Field of Graphs

2019 marks the 115th year for World Series baseball in the United States. In a year when home run records were smashed with authority, we thought we’d take a look at America’s pastime through the lens of graph visualization. 

Simple trade history of Washington Nationals star pitcher "Mad Max" Scherzer
Simple trade history of Washington Nationals star pitcher “Mad Max” Scherzer

Over the next several weeks, we’ll ask two fundamental questions about Major League Baseball (MLB):

  1. Who’s on the playoff team rosters?
    Do most players start on other teams? Which players have been traded and from which teams?

  2. What’s with all the homers?
    6,770 home runs were hit during the regular season this year–a new record! Sure, they’re fun to watch, but do they lead teams to the playoffs or the World Series?

Let’s pull some data, make some graphs, and see what we can figure out. Today we’ll:

  • walk through the over-arching process, using MLB datasets as our subject
  • drop some knowledge about how the graphs were created
  • show how we used the customization tools resident in Tom Sawyer Perspectives to easily tailor the graphs to show important statistics  we can use in our analysis

Come on…let’s play ball!

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