Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

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Princeton University Press, Sep 8, 2009 - Mathematics - 376 pages
11 Reviews

Mathletics is a remarkably entertaining book that shows readers how to use simple mathematics to analyze a range of statistical and probability-related questions in professional baseball, basketball, and football, and in sports gambling. How does professional baseball evaluate hitters? Is a singles hitter like Wade Boggs more valuable than a power hitter like David Ortiz? Should NFL teams pass or run more often on first downs? Could professional basketball have used statistics to expose the crooked referee Tim Donaghy? Does money buy performance in professional sports?

In Mathletics, Wayne Winston describes the mathematical methods that top coaches and managers use to evaluate players and improve team performance, and gives math enthusiasts the practical tools they need to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of their favorite sports--and maybe even gain the outside edge to winning bets. Mathletics blends fun math problems with sports stories of actual games, teams, and players, along with personal anecdotes from Winston's work as a sports consultant. Winston uses easy-to-read tables and illustrations to illuminate the techniques and ideas he presents, and all the necessary math concepts--such as arithmetic, basic statistics and probability, and Monte Carlo simulations--are fully explained in the examples.

After reading Mathletics, you will understand why baseball teams should almost never bunt, why football overtime systems are unfair, why points, rebounds, and assists aren't enough to determine who's the NBA's best player--and much, much more.

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Review: Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

User Review  - Brian - Goodreads

100 very short essays about the math underlying various aspects of sports: How to bend it like Beckham and why you cannot hit a bullseye with an arrow by aiming at it. My interest level varied quite a bit, but each chapter was so short that I never considered putting it down or skipping ahead. Read full review

Review: Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

User Review  - Erik - Goodreads

It was a super technical book essentially if you wanted to do your own statistical model with few observations. There is some good history on different statistical models (Sagarin) but it was definitely like a textbook and not a lot of takeaway observations similar to Freakanomics. Read full review

About the author (2009)

Wayne L. Winston is the John and Esther Reese Professor of Decision Sciences at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. His many books include "Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms". He has been a consultant to major corporate and sports organizations, including USA Diving and the Dallas Mavericks.

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