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Sports Analytics Fall Challenge!

Analyze This! & MinneAnalytics are excited to announce a new Sports Analytics challenge in partnership with Inside Edge, a Twin Cities-based sports scouting and data analytics organization with one of the most comprehensive databases of MLB stats in existence!

This competition will kick-off at 6:30 PM on October 12th at the UMN Hanson Hall and finish the afternoon of January 10th at the MinneAnalytics Sports Analytics Conference (held at the University of St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus). The format will be similar to our recently completed Science Museum of Minnesota Summer Data Challenge including prize money provided by MinneAnalytics.

Please stay tuned for further details.

Let the match-making begin!


Pedro, Mitch, Jake, Daniel, Justin, & Kevin


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  • Shiva

    Hi,
    Will the winners be decided today or on Jan 10?
    If the winners are decided on Jan 10, the finalists will be allowed to change the ppts after today?

    January 5

    • Jake M.

      Hi, Shiva. Tonight is a pre-finals screening round in which the many teams that submitted predictions will be whittled down to 3 or 4 teams. The "winners" from tonight will advance to the actual finals at SportCon on Jan. 10th. And, yes, the finalists are allowed to modify their presentation before Jan. 10.

      January 5

  • Shiva

    Thank you. We will follow up on this post the competition!

    January 1

  • Randy I.

    Absolutely, Shiva! We're happy to work with teams on any follow-up projects.

    1 · January 1

  • Shiva

    Thanks a lot Randy sir! This makes sense.
    We were very much interested to optimize the lineups too, is there a possibility to do that over and above the competition (for learning)?

    January 1

  • Randy I.

    Shiva / all - Lineup optimization is not part of this challenge. The deck explaining those techniques was just to let you know how the hitter point projections might be used to play DFS games. This challenge is just to create models to predict how many points each hitter will score each day. Make sense? Good luck!

    January 1

  • Shiva

    Hi Analyze This!
    Our team is going through the deck about DFS Lineup Optimization Strategies. (We were not able to attend the meetup in December due to exams)

    We assume that the datafile which we use for predictions should also be used for the optimization. Our questions are,
    1) There is no team in the data set or even the salary of the players in the data set to apply the constraints. 2) For the constraint of 1 player from each of 9 positions, 'Hitter Pos' data column is the one should we use?

    3) We read the descriptions for the 3 basic lineup optimization strategies, but were not able to understand most of it. Is there a way someone could help on this?

    Thank you in advance!

    January 1

  • Randy I.

    Challenge participants - I uploaded the file Hitter_PitcherCategories_Map.xlsx to the data file folder. As requested at the last meetup, this file contains categories and descriptions for HGLY/PGLY. Good luck!

    December 16

  • Luke H.

    1. For PitcherGB_FLY, what is the continuum of factors? Meaning, is GB the opposite of FLY (GB, AvgGB, FLY) or is AvgGB the opposite of FLY (AvgGB, GB, FLY)? There are a few "A" as well. If that is not an error, what does that represent and how does that fit in?

    2. Are any pitching variables NOT about the current pitcher the batter is scheduled to face (ie pitcher of the hitters team). In particular, does Opp.Pitcher mean something different than Pitcher when used in a variable?

    December 12

    • Randy I.

      Great questions, Luke! Quick answers here, and I can also address this evening:

      1. For the field “PitcherGB_FLY”, please treat values of “A” as NA (Not Applicable). Those and null values represent cases where there was not enough data (like rookie pitchers). So the valid values (buckets) for that field are: GB = strong ground ball tendency; AvgGB = average GB tendency; FLY = strong FLY tendency. Note also that there is no pitcher side in this field (as was indicated in the dictionary) – that is available elsewhere in the data.

      December 14

    • Randy I.

      2. I think you meant “pitcher of the hitter’s opponents”, but yes, all of the pitcher variables (PGLY, GB tendency, SO tendency, Tier Level, etc.) are based on the pitcher the hitter is facing today. (The only exception is that we might have some instances where the SP was scratched, and those were probably not updated. To maintain realism, though, there’s nothing we can do about the data reflecting the scheduled starter, when in reality that pitcher got scratched & replaced by another pitcher.)

      December 14

  • Randy I.

    Hi Sports Analytics MLB Challenge participants!

    I sent this as email, but am also posting here:

    In advance of this Wednesday evening's meetup, I wanted to let all of you know a few things:

    First, I hope that you have seen on this meetup forum site that I uploaded auxiliary data files which update or add a few fields (OU, elevation, roof, & Hitter-Pitcher B-T). These were created in response to questions or requests by participants. Each field has a "2" appended to the field name & can replace the original field.

    Second, if you have questions or comments, please post them here so that everyone can see them. If you post questions in advance of Wed.'s meeting, that will give me a chance to look into them beforehand if I need to.

    Good luck, and I'll see you soon,

    December 12

  • Randy I.

    All - in response to Chengchao Lu's post in the other thread, I just uploaded a new auxiliary data file "OU2wB-T.csv" (& .xlsx) which adds the corrected field "Hitter-Pitcher B-T 2" to the previous auxiliary data file. Good luck!

    November 30

  • Randy I.

    I've just uploaded an auxiliary data file "AddedFieldsOU_Elev_Roof" in CSV and XLSX formats, indexed by RecordNum, that add more of the missing data for Over/Under, Elevation, and Roof, as per requests here. Remaining missing data for these fields is not available. Good luck!

    November 19

  • Jon J.

    Can we use the elevation of the park to determine the home team?

    November 15

    • Randy I.

      Austin - Park Adj is based on # runs scored at that stadium, and is adjusted daily. I'm told that it's based on a rolling 2-yr avg, but there may have been something wrong in the first week that caused the bounce between .8 & 1.12. Maybe instead of rolling 2 year, it was using current season, with very small sample size. Suggest you ignore week 1 Park Adj. numbers.

      November 17

    • Austin

      Thanks Randy. Also on the topic of elevation, it looks like there is about 1407 rows that are missing weather and ballpark info. It is scatter across most of the weeks with week 26 missing the most at 700 rows. Week 27 is next with 248 rows missing. Would it be possible to get that missing info? Thanks

      November 17

  • Randy I.

    Here's a link to the NDA for anyone who would like to participate in the Challenge. Once I get the signed/scanned via email, I'll get you the link to the data and dictionary files. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0qpyym86vpDS3lCSmdyY3pyVDQ?usp=sharing

    1 · October 17

  • manderson

    Hi! Would someone please post the file for the NDA so anyone who couldn't be at the meeting can download, sign it, and email it to Randy? Thanks!

    1 · October 16

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I send a scanned copy of the NDA by email?

    1 · October 12

    • Jake M.

      Hi, David. You can send your NDA via email to [masked]. Randy is managing the NDAs.

      1 · October 14

  • Jake M.

    Hi, everyone! Kevin just uploaded a 2-page document that explains the logistics and format of our Fall 2016 MLB Analytics Challenge. Click on "More>Files" to find it.

    1 · October 14

  • Ryan A.

    Great event! Excited to be a part of it!

    1 · October 13

    • Pedro M.

      Thanks for the kind words, Ryan!

      October 13

  • Austin

    During the meeting, they mention the dates of the next two meetups. Does anyone remember what they were?

    October 13

    • Jake M.

      Hey, Austin. The next two meetups are November 9th and December 14th at Hanson Hall.

      October 13

  • Alex C.

    Hi all!
    Hope the event went well last night. I've been monitoring this event from afar (Michigan) and was wondering if there was a way to get involved remotely.

    1 · October 13

  • Brian M.

    Will details on contest rules and how to participate be posted online? I unfortunately can't make it because I run another meetup this night, but would love to participate!

    October 11

    • Pedro M.

      Hi Brian, we'll share the challenge rules shortly after tonight's kickoff. Thank you!

      October 12

  • Kevin

    We will be meeting tomorrow night at the UofM's Carlson School, Hanson Hall, Room[masked]

    October 11

  • Jake M.

    Let the matchmaking begin! Go here and sign your team up! http://bit.ly/2dlmzuC

    October 7

  • Pedro M.

    Please share the Sports Analytics Fall Challenge Flyer!

    https://goo.gl/o49THi

    1 · October 4

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