Mathematical Programming as a Tool for Virtual Soccer Coaches: A Case Study of a Fantasy Sport Game
BONOMO, FLAVIA; DURÁN, GUILLERMO; MARENCO, JAVIER
INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS IN OPERATIONAL RESEARCH
Año: 2014 vol. 21 p. 399 - 414
General awareness of the potential of mathematics to support sports decision-making has been raised by the movie "Moneyball" through its portrayal of a real professional American baseball club that used mathematical tools to improve team performance. This article addresses the same challenge, using as a test case a fantasy sport game organized by an Argentinian newspaper. Two mathematical programming models are presented that act as virtual coaches which choose a virtual team lineup for each round of the real Argentinian soccer league. The a priori design creates a competitive team for the game while the a posteriori model determines what would have been its optimal lineup once the season is over and all the results are known. The a priori model was entered in the fantasy game, achieving results that positioned it among the highest-scoring participants. Further development of such models would provide useful tools for supporting decision-making by coaches or managers of real sports.