Review: Curve Ball 3
Feb 09, 2006
Just want to highlight one more graphic from Curve Ball, one which I consider the most innovative, highly effective and powerful. Without much ado:
This is one of those charts that paints a vivid story. Any fan can mentally re-trace the baseball game by reading this chart, without having seen the game itself. The horizontal axis traces the 9 innings of a baseball game while the vertical axis plots the probability of Toronto winning the game. This probability is updated over the course of the game as we read from left to right. (For those asking, this plots Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.)
To quote the authors:
" We see that Toronto's probability of winning rose from the start as they prevented the Phillies from scoring in the first inning. This trend continued as the [Toronto] Blue Jays scored three times in the first inning... The low point in the [fifth] inning for Toronto occurred just after [Phillie] John Kruk walked to load the bases. [Phillie Dave] Hollin's big out is shown by the rise ... in Toronto's victory probability from this low point ... in the seventh the Phillies turned the tables ... scoring five runs to take the lead. The plot of Toronto's probability of winning looks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average in free-fall. Toronto did not score in its half of the seventh, pushing its probability of winning even further down. ... the plot rises (and the plot thickens) in the eighth inning as a result of a threat with bases loaded and two outs. In the ninth inning, the Phillies went down quickly. Toronto came out storming, ... quickly putting runners on base. The triumphant ... impact of [Toronto's Joe] Carter's home run is evident in the steep rise in the final markings of the plot."
This chart belongs to the same class as the Bumps chart. In a previous post, I traced how one can re-imagine the Bumps race just by tracing the plot from left to right.
Reference: "Curve Ball", Albert & Bennett.
Neat. If you want to make your own graphic like this, you can use an Excel program that will calculate the expected win probabilities. You just need the play-by-play of any game.
Posted by: Tybor | Feb 16, 2006 at 11:27 AM
In case you were not aware, you can see live win probability graphs of every game at www.fangraphs.com.
Posted by: Andrew | Jul 19, 2007 at 11:59 AM