Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think about Baseball

Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think about Baseball

by Keith Law

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062490230
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 90,276
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Keith Law is a senior baseball writer for ESPN Insider and an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, focusing on all types of baseball analysis. Prior to joining ESPN, Law spent four and a half years working as a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, handling all statistical analysis, and was also a writer for Baseball Prospectus. Law lives in Delaware.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Smrt Baseball

1 Below Average: The Fundamental Flaws of Batting Average 9

2 Pitcher Wins: One Guy Gets the Credit for Everyone Else's Work 19

3 RBI: Baseball's Unreliable Narrator 31

4 Holtzman's Folly: How the Save Rule Has Ruined Baseball 43

5 Stolen Bases: Crime Only Pays If You Never Get Caught 57

6 Fielding Percentage: The Absolute Worst Way to Measure Defense 71

7 Bulfinch's Baseball Mythology: Clutch Hitters, Lineup Protection, and Other Things That Don't Exist 85

Part 2 Smart Baseball

8 OBP Is Life: Why On-Base Percentage Is the Measure of a Hitter 109

9 The Power and the Glory: Slugging Percentage and OPS 121

10 wOBA/WRC: The Ultimate Measure of the Hitter (Until the Next One) 133

11 ERA and the Riddle of Pitching Versus Defense 139

12 WPA: Measuring Clutch, If You Must 157

13 The Black Box: How Baseball Teams Measure Defense Today 163

14 No Puns Intended: Going to WAR to Value the Whole Player 183

Part 3 Smarter Baseball

15 Applied Math: Looking at Hall of Fame Elections Using Newer Stats 207

16 No Trouble with the Curve: How Scouting Works, and How the Statistical Revolution Is Changing It 231

17 The Next Big Thing IS Here, the Revolution's Near: MLB Statcast 245

18 The Edge of Tomorrow: Where the Future of Stats Might Take Us 261

Epilogue 271

Afterword 277

Acknowledgments 287

Index 289

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