"The authors present a potpourri of well-conceived case-studies that give insight into both the game’s complexity and R’s simplicity. Virtually no previous knowledge of statistical theory and software is required to master the data analyses and to follow the explications in this book … The authors’ style of writing is pleasurable and bespeaks their passion for the game. Narratives and R commands are so smoothly intermingled that the source code hardly disturbs the flow of reading, and a wealth of graphs break up the grey. … A great asset of the book is that it encourages the reader to learn the ropes of sabermetrics by actually running the example analyses on one’s own computer."
―Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 2015
"If you are interested in statistics, especially baseball statistics, you will find this book fascinating and very useful. It provides many details. websites, and useful descriptions for using the R programming environment. This is not only a book on statistics; there are many references to famous player statistics, making this a very enjoyable book to read. And even if you don’t like baseball but still find statistics very exciting, then this book provides a great introduction to R that can be used for any other type of statistical data set."
―IEEE Insulation Magazine, November/December 2014
"I have spent most of the past decade working in baseball as a statistical analyst for the New York Mets. … This type of employment can be highly valued, especially among quantitatively inclined college students who are coincidentally passionate baseball fans. It is from these students from whom I am most frequently asked, ‘what book would you recommend for someone who wants to get started in sabermetrics?’ Invariably, my response has been [Jim Albert and Jay Bennett’s] Curve Ball. I have a new response. …
I always felt that Curve Ball was the best place for a budding sabermetrician to start … However, it later dawned on me that while Curve Ball provided a sound framework for thinking probabilistically about baseball, I devoted a huge proportion of my time at work to computer programming. …
In their new book, Albert and Max Marchi, a native Italian who now works for the Cleveland Indians, have closed the loop by offering the aspiring sabermetrician a blueprint. … The reader who digests this book alongside her keyboard will emerge as a practicing sabermetrician―having knowledge of the key ideas in sabermetric theory, a historical understanding of from whence those ideas came, and the practical ability to compute with baseball data. It is a sabermetric workshop in paperback."
―Ben S. Baumer, International Statistical Review (2014), 82
About the Author
Max Marchi is a baseball analyst with the Cleveland Indians. He was previously a statistician at the Emilia-Romagna Regional Health Agency. He has been a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and Baseball Prospectus websites and has consulted for MLB clubs.
Jim Albert is a professor of statistics at Bowling Green State University. He has authored or coauthored several books and is the editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis of Sports. His interests include Bayesian modeling, statistics education, and the application of statistical thinking in sports.