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Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football Paperback – March 18, 2012
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"Sports fans will learn much from probability theory and statistical models as they abandon empty clichés (time to throw momentum out of the informed fan's lexicon) and confront institutionalized injustices (such as those built into the protocols for selecting a national champion in college football and for seeding the NCAA's basketball tournament). A rare fusion of sports enthusiasm and numerical acumen."--Booklist
"Who is Wayne Winston? Maybe we should begin by telling you who he is not. He is not some barstool fan or uninformed sportswriter who fuels his opinions with information gleaned from SportsCenter highlights or newspaper box scores. He is a professor of decision sciences at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, and until this year was the statistical guru for the Dallas Mavericks. He is author of the book Mathletics, which explains what statistics really tell us about sports."--Ken Berger, CBSSports.com
"[A] terrific read for anyone trying to model markets statistically and make trading decisions based on statistical data. . . . Reading Winston's book is a mind-opening experience."--Brenda Jubin, Reading the Markets blog
From the Back Cover
"Winston has an uncanny knack for bringing the game alive through the fascinating mathematical questions he explores. He gets inside professional sports like no other writer I know. Mathletics is like a seat at courtside."--Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks
"Wayne Winston's Mathletics combines rigorous analytical methodologies with a very inquisitive approach. This should be a required starting point for anyone desiring to use mathematics in the world of sports."--KC Joyner, author of Blindsided: Why the Left Tackle Is Overrated and Other Contrarian Football Thoughts
"People who want the details on the analysis of baseball need to read Mathletics. This book provides the statistics behind Moneyball."--Pete Palmer, coeditor of The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia and The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia
"Winston has brought together the latest thinking on sports mathematics in one comprehensive place. This volume is perfect for someone seeking a general overview or who wants to dive into advanced thinking on the latest sports-analytics topics."--Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets
"Mathletics offers insights into the mathematical analysis of three major sports and sports gambling. The basketball and sports bookies sections are particularly interesting and loaded with in-depth examples and analysis. The author's passion seems to jump right off the page."--Michael Huber, Muhlenberg College
"I really enjoyed this unique book, as will anyone who is a serious sports fan with some interest in mathematics. Winston is very knowledgeable about baseball, basketball, and football, and about the mathematical techniques needed to analyze a multitude of questions that arise in them. He does a very good job of explaining complex mathematical ideas in a simple way."--George L. Nemhauser, Georgia Institute of Technology
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Top Customer Reviews
The entire book is moderately math heavy - over half of it is devoted to quantitative solutions using algebra, statistics and Excel worksheets (which you can find online via included addresses). If you do not enjoy the mathematical side of sports, you'll find most of the book unreadable. If you do enjoy math, stats or using quantitative approaches to gambling, this book is a nice review of most of the interesting approaches out there. The bibliography of cited books reads like a "who's who" of credible quantitative sports texts.
A vast majority of the "bites" are already discussed extensively in other sources. The advantage of this book for most readers is that you can get such a diverse taste of different topics under one cover. If you are a sports modeler, the wide array of topics and approaches could help stir your own creativity. On more than one topic, I found myself saying "this assumption isn't valid!" But my making these assumptions and challenging them yourself, his approach opens up many unintended doors for the reader. For example, one bite addresses and argues that teams should pass more and run less than they do. To support this hypothesis, the book looks at a payoff chart for the yardage gained from a pass attempt versus a run attempt. The payoff chart does not consider volatility (rushing for 3 yards EVERY play is better than passing for 20 yards 1/4th of the time). It also doesn't look at the "disaster side" of passing - interceptions, quarterback fumble distribution, or greater offensive issues in a 2d and 10. Each article does make you think, which is its own payoff.
My only criticism is that the writing style seemed a little clunky. If you are not fluent in math, the combination of writing style and the amount of non-math quantity may turn you off.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are not advanced with mathematics/statistics, then avoid the expense of this book.Read more