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Peter Venkman
Houston Astros Fan
Jackson, TN
Member since Aug 2016
2098 posts

Books on Baseball Analytics
Does anyone have any recommendations on books that can introduce me and teach me about baseball analytics?


The Seaward
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2006
10207 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
The MVP Machine by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik is a really good book on player development using analytics.

I’ve always heard The Book and Baseball Between the Numbers are really good, but both came out in the mid 2000s and may be a little dated.

Honestly, your best bet might just be reading the stat primers and glossaries on Fangraphs

Here is the one on WAR. They have write ups on all kinds of other advanced stats.
This post was edited on 2/5 at 3:54 pm


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ProjectP2294
Penn Fan
South St. Louis city
Member since May 2007
51804 posts
 Online 

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
General Baseball books:

The Shift - Russell Carlton
Smart Baseball - Keith Law
The Arm - Jeff Passan
Power Ball - Rob Neyer
The Book - Tom Tango
The MVP Machine - Ben Lindbergh & Travis Sawchick

Specific Teams:

Oakland A's - Moneyball - Michael Lewis
Tampa Bay Rays - The Extra 2% - Jonah Keri
Pittsburgh Pirates - Big Data Baseball - Travis Sawchick
Houston Astros - Astroball - Ben Reiter

Independent baseball:

The Only Rule is it Has to Work - Ben Lindbergh & Sam Miller

I've read, or am in the middle of reading, all of these except for Power Ball and The MVP Machine.

ETA: A great introductory one is Ahead of the Curve by Brian Kenney.
This post was edited on 2/5 at 1:12 pm


The Seaward
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2006
10207 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
That’s a great summary. I’ve read all of those except The Shift, The Book and Ahead of the Curve.


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WuShock
Kansas Fan
Metairie
Member since Aug 2018
421 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
quote:

The Only Rule is it Has to Work - Ben Lindbergh & Sam Miller


I came in to say this. It breaks down some of the advanced statistics of baseball, but in a meaningful way. This is two guys putting them into practice. This would probably be a good way to dip your toe in and have some fun stories while you're at it.


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FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Louisiana North
Member since Mar 2006
26222 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
quote:

Rob Neyer


Everything I've ever read by him is good.


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Master of Sinanju
Member since Feb 2012
8962 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
The Book is my favorite. The Hidden Game of Baseball is a classic, although dated.


ProjectP2294
Penn Fan
South St. Louis city
Member since May 2007
51804 posts
 Online 

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
I'm currently reading The Shift. I had only just started it when I made my post the other day. I have to say, it has probably the best plain-language breakdown of WAR that I've read so far.


ProjectP2294
Penn Fan
South St. Louis city
Member since May 2007
51804 posts
 Online 

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
I just received my copy of Future Value by Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen in the mail. I had pre-ordered it. It will hit stores in a few weeks I believe. Really excited about it.


The Seaward
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2006
10207 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
quote:

I have to say, it has probably the best plain-language breakdown of WAR that I've read so far.


A lot of people on the MSB should read that. I find the most vocal critics of WAR there seem to have the least clue how it actual works.

I will definitely check out Future Value.
This post was edited on 3/19 at 12:22 pm


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tigers32
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2012
4602 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
I’m excited about Future Value as well. Need to pre-order now.


ProjectP2294
Penn Fan
South St. Louis city
Member since May 2007
51804 posts
 Online 

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
Since this thread began, I've finished The Shift and Future Value. I would recommend both of them, but Future Value is a little more timely while The Shift might be a little more evergreen.

I'm now reading MVP Machine. It's been hard to put down. I'm extremely drawn in and will probably supplement with reading a lot of player development essays from Driveline and scouring old FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus articles.


Bestbank Tiger
Tulane Fan
RTWFU
Member since Jan 2005
53945 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
quote:

Pittsburgh Pirates


Aka "what not to do"



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tigers32
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2012
4602 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
Keith Law has a new book out titled “The Inside Game”. I haven’t started it yet but it delves into not only baseball but behavioral economics as well. Really looking forward to it.


ProjectP2294
Penn Fan
South St. Louis city
Member since May 2007
51804 posts
 Online 

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
quote:

Keith Law has a new book out titled “The Inside Game”. I haven’t started it yet but it delves into not only baseball but behavioral economics as well.


The only books I buy anymore are about baseball and behavioral economics.

I will definitely be getting that one when it hits paperback.


The Seaward
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2006
10207 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
It was a good read. I’ve read a lot of books on behavioral economics (everyone should read Thinking, Fast and Slow), so a lot of it was recap of stuff I had read previously, but he did a good job of tying it to baseball.


tigers32
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2012
4602 posts

re: Books on Baseball Analytics
Thinking, Fast, and Slow is on my to-read list. I read The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis last year. Good stuff. The intersection of baseball and behavioral economics is fascinating.


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