With the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals playing in Game 3 of the MLB playoffs tonight, fans are eager to see who breaks the 1:1 tied score. Whoever wins tonight’s game will be one step closer to playing in the 2015 World Series. With this kind of pressure how do coaches and managers decide line ups and game time decisions?
Will Matheny and Maddon be using Big Data tonight?
Big Data has been slowly infiltrating the MLB world and is now a heavily relied upon tool for strategic decisions. Systems such as Hitf/x, Fieldf/x, and Pitchf/x capture data from hitters, fielders and pitchers and relay it to the coaches and managers in real time. This allows coaches to not only see the outcome of plays but to get a better idea of what may happen before the play is even done.
The Pitchf/x system records 20 different measurements of every pitch including the angle of the pitchers arm, the speed, location and three dimensional movement of the ball. These types of measurements are what allow the broadcasters to display the strike box in the corner of your screen, showing you real time reports of where pitches were thrown.
Big Data and statistics are not limited to just off season training, but actually being used during the games. Because of these new programs MLB teams can study pitcher/hitter relationships and strategically set their line up and shift their fielders accordingly. The data that is collected and analyzed is also what influences which signals coaches give their hitters.
Thanks to Big Data, managers can more strategically coach players and make better informed trades with more accurate stats, saving time and money. Big Data has also helped capture more fans with better screen graphics, teaching fans about the underlying strategies within baseball.
No matter who wins tonight it is safe to say both teams will be implementing Big Data into their game plan. Hopefully Big Data will continue to grow in the MLB as it has with the NFL.