## Moneyball Web Quest

Moneyball the movie is based on the
book by Michael Lewis. I have this book in class if you would like to borrow it. |

**Objective**

This activity is designed to follow viewing the movie

**Moneyball**. The intent is to have students want to test out statistical calculations by applying them to real situations. In this case, students should want to perform this calculation for their favorite team to see if it works. They will use their algebra skills to make relatively simple statistical predictions based on a simplified version of what happens in the movie.**Introduction**

Students always want to know where the math they learn in school can be applied for something real. Well, what happens in the movie “Moneyball” is an example of doing just that...using real math to do something that you would actually want to do!

We watched Moneyball in class. In the movie, the Oakland Athletic's Billy Beane and his staff use statistics to make decisions about the operations of their team. Their strategy includes using a statistical formula to predict the expected win percentage based on runs scored and runs allowed. You can see the original formula that they use in the movie below.

This formula is reminiscent of the Pythagorean theorem (look at all the "squared" numbers). Read about Pythagorean winning percentage (expectation) at baseball-reference.com here.

In the movie, The Oakland Athletics need to compete with teams like the New York Yankees. The difference in the teams' spending on player salaries can be seen in this image from the movie.

Using statistics and data they try to build a team with the money they have. Their objective is to win as many games as possible.

Runs = Wins

Using statistics and data they try to build a team with the money they have. Their objective is to win as many games as possible.

Runs = Wins

__Note__:

*Since the original incarnation of the formula, many versions have surfaced. It is common for many statisticians to use an exponent of 1.83 instead of 2 to get a better prediction.*

**Task**

Your task for this webquest is to visit the New York Yankees website or baseball-reference.com to get current stats for the New York Yankees.

Find the stats you need to use the Pythagorean expectation formula.

Find the stats you need to use the Pythagorean expectation formula.

__Note__:

*Since the original incarnation of the Pythagorean expectation formula, many versions have surfaced. It is common for statisticians to use an exponent of 1.83 instead of 2 to get a better prediction.*

**Process**

**Part 1:** Get the data you need [For example to compare the 2022 Yankees to the 2021 Yankees]

Which data do you need to calculate the Pythagorean win percentage (make a list)?

1.

2.

3.

...

1.

2.

3.

...

What are these values for the New York Yankees for the 2021 season?

1.

2.

3.

...

1.

2.

3.

...

What are these values for the New York Yankees for the 2022 season?

1.

2.

3.

...

1.

2.

3.

...

What is the date and source you used for this data?

**Part 2:** Answer the following questions using the data

**Use today's date one year ago for last year stats. Use today's date for current year's stats.**

**Do this for last year's stats:**

1. What is the expected win percentage you found for that date using the formula?

2. What was the actual percentage based on the Yankees actual wins and losses as of the date you pulled the data?

3. What is the rate at which the Yankees scored runs (per game) as of the date?

4. What is the rate at which the Yankees allowed runs (per game)?

5. After 160 games, how many runs would you have expected the Yankees to have scored if they continued to score runs at the same rate?

6. If they wanted to have 100 wins at the end of the 160 games, how many more runs could they have allowed according to the formula?

**Do this for the current year's stats:**

1. What is the expected win percentage you found for that date using the formula?

2. What was the actual percentage based on the Yankees actual wins and losses as of the date you pulled the data?

3. What is the rate at which the Yankees scored runs (per game) as of the date?

4. What is the rate at which the Yankees allowed runs (per game)?

5. After 160 games, how many runs do you expect the Yankees to score if they continue to score runs at the same rate?

6. If they want to have 100 wins at the end of the 160 games, how many more runs could they allow according to the formula? Assume that the rate of runs allowed remains consistent.

- The assignments is intended to be done using technology such as Microsoft Excel or GOOGLE Sheets.
- You will need to submit your work in either format. If you decide to do the project by hand, you will need to submit all handwritten notes and calculations.

## You may pick a different team... Any team! One from the past and that team this year.

You pick a team of your choice and go through the same process. You can use any year and any team. If you're not a Yankees fan, try the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, they beat the Yankees in the 1955 World Series! Or try the Mets! My favorite Mets team is the 1986 Mets. They beat The Red Sox in the 1986 World Series! How about the 1927 Yankees, the team with Babe Ruth and Lou Gherig?!

__Note__:

*Since the original incarnation of the Pythagorean expectation formula, many versions have surfaced. It is common for statisticians to use an exponent of 1.83 instead of 2 to get a better prediction.*

**Conclusion**

Statistics is an important discipline within any career you can think of. You could easily have a career in just the analysis of a particular team's performance. The statistician's job is not only to use math to discover what's happening, but to also try to explain "why" and come up with recommendations for improvement.

As the year progresses, keep your eye on the "world" and all the places you can apply the mathematical ideas we cover in this class. If you're really interested, you can look for job postings that mention "statistics".

Last but not least, "how can you not be romantic about baseball"?

As the year progresses, keep your eye on the "world" and all the places you can apply the mathematical ideas we cover in this class. If you're really interested, you can look for job postings that mention "statistics".

Last but not least, "how can you not be romantic about baseball"?

**Evaluation**

Use the rubric handed out in class as a guide for completing and submitting your assignment.