HSAC is a student-run organization at Harvard University dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management. This blog features the original contributions of Harvard undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and affiliates. HSAC does research for several sports-related publications and companies. Please contact us at harvardsportsanalysis@gmail.com if you have any questions or want more information.

Stone Cold Stats: WWE Elo Ratings

By Harrison Chase and Henry Johnson With SummerSlam 2015 around the corner, it’s worth stating the obvious:  WWE is complicated. Professional wrestling is stuffed with backstories, rivalries, and plot twists so numerous that Christopher Nolan would need a second viewing. Take, for instance, the longtime feud between Randy Orton and Triple H. The kayfabe fight …Read More

Mariota’s Still Human (And a Rookie)

By Kurt Bullard If you’ve seen or read any coverage on the Tennessee Titans this preseason, you’re familiar with the leading story that Marcus Mariota has yet to throw an interception in his 186 attempts 7-on-7 drills. Any fan of the NFL knows how poorly the Titans have performed over the past few years, and …Read More

NFL Coaching Hot Seat: Preseason Edition

By Harrison Chase and Kurt Bullard Last year, we wrote various posts on creating a model to predict which NFL coaches would be fired at the end of the season. So, with nothing to do but wait for the regular season to begin, we decided to renew our predictions for the upcoming season to see …Read More

Strokes Gained Tournaments: Will a top ball-striker conquer Whistling Straits?

By Austin Tymins The picturesque Whistling Straits, a course not unfamiliar with hosting major tournaments, will host this week’s PGA Championship. And like nearly all professional events, some skill sets will be more suitable than others to the Whistling Straits layout. For example, as I described in my previous post, long hitters typically play very …Read More

Warning: Knuckleballs on the Edge of the Strike Zone are Closer than they Appear

By Adam Gilfix @AdamGilfix JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA The New York Yankees have seen a 5.5-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays collapse to 0.5 games from one Tuesday to the next by dropping five of six.  This rough patch of six games, in which the offense has managed a total of 8 runs (they surpassed that with 9 …Read More

Team “Form”, Recency Bias, and Regression to the Mean

By Daniel Silberwasser The term “form” is often used in soccer to refer to either a player or a team’s recent performance. A key aspect to the idea of form is that form influences future success. For example, one might say “Typically I would favor Tottenham, but Aston Villa has been in great form since …Read More

Diminishing Returns? Examining the effect of road-trip longevity in MLB

By Brendan Kent A while back, I wrote a piece on travel distance in Major League Soccer. It got me thinking about which aspects of travel affect a team’s performance. It would seem that as a trip progresses, travel might take an increasing toll: the more days on the road, the more days away from …Read More

Corruption in Serie B Soccer

By Harrison Chase Italian soccer is infamously riddled with corruption, with multiple scandals over the past decade. Although various forms of match fixing have occurred, the match fixing  described in Joe McGinniss’s book The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro particularly caught my eye. McGinniss recounts how, on the final weekend of the Serie B season, Castel Di Sangro, …Read More

Evaluating EPL Bookmakers

By Daniel Silberwasser With legal sports betting becoming a possibility in the U.S., it might be in our financial interest to investigate the track records of various U.K. soccer bookmakers. Using bookmaker data on the English Premier League from the past eleven seasons available online at football.data.co.uk (totaling over 4,000 matches), we can calculate the …Read More

Foul Play in the EPL?

By Daniel Silberwasser Home field advantage has become a crucial element of professional soccer. The final matches of major tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League are played in predetermined third party stadiums, and unlike other professional sports in the US, in order to establish strength of schedule parity across teams, during the regular season, …Read More