Lampe: 2015 playoff teams and the use of analytics

From Nick Lampe at Beyond the Box Score on October 8, 2015:

For regular readers of this site, it is pretty much assumed that the use of analytics can have a positive impact on a team’s on-the-field performance. Teams can use analytics to gain a competitive advantage in many different areas, such as front office decision making and in-game strategy. The use of analytics has grown dramatically throughout front offices in recent years, but teams differ in how much they use analytics and how big of a role it has in their decision making process.

If the use of analytics truly has an impact on a team’s on-the-field performance, then it seems reasonable to expect analytically-minded teams to win more games than teams that are not as analytically-minded (after controlling for other relevant factors such as payroll). Anecdotally, we can point to many examples of teams doing well because of analytics, including the A’s, the Rays, and more recently, the Astros. However, there are also teams such as the Phillies that have had stretches of success despite being openly hostile towards analytics in recent years.

With that in mind, I thought I would take a look at the 2015 season to see if analytical teams were more successful overall than non-analytical teams. To determine how analytical each team truly is, I decided to use The Great Analytics Rankings, which were published by ESPN prior to the this season. (Ben Baumer wrote the MLB-specific rankings.) For those of you who may not be familiar with these rankings, the following introduction is provided by ESPN.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 8, 2015. Last Updated: October 8, 2015.