Author Archives: Ben Blatt

The Shortest Possible Baseball Road Trip

by Ben Blatt (You can also read the results from this post in the Wall Street Journal here) Every year thousands of baseball fans take long multi-city road trips to ballparks across the nation. When planning such a road trip, … Continue reading

Posted in MLB Baseball | 45 Comments

The Yahoo! Sports $60.85 Perfect Bracket Challenge

By Ben Blatt and Bobby Samuels Every year, when March Madness comes around, numerous sites offer huge jackpots to anyone who can perform the most hallowed feat in sports betting: filling out a perfect bracket. The prizes can be staggeringly … Continue reading

Posted in NCAA Basketball | 1 Comment

Six Degrees of NBA Separation

by Ben Blatt and Arjun Modi Click Here to view the website Treating two actors that were in the same film as ‘connected’, the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon seeks to connect actors to Kevin Bacon in six links … Continue reading

Posted in NBA Basketball | 42 Comments

The NBA H-O-R-S-E Competition Was Mathematically Doomed

by Ben Blatt Perhaps the NBA was hoping for something out of a Larry Bird versus Michael Jordan McDonalds commercial when it debuted the NBA H-O-R-S-E competition two years ago. Instead, they got an excruciatingly slow paced game in which … Continue reading

Posted in NBA Basketball | 5 Comments

Winners’ Take vs Losers’ Take: A Mathematical Look at Pick-up Basketball Rules

By Ben Blatt Before starting a pick-up basketball game the question usually arises: “Are we playing winners’ take or losers’ take?”. The difference in rules is that with winners’ take the team that scores gets to keep possession of the … Continue reading

Posted in Menu | Tagged | Leave a comment

Optimal H-O-R-S-E Strategy

By Ben Blatt (You can also a version of this post in the Wall Street Journal here) For someone with so little basketball skill, I’ve been playing a lot of H-O-R-S-E in the basketball/squash court of Lowell House basement. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Menu | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Unnecessary Inference and Undisputed Authorship: Bill Simmons, Jason Whitlock, and Rick Reilly

By Ben Blatt In 1964, Mosteller and Wallace published Inference and Disputed Authorship: The Federalist. The paper used statistical analysis to try to determine if James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, or John Jay was the author of the unaccredited essays that … Continue reading

Posted in Other Sports | Tagged , | 32 Comments

Should MLB Realign Its Divisions?

By Ben Blatt Some people believe that baseball faces a serious parity problem. While most would acknowledge that the root of the problem is in unequal payrolls, the position of many owners and the player’s union makes it unlikely that … Continue reading

Posted in MLB Baseball | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Jordan Eludes Defenders, and Three-Game Losing Streaks

By Ben Blatt See the updated math below the original post. There’s no shortage of ways to describe Michael Jordan’s greatness. But here’s a particularly astonishing one: MJ was never part of a three-game losing streak from November 1990 until … Continue reading

Posted in NBA Basketball | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments