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Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate List

Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Sabermetrics books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.

1. Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, 2d ed. (2019)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListInterest in Sabermetrics has increased dramatically in recent years as the need to better compare baseball players has intensified among managers, agents and fans, and even other players. The authors explain how traditional measures–such as Earned Run Average, Slugging Percentage, and Fielding Percentage–along with new statistics–Wins Above Average, Fielding Independent Pitching, Wins Above Replacement, the Equivalence Coefficient and others–define the value of players. Actual player statistics are used in developing models, while examples and exercises are provided in each chapter. This book serves as…
Author(s): Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber, et al.

2. The Book: Playing The Percentages In Baseball (2014)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListWritten by three esteemed baseball statisticians, The Book continues where the legendary Bill James’s Baseball Abstracts and Palmer and Thorn’s The Hidden Game of Baseball left off more than twenty years ago. Continuing in the grand tradition of sabermetrics, the authors provide a revolutionary way to think about baseball with principles that can be applied at every level, from high school to the major leagues.Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin cover topics such as batting and pitching matchups, platooning, the benefits and risks of intentional walks and sacrifices, the legitimacy of alleged “clutch”…
Author(s): Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, et al.

3. The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball (2015)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListFrom the front office to the family room, sabermetrics has dramatically changed the way baseball players are assessed and valued by fans and managers alike. Rocketed to popularity by the 2003 bestseller Moneyball and the film of the same name, the use of sabermetrics to analyze player performance has appeared to be a David to the Goliath of systemically advantaged richer teams that could be toppled only by creative statistical analysis. The story has been so compelling that, over the past decade, team after team has integrated statistical analysis into its front office. But how accurately can crunching numbers quantify a…
Author(s): Benjamin Baumer, Andrew Zimbalist

4. Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics (2007)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListBorn in the 1970s as a radical challenge to traditional baseball statistics, sabermetrics has developed into a new way of understanding many aspects of the game. Its practitioners have created new statistical tools and revised our old ways of thinking about established measures such as the batting average, tactics such as the sacrifice bunt, and even who among the greats was truly great. This introduction to the basics of sabermetric analysis explains concepts including normalization, peak versus career performance, linear weights and runs created, as well as popular calculations like OPS (On-Base plus Slugging), WHIP (Walks and Hits…
Author(s): Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber and John T. Saccoman

5. Astroball: The New Way to Win It All (2019)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListWhen Sports Illustrated declared on the cover of a June 2014 issue that the Houston Astros would win the World Series in 2017, people thought Ben Reiter, the article’s author, was crazy. The Astros were the worst baseball team in half a century, but they were more than just bad. They were an embarrassment, a club that didn’t even appear to be trying to win. The cover story, combined with the specificity of Reiter’s claim, met instant and nearly universal derision. But three years later, the critics were proved improbably, astonishingly…
Author(s): Ben Reiter

6. Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution (2017)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate List“A delight for baseball lovers” (Kirkus Reviews) and “one of the most significant baseball books of the year” (Bob Costas) Ahead of the Curve uses stories from baseball’s present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic.Forget batting average. Kill the “Win.” Say goodbye to starting pitchers. And please, please stop bunting. MLB Network anchor and commentator Brian Kenny provides “an excellent, entertaining read for the all-around baseball fan” (Library Journal) and shows how baseball has…
Author(s): Brian Kenny

7. Practicing Sabermetrics: Putting the Science of Baseball Statistics to Work (2009)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListThe past 30 years have seen an explosion in the number and variety of baseball books and articles. Following the lead of pioneers Bill James, John Thorn, and Pete Palmer, researchers have steadily challenged the ways we think about player and team performance–and along the way revised what we thought we knew of baseball history. This book by the authors of Understanding Sabermetrics (2008) goes beyond the explanation of new statistics to demonstrate their use in solving some of the more familiar problems of baseball research, such as how to compare…
Author(s): Gabriel B Costa

8. Analyzing Baseball Data with R (Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series) (2013)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListWith its flexible capabilities and open-source platform, R has become a major tool for analyzing detailed, high-quality baseball data. Analyzing Baseball Data with R provides an introduction to R for sabermetricians, baseball enthusiasts, and students interested in exploring the rich sources of baseball data. It equips readers with the necessary skills and software tools to perform all of the analysis steps, from gathering the datasets and entering them in a convenient format to visualizing the data via graphs to performing a statistical analysis. The authors first present an…
Author(s): Max Marchi, Jim Albert

9. Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks (2007)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListThis smart and funny fan’s guide to baseball explains the ins and outs of pitching, hitting, running, and fielding, while offering insider trivia and anecdotes that will appeal to anyone—whether you’re a major league couch potato, life-long season ticket-holder, or a beginner. What is the difference between a slider and a curveball?At which stadium did “The Wave” first make an appearance?How do some hitters use iPods to improve their skills?Which positions are never played by lefties?Why do some players urinate on their…
Author(s): Zack Hample

10. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2003)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListWhen Bill James published his original Historical Baseball Abstract in 1985, he produced an immediate classic, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “holy book of baseball.” Now, baseball’s beloved “Sultan of Stats” (The Boston Globe) is back with a fully revised and updated edition for the new millennium.Like the original, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is really several books in one. The Game provides a century’s worth of American baseball history, told one decade at a time, with energetic facts and figures about How, Where, and by Whom the game…
Author(s): Bill James

11. The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics (2015)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListLong before Moneyball became a sensation or Nate Silver turned the knowledge he’d honed on baseball into electoral gold, John Thorn and Pete Palmer were using statistics to shake the foundations of the game. First published in 1984, The Hidden Game of Baseball ushered in the sabermetric revolution by demonstrating that we were thinking about baseball stats―and thus the game itself―all wrong. Instead of praising sluggers for gaudy RBI totals or pitchers for wins, Thorn and Palmer argued in favor of more subtle measurements that correlated much more closely to the ultimate goal: winning baseball games.             The new…
Author(s): John Thorn, Pete Palmer, et al.

12. BIG DATA BASEBALL (2016)

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate ListAfter twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club’s payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise’s fortunes. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball for a new generation. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to…
Author(s): Travis Sawchik

Best Sabermetrics Books: The Ultimate List

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some sabermetrics books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Practicing Sabermetrics: Putting the Science of Baseball Statistics to Work

Author(s): Gabriel B Costa
Publisher: McFarland, Year: 2009, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 254114

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely record-breakers according to Chicago Tribune, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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