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TruMedia Networks is a software engineering firm focused on powering sports analytics platforms.

In the News

News about TruMedia and articles featuring TruMedia data and analysis.

Is the third-time-through-the-order effect being reduced?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle uses TruMedia's research tool to examine how and why the third-time-through-the-order effect may be reduced this season:

“Since 2009, the OPS-allowed progression for pitchers by number of times facing a hitter in a game goes like this: 1. .706, 2. .746, 3. .780. After that, the progression breaks down due to selection bias -- only pitchers throwing especially well are allowed to get into a lineup for a fourth time. …

Thus far, at the aggregate level, the third-time-through effect is not present at this juncture of the season. I wouldn't want to declare why without doing a thorough deep-dig on it, so consider this a theory: The selection bias that we have always seen with fourth-time-through measures has now expanded to the third time. In other words, managers are doing a better job at weeding out those pitchers who aren't effective the third time through opposing lineups, and doing a better job of identifying when pitchers are throwing well enough to take on that challenge.”

Full article: ESPN.com

Le Sommer scores earliest WWC goal in opener

Rafe Anderson

The first goal of this year’s Women’s World Cup was one for the record books…

“[Eugénie Le Sommer’s] finish was hardly immaculate, but goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi got only a soft hand to it and the ball pinged the underside of the bar and went into the net for the earliest goal in a Women’s World Cup opener, per TruMedia Sports.”

Full article: Yahoo Sports

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Carli Lloyd's scoring rate remains high

Rafe Anderson

Anger fuels Carli Lloyd, as she still produces goals and assists while coming off the bench…

“And she has remained productive, even as her minutes have diminished. By the time 2016 ended, Lloyd had started 176 games in 202 appearances for the US. Since the calendar flipped to 2017, she has been a substitute in 28 of 42 matches. And yet she has held steady, notching a goal or an assist every 88 minutes, according to TruMedia analyst Paul Carr. That is nearly the same level of production as Alex Morgan, the team’s designated starter in Lloyd’s striker spot.”

Full article: The Guardian

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SHOULD YOU ADD THESE RED-HOT HITTERS?

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia’s site powers Tim Heaney’s ESPN.com article, looking at four hot players to consider adding to your fantasy baseball team…

“After all, [Avisail Garcia’s] top-50 average exit velocity of 91.0 mph from 2017 to '19 ranks higher than those of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Juan Soto and Francisco Lindor. Similar to what Tampa Bay faced with Diaz, Garcia's launch angle wasn't clicking; in 2019, he's crept upward at 11.2 degrees, up from 9.3 and 9.0, respectively, in turn increasing his homer potential. He's also targeted the 10-to-30-degree window, which is optimal for homers, 33.1 percent of the time -- a stark improvement from 2018's 24.6 percent.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Vlad Jr.'s early stats are promising

Rafe Anderson

Among the first impressions that ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle has about Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.:

“Guerrero's advanced approach also shows up in his ability to spoil pitches by fouling them off, something that was evident a couple of times over the weekend. As a 20-year-old, he's fouled off 37.1 percent of the pitches he's swung at so far, according to TruMedia, which is a tick below the big league average. The same holds true for his ability to foul off two-strike offerings.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Are .300 hitters a thing of the past?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle wonders if .300 hitters are a thing of the past, exploring increased pitcher velocity and advancements in hitting analysis.

“The frequency with which Pujols now faces high-power velocity hasn't done him any favors, either. Remember that figure of 196 homers he has hit with the Angels? According to TruMedia, only four of them have come against the 1,050 pitches he has seen that have registered at 96 mph or greater. “

Full article: ESPN.com

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Dean Oliver previews Basketball Analytics Summit

Rafe Anderson

Our Dean Oliver previews this weekend’s SPEIA Basketball Analytics Summit, where he is a featured speaker:

“We live in a world that’s driven by data,” Oliver said. “Understand this a great opportunity to understand how data is actually making a difference in a very prominent industry that we’re all familiar with.”

Full article: Spectacular Magazine

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Is Le'Veon Bell worth $52.5M?

Rafe Anderson

The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg uses TruMedia’s expected-points model to suggest thats the Jets $52 million investment in Le’Veon Bell may not be the wisest use of cap space:

“…when the Pittsburgh Steelers targeted Bell out of the backfield in 2017, the team scored less than a half point more per game than expected after accounting for the down, distance and field position of each throw, per data from TruMedia. On his carries, the Steelers produced 1.7 points per game less than expected.”

Full story: The Washington Post

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TruMedia's Paul Carr moderates soccer panel at Sloan

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia’s Paul Carr hosted the soccer panel at this year’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, to discuss soccer analytics and youth development. Panelists included Brian Biello (New England Revolution president), Ben Mackriell (Head of OptaPro), Kristine Lilly (former USWNT star) & Isaac Guerrero (Technical Director of Barcelona’s Football School).

Video link

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What to Expect from Marwin Gonzalez

Rafe Anderson

Twins Daily, part of ESPN’s SweetSpot Network, uses TruMedia’s site to explore what to expect from Minnesota signing Marwin Gonzalez this season:

“Per ESPN/TruMedia’s data, in 2017, Gonzalez had a .794 batting average on line drives as a lefty. Coincidentally, only Logan Morrison (.805) had a better average. The rest of the league’s left-handed constituency sat at .687. So Gonzalez was performing well above the norm which may have been an indication to expect regression. Last year that number dropped to .613. Part of the reason for this is that his line drives carried a bit further than his previous season. In 2017 his average liner went 257 feet on average but was at 268 feet in 2018, meaning fewer liners dropped in front of the outfielders and infielders. Hitting the ball hard on a line is obviously preferential, however there are some diminishing returns when more liners become midrange instead of short or long.”

Full article: Twins Daily

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Tom Brady Misses Josh Gordon

Rafe Anderson

The Boston Globe uses TruMedia data to explore how the Patriots have adjusted without Josh Gordon:

“With Gordon gone, Brady has made more short, high-percentage throws to his most reliable receivers. His average Air Yards per attempt, according to TruMedia Networks, has dropped about 14 percent from 7.8 to 6.7 Air Yards, and a significant number of throws that had gone in Gordon’s direction have been redirected towards more reliable options White and Edelman.”

Full article: Boston Globe

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Inside the numbers of Wu Lei, Espanyol's new signing

Rafe Anderson

For the OptaPro blog, TruMedia’s Paul Carr wrote about Wu Lei, Espanyol's new signing whose stellar numbers in China may be deceiving.

“Wu’s surface-level statistics look great. After scoring 20 goals in 2017, he led the CSL with 27 goals last season, as his club won the championship and ended Guangzhou Evergrande’s streak of seven straight titles.

Wu has surpassed his expected goals total in six straight seasons, so the 27-year-old may possess above-average finishing ability.  However, Wu’s success in 2018 was fueled by an impossible-to-maintain finishing rate.”

Full article: OptaPro blog

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Fly sweep gains popularity as shotgun usage grows

Rafe Anderson

ESPN.com’s Kevin Van Valkenburg tracks the history of the fly sweep, which has gained popularity in the NFL as use of shotgun offenses grows…

“The NFL a storied history of ignoring (or marginalizing) eccentric football minds like Stitt's. … That may be changing, though, the more the NFL begins to resemble the wide-open nature of the college game. According to ESPN TruMedia tracking, 63 percent of NFL plays this season were run with the quarterback in shotgun. Kansas City led the league, with Patrick Mahomes in the shotgun at the start of 80 percent of its plays. There is a reason offensive wiz kids like Kliff Kingsburry, Lincoln Riley and Matt Campbell have been mentioned as serious candidates for NFL jobs, despite limited experience or mixed results in college. They're seen as the next generation of innovators.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Saints a big winner on Wild Card weekend

Rafe Anderson

The Washington Post says the Saints were big winners on Wild Card weekend, as they’ll face a relatively weak Eagles secondary…

“The Eagles will travel to New Orleans to face the Saints, the top seed in the NFC, which also features one of this year’s top quarterbacks in Drew Brees. … Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, by comparison, ended the regular season ranked 30th out of 32 qualified passers. That’s quite a difference for an Eagles pass coverage unit who has seen opponents score almost three points more per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each throw against them, per data from TruMedia.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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Fatal Flaws in Every Playoff Team

Rafe Anderson

Neil Greenberg highlights potentially fatal flaws in each NFL playoff team, using advanced statistics including TruMedia’s expected points added model.

“Passers have completed 67 percent of their throws against the Saints for an average rating of 100.3, roughly the equivalent of Goff’s 2018 number (101.1). Looked at another way, New Orleans allowed three points more per game than expected after taking into account the down, distance and field position of each pass against. Only seven other teams, just one a playoff contender (Chiefs), were worse in 2018, per data from TruMedia.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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Bears defense makes them wild-card favorite

Rafe Anderson

The Bears defense makes Chicago the pick to cover the spread in the wild-card round, says The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg:

“Chicago was the first team since 2006 to record both 50 sacks and 25 interceptions, plus allowed a league low 1.4 points per drive (league average was 2.0) with the fifth-best red zone defense (50 percent), forcing opponents three-and-out more than a third of the time (36 percent, fifth best). It was so good opponents scored almost 10 points fewer per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each play against. No other defense came close per data from TruMedia.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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BEARS GOOD VALUE TO WIN NFC

Rafe Anderson

With 5-1 odds, the Bears are a good value bet to win NFC, says The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg:

“The Bears are the obvious standout here, and their defense is one of the best we have seen since 2002, when the league expanded to 32 teams. Chicago is allowing 9.5 fewer points per game than expected after accounting for the down, distance and field position of each play, the ninth-best mark over the past 17 seasons, per TruMedia.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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Dean Oliver on AI and machine learning in basketball

Rafe Anderson

Dean Oliver, TruMedia’s VP of Data Science, talked with Inside Science about the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in basketball analytics.

“Even complex board games follow rigid rules, while basketball is fluid, with teams constantly adjusting and readjusting to each other. "There is no dominant strategy," [Oliver] said. "The game is far more robust."

Nor are programs like Bhostgusters meant to replace coaches. What they do, instead, is help coaches check their intuition about a play. "This is not telling the coach what to do. This is assisting the coach in his day-to-day job," Lucey said. "There's a limit on what data can do, because data doesn't capture everything a coach sees and smells."

Indeed, a coach's job is far more than drawing up plays. "The element of coaching that doesn't get played up as much as it should is the ability of the coaches to work with players, to motivate them, to get them to play together," Oliver said.”

Full article: Inside Science

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Bears defense makes them top Eliminator pick

Rafe Anderson

The Bears defense makes them the best Eliminator pick in Week 16, says Neil Greenberg of The Washington Post:

“Teams are scoring almost 10 points per game less than expected against the Bears, after you account for the down, distance and field position of each offensive play, per data from TruMedia. Not only is that tops in the league this season; it would also be the ninth best mark since 2002, the year the league expanded to 32 teams.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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