In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Oakland Athletics’ ability to remain competitive in Major League Baseball (MLB) despite its comparatively meagre resources, mystified many observers. The explanation turned out to be the birth of sports analytics as a major science. In the 2002 season, the team won 103 games in the regular season, the same amount as the New York Yankees, whose wage bill was three times that of Oakland. What commentators didn’t know was that Oakland General Manager Billy Beane was using sophisticated statistical models to analyse professional players’ performance, that allowed him to spot good players that others overlooked. Conventional baseball wisdom followed certain stats; Beane included others, and found recruits who were undervalued by the market. To read more, click here.