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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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8

 

PLAYER WIN AVERAGES

Anyone associated with a baseball, football, or basketball team would probably say that a player's objective is to help his team win games. Therefore, it seems reasonable to measure how much a professional athlete's efforts help his team win or cause his team to lose games. As we will see in later chapters, for basketball and football this is a very difficult task. For baseball, however, Eldon Mills and Harlan Mills (Player Win Averages) came up with a simple yet elegant way to measure how a baseball player changes the chance that his team will win a game. To illustrate the method, consider perhaps the most famous hit in baseball history: Bobby Thompson's home run in the 1951 playoffs. Thompson came to bat for the New ...

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