Tired Bullpen: Baseball Handicap

Baseball is a game of numbers. 162 games, ERA, Batting averages, SWR, RBIs, Doubleheaders, RISP, WARP, WHIP; what do all this things mean and does this Matrix of formulas and equations lead to a clear road of profitability? We explore betting theory in the most theoretical game on the planet.

Hit and Run

Ok, so I’ve taken Warren Buffet’s advice. I am very frugal. In fact I may even be overly disciplined and sometimes weeks go by without me placing a bet because I am looking for that one right game. So how do I spot it? 

The answer is I don’t know…

My larger view of wagering on baseball games comes down to weighing both options on a scale to see if it tips.

For example, there is very good left handed pitcher – Clayton Kershaw – starting at home against the Washington Nationals and he has been pitching well as of late. One point on that side of the scale. It’s a day game and I check Kershaw’s career day splits and discover that his day time earned run average, strikeout to walk ratio and walks and hit per inning are all better or level to his overall season/ career numbers. Two points on that side of the scale. The Nationals hitters he is facing today have been average as of late but overall on the season hit left handers worse and have a lower winning percentage against lefties. Three points on that side of the scale. And finally I discover that the opposing starting pitcher has an atrocious career record not only in Dodger Stadium but pitching in day games. And the cherry on the sundae – Bryce Harper is being rested and his WARP (wins above replacement player) is far superior to his fill in. The scale just tipped over

Sound too good to be true? Well as unrealistic as the scenario sounds there will be a handful of games in every season where the perfect mix of circumstances presents itself. In a 2400 game sample size that is the MLB season it simply has to.

StandingsMLB

WORLD SERIES ODDS HEADING INTO THE 2018 LCS

Here are the lines as of October 10th on BODOG

ws odds 10/10/18 bodog

Now our friends at Oddshark have been generous enough to give us the preseason odds as well which communicate to me just how much value I’m getting on the Dodgers and Astros.

If I wanted to bet on the Red Sox or Brewers I’d be doing so for pennies on the dollar, having already lost 80-90% of their preseason value. Compared with the Astros and Dodgers I’m losing 50% and 33% of the odds that were established when 30 teams were in contention. That’s just the math on it’s face.

Combine that with the fact that they might still be the two most complete teams left and it feels like a wager may do down. 

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