Sabermetrics, which is the mathematical and statistical study of baseball, is the topic our research team is focusing on this summer. Our background on Sabermetrics is based on a paper titled An Introduction to Sabermetrics by Jim Albert. The Bryan Summer Research Program funds the research we are conducting. Our project has two parts: creating a model to predict the 2013 All Star Team, and to use math to predict the formulas that ESPN uses to assign values to different baseball players.
The first part of our research will take place from the beginning of the program (June 10th) through the conclusion of the All Star voting (July 4th). To create the most accurate model we are using all of the data from the 2012 season prior to the All Star Break. It is beneficial for us to base our model off of the 2012 game because we actually know which players made the team, and which players did not. Once we create a model that accurately predicts the results from the 2012 game, we will then gather information from the 2013 season and plug it into our model. This hopefully will result in the correct selection of the 2013 All Star roster.
The second part of our research is focusing on finding formulas that ESPN uses to assign values to players. There are many different online fantasy baseball leagues and games. Our research team all has entered into an ESPN online program called “Baseball Challenge”. The goal of this game is to create a MLB team with only $50 to spend. Each player is assigned a monetary value that then allows the user to pick the best team within the budget. We want to use our data to predict how ESPN assigns the monetary value to each player.
With our research we are not coming up with a cure for cancer or creating world peace, but we are stepping into the world of Data Mining. Men and women across the country use Data Mining in all different fields to analyze the success of a job, the possible outcome of a business change, or the actual cost of an interest rate. By researching with baseball data we are preparing ourselves for the real world of applied mathematics.
-Katie Westlund, Nick Yaeger, and Ruth Ann Roberts