Statistically Speaking. Using Sabermetrics to evaluate your team
- Updated: August 21, 2014
The popularity of Sabermetrics in baseball has been growing year on year since the introduction to the public and the coining of the term by author Bill James. The term is a play on the acronym SABR, which stands for Society for American Baseball Research and is the advanced statistical study of the game in the hope of finding the true value of the players.
Due to the fact that traditional baseball statistics can be misleading, team managers, baseball researchers and sports bettors alike have adopted these advanced systems for studying statistics to help them evaluate teams as a whole as well as to separate the good players from the bad.
The advantages of using advanced data analysis becomes obvious when you read the success stories of the people using them and there are plenty of these stories, from Bill James’s ground-breaking work through to more recent works such as Moneyball:The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis.
The main issue a lot of sports bettors have with these advanced analytical approaches is that they can seem daunting or too complex, however there are also plenty of simpler ways to use Sabermetrics to your advantage when betting on Major League baseball games through sites like BetFair. So if you are thinking about trying Sabermetrics check the latest baseball odds here.
At the most basic level, using Sabermetrics can help you evaluate the batters, the pitchers and the teams you are betting on which will allow you to make the best possible bets and avoid any bad bets that may have initially looked tempting.
Using batting average alone to evaluate a batter won’t tell you much as it won’t include walks and treats all hits equally regardless of whether they were singles or home runs. The real story can be found by looking at a number of different statistics including slugging percentage and on base percentage as well as the sum of those (a statistic known as on base plus slugging) which summarises what a batter can do for their team.
Typically pitchers are evaluated by looking at their Earned run average and their win/loss record however this doesn’t tell you much about the pitchers real ability. A better way to evaluate a pitcher is to look at their walks plus hits per inning pitched which will give you a much better indication of how many runs they may give up during a given game.
Looking at a team’s win/loss record is possibly the most obvious way to evaluate their ability, especially towards the end of the season, however there are even better and arguably much more accurate ways to evaluate a teams ability. One such way is to look at the runs scored and runs allowed by a team, this is known as the Pythagorean Record and point towards a teams real ability if luck was not a factor in their past performances.