This book takes a fairly different approach to baseball statistics. The author goes thru and explains most all of the newer statistics. The real meat of this work is teaching the reader how to build his or her own data bases free of charge by importing information from various websites. My sense is that to really benefit from the data base aspects the reader must have a pretty good acumen for dealing with computer programing. Even though the author provides precise step by step help with codes. Still, I would say most baseball fans who enjoy statistics will benefit from this.
You have to be a programmer to do much with the code in this book. There is no robust system to download you can just run. However, it goes beyond programming and has a lot of explanations of advanced baseball statistics. Mostly historical statistics such as "Was Barry Bond's better then Babe Ruth and how do we use statistics to tell?". The world could stand to have a few more books involving baseball and programming.
The information in this book is exactly as advertised. I was looking for a book that I could use as a reference tool to find, calculate, analyze and efficiently store baseball statistics electronically. The book has a lot of practical and applicable information. I highly recommend this to others interested in baseball statistics.
Winning sports bettors will spend whatever amount of time is necessary to collect data for analysis. The primary focus of this book is collecting data off the internet and analyzing it. It instructs on this task very well - inexperienced programmers will quickly be gathering the information they need.
In addition to providing actual source code (which is short enough to type in a project in just a few minutes), the author draws conclusions from the data he gathered. It's not exactly a treatise on Sabrmetrics, but it does make an otherwise dry topic more interesting.
If you do your own numerical analyses, this is an invaluable text - quite possibly the most useful book since Wong's "Sharp Sports Betting".
This book does have a lot of good info. However, the author did a very unprofessional job in that there are just too many errors in the code samples; it seems each time I try any of the more complex hacks, the code samples are riddled with syntax errors to the point where instead of focussing attention on learning more about baseball stats, I have to focus on debugging details.
If you are both an expert in the R program and are fluent in MySQL, you can work around the bulk of this without wasting too much time. However, if lack either of these skills, you will find this book nightmarish IMO. The small amount of info the author gives in R, for example, is not nearly enough to troubleshoot all the errors.
It's too bad - this could be an excellent book if the author hadn't been so lazy about getting the details right.
I have tried just a couple of the Hacks in the beginning portion of this book (#11, #14) and nothing has worked as displayed in the book. I have followed everything word for word, read the errata, double-checked everything over and over. The objectives of the book are great, they just don't work in the real world.