Nine lightning talks on R

October 12, 2012 | David Smith

At Tuesday's Bay Area R User Group meetup, nine speakers gave five-minute talks on various aspects of R. Revolution Analytics' Luba Gloukhov was one of the presenters, and also provides the summary of the talks below. Links to the slides are included where available for you to check out. Ariel ... [Read more...]

Does playing baseball shorten your lifespan? (Answer: No.)

August 24, 2012 | David Smith

A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study, published in March, found that professional American football (NFL) players lived longer, on average, than similar "mere mortals" in the general population. Football is a dangerous sport, so that might seem surprising at first, until you consider the fact that NFL ... [Read more...]

Predicting the 100m sprint: results

August 6, 2012 | David Smith

Last week, Markus Gesmann used a log-linear model in R to predict the Olympic gold-medal winning 100m sprint time to be 9.68 seconds. The actual time was 9.63 seconds. Not bad! Meanwhile, the New York Times put Usuain Bolt's olympic record in context, comparing him in a virtual race with other gold ... [Read more...]

A prediction for the Olympic men’s 100m sprint

July 30, 2012 | David Smith

R user Markus Gesmann used the gold-winning times from the Olympic Men's 100m sprint since 1990 as the basis of the following prediction for the London Games: My simple log-linear model forecasts a winning time of 9.68 seconds, which is 1/100 of a second faster than Usain Bolt's winning time in Beijing in 2008, ... [Read more...]

Three hours of pure soccer emotion, visualized with R

July 6, 2012 | David Smith

The biggest prize in UK soccer, the Premier League Championship, is decided by a points system. Unlike most sports competitions, there's no final round or playoff series: once the regular round of games is complete, the team that has accumulated the most points (three for a win, and one for ... [Read more...]

Figuring an exchange rate for sports scores

June 26, 2012 | David Smith

While the US's Major League Soccer is using advanced analytics to analyze ball movement and improve team composition, they might want to think about a smaller, but possibly more impactful, goal for analytics. Like, how to explain to an American audience what a 1-2 game means to a basketball or ... [Read more...]

Simulating Euro 2012

June 11, 2012 | Corey Chivers

Why settle for just one realisation of this year’s UEFA Euro when you can let the tournament play out 10,000 times in silico? Since I already had some code lying around from my submission to the Kaggle hosted 2010 Take on the Quants challenge, I figured I’d recycle it for ... [Read more...]

Mariano Rivera’s baseball prowess, illustrated with R

May 11, 2012 | David Smith

Kevin Quealy, graphics editor at the New York Times, has published another fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the Times creates data visualizations for print and online. In his latest post, he looks at how a visualization of the Yankee's Mariano Rivera performance compared to other Major League Baseball pitchers was ... [Read more...]

FBS Coaches Avg. Salary

November 18, 2011 | Andy

Of course, a few days before I leave for a much needed vacation, USA Today released their updated NCAA coaching salary database. For sports junkies, there’s an unlimited number of analysis and visualizations that can be done on the data. I took a quick break from packing to condense ... [Read more...]

What 5,728.986 miles look like…

November 10, 2011 | Andy

Time Series as calendar heat maps + All of my running data since April 1, 2009 = Generated by the following code: #Sample Code based on example program at: source(file = "calendarHeat.R") run [Read more...]

What makes a hockey Hall-of-Famer?

August 9, 2011 | David Smith

At the JSM conference last week, I stopped by a great poster by Steve Salaga and Brian Mills, graduate students at University of Michigan's Department of Sport Management. The guys were clearly hockey fans, and had channelled their enthusiasm for a sport into an interesting statistical analysis of game and ... [Read more...]

The Luck and Skill of Scrabble

July 26, 2011 | David Smith

Scrabble is a game that involves both skill and luck. There's skill in knowing the words you can play and — especially — the most advantageous ways to play them. But there's also luck in the tiles you draw randomly from the bag: get saddled with a rack containing four I's and ... [Read more...]

Where Ichiro Hits

June 16, 2011 | David Smith

Google research scientist Peter Hauck used Weka and k-means cluster analysis to describe where Mariners right-fielder Ichiro favours hitting the baseball. He then used R to visualize the 6 clusters the k-means analysis identified: I sometimes find K-means clusting tough to explain as a statistical technique, but this makes for a ... [Read more...]

Baseball, T-tests and statistical surprises

March 31, 2011 | Joseph Rickert

Are MLB players better hitters now than they were 20 years ago? Revolution Analytics' Joseph Rickert uses R to take a look at the data, and offers an instructive lesson in checking your assumptions for statistical tests in the process -- Ed. Data are everywhere – but, even for simple things, I ... [Read more...]

Learning R through baseball: sab-R-metrics

January 21, 2011 | David Smith

The words "statistics" and "baseball" are often found near each other, but there's a lot more to statistics than dividing the number of hits by the number of swings to get a batting average. And there's a lot more to sabermetrics -- the statistical analysis of baseball -- than averages, ... [Read more...]

Baseball games: getting longer?

August 11, 2010 | David Smith

ESPN's Bill Simmons (aka The Sports Guy) recently suggested that the primary cause of dwindling interest in Red Sox games by fans is that baseball games these days are too long. "It's not that fun to spend 30-45 minutes driving to a game, paying for parking, parking, waiting in line ... [Read more...]

Charting the World Cup

July 12, 2010 | David Smith

Now that Spain has won the World Cup, it's interesting to go back and look at some metrics from the matches and see if we can tease out what characteristics made for a winning Cup team this time around. Fortunately, the Guardian's Data Blog has made a wealth of World ... [Read more...]

Analyzing competitive nordic skiing with R

June 22, 2010 | David Smith

Here's another great example of R being used to analyze sports data. Statistician and skier Joran Elias has started a project to analyze and visualize international cross country ski racing results, and he publishes his analysis at the blog Statistical Skier. All of the analyses are done using R (and ... [Read more...]
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