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Astroball: The New Way to Win It All NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWhen Sports Illustrated declared on the cover of a Juneissue that the Houston Astros would win the World Series in , people thought Ben Reiter, the articles author, was crazy The Astros were the worst baseball team in half a century, but they werethan just bad They were an embarrassment, a club that didnt even appear to be trying to win The cover story, combined with the specificity of Reiters claim, met instant and nearly universal derision But three years later, the critics were proved improbably, astonishingly wrong How had Reiter predicted it so accurately And,important, how had the Astros pulled off the impossible Astroball is the inside story of how a gang of outsiders went beyond the stats to find a new way to winand not just in baseball When new Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and his top analyst, the former rocket scientist Sig Mejdal, arrived in Houston in , they had already spentthan half a decade trying to understand how human instinct and expertise could be blended with hard numbers such as on base percentage and strikeout rate to guide their decision making In Houston, they had free rein to remake the club No longer would scouts, with all their subjective, hard to quantify opinions, be forced into opposition with the stats guys Instead, Luhnow and Sig wanted to correct for the biases inherent in human observation, and then roll their scouts critical thoughts into their process The numbers had valuebut so did the gutThe strategy paid off brilliantly, and surprisingly quickly It pointed the Astros toward key draft picks like Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman offered a path for developing George Springer, Jos Altuve, and Dallas Keuchel and showed them how veterans like Carlos Beltrn and JustinVerlander represented the last piece in the puzzle of fielding a championship teamSitting at the nexus of sports, business, and innovationand written with years of access to the teams stars and executives Astroball is the story of the next wave of thinking in baseball and beyond, at once a remarkable underdog story and a fascinating look at the cutting edge of evaluating and optimizing human potential