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Sunday, January 21, 2007

FanGraphs to have Real Time Win Probability

I was catching up on some old news at various sites tonight, and noticed that FanGraphs plans to have Real Time Win Probability available for all Major League Baseball games next season. Last season I often posted Win Probability graphs from their site the day following a big game. For example, here's the win probability graph on the last home game of the season, when Griffey won it with a homer in the bottom of the 8th to change a 4-2 loss into a 5-4 win:
What real time win probability will allow us to do is see, in real time, how particular actions on the field affect the probability that the Reds will win games. For example, in the above game, while Norris Hopper's 1-out, 1-on single in the 8th inning brought the Reds' win probability up to 30%, Dave Ross's strikeout that followed it dropped it back down to around 20%'s...and Griffey's subsequent home run shot it all the way up to about 80%.

While it is interesting to look back on these figures now, I think the real excitement of this system will come when we can finally see these probabilities as they happen. It quite literally might change the way I watch baseball next year. Looking forward to seeing how they implement it.