28/13 12:36pm

When Should Dallas Have Allowed Denver To Score A Touchdown?

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Once Demaryius Thomas crossed the line to gain at the Dallas 14 yard line with 1:50 to play, the Dallas defense should have intentionally allowed the TD. With 2 timeouts and 1:40+ to play, they would have had a better chance of winning than allowing Denver to choke the life out of them and kick an easy FG for the win. » 10/07/13 2:14pm 10/07/13 2:14pm

Infographics: Every NFL Offense's Production, Visualized By Position

Instinctively, you know every team has strengths and weaknesses. You see it in the box scores and the advanced metrics, but when the teams line up, a shitty running back doesn't look impossibly different from Adrian Peterson. So, here's a visual aid. Every NFL offense, visualized by how each of the main offensive… » 10/04/13 2:50pm 10/04/13 2:50pm

Mariners Manager Says Sabermetrics Made Dustin Ackley Suck

The Seattle Mariners optioned once-promising second baseman Dustin Ackley to Triple A yesterday because Ackley has been having a miserable season at the plate. But what's to blame for Ackley's .205 average and .266 on-base percentage? Mariners coach Eric Wedge has a theory, and it has to do with all those damn nerds! » 5/28/13 4:25pm 5/28/13 4:25pm

Four Things You Can Learn About The NBA By Skimming Sloan Sports…

The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is under way in Boston and, though we sent no intrepid reporters to Dorkapalooza this year, the conference happily made its research paper finalists publicly available on its website. Let's blearily page through and see if we can't learn a few things. (We're focused on the SSAC's… » 3/02/13 12:10pm 3/02/13 12:10pm

Score One For The Stat Nerds: Milwaukee Bucks Press Release Cites J.J.…

The only trade of note to take place on the NBA's trade deadline day was the one that sent shooting guard J.J. Redick from the Orlando Magic to the Milwaukee Bucks. As is standard practice, the Bucks put out a triumphant, post-trade press release that includes all kinds of boring statistics and PR-speak and hey wait… » 2/22/13 1:35pm 2/22/13 1:35pm