Sports Analytics Reading List

This list was compiled through a combination of my own experience and recommendations from other members of the sports analytics community.

I’ve broken the list into two sections:

  • “Where to start?” This section contains my personal essential sports analytics reads. These are books I’d recommend regardless of your skill level or sport interest.
  • “Where to go next?” Here’s where you choose your own adventure. Books are categorized by sport (or lack of a specific sport) and range in skill level.

I’ll be keeping this list updated with new books as they’re released. If I’m missing anything, please reach out!


Where to start?

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers by Ben Alamar

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Where to go next?

Baseball ⚾

Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak by Travis Sawchik

The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik

Shift: The Next Evolution in Baseball Thinking by Russell A. Carleton

The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball by Tom Tango, Michel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin

Scouting and Scoring: How We Know What We Know About Baseball by Christopher J. Phillips

Astroball: The New Way to Win it All by Ben Reiter

Basketball 🏀

Basketball on Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis by Dean Oliver

SprawlBall: A Visual Tour of the New Era of the NBA by Kirk Goldsberry

Basketball Analytics: Spatial Tracking by Stephen Shea

Thinking Basketball by Ben Taylor

Basketball Analytics: Objective and Efficient Strategies for Understanding How Teams Win by Stephen M. Shea and Christopher E. Baker

Basketball Data Science With Applications in R by Paola Zuccolotto and Marica Manisera

Soccer ⚽

Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey — and Even Iraq — Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer is Wrong by Chris Anderson and David Sally

Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game by David Sumpter

Football Hackers: The Science and Art of a Data Revolution by Christoph Biermann

Footballistics by James Coventry et al.

Hockey 🏒

Tape to Space: Redefining Modern Hockey Tactics by Ryan Stimson

Hockey Analytics: A Game-changing Perspective by Stephen Shea and Christopher Baker

Stat Shot: A Fan’s Guide to Hockey Analytics by Rob Vollman

Golf ⛳

Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy by Mark Broadie

Football 🏈

The Hidden Games of Football: The Next Edition by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn

Combat Sports 🥊

Fightnomics by Reed Kuhn and Kelly Crigger

General Sports Analytics

Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football by Wayne Winston

Stumbling on Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports by David Berri and Martin Schmidt

The Performance Cortex: How Neuroscience Is Redefining Athletic Genius by Zach Schonbrun

Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won by Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim

Sports Analytics and Data Science: Winning the Game with Methods and Models by Thomas W. Miller

The Best: How Champions are Made by Mark Williams and Tim Wigmore

Even More General!

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don’t by Nate Silver

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman


Thanks to those who provided additional recommendations for this list, including: @kpelechrinis, @RankingSw, @CKotitschke, @sPETEcore, @EdWithSports, @AdvinPagtakhan and @yuorme.