Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball

Keith Law. Morrow, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-249022-3
Baseball is full of truisms based on statistics, and Law sets out to debunk as many of them as he can. ESPN senior baseball writer Law brilliantly dismantles some of the game’s most sacred and most misleading statistics—including pitcher wins and saves, RBIs, and stolen bases—with a style in which smart trumps snarky. In fact, his book’s title is perfect. Law writes for the seasoned and savvy baseball fan, arguing that W stats such as WOBA (weighted on-base average), WRC (weighted runs created), WPA (win probability added), and WAR (wins above replacement) help teams and analysts place a more precise value on any given player’s production. Law boldly second-guesses real-game decisions made by managers and makes his case with examples that range from the sport’s early days through the 2016 postseason. As a new baseball season begins, Law challenges longtime fans to think differently about a game that he says has been hindered by inefficient traditions for far too long. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-249025-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-266094-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1245-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1244-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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