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Links From Around The Web

By Ben Pugsley | July 28, 2013 | Analytics

Welcome to the weekly links round-up on StatsBomb.


5 Maths and Stats Guru's (link)

With Nate Silver taking the FiveThirtyEight brand and his considerably sized brain to ESPN the Score made a quick list of 5 maths and stats guys you should know.

Richard Whitall Takes A Look At Shot Quality And Shot Quality (link)

I really, really wanted to include Cam Charron's links to quality and quantity but Whitall beat me to it with this article. Do read this article.

This from Charron:

Well… winning counts, and to win you need to score goals, and to score goals you need to get scoring chances. It sounds easy enough to suggest that you want to eschew bad shots and take good shots, but that isn’t the case. Sidney Crosby and Henrik Sedin’s teams don’t have high shooting percentages when they’re on the ice because they wait around for the perfect set up, they just plain set up scoring chances more than other players possibly can. With other guys, it’s different and for a guy with a buttload of goals in his career and the reputation of having a deadly wrist shot, Alexander Ovechkin is simply a player that takes a tonne of shots, and sometimes they go in.

Replace Ovechkin with Bale/Suarez.


Deep Blue v Kasparov (link)

A nice short story on the controversy - including the bug in Deep Blue's system - surrounding Gary Kasparov's re-match with IBM's Deep Blue.

'At the time, Deep Blue versus Kasparov was hailed as a seminal moment in the history of computer science — and lamented as a humiliating defeat for the human intellect'

Interesting Stats Breakdown Of Luis Suarez  (link)

There is an awful lot of information in this article from @7amkickoff, and it shows us some of Suarez's good and bad traits. I'm not a big fan of using 'big chance' but I did like the authors use of 'Sum Actions per 90'.

Suarez is a hub player, he has some efficiency issues, but I believe the good really outweighs the bad in regard to the player.

Soccer Passing Location (link)

Gabe Desjardins:

Teams have almost no chance to complete a pass inside the 18-yard box.

Total passes in and of themselves do not predict a team's likelihood of winning. But a team that is able to pass into more dangerous - and lower percentage pass - areas is more likely to get opportunities to win.




Do Those Who Deny Advanced Statistics Even Watch The Games? (link)

A beautiful, well written article which questions the position of those who bash advanced stats in the NFL. This is excellent from John Morgan of Football Outsiders.

'Yes, we understand your hostility, your fear, because we are dangerous. We know embarrassing facts about you. We know you watch First TakeSportsCenter; we know you watch highlights on your phone, gloss opinions from PTI, unwittingly gloss opinions from people that glossed opinions from PTI; and we know you watch sports entertainment much more than you watch sports.'

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell

Why MLB batters can't hit Jenny Finch's softball pitch (link)

This is a long article which sprawls across many pages and looks at many different topics. All excerpts are from a new book by David Finch.

Mainly it's about Jenny Finch, MLB batters and the science of reaction time. Finch:

'Still, Pujols and other All-Stars see -- and crush -- 95-mph fastballs for a living. So why are they transmogrified into Little Leaguers when faced with 68-mph softballs? It's because the only way to hit a ball traveling at high speed is to be able to see into the future, and when a baseball player faces a softball pitcher, he is stripped of his crystal ball.'

Read More: Link

We are Premier League with a full shots conversion breakdown (link)

This article features a hellacious amount of research and it must have taken an age to put together. There's lots of interesting information in here, some of it I like less (CCC's) than others.

But do go and check it out, it has a 20 team conversion chart from the important locations of the pitch.


Luck vs shot quality (link)

Desjardins. This link has relevance to football.

Bottom line: shot distance/location/quality is just a tiny sliver of shooting percentage (both for and against.) When you factor in the 33% regression to the mean we see in odd and even samples, shot quality accounts for just under 10% of team shooting percentage.

I had a short, but interesting conversation with the author about this type of breakdown for football.


The Power Of Goals On Turnovers In The Final Third (link)

Mark Taylor looks at the 'Rare And Significant From The Incidental And Commonplace' over at his blog. Mark focuses on winning possession differential. It's a thought provoking article on a topic that has been well known inside the game for a number of years now.

The negative reaction of The Secret Footballer when told by an analyst that final third turnovers were a crucial part of a teams performance attests not only to their existence, but probably their importance too.

Article by Ben Pugsley