Monday, September 27, 2004
Seeing B.P.'s predictions prompted me to look at some online gambling odds to see if Vegas could be exploited by picking pennant or World Series winners. Using B.P.'s data, my own personal ranking of teams, and by exhaustively analyzing each potential playoff scenario, here are my Vegas-busting picks:
1) Atlanta to win the World Series (value = 1.36*)
The Braves pay 12 to 1 if they win it all thus year. I have them as the fourth-best team in the National League, behind St. Louis, Chicago, and Houston, in terms of ability (judged completely subjectively, but certainly well-researched) to win a post-season series. My own calculated odds for the Braves are 8.8 to 1.
2) Chicago Cubs to win the World Series (value = 1.19*)
At a price of 10 to 1, the Cubs look to me like a great Series pick. With their strong starting staff, the Northsiders could take out any of the other N.L. playoff contenders. I may even be underestimating their value a little; if you believe that they are better than the Cardinals, the Cubs are a better value than Atlanta. I say it's about 8.4 to 1 that the Curse of the Billy Goat ends in 2004.
3) Atlanta to win the National League (value = 1.15*)
For the aforementioned reasons, the Braves are also a good value as N.L. pennant winners. Vegas pays 9 to 2, I have them at about 4 to 1.
4) Chicago Cubs to win the N.L. (value = 1.08*)
See number three above. Again, if you believe that the Cubs are a better shot to win than the Cardinals, this pick moves up to number two, at a value around 1.3. Vegas pays this pick at 4 to 1, and I have it at 3.7 to 1.
Now for some tempting bets that don't pay in my system:
1) St. Louis to win the N.L. (value = 0.69*)
Paying only 11 to 10, this bet simply doesn't make sense to me. If you can get 8 to 5 or better, though, you have my blessing.
2) Oakland to win the A.L. (value = 0.54*)
Paying 9 to 2, Oakland looked at first to me like a decent sleeper bet here. The bet's downfall is that Oakland is only projected to even make the playoffs about 75 percent of the time. These would be decent odds, however, if Oakland is able to secure a playoff spot.
There you go. If I was the gambling type, I am on the record with where my money would be going.
A note on the Cubs: As a fringe Cubs fan, my placement of the Cubs on the "good value" list may be biased, although not how you'd expect. As I said, I have the Cardinals ahead of the Cubs in my National League rankings. It would be easy for not only a die-hard Northsider, but any logical mind, to formulate an argument that the Cubs are the team to beat in the N.L. If you assumed that Prior or Wood will catch fire in the post-season, and that Carlos Zambrano will remain nearly untouchable, the case is an easy one. It is possible that in an attempt to remain unbiased, I have underestimated the Cubs starting pitching staff and thereby undervalued them. Be forewarned.
* Value = Vegas Payoff ÷ My Calculated Payoff
Friday, September 24, 2004
Thursday, September 23, 2004
My reaction to this news was along the lines of, "Wow, that's gotta be some kind of record," so I did a bit of research. Since 1944, in seasons of 140 games or more, only two teams have had their pitching staffs paced by a seven game winner. The 53-109 1996 Detroit Tigers were led by one-time Mariner Omar Oliveras, and the 61-101 1987 Cleveland Indians had a tie at the top, with reliever Scott Bailes joining knuckleballers Tom Candiotti and Phil Niekro at seven wins apiece.
The Mariners have a real shot at joining this illustrious group. Meche and Villone will be hard pressed to wins two more games. Jamie Moyer, sitting at seven wins already, will start probably two more games this year. The way Moyer's been knocked around all year, it wouldn't be difficult at all for the M's to blow Moyer's final two outings and put themselves in the record books. Go M's!
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Lost in the hubbub, Raul Ibanez went six-for-six today. Not bad at all.
Does Melvin know who George Sisler was?
BTW - I criticized this annoying tendency of BoMel's way back in May. Can him like a sardine, Goat Boy.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Monday, September 13, 2004
The wedding was a blast, marred only by the concurrent Cougar defeat and by being Lon-blocked (inside joke). Funniest thing I overheard, out of the mouth of Means, the groom:
"See that guy over there, in the gray shirt and crimson tie? (Means points at me.) He's a Coug, and he'll be keeping track of the score of the game, if you ever want an update. You can tell he's a Coug 'cause he's drinking at noon."
The weather was miraculously pleasant despite a bad forecast, and everyone in attendance had a good time.
As for the M's game on Friday, a 13-2 shellacking is never the best game to see, but seeing Pedro in action (in the dugout, not the mound) was by itself worth the cross-state trip. I'm sure Pete can tell you about that though.
While some dissect the "Moneyball" theories, the A's, Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets, Indians and others are trying to find the next new new thing, which in this case is quantifying what heretofore was considered incalculable -- defense.So, the qualified GMs are tackling defense now. Bill Bavasi doesn't know how to calculate slugging percentage. This is worrisome, to say the least. What Beane, Epstein, et al. are doing are the kind of things we'd all love to try, given talented statistical research staffs and million-dollar budgets.
Bill Simmons, "The NFL and 'Goodfellas" Part II"
The Sports Guy's NFL preview, written to tie into forty quotes from Scorcese's "Goodfellas." He's got the 'Hawks at 12-4 with home field advantage throughout the playoffs, losing in the end to SG's beloved Patriots by seven in the Super Bowl. A lot of national media have been picking the 'Hawks to advance far into the playoffs this year, but Simmons doesn't even feel like he really needs to explain his choice. It's like he thinks everyone would agree that the statement "The Seattle Seahawks are unrivalled in the NFC in 2004" was written in stone high atop a mountain somewhere. We need some national 'Hawks nay-sayers, sooner better than later.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
1) Longtime Sox-1918 reader and frequent commenter Means is gettin' hitched Saturday in Belfair, so I'll be on the westside all weekend.
1a) The Cougs take on the Colorado Teammate Rapist Buffaloes at Seahawks Stadium on Saturday, with kickoff right around the time the padre gets to "Do you, Means, take the hand blah blah blah."
1b) I'm going to be an usher at the wedding, so it would be in exceedingly poor form to listen to the Coug game mid-ceremony.
1c) My celly is web-enabled, giving me easy access to score updates.
2) Petey Z and his girl Leah are also going to be in town this weekend, and Pete, Leah, and I will be at Friday's Sox-M's game, sitting IMMEDIATELY BEHIND THE RED SOX' DUGOUT!!!!!!! I've seen games against Minnesota, the White Sox, and Anaheim from those same seats, and let me tell you, it's a treat. I think I'll wear my "1986 World Series" t-shirt. Look for me on TV. And look for Pete, too. He'll be the guy right next to the guy with the "1986 World Series" t-shirt. If any readers will be at the game and want to stop by and say hi, please do. Pete and I would love to meet you.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Monday, September 06, 2004
Wednesday: vs. Cleveland (Cliff Lee)
He is 1 for 3 lifetime vs. Lee, .333/.333/.333 (AVG/OBP/SLG)
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Going into tonight's game, Ichiro has 67 multihit games; Dan Wilson has 65 hits.Yikes.
Ichiro's "September Slides" have been well documented in the first three years of his career. He's a career .290/.336/.404 (AVG/OBP/SLG) hitter in the months of September and October (playoffs notwithstanding), with just 1.10 hits/game, compared to .328/.374/.440 and 1.36 hits/game over his whole career. Factoring in his career 19 percent decline in hits per game, Ichiro's "Adjusted Pace" is for a mere 253 hits, four shy of Sisler '20.
Needless to say, if Ichiro maintains his hot streak for a few more games, his adjusted pace will soon surpass Sisler's total. Then I'll say he'll probably get the record.