Ben Grannan knows a thing or two about business analytics. He also knows how to apply analytics to schedule a baseball league. For the second straight year, Furman University Assistant Professor of Business and Accounting Grannan helped the Valley Baseball League (VBL) set up its regular season schedule, which runs June 1-July 26. The VBL includes 11 teams hailing from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Grannan, who formerly taught at Virginia Military Institute, used a computerized schedule optimizer, which limits the number of consecutive home or away games for each team (given each facility’s availability), avoids the longest bus trips on consecutive evenings, and spaces out home/away splits and off days throughout the season. The schedule also ensures 98 percent of games on Friday/Saturdays and the final several days of the regular season are against divisional opponents, placing key rivalries on prime dates and boosting late-season playoff races, according to a news release on the VBL website.