In July 2023, Will Melville remembers feeling both nervous and excited as he watched the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers take the field on television.

The Major League Baseball contest was more than just a game for Melville, a graduate student at Brigham Young University and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Like something out of the 2011 film “Moneyball,” Melville had spent months developing sophisticated formulas and equations to optimize the Rangers’ outfield positions and prevent more runs by opposing teams. Texas was also on a six-game winning streak at the time, with a realistic opportunity to reach the World Series, and good teams rarely want to change something that is already working.

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