Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (July 26, 2016), we talk to The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay about the Tour de France and Team Sky, which has won four of the past five Tours — perhaps because of an emphasis on analytics. (That it has a lot of money also helps.) Then, Neil Paine explains why MLB teams should always at least look to buy or sell at the trade deadline, rather than hold. Finally, we talk about Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s extraordinary year for the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks and whether she’s having the best statistical season of all time. Plus, a significant digit on Roger Federer’s announcement that he will miss the rest of the tennis season because of a knee injury.
Links to what we discuss are here:
- Jason Gay in The Wall Street Journal asks if the Tour de France needs a financial fix to help balance competition among teams.
- Gay describes how the eventual Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, ran up a mountain in his cleats after crashing his bike during this year’s race.
- On Deadspin, Patrick Redford explains how Froome dominated this year’s Tour.
- And William Fotheringham in the Guardian breaks down how Team Sky’s analytics and tactics helped it to victory.
- Last year, Neil Paine and Nate Silver came up with the “Doyle Number.” It tells us when an MLB team should be willing to trade future talent at the trade deadline in order to try to win in the current season.
- Neil calculated the Doyle Numbers for this year’s teams, and the Chicago Cubs came out on top, meaning the team should try to win this season rather than hoard prospects.
- Jim Bowden at ESPN breaks down the trade deadline objectives for all 30 MLB teams.
- Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s Basketball-Reference.com page. Keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight for an article about her rise.
- Carl Bialik writes about Roger Federer’s injury and what it means for his shot at another major title.
- Significant Digit: 3. That’s the number of major tennis titles won by men older than 35. All those titles were won by Ken Rosewall, an Australian whose career spanned three decades.
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