Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s episode (Aug. 15, 2017), we discuss how the NFL responds to players’ behavior off the field in light of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Next, FiveThirtyEight’s Rob Arthur joins the gang to discuss his recent article on baseball’s hot hand. Using a new calculation on fastball velocity, Rob worked out a way to determine when a pitcher is really getting hot — and when he’s going cold, too. We discuss the implications that his findings could have on our understanding of momentum in other sports. Plus, a significant digit on baseball’s long (and getting longer) games.
Here are links to what we discuss during the show:
- Rob Arthur’s latest, which found that baseball’s hot hand is real.
- This 2012 MIT study on big plays and psychological momentum in the NFL.
- Significant Digit: 5, the average number of minutes that MLB games have increased since last year. The average game this season has been three hours and five minutes long, the longest in the history of baseball. This is happening despite Commissioner Rob Manfred’s efforts to cut game length.