A Mathematician at the Ballpark

A Mathematician at the Ballpark : Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans

2.96 (49 ratings by Goodreads)
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In A Mathematician at the Ballpark, professor Ken Ross reveals the math behind the stats. This lively and accessible book shows baseball fans how to harness the power of made predictions and better understand the game. Using real-world examples from historical and modern-day teams, Ross shows:
Why on-base and slugging percentages are more important than batting averages
How professional odds makers predict the length of a seven-game series
How to use mathematics to make smarter bets

A Mathematician at the Ballpark is the perfect guide to the science of probability for the stats-obsessed baseball fans and, with a detailed new appendix on fantasy baseball, an essential tool for anyone involved in a fantasy league.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 15mm | 181g
  • Plume
  • United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Reprint
  • 0452287820
  • 9780452287822
  • 2,830,668

Back cover copy

Here is a perfect introduction to the ideas of probability that baseball fans will love. Books on baseball give statistics and use language such as "odds," "likely," and "no chance" without any explanation. Now, professor of mathematics Ken Ross has written a guide to the beautiful and powerful science of probability for baseball fans who love statistics.In the last few years, revolutionaries armed with good old mathematics have changed baseball forever. Managers and coaches have refocused their attention on what statistics really measure and what they indicate about the probable performance of a player or a team. Now Ken Ross, himself a lifelong baseball fan, opens up the math behind that revolution and shows how anyone can use probability to better understand the future of the game, in the next inning, or in the rest of the season, or in the rest of the World Series.See why On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage together are more meaningful than each is by itself (and why they are neither percentages nor averages). See how to calculate the probability that a seven-game series will go four, five, six, or seven games. Learn how a mathematician adept in the arithmetic of probability can combine statistics to produce tailor-made analyses in answering questions about specific teams, players, and games. Filled with current and historical players, this is the first book that focuses on probability in baseball. It is highly useful for anyone who bets on the game, and a pleasure to read for anyone who wants to understand player performance and manager decisions. This is the mathematics of winning."This is the ultimate math book for baseball fans. If you want to know where allthose baseball stats come from and what they really mean, Ken Ross's book is for you. Professor Ross loves baseball and math with a passion."
--Keith Devlin, Stanford University, author of "The Math Gene" and "The Millennium Problems""I already love mathematics. This book reminded me that I love baseball. I'll bet three to one it works the other way, too. "A Mathematician at the Ballpark" is full of life and scholarship."
--Persi Diaconis, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Stanford University"As long as people have been going to the ballpark, some of them have wondered: 'What is likely to happen next?' If you're one of these people, you will be entertained and educated by "A Mathematician at the Ballpark." If you're not, this book will finally help you begin to understand what those other folks have been talking about all these years!"
--Mark Armour, co-author of "Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way"
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Review quote

The ultimate math book for baseball fans. (Keith Devlin, Stanford University, and "The Math Guy" on NPR)
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Rating details

49 ratings
2.96 out of 5 stars
5 4% (2)
4 18% (9)
3 53% (26)
2 18% (9)
1 6% (3)
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