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A Mathematician at the Ballpark: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans
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A Mathematician at the Ballpark: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans

2.87 of 5 stars 2.87  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In A Mathematician at the Ballpark, professor Ken Ross reveals the math behind the stats. This lively and accessible book shows baseball fans how to harness the power of made predictions and better understand the game. Using real-world examples from historical and modern-day teams, Ross shows: Why on-base and slugging percentages are more important than batting averages Ho ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Plume Books (first published July 21st 2004)
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Jul 23, 2008 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Forest, Joey, Lura
Shelves: autographed
This book was, of course, perfect, just look at the title.
Feb 06, 2009 Spiros rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: insomniacs and/or degenerate gamblers
Shelves: beisbol, borrowed
I absolutely love Baseball stats. I wallow in ERA, WHIP, SLG, OBP, OPS, SLOB, range factors, power/ speed numbers, all of the SABR minutiae. ESPN's BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA is next to my bed right now. When an opposing batter comes to the plate the first thing I do, now that OBP and SLG are posted on the scoreboard, is figure his walks:strikeout ratio. ALL that being said, this book was sheer gobbledy-guck. Mainly, as far as I could make out amidst all of the probabilistic fog, this book appears to ...more
Brian Sison
Based on the title, I'd thought this would be a book that uses statistics to better understand baseball. Instead it uses baseball (in part) to try to teach the reader about statistics. The author goes into painful detail to educate the reader on conditional probability, binomial tests, normal distributions, and other more statistical concepts.

I say "in part" because baseball is only the subject of these math lessons about 75% of the time. The author also digresses into roulette, the lottery game
Not quite what I was expecting. This is primarily a math and probability book that uses baseball, among other topics, as its primary means of conveying information. This is going to teach baseball fans little that they don't know with lots of fairly heavy mathematical formulations. I mean really, the first full chapter is on average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. Any fan worth his or her salt is way beyond this. Then the second half of the book is for serious statisticians. It's a ...more
Bob Byrne
Feb 10, 2013 Bob Byrne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mathematics minded sports fans
I teach high school mathematics. I'm always looking for ways to unpack concepts in a way that adolescents will understand.

Dr. Ross does an excellent job of explaining statistics and probability in terms any baseball fan or sports-minded teen can understand. His examples are clear and lead the reader to understanding with minimal effort on the readers part.

Read this book with a pencil and sheet of paper at your side.
Interesting enough, but the math was a little over my head and, frankly, all the focus on using statistics and probability to win bets on baseball made me deeply uncomfortable. By no means a bad book, especially if you're more into intense math than I am, but something about it left a bad taste in my mouth. By far the best part was the baseball book bibliography at the back.
Not enough baseball and too much on betting, but still liked it. What could be better than baseball and stats?
Justin B.
It was fine. Gave new perspective on the mathematical side of baseball.
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