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MCS students win SABR Diamond Dollar case competition

Stanford team - From left, Alec Powell, Do-Hyoung Park, Jordan Wallach (captain), Vihan Lakshman, and Avner Kreps.

SABR is housed at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Apr 20 2015

Posted In:

In the News, Students

March 2015, ten Stanford students attended the SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix to compete in the Diamond Dollars case competition in two 5-student teams. Of the 10 students, five (Daniel Allen, Jason Risch, Parker Phillips Jordan Wallach and Vihan Lakshman) were undergraduate MCS majors. The two teams represented Stanford in the competition against other universities, and one of the teams won the undergraduate division of the competition, beating nine other undergraduate teams!

All 10 Stanford participants spent the week before the conference (March 2 -- March 8) preparing their teams' presentations for the competition, on which they gave 15-minute presentations to panels of three judges from Major League Baseball front offices on March 12. The students used techniques they learned in statistics classes at Stanford, including linear regression and logistic regression. One student used his work on this competition as his final project for STATS 191. Most of the students used R for their work, which they learned through the MCS curriculum at Stanford.

(Provided by Scott Powers, Statistics PhD candidate)


Among the two teams of undergraduate students from Stanford that participated this year, six are MCS students


  • Daniel Allen
  • Vihan Lakshman
  • Parker Phillips
  • Jason Risch
  • Eli Shayer
  • Jordan Wallach


About the competition:

Students from universities across the country compete against each other by preparing an analysis and presentation of a baseball operations decision — the type of decision a team’s GM and his staff is faced with over the course of a season. The cases are developed by Gennaro, author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball, and consultant to MLB teams. The Diamond Dollars Case Competition is the first national competition to be based solely on baseball operations issues.

In this year's case, students were asked to determine the best possible trade package for Philadelphia Phillies star left-hander Cole Hamels in terms of present and future value to both teams involved in the deal.

Four- to five-person student teams are asked to evaluate a baseball operations case problem. The student team presents their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges that includes MLB front office executives.