June 10, 2009


Filed under: — admin @ 1:44 pm

mathletics_21How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

Mathletics is a remarkably entertaining book that shows readers how to use simple mathematics to analyze a range of statistical and probability-related questions in professional baseball, basketball, and football, and in sports gambling.  How does professional baseball evaluate hitters?  Is a singles hitter like Wade Boggs more valuable than a power hitter like David Ortiz?  Should NFL teams pass or run more often on first downs?  Could professional basketball have used statistic to expose crooked referee Tim Donaghy?  Does money buy performance in professional sports.

Click Here to download Mathletics book file




Winston has an uncanny knack for bringing the game alive through the fascinating mathematical questions be explores.  He gets inside professional sports like no other writer i know.  Mathletic is like a seat at courtside.”

-Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks


Wayne Winston’s Mathletics combines rigorous analytical methodologies with a very inquisitive approach. This should be a required starting point for anyone desiring to use mathematics in the world of sports.”

-KC Joyner, author of Blindsided: Why the Left Tackle Is Overrated and Other Contrarian Football Thoughts


People who want the details on the analysis of baseball need to read Mathletics. This book provides the statistics behind Moneyball.”

-Pete Palmer, coeditor of The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia and The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia


“Winston has brought together the latest thinking on sports mathematics in one comprehensive place. This volume is perfect for someone seeking a general overview or who wants to dive into advanced thinking on the latest sports-analytics topics.”

-Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets


Mathletics offers insights into the mathematical analysis of three major sports and sports gambling. The basketball and sports bookies sections are particularly interesting and loaded with in-depth examples and analysis. The author’s passion seems to jump right off the page.”

-Michael Huber, Muhlenberg College


I really enjoyed this unique book, as will anyone who is a serious sports fan with some interest in mathematics.  Winston is very knowledgeable about baseball, basketball, and football, and about the mathematical techniques needed to analyze a multitude of questions that arise in them.  He does a very good job of explaining complex mathematical ideas in a simple way.”

-George L. Nemhauser, Georgia Institute of Technology


  1. [...] author, Wayne Winston, was one of my favorite professors and has a knack for looking at new ways to quantify things and [...]

    Pingback by Love sports, love math? « Datasets — September 18, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  2. [...] Winston, author of famous textbooks in operations research and a new book on math and sports,  and sports statistics/decision making guru, has a column in the Huffington Post, which certainly [...]

    Pingback by Michael Trick’s Operations Research Blog : Winston, Sports, Statistics, and Decision Making — November 16, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  3. I believe that Mathletics will be one of my favorite books of all time, particularly with the
    spreadsheets downloaded from the website. It is not without its errors, however.

    I don’t think that it’s proper to remove Bond’s intentional walks in the analysis on page 36.
    He would have done something with those at bats, and since they almost certainly came with men
    on base, he might very well have done better than his average plate appearance.

    On page 38, Therefore with Pujols… should be without. I’m sure that’s been mentioned before.

    I’ll be in touch again.

    Mike Gudyka

    St. Charles, IL

    Comment by Mike Gudyka — January 11, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  4. [...] Matheletics (Prof. Winston, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in November. Interesting for math and analytics buffs) [...]

    Pingback by Back from hibernation « Missing Economy of Words — January 19, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  5. Table 24.1 must be messed up. The numbers just don’t match the dialogue. You have people going for two-point conversions with more than half the game remaining in some cases.

    Mike Gudyka
    St. Charles, IL

    Comment by Michael Gudyka — April 20, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

  6. sometimes you go for 2 nearly whole game. expected points from 1 and 2 pt conversion are around the sAME

    Comment by wwinston — April 20, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  7. Thanks very much!

    Comment by wwinston — April 24, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

  8. Mr. Winston, great book. Is it expected that some of the Excel files mentioned in Mathletics are either not included in the MathleticsJune09 zip file, or may be a different name?

    Comment by Jeff H. — May 3, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  9. which are missing?

    Comment by wwinston — May 3, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

  10. This is very helpful indeed. For those who love to analyze and have the need to it, this book is highly recommended. Thanks for sharing us your knowledge.

    Comment by Sports Star Pro Mary — July 1, 2010 @ 3:07 am

  11. I love this post. Taking advantage of Mathletics will make us understand sports better.

    Comment by Sports Star Pro Mary — July 10, 2010 @ 5:55 am

  12. Sounds like it worths a lot of money ! In my business that book would be a MUST

    Comment by Pay Per Head Sportsbook — July 13, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  13. Thanks for the kind words.

    Comment by wwinston — July 16, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  14. avid Football fan in here, Manchester United is my favorite team.~.,

    Comment by Olivia Smith — July 19, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  15. For those who wager, it may be helpful to put some science on your side when you wager, and one of the best places to do that is with the Sagarin College Football Ratings.

    Comment by Sports Star Pro Mary — July 22, 2010 @ 2:53 am

  16. Where is val2727.xlxs in the zip!?

    Comment by FT — August 16, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  17. i guess i forgot it. i can email it to you if you want

    Comment by wwinston — August 16, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  18. Sure that would be great!

    Comment by FT — August 17, 2010 @ 12:50 am

  19. As someone who likes to drop a few bucks gambling on games, this is a very good read.

    Comment by Portable Ice Maker Reviews — October 31, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  20. I purchased your book, Mathematics, which is an excellent read! However, I typed http://www.waynewinston.edu, in order to download the files alluded to in the book, but no ‘returns’ by that url were listed. I, then, googled the url and nothing still. What should I do?

    Comment by Bobby — November 7, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  21. Sorry. Files are at waynewinston.com

    Comment by wwinston — November 8, 2010 @ 12:33 am

  22. Mr. Winston,
    Sorry I did not reply to your post of May 3, 2010. I must have forgotten to check back for replies. Unfortunately, in the time since I have jumped around enough in your book (again, my compliments) that I can’t be sure which file I was looking for.

    Immediately noticeable are the val2727.xls, value2727.xls, and Figureval.xls/Figureval2727.xls (not clear what the actual title was intended to be) files mentioned in the List of Databases but not contained in the Zip file. There are also several Excel files that are contained in the Zip but were not listed in the List of Databases (Book80.xls, for example). And some files that I believe are the same as in the book, but the titles do not match (i.e. I assume BCS.xls (Zip) matches bcsstandings.xls (p325)).

    Here’s a list of files that appear to be in the List of Databases but are not in the Zip file. I removed the items, like BCS.xls, that I believe to be in the Zip file but not under the exact same name.

    mle.xls (can’t find it mentioned in actual book)
    teamsnoscouts.xls (can’t find it mentioned in actual book)

    Comment by Jeff H. — March 6, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  23. Thanks. I will try and look into this.

    Comment by wwinston — March 7, 2011 @ 11:02 am

  24. Any updates on the missing files(from Jeff H’s post)? The chapters with the omitted files were not as easy to understand as the ones with example files. Some of the NFL topics would be more clear with the example files. Very interesting read all and all.

    Comment by Tom H — May 26, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  25. I together with my friends were found to be studying the good recommendations found on your web site while the sudden I got a terrible feeling I never thanked the blog owner for those secrets.

    Comment by Agueda Wemple — September 6, 2011 @ 6:29 am

  26. I am so thankful for your book. I have a BA in Social Science. However I always thought I was limited in terms of mathematics. I tell people your book unlocked math in my brain :) Once I read Mathletics many ideas I did not understand before started to become clear. Thank you Wayne!

    Comment by Travis — September 24, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  27. Did you post the following files anywhere?

    mle.xls (can’t find it mentioned in actual book)
    teamsnoscouts.xls (can’t find it mentioned in actual book)

    Comment by martin — November 7, 2014 @ 9:18 am

  28. Amazing content. Kudos.

    Comment by soccer news — June 11, 2015 @ 2:43 pm

  29. I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout
    of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    Comment by Blanca — April 14, 2018 @ 8:06 pm

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