I’ve been away for a while. But I’m returning.
Where have I been the past year? Mostly over here, and sometimes commenting over here. But during that year, I’ve done a lot of mathematics to study questions I had about the baseball I was reading about and following, and some of that has filtered into some of those posts. I thought I’d provide a selection here of some of the more interesting ones. Some of these contain hints to posts I plan on putting up here in the coming weeks, posts that will include discussions of the math of streaks, and just how much a small sample size actually tells us. There will be other new topics too, not previewed in any of these posts. Stay tuned.
Here is that selection of my mathematically-oriented posts of the last year or so:
A post from August 2014 explaining why batting 15 points above league average is sometimes actually hitting at league average. This in the context of examining one upcoming player.
A comment titled “Expected frequency of reverse platoon splits exceeds the actual numbers” to the article “Are reverse platoon splits sustainable?” on Beyond The Box Score. In this comment (scroll to the bottom of the comments section) I used binomial theory to come up with what would be the expected number of players, based on random chance alone, having a reverse platoon split in on-base percentage for the years 2012 and 2013. I show that the actual numbers were less than the numbers you’d expect by random chance, seeming to indicate that reverse platoon splits are unsustainable.
A comment titled “No, because starters face more batters” to the article “The Hidden Perfect Games of Relievers” on Beyond The Box Score. In this comment (scroll to the next-to-last comment), after making two points about the right way to compare starters and relievers for the purpose of the article, I discussed my first attempts at producing an expected number of “wrap-around” perfect games that will occur in a given season for starters and relievers, to help clarify any meaning that might be attached to the reported results. I did complete that work, which I plan to publish later on this blog, in a post about the math of streaks.
A post from September 2014 that argues that a certain young player is better than his overall numbers say he is, by analyzing his advancement as a hitter at each new level he played at.
A post from September 2013 explaining why one baseball team’s chances of making the playoffs were ridiculously close to, but not quite exactly, 100%.
A post from later in September 2013 which explains (in more detail than anyone probably cared to read) why that same baseball team’s chances of having home-field advantage were about 7 out of 11 (washing dishes at night gave me a lot of time to listen to baseball and think about this stuff).