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Is There Such a Thing as Streakiness in Baseball?

Difficulty
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel and statistics
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Very Low (under $20)

Abstract

Here's a project that will teach you about math as you follow some of your favorite players or teams. You'll be comparing day-to-day performance with long-term averages, and trying to determine if the "streaks" and "slumps" over shorter time periods are due to random chance or something else. When you've finished, you'll have a better understanding of some important concepts in statistical analysis and baseball.

Objective

The objective of this project is to determine if baseball players and/or teams are "streaky" or if their ups and downs can be explained simply by random luck.

Credits

Gabriel Desjardins

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Last edit date: 2013-11-16

Introduction

If a player goes 0-for-20, does that mean anything? Using probability theory, how often would you expect a .275 hitter to go 0-for-20? How much can streaks be explained by luck alone, and how much are they affected by a player? As for teams, do their runs of wins and losses mean anything?

Terms and Concepts

Probability theory

Experimental Procedure

Select a group of regular players and get their game logs from ESPN.com. Look at moving averages of their batting average over 2, 3, 4 or 5 games. Estimate the probability that they would exhibit this performance based on their career and season statistics. Or do the same for teams.

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Variations

For the team study, adjust their probability of winning by their opponents winning percentage.

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