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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.

Filtering by Category: In the Media

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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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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Patriots defense could win you a fantasy title

Rafe Anderson

The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg cites TruMedia’s expected-points model as a reason to add the Patriots defense for their Week 16 matchup against the Bills.

“Buffalo scores nearly 13 fewer points per game than expected after accounting for the down, distance and field position of each play. Only the Arizona Cardinals are worse, per data from TruMedia.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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Start Jared Cook this week

Rafe Anderson

The Bengals have struggled against tight ends, making Jared Cook a top fantasy option this weekend…

“Cook caught 7 of 10 targets for 116 yards on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers giving him two straight games with at least 100 yards receiving. Plus, this week’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, allows a robust 113.7 passer rating this season to opposing quarterbacks targeting tight ends in coverage per TruMedia; the league average is 98.6.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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WHY TIMBERS ARE UNDERDOGS AND HOW THEY'VE BEATEN THE ODDS

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia Networks’ Paul Carr contributed to Caitlin Murray’s piece for The Athletic, on why the Portland Timbers have been big underdogs according to predictive models, and how they’ve been able to beat those odds.

“Two things models often struggle with are how two teams’ styles match up, and adjustments that might be made on a given day,” Carr says. “Portland has done well at both these things in the playoffs, by clogging the middle against SKC and by pressing higher against Seattle, among other ways. Plus there’s the eternal randomness of playoffs, like Blanco’s wonder strike.”

Full article: The Athletic

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SECONDARY IS REASON RAVENS CAN WIN AFC NORTH

Rafe Anderson

Baltimore’s strong secondary is a reason to pick the Ravens to win the AFC North, writes Neil Greenberg in The Washington Post:

“The Ravens secondary, in particular, has been strong. Marlon Humphrey, Eric Weddle, Anthony Levine Sr. and Tony Jefferson have helped hold opposing quarterbacks to an 83.4 passer rating against, the second-best mark in the NFL this year, with offenses scoring almost two points per game fewer than expected on pass attempts, per TruMedia. Linebacker Za’Darius Smith has been a force as well: 6.5 sacks, 44 total pressures and 16 stops at or behind the line of scrimmage in 2018.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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PACKERS TOP THE WEEK'S ELIMINATOR PICKS

Rafe Anderson

The Packers are the best eliminator pick in Week 13, says The Washington Post, in part because of the Cardinals offensive struggles…

“According to TruMedia, Arizona is scoring 13 points fewer per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each offensive play. Only the Buffalo Bills (15 fewer per game) are worse in 2018 and only six teams are worse since 2002, the first year the league played with 32 teams.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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JAGS DEFENSE NOT THE SAME

Rafe Anderson

The Washington Post picks the Colts to cover (-4) against the Jaguars, in part because of Jacksonville’s defensive regression…

“There was a time when the Jaguars defense was something to be feared. Not anymore. The team is giving up almost four more points per game on passes than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each throw, per TruMedia, and will have its hands full with quarterback Andrew Luck, who has been on fire during the Colts’ five-game win streak.”

Full article: The Washington Post

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