Fun With 2016 MLB Data




  • My dataset: 2016 MLB Season
  • This dataset has information on every single MLB game played during the 2016 season
  • Certain categories include the teams, venue, attendance, results, and even the weather


1. How close are most baseball games?

The thing about baseball is that games are not designed to end in a tie, a team always wins. There are some games that are really close, separated by only one run, and some that are blowouts, with score differentials close to ten. How common is each score differential?

The most common run differential is shown to be by only one run. In general, the lower a run differential is, the more likely it is to happen.

2. Does weather affect attendance?

Baseball games are played from early April until late October, so in most cases, the average weather at the beginning and end of the season is much different than it is in the middle of the season during the summer. How much does the change in weather affect the attendance over the course of the year?


There doesn’t appear to be a clear trend between temperature and attendance. This might be because so many games are played by so many different teams in similar temperatures that the attendance varies too much for there to be a clear correlation. ### Wind Speed

Similar to temperature, there is no clear correlation. The graph makes it look like the trend increases from 0, but this is because most of the games with a wind speed of zero are played in a dome, and the next graph will show that domed games draw lower attendance, likely based on outside factors.

Sky Conditions

Finally, this graph shows a difference in attendance based on the weather. Other than the dome games, the weather condition with the lowest average attendance is rain, while games with a clear night sky or a sunny sky have some of the higher average attendance.

3. Do certain road teams draw bigger crowds when they visit a different stadium?

Most teams have relatuvely stable home attendance throughout the season, but certain nights may draw a larger crowd, possibly due to weather, promotions, or even the opposing team. Are there trends across all 30 teams that show certain road teams as drawing larger crowds?

According to this graph, the team that drew the highest average attendance was the Chicago Cubs, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both of these teams are very popular teams from large markets, and in 2016 they were very successful, with the Cubs winning the World Series and the Dodgers making it to the National League Championship Series.

4. Does weather affect offensive production?

Physics shows that a baseball hit into heavy wind or rain won’t go as far as one hit into dry air, but how much does this fact affect offensive production throughout the year?




As you can see in both of these graphs, as the temperature goes up, so does runs and hits. It goes up rather slightly, but still enough that it makes a difference.

Wind Speed



In these graphs, the change is even more subtle, but it still appears that offensive production increases as the wind speed increases. This could be because higher wind speed may make a ball carry further, potentially far enough for it to get over the fence.

Sky Conditions



Surprisingly, these bar graphs show that there is the highest offensive production when it is raining. I was not expecting this because a batted ball can’t travel as far in rainy air compared to dry air. Perhaps there is a different factor. Rain may make it harder for a pitcher to grip and control his pitches, and a wet ball may be harder for fielders to make a play on, leading to more offense.

5. Do different ballparks play games of different length?

Baseball is unlike other sports because there is no time limit. Each game is unique in length. Is it possible that the venue in which the game is played at could determine the duration of the game? This also takes into account which teams also play longer games, as each venue has a home team that plays in every single game there.

According to this graph, it is true that different venues have games of different lengths. One of the parks with the longest average games is Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Coincidentally, this is also the oldest ballpark in baseball. The other two with the most similar are Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, and Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. I do not know exactly why this was, but I still find it rather interesting.

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