Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mathletics: Same Title, Different Content

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book by the title Mathletics that was a total snoozefest. A reader alerted me to the fact that I probably had the wrong book! Wayne Winston's book Mathletics is exactly what I was looking for.

The book is focused on the top 3 North American sports leagues. Using advanced statistics, the book discusses and breaks down things like which players are actually contributing to wins (as opposed to the mainstream media focus on individual statistics like points), when it makes sense to use different strategies (e.g. go for it on fourth down: frequently, bunt: rarely), and how gamblers can gain passive edges because of biases built into the betting odds.

Needless to say, if you enjoyed Moneyball, you will likely be a big fan of this book as well.

As a hockey fan first and foremost, I was disappointed that this book did not include some discussion about advanced hockey stats. On the other hand, I probably get enough of that stuff from the blogs I follow; it was good to see that there is a healthy amount of innovation around advanced stats in the other pro-sports, contrary to what the broadcasting media imply with their often ridiculous analyses.

Don't make the same mistake I did; make sure you don't get the other book with this title! Mathletics by Winston was the subject of this post.

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