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Fan Engagement

The Debut of Insights Weekly: How STATS Enhanced the All-Star Game Viewing Experience

By: Aidan Doyal

With the next generation of sports fans placing an added importance on multiple screen viewing habits, engaging viewers in new and exciting ways has become a necessity during sporting events.

During the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night, STATS provided fans across the country with unique storylines of the game through STATS Insights. STATS Insights leverages almost 40 years of research experience coupled with advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide detailed sports information centered around the world’s largest sporting events. 

STATS’ depth of historical data and innovative analytical systems allows for one-of-a-kind storylines to be generated and sent to media, broadcasters, companies and anyone else with an interest in engaging fans via STATS Insights.

With the second half of the season just underway, we reflect on a fantastic week of competition in Cleveland. Here are some of the top Insights generated by STATS:

The Astros had the most players voted into the Midsummer Classic with six. The four starters – including right-hander Justin Verlander – got the American League off to a hot start. Verlander needed only 14 pitches to retire the side in a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Springer hit a screaming single to center field in the bottom half and Bregman and Brantley teamed up to give the AL its first lead with a single and a double, respectively, in the second. 

The performance was not uncommon for the Astros’ All-Stars, and is a major reason why Houston started the second half tied for the most wins in the AL with 57. In fact, the Astros have led after the first three innings 38 times this year, winning 34 of those games for the best record by any team this season. And while this is the only time in history that players from the same team have gotten the AL’s first three hits of the All-Star Game, it may not be surprising considering these three have all gotten hits in 23 of the 53 games they have played together this season. 

The tweet generated an eye-opening 176,724 impressions, which led to 641 retweets and 1,782 likes. The Astros organization even picked it up, adding “Is that good?” and earning 530 retweets and 4,070 likes from their account.

In a game that had its share of big moments, it was an 85-mph slider that closed out the top of the fifth that made the capacity crowd at Progressive Field cheer the loudest.

Bieber is currently ranked seventh in the majors with 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings (among qualified starters), so his performance may not come as a surprise. The last man to do this, however, did not have the same strikeout capability.

The 1952 All-Star Game was the second and final Midsummer Classic played at Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics. The first half of the ’52 season had given A’s fans little to cheer for as the team was struggling at 31-37 and rumors of a potential sale were omni-present. The one bright spot came in the form of Shantz, a 27-year-old who had been selected to his second All-Star Game. Shantz had a 2.48 ERA and was leading the majors in wins, though his SO/9 innings was a less than impressive 4.89. 

Shantz, however, entered in the bottom of the fifth with the AL trailing 3-2. Rain was pouring down heavily, but the left-hander struck out three straight hitters, including Jackie Robinson. After the inning, the game was called due to rain, meaning Shantz’s effort was too little too late for the AL. While Shantz didn’t earn the All-Star Game MVP honors, he did go on to win the AL MVP that year. 

Alonso’s All-Star break will most likely be remembered for his performance in winning the Home Run Derby, overcoming Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s record-setting 91 home runs. However, Alonso made more history the next night, capping a stellar week that should put the rest of the league on notice. 

Alonso’s two-run single in the eighth accomplished something no rookie had done before. Six rookies have earned an RBI in their first All-Star appearance (Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria, the Yankees’ Tom Tresh, St. Louis’ Eddie Kazak, Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe and Detroit’s Dick Wakefield), with Longoria being the last in 2008.   

Gallo’s home run in the seventh was the insurance run the AL needed, allowing them to outlast the NL’s final push in a 4-3 win. Gallo had been on a tear in the first half, recording career bests with a .275 average, .643 slugging percentage and a 1.060 OPS.

He’s also clubbed 20 home runs so far, with a fourth of them coming on the first pitch. Gallo’s slash line on one-pitch at-bats is .588/.556/1.588 with five home runs. 

As we enter the latter half of the season, STATS will continue to provide Insights in order to supply media, broadcasts, businesses and fans with unique storylines and enhance the fan’s second-screen viewing experience. And we’ll keep highlighting some of our most fascinating finds on a weekly basis.