Looking for Some Insight

 

I’m looking for some clarity on a few topics.

I’m a sports dork. Know this before reading on. I sit around and think about potential trades, how I would pitch certain batters, who the best player at each position is or who’s underrated or overrated by the media–these things interest me. If you’re reading this blog then I’m guessing these things are somewhat interesting to you as well (unless you’re a friend or relative of mine, in which case, thanks). So, this won’t really be an insightful post, but instead will be one looking for insight.

The following list is a series of questions and observations that make me hope the bright minds of statistical analysis in the world of sports read my blog:

  • How valuable is winning a face-off? It surely is important, but can there be any meaningful analysis of a team’s face-off performance?
  • I would like power play efficiency to be kept as a stat–not just how many goals per power plays are scored, but how quickly.
  • Making the first free throw must be more important than making the second or third attempt because of two reasons: at any level below the NBA teams shoot one-and-one before 10 fouls, and the final free throw attempt is live–if the shooter misses at least there’s a chance for an offensive rebound, while beforehand a miss is simply a lost opportunity to score.
  • An offensive rebound, by definition, is harder to get than a defensive rebound. More defensive rebounds are grabbed per game, and defensive players generally have position over an offensive player. Not only that, but one player has to be shooting, and if you’re shooting, you can’t be boxing out. So, how much more important is offensive rebounding than defensive rebounding?
  • What is the most efficient number of games played for the average position player? There is no way that Cal Ripken Jr. could have given his team the maximum value possible given that he never rested and therefore was almost never at 100%.
  • Is there a most important position in football on defense? Quarterback would be the best place to invest most heavily on offense, is there an equivalent across the line of scrimmage?
  • How much more valuable is a hit than a walk? The answer will obviously depend on the situation but if a batter gets a single with a man on base, the runner will have an opportunity to take more than one base, while on a walk that is most likely not the case.
  • What is the slowest a Major League pitcher could routinely throw his fastball and still be successful? Could a guy theoretically throw 75 mph if he threw off-speed pitches at 50 mph or is there a certain threshold required to throw hitters off? Conversely, could a pitcher throw only fastballs is he threw above 110 mph?

That’s all I got for now, you have anything to add?

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3 Responses to Looking for Some Insight

  1. JT says:

    Most important defensive player = linebacker (think: Lawrence Taylor). Outside or middle is a mystery, however.

    Hit is more valuable than a walk even in a bases-empty scenario from a psychological standpoint–it “pumps up” the htiting team. Although on the other hand, a walk could rattle a pitcher’s confidence. So maybe the answer is actually “I don’t know.”

  2. mamamia says:

    A lot of interesting questions.

  3. yinzer24 says:

    As far as face-off’s go, they might not be as important as you might think. I’m sure there are situations where winning a face-off might be more vitale than others, but a quick glance at NHL.com’s stat list shows that of the teams ranking in the top 10 in face-off percentage, only three rank in the top 10 in the NHL in points — Detroit, Ottawa, and San Jose. Granted, Detroit and Ottawa are far and away the two best teams in the NHL right now, so maybe there is some measured benefit in winning draws.

    And I think the question regarding defensive players in football depends on a lot of things, namely the system in place by the defense. In a classic 4-3 defense, I’d agree that the middle linebacker is key, because it’s his job to roam the field and make tackles, while the d-line is just sort of there to plug holes and rush the passer.

    Meanwhile, in a 3-4 set, I’d argue that the nose tackle is actually the most important. While you need weapons at linebacker and in the secondary, having a big Casey Hampton-esque guy up front is critical, because if your nose tackle is hogging 2-3 blockers on every play, there’s a lot of room being freed up for other defenders.

    ..Could have written my own blog entry right there if I’d known I had that much to say..

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