Datanami: Today’s baseball analytics make ‘Moneyball’ look like child’s play

From Alex Woodie at Datanami on October 24, 2014, with SABR President Vince Gennaro:

Baseball has always been a game of numbers and statistics. But thanks to an explosion of data over the past seven years and the advent of new analytic software running on supercomputers, the game is on the cusp of changes that will make Moneyball look like it belongs in the minor leagues.

When the San Francisco Giants take the field against the Kansas City Royals in game three of the World Series tonight, you can bet that the choices made by managers and coaches will have a big impact on the outcome of the game. From choosing the lineup and starting pitchers to selecting pinch hitters and relief pitchers, the in-game decisions that the Giant’s Bruce Bochy and the Royal’s Ned Yost make will be instrumental to winning.

Of course, that’s true for all 2,000-odd games that Major League Baseball holds in a given season. In fact, managers have played a critical role in over the course of all 180,000 games played across the entire 140-year history of professional baseball. But what’s different today is the amount and quality of actionable information available to managers. Data is now being generated in a continuous stream, and the best teams are finding ways to exploit it to their advantage.

“What we’ve seen is an absolute explosion of baseball data,” said Vince Gennaro, an MLB consultant and president of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), the organization that pioneered the “sabermetrics” approach to empirical analysis that Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane implemented, and which Michael Lewis made famous in his 2003 bestselling book “Moneyball.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 27, 2014. Last Updated: October 27, 2014.