Building a Modified Elo Rating System for NASCAR

Introduction: No sport alters its playoff system quite like NASCAR. Remarkably, NASCAR has changed its process of crowning a champion four times since 2004. NASCAR first divided its season schedule between a regular season and a postseason by instituting “The Chase” thirteen years ago. By resetting points for postseason qualifiers, “The Chase” introduced some variance … More Building a Modified Elo Rating System for NASCAR

The Greatest Left-on-Left Hitters of All-Time

Note: Left-on-left data and other split data is complete back to 1974, mostly complete back to 1950, and only somewhat recorded back to 1930. Elaine Thompson/AP Images It’s a familiar scene. It’s late in the game and a lefty slugger is lying in wait in the on-deck circle. The crowd’s energy is palpable, anticipating a … More The Greatest Left-on-Left Hitters of All-Time

Dee Gordon is Having a Historically Strange Year

As of September 1st, Dee “Flash” Gordon is hitting .301 while also being one of the worst hitters in baseball. Ted Williams once famously said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” However, Gordon has not been a good … More Dee Gordon is Having a Historically Strange Year

Why the Washington Nationals Should Not Re-Sign Bryce Harper

To many Nationals fans, the idea of letting their franchise cornerstone leave via a trade or free agency is a shocking one. After all, he was drafted first overall by the club in 2010 at age 17, made his professional debut two seasons later and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award. In … More Why the Washington Nationals Should Not Re-Sign Bryce Harper

Visualizing Wide Receiver Routes with Player Tracking Data

Image from http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jasonbelzer/files/2014/07/Speed.png This May, NFL teams will finally be granted access to league-owned player tracking data from the 2015 season. The league had previously reached an agreement with Zebra Technologies to install chips in players’ shoulder pads that use radio frequency to broadcast each player’s location and speed 25 times per second, effectively generating … More Visualizing Wide Receiver Routes with Player Tracking Data

Early First Round Fifth-Year Option Differences

In some of my recent research into fifth-year options in NFL contracts, I found one very important distinction in value between the top ten first round picks and picks eleven through thirty-two. For players at the same position in the two different groups of first-round picks, the salary for the top ten picks is higher … More Early First Round Fifth-Year Option Differences

Comparing the Marginal Cost of the Fifth-Year Option for NFL First-Round Picks

One of the major additions in the 2011 NFL CBA was the introduction of the fifth-year option as a way for teams to retain their first-round picks for one extra season at a cost-controlled level. For these high draft picks, they receive a raise on what they were making on their rookie deals, but it … More Comparing the Marginal Cost of the Fifth-Year Option for NFL First-Round Picks

Why Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana – and it’s not even close

“If it doesn’t matter who wins and loses, why do they keep score?” Vince Lombardi uttered this quote over 60 years ago and it still rings true today. What better way to measure a team’s capabilities on the field than the final outcome of the game? And the person most responsible for a team’s success … More Why Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana – and it’s not even close