Analytics (and clutch plays) led to Houston Astros’ first World Series win

home-plate-and-batters-box

You’ve probably heard all about the Sports Illustrated cover from 2014 that predicted the Houston Astros — at the time a woefully inept team — would win the 2017 World Series.

Well, they did! And it arguably was the most exciting World Series ever, featuring two teams (Houston and the Los Angeles Dodgers) that won more than 100 games in the regular season, a record number of home runs, and thrillingly close games (with the exception of Game 7).

So how did the Astros do it? Simple: They made a commitment to data analytics and talent development. Here’s a blog post I wrote in May 2015 on the Houston Astros’ worst-to-first transformation that season, which includes data from analytics website FiveThirtyEight underscoring the extent of Houston’s “historic turnaround.”

It took a couple of more seasons for the team’s analytics program investment to pay off with a World Series victory — the first since the franchise entered the National League as the Houston Colt 45s in 1962 (before moving to the American League in 2013).

This analytics stuff works, people.

RELATED LINKS

A case study from baseball on how analytics can transform an organization

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Raising your Analytics IQ

Comments

  1. Lisa Braun says:

    Very cool! I watched most of it and read about the Astros’ non-conventional approach. The Moneyball effect! I am just a casual fan but I did like Altuve. Ah, what we can learn and act on from data.

    Like

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