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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 Tag: espn

Will fantasy stars like Rafael Devers keep it up?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Tim Heaney uses TruMedia’s baseball product as he examines whether fantasy stars like Rafael Devers will sustain their excellence in the second half of the season.

“ …many of us thought Devers was exposed in his second year, forgetting the hyped former prospect was just 21. … But four notable improvements stand out for me. First, he’s shined when he’s made contact. Here’s his progress from the past three years, per TruMedia. HIs 2019 numbers (for exit velocity and percent of batted balls at 95+ MPH) rank third and second, respectively, in the majors.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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No. 10s are dying breeds in soccer

Rafe Anderson

Mesut Ozil's Arsenal decline shows that the classic No. 10 position is dying in soccer, as ESPN’s Ryan O’Hanlon explains, with the help of TruMedia’s ProVision product…

“Across 35 games [in the 2015-16 Premier League season], Arsenal's Mesut Ozil created 146 total chances -- 20 more than any other player since 2010, according to TruMedia data. His 19 assists are the high-water mark in the Premier League this decade, as are the 28 Big Chances (defined by Opta as "a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score") he created. From Sept. 26 through Nov. 21, Ozil recorded an assist in seven straight games, something no Premier League player had ever done before and no one's done since. In fact, only 18 other players in the league that year even reached seven assists across the entire season.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Could Mbappe run down his contract?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Ryan O’Hanlon uses TruMedia’s ProVision product to contextualize the accomplishments of Kylian Mbappe at age 20, and what might happen if Mbappe runs down his contract…

“According to TruMedia data, which goes back to the 2010-11 season, Mbappe's 33 Ligue 1 goals last season were the most of any player age 20 or under in Europe's big five leagues in that time period. When they were in the same age bracket, Lionel Messi topped out at 14 goals, while Cristiano Ronaldo never got above nine.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Tyler Lockett's outrageously efficient 2018

Rafe Anderson

In his article about Tyler Lockett’s stellar 2018 season, ESPN’s Seth Walder uses a TruMedia-generated arrow chart to illustrate where and how efficiently Tyler Lockett caught downfield passes last season.

“What's noticeable right away, besides how many catches (red) there are for deep passes, is that Lockett has two clear clusters of routes: down the right sideline and across the field from right to left.

But the inverse, crossing routes from left to right, are missing. That was surprising because with a right-handed scrambling quarterback like Russell Wilson, I expected plenty of improvised routes from the left to the right. Part of the reason those routes are missing is because Lockett lines up on Wilson's right 62% of the time. But the other factor is that Wilson is willing to make unconventional throws, running to the right and throwing to the left anyway…”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Is Barcelona over-reliant on Lionel Messi?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Ryan O’Hanlon uses TruMedia’s product to examine the numbers around Barcelona’s reliance on Lionel Messi…

“According to TruMedia data going back to 2010, Messi created a career-high 24.2% of Barcelona's chances (assists plus key passes) when he was on the field in 2017-18. Barca were even more reliant on him to put the ball on goal, as he accounted for 39.2% of their shots, his second-highest proportion since 2010. This past season, Messi upped his importance as a creator (28.3%) while maintaining a similar proportion of shots (37.9%). If you add both numbers, Messi was responsible for 63.4% of Barca's total shots in 2017-18 and 66.2% last season. This is unprecedented, as the previous high was 55.5% in 2012-13.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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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

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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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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Can the Dolphins keep waiting on Tannehill?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe wonders how long the Dolphins can wait on Ryan Tannehill.

“The numbers bear out his yo-yo résumé. Tannehill is 40-42 as a starter. He has made the playoffs once -- in 2016, when he was injured in December, and Matt Moore steered the ship to shore. Since Tannehill was drafted in 2012, he ranks 19th among NFL quarterbacks in completion percentage, 25th in passer rating, 26th in touchdown-to-interception ratio, 28th in yards per attempt, 30th in Total QBR and 36th in QB win percentage, according to TruMedia.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Albert Wilson is NFL's "best YAC receiver"

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe uses TruMedia data to write about Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson, who says, “I’m the best YAC (yards after catch) receiver in the league.”

“Wilson was second in the NFL with an average of five yards after catch per reception last season, trailing just the Lions' Golden Tate. This season, Wilson is averaging 14.57 yards after catch per reception so far, per TruMedia. That's by far the most in the NFL. In fact, 335 of his 359 receiving yards have been YAC.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Forsythe Doesn't Chase Breaking Balls

Rafe Anderson

Twins Daily, part of ESPN's blog network, uses TruMedia's product to analyze Logan Forsythe's approach...

"Forsythe rarely chases breaking balls out of the zone. According to ESPN/TruMedia’s data, since 2017 he’s reached on just 14.3 percent of breaking balls outside of the zone whereas the average hitter has done so on just over 30 percent. For comparison’s sake, Joe Mauer has even chased after 23 percent of breaking balls in that time. Forsythe will swing through some (8 percent, same as Mauer) and the results aren’t great when he does make contact (a .588 OPS vs .657 MLB average) but with baseball’s increasing reliance on nasty breaking balls, being able to wait back and keep from chasing after those pitches is rare skill set."

Full article: Twins Daily

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How Player Tracking Data Affects the NFL

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia's Dean Oliver talks to ESPN about how player-tracking data will affect the NFL's use of analytics:

"Of course, in order for player tracking data to have a positive impact on any given team, that franchise has to have a desire to use it.

"I think there's interest, but there's always some healthy and some unhealthy skepticism about what it can do," said Dean Oliver, vice president of data science at TruMedia Networks."

Full Article: ESPN.com

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Circumstantial evidence for Jose Urena not great

Rafe Anderson

ESPN.com's Bradford Doolittle writes that the circumstantial evidence for Jose Urena's innocence is not great, regarding his beaning of Ronald Acuna:

"Urena's 25 hit batters since last season are tied for the most in the majors with Cole Hamels and Charlie Morton. According to TruMedia research, his 17 hit batsmen since 2016 on fastballs are tied for the most in baseball."

Full article: ESPN.com

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Trout's pitches with runners on

Rafe Anderson

For ESPN.com, Bradford Doolittle looks at Mike Trout's low RBI total and whether or not the pitches he sees are a factor...

"According to TruMedia, since the beginning of the 2016 season, 46.7 percent of the pitches Trout has seen with runners on base have been in the strike zone. That's lower than the league average (47.6 percent) but not shockingly low. There have been 103 hitters to see an even lower frequency of strikes in those spots."

Full article: ESPN.com

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Scherzer uses TruMedia as part of exhaustive prep

Rafe Anderson

Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer relies on TruMedia's baseball analytics platform as part of his exhaustive preparation process.

"...instead of watching film of opposing hitters like pitchers tend to do, [Scherzer] pulled up an analytically driven website called TruMedia. He proceeded to pore over a series of numbers and heat maps, comparing the 2018 version of himself to the 2017 version who won a second straight Cy Young award."

Full article: ESPN.com

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Gerrit Cole's changing strategy

Rafe Anderson

ESPN's David Schoenfeld uses TruMedia imagery to show how Gerrit Cole's fastball location has changed this season.

"Cole was solid across the board in 2017, with a high home run rate leading to a 4.26 ERA. The increase in strikeout rate and swing-and-miss rate is phenomenal -- and note that his ground ball rate has plummeted.

As you might expect, and as others have reported, it’s a change in philosophy. The Pirates like two-seamers and ground balls; the Astros like four-seamers and strikeouts. You can see the difference in Cole's fastball location."

Full article: ESPN.com

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ESPN: What's wrong with Mariano Rivera's cutter?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN's Stats & Information team examines the recent struggles of Mariano Rivera.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has had some significant issues in his last two appearances for the Yankees and one of the reasons for this is an issue he’s having with his trademark pitch. 

As Bill Chuck noted a few weeks ago, in a piece on BaseballAnalytics.org, that Rivera’s cutter was not as sharp as it had been in previous seasons. 

Source: ESPN.com (Mark Simon)

ESPN: A Tale of Two Seasons for Dan Uggla

Rafe Anderson

ESPN takes a close look at Dan Uggla's performance along with supporting heat maps:

When Uggla was going bad, he couldn’t make contact with sliders from right-handed pitchers. He only was putting about one-third of his swings in play. Now, he’s putting half of his swings against sliders from righties into play and doing major damage. When making contact with a slider from a right-handed pitcher during the streak, he’s 11-for-22 with five home runs. And to tie back to the previous note, four of those have come on sliders on the outer-third. 

Source: ESPN.com (Mark Simon & Katie Sharp)