Counterpoints: The Sports Analytics Podcast from MIT Sloan Management Review-logo

Counterpoints: The Sports Analytics Podcast from MIT Sloan Management Review

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This is a show for sports professionals, data junkies, and fans alike. It’s a show for anyone who knows that numbers are about much more than the score. Hosts Ben Shields (MIT Sloan School of Management) and Paul Michelman (MIT Sloan Management Review) engage the world’s premier sports analytics experts in a lively, occasionally controversial, conversation about what’s really happening both on and off the field. New episodes launch November 15.

This is a show for sports professionals, data junkies, and fans alike. It’s a show for anyone who knows that numbers are about much more than the score. Hosts Ben Shields (MIT Sloan School of Management) and Paul Michelman (MIT Sloan Management Review) engage the world’s premier sports analytics experts in a lively, occasionally controversial, conversation about what’s really happening both on and off the field. New episodes launch November 15.
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Location:

United States

Description:

This is a show for sports professionals, data junkies, and fans alike. It’s a show for anyone who knows that numbers are about much more than the score. Hosts Ben Shields (MIT Sloan School of Management) and Paul Michelman (MIT Sloan Management Review) engage the world’s premier sports analytics experts in a lively, occasionally controversial, conversation about what’s really happening both on and off the field. New episodes launch November 15.

Language:

English


Episodes

"Out-getting" Is the Next Great Baseball Strategy. Or Not.

3/7/2019
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Most Counterpoints listeners are well familiar with the sweeping changes that Moneyball brought to offensive strategy in baseball. Are we now on the cusp of a similarly profound transformation of pitching? Some believe the practice of "out-getting" is just that. Out-getting focuses getting outs as efficiently as possible, irrelevant of who gets them, when, and how. It upends traditional convention about how long or frequently a pitcher should pitch, in which role, or in which circumstances....

Duration:00:31:03

Mapping Tom Brady's Brain

2/21/2019
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It is incredibly difficult to judge individual talent in the NFL, because so much of a player's ability to succeed is based on context: his teammates and the system in which he operates. But the need to isolate performance is huge. Those who gain a reliable method will have a huge advantage. So where do you start? You start with the most valuable position on the field, the quarterback. Then, you isolate further on what appears to be the greatest differentiator between elite level...

Duration:00:27:38

What Would Happen if Baseball Outlawed the Shift?

2/7/2019
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Supporters of the shift believe it's a solid baseball strategy. By overloading defenders to the side of the field where a hitter routinely drives the ball, teams should get outs more easily. When to deploy the shift is a game of numbers. It depends on the likelihood of the batter to hit the ball one direction or the other, given his tendencies and the circumstances on the field. It's analytical thinking in all its glory. And yet there is a growing legion of shift haters. The drumbeat of...

Duration:00:27:14

Is It Possible to Judge Individual Talent in the NFL?

1/24/2019
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When the Patriots and the Rams take the field on Sunday, February 3, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for Super Bowl 53, both teams will be there on the backs of several players few expected to become as important as they are — and in spite of several others who failed to meet expectations. Or so Cade Massey would have us believe. Massey is a professor of the practice at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the co-host of “Wharton Moneyball” on SiriusXM Business Radio. He...

Duration:00:29:56

Why F1 Mathematicians Should Be Paid More than Drivers

1/10/2019
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On the Formula One circuit, tenths and even hundredths of seconds can be the difference between podium glory and being out of a job. Races are won and lost thanks to the skills of the drivers and the strength of the car, it is true. But as the sheer volume of data available to F1 teams increases, another group of individuals have become key contributors to a team’s success: data analysts. Analysts run countless simulations, incorporating every possible variable, to inform their drivers’ race...

Duration:00:27:04

So, Do Analytics Actually Work?

12/27/2018
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In this week’s episode, we take on a question that could lead to an existential crisis for this very podcast: How much of a difference do analytics actually make? We’d better hope the answer is that analytics make a big difference. The emergence of sports analytics has spawned quite an industry already, and it promises a great deal of growth still to come. We don’t want to be overly dramatic, but there are jobs on the line. Nevertheless, we have a duty on this podcast to take on the hard...

Duration:00:35:09

When NHL Best Practices Go Overboard

12/13/2018
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In pairing right-handed defensemen with left-handed defensemen, many NHL teams believe they are following a proven and, seemingly obvious, formula. If defensemen play on their strong side, they will be more effective at their jobs. Conventional wisdom on what works can codify with surprising speed in sports. But when something becomes an accepted best practice, we tend to stop asking how it became so and, more dangerously, we often become blind to the evidence that the practice may not be...

Duration:00:24:50

Sleep is the Greatest Legal Advantage in Sports

11/29/2018
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Does everyone benefit equally from the same amount of sleep? And how exactly does one measure its specific impact on performance — athletic or otherwise? After all, if you’re going to convince a young athlete to give up party time or practice time to grab some extra z’s, you’d better have some serious data to make your case. Kristen Holmes-Winn, vice president of Performance Optimization at WHOOP and former head coach of the Princeton field hockey team, joins the show to defend the...

Duration:00:30:00

Do Teams Need to Win to Sell Tickets?

11/14/2018
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It’s easy to understand why winning teams would draw more fans — a great team features exciting players, entertaining competition, and the expectation of feeling satisfied once the game is over. But are those qualities actually tied to wins and losses? Or can any team with the right combination of potential and promotion draw a large audience, regardless of what happens during the game? Jessica Gelman, CEO of Kraft Analytics Group and cofounder and cochair of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics...

Duration:00:30:13

The Quest to Measure Basketball IQ

11/14/2018
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Basketball IQ is one of the game’s holy analytical grails. We know it’s there, or at least we think we know it’s there. But what is it even made of? Intuition? Vision? Knowledge of the game? Or is it simply natural intelligence and brain processing speed applied to a specific context? Former director of sports analytics at ESPN Ben Alamar is one of sports’ leading proponents for and experts in basketball IQ. In this episode, Ben joins the show to defend the hypothesis: NBA teams would make...

Duration:00:21:19

Preview Episode

10/24/2018
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This is a sports analytics show for sports professionals, data junkies, and fans alike. It’s a show for anyone who knows that numbers are about much more than the score. Hosts Ben Shields (MIT Sloan School of Management) and Paul Michelman (MIT Sloan Management Review) engage the world’s premier sports analytics experts in a lively, occasionally controversial, conversation about what’s really happening both on and off the field. New episodes launch November 15.

Duration:00:02:12