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Handicapping "Think Tank" technical handicapping and statistics

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Old 05-01-2006, 06:56 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
MW Writer, S.H. Austin
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

Now that we've got a bunch of the pieces in place down here in the THINK TANK, we can start working toward finding "harmonic convergences" every night.

An ideal example would be to take a good offense against a bad pitcher in a good hitter's park with the wind blowing out in front of an Over umpire ideally with a bad pitcher who's fly ball heavy).

On the other end...taking a good pitcher against a bad offense in a good pitcher's park with the wind blowing in in front of an Under umpire (ideally with a good pitcher who gets a lot of K's or is fly ball heavy).

It's rare for ALL of those elements to line up at once. And, a third of the time we dont' even know who the umpire is going to be. But...we can start looking for alignment each night (time permitting) then work together to figure out the best way to play those.

*Team Totals: Taking a team to go Over 4.5 runs or whatever the number is.
*Regular Plays
*Regular Totals
*Side & Total Tandems: as an alternative to team totals...seeing if we can put the percentages in our favor this way...if the team reaches the critical number it's either 1-1 or 2-0
*Five Inning plays
*Five Inning tandems

If we're all looking at the possibilities together, we should be able to come up with something that makes some sense.

I put together all the stuff for Monday baseball to see if anything jumped out. There weren't any GREAT combinations. There are a lot of games where strong offenses are in parks where the wind is blowing in...or lousy offenses are in parks where the wind is blowingo out. There aren't that many top of the line pitchers on the slate...and some that are don't really have great ERA's right now (Peavy, Bonderman)

After studying...these five possibilities made the most sense:

WILLIS of FLORIDA vs. Philadelphia. The Phillies offense has struggled much of the year. Florida's park index is 95, which makes it a strong pitcher's park. Willis has an ERA just over 3.00 for the year. The wind is forecast to be blowing in from left field at 12-17 mplh.

Philly "Under 4" is a -130 favorite at Pinny...

Here's Philly's runline this year:

Philly has gone Under 4 in 11 of 24 games this year...with two additional games landing on 4. So...IN GENERAL it's 50/50 to go Over or Under 4 for the Phils this season...this despite the fact they play home games in a good hitter's park. If you start the cursor in the middle..then move it to the left to reflect whatever effect you think the impact of Willis, the ballpark, and the wind will're probably going to land on 3 as a best expectation.

RODRIGUEZ of HOUSTON vs. Milwaukee: Rodriguez has been effective this year, and is a "first look lefty," meaning the Brewers haven't seen him yet this year. Sometimes that's an added boost to tricky lefthanders. Milwaukee's offense has struggled a bit lately, except when the wind was blowing out in Wrigley Field. Either the wind will be blowing in from center field...or the roof will be shut. The park index is 97, which is a pitcher's park. Rodriguez is shaded toward being a fly ball pitcher...which might help if the roof stays open.

Milwaukee Under 4.5 is a -122 favorite at Pinny

Here's Milwaukee's runline in home games only (so we take out games in places like Chicago and Houston where they scored in good offensive conditions):


That's 7 games under 4.5...and six over 4.5. general a slight edge to the Under. If Rodriguez continues his recent effectiveness (2.53 ERA this year), you could see moving the cursor to the left enough to land on a 3.

LOS ANGELES DOGERS to score against VARGAS of Arizona. The Dodgers have been scoring on the road...Vargas is getting rocked this year at home (5.21 ERA overall...but worse at home). The ballpark index is 104, which is a strong hitter's park. We've seen a lot of scoring in this ballpark to be sure this season. Unfortunately, the wind forecast is in at 7-12, which tempers the enthusiasm just a shade.

LA Over 4.5 is a -113 favorite at Pinny

Here's the Dodgers runline on the road:

That's 9 of 13 games going Over 4.5 in all road games. Here they're in a strong hitter's park against a struggling pitcher. You'd think 5-6 would be a best expectation.

BONDERMAN of Detroit versus Kansas City. The Royals offense has been poor this year. Detroit's park has been neutral in its short life. But, eyeballing it suggests that it's a pitcher's park with the wind in, and a hitter's park with the wind out. Tonight the wind is forecast to be blowing in from right at 9-14 mph. Bonderman's ERA isn't that great at 5.04. He does register well though in K rate with a 6.8 projection for the year from Baseball Prospectus. He's likely to overmatch the most good pitchers have been doing this year.

Kansas City Under 3.5 is a -117 favorite at Pinny

Here's Kansas City's runline:

Tha'ts 14 at 3 or less out of 23. The mark is road games only is 6-3 at 3 or less...67% in all games. If you go to the middle of the line with your cursor...and just leave it there if you're concened about Bonderman's recent short term ERA cancelling out the stadium/weather combo...that's still a 3. If you see Bonderman having a good strikeout game while getting some help from the move further away from where the 4's and 5's kick in.

MINNESOTA to score against PINIERO of Seattle. This one is strongly based on what Minnesota's been doing at home this year. Their road offense has been invisible. But...scoring can be high in the Metrodome early in the year before they turn the AC on. We've certainly see that so far this year. If this holds true...then Minnesota going over 4.5 makes some sense against a guy with a 4.97 ERA for the year who's not thought of as a great road pitcher. Piniero's not a strikeout guy either. So...he puts the ball in a stadium that has seen a lot of scoring.

Minnesota Over 4.5 is a -115 favorite at Pinny

Here's Minnesota's run line in home games only:


That's 6 of 9 clearlying 4.5 in what has been a high scoring park. So, Pineiro just has to register as a generic pitcher to get the Twins past the target. That makes some sense.

I'm borderline on the Cubs vs. Santos with the wind blowing out to left in Wrigley Field. He's a flyball pitcher (44% ground balls...56% fly balls), which is death in that park when the wind is out. He's also having a horrible year so far...with an ERA of 6.48. The problem is that the Cubs offense has been struggling most of the year, especially since their star got hurt. They've also had trouble posting big numbers with the wind out this year and last. It's the OTHER guys who post big numbers (especially whenever I have the Cubs!). The team total is 5.5 +112 on the Over. You'd think a minor league team could score on Santos with the wind blowing out to left in Wrigley. I'll leave it off the official list to monitor, but feel free to consider it on your own.

Nothing great tonight in my opinion. It's much better to have strong offenses lined up against bad pitching...or great ERA's lined up against weak pitching....then look for cocktails with the ballpark, weather, and umpires helping out.

For tonight's "getting our feet wet" look at a few games:
Willis to shut down Philly
Rodriguez to shut down Milwaukee
LA Dodgers to score on Vargas
Bonderman to shut down Kansas City
Minnesota to score on Piniero

If you hate might think about 5 inning options with the pitchers. If you hate can probably go the full games on the offenses in the spotlight.

Feel free to share your thoughts about these games...or anything else you may have come across in your trip through the numbers today. Remember that the THINK TANK has ballpark indices, pitchers ratios, and offensive runlines for your reference pleasure...
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:55 PM
Superfly Superfly is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

Be careful fading Vargas. He was very good in his last start, and the comments afterwards were about a mechanical adjustment he made. It's only one start, but if he truly found something it may carry over, especially agaisnt a team that has to be down in the dumps after blowing a 5 run 9th inning lead.
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:02 PM
Superfly Superfly is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

You might want to (time permitting) take a look from a different perspective. Toronto just rakes LHP, and Bedard, despite the lofty record, has a.297 BAA at home this season.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:51 PM
Soonerfan64 Soonerfan64 is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

Is there a site other than Don Best that I can get the weather info for the parks? I know some of them so I just use but womdering if there is any sites that list it.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:10 AM
Superfly Superfly is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

Vargas 1 ER in 6 innings. Got some help from his defense but looked pretty good. Jays continue to pound LHP. Nice night for me.
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Mr Memory Mr Memory is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

Took Pinny's under second chance at 8 1/2 +127 in Zona . . . 1-2-3 DP, and we were home free.
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:52 AM
jjdman jjdman is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>Originally posted by: Soonerfan64

Is there a site other than Don Best that I can get the weather info for the parks? I know some of them so I just use but womdering if there is any sites that list it.</end quote></div>

try this one. click on the team and then click on the date
You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all.

Earl Weaver
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:52 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Moving Toward Finding Harmonic Convergences

Thanks to all who posted their thoughts. I'll try to put up a thread like this every day.

Regarding Toronto...I think everyone here's already pretty much committed to taking the Jays whenever they face a lefthander. That's not really a harmonic's just something everyone's going to do.'s outside the scope of this particular approach. There may be days where it provides a boost. Well...there may be days where the stuff we look at here provides a boost to THAT! They've been killing they don't really need help from the stadium, weather, umpire, etc...

Though...I would be careful if it's a second look for a quality lefty against them in a short time period. They hit Bedard hard last week. this one, he hurled a quality start and left the game with a 3-2 lead. Toronto exploded after the starting lefty had left the game.

Regarding Vargas: Hard to know for sure how to take that one. He definitely pitched well. But, we ran into an extreme Under umpire there (Vanover)...which surely influenced things a bit. Vargas stranded 6 baserunners in 6 innings...and only had 2 K's with an Under umpire. Let's monitor him in future starts.

Regarding the weather: the Don Best weather is free, so everyone should be able to access it on the web. Just go to their home page. Go to the baseball is the option on the very bottom.

The five choices in question went 2-3 in terms of hitting the targets:
*Willis had five strong innings then got rocked
*Rodriguez held Milwaukee below the target with a strong outing
*Bonderman held KC below the target (8 scoreless innings)
*Minnesota's offense is still in trouble
*The Dodgers ran into an Under umpire and possibly a pitcher who had fixed his mechanical issues.

The three pitchers we were taking Under were all very strong in 5 inning props. They combined for an ERA of 0.50 (2 runs allowed in 15 innings). Taking those guys and the Under went 4-1-1 in the five inning props. Bonderman and Under is a sweep. Rodriguez and Under is 1-0-1 with a low scoring tie. Willis splits because he had a lead but the Marlins had scored a bunch.

Those three for the full games went 3-3 because Willis collapsed and the Astros couldn't score for Rodriguez

The two offenses both failed to make much of a run at their totals. Well...the Dodgers scored two early runs then faded.

Five innings: 1-2-1
Full games: 1-3

So...disappointing overall...but a nice night if you're asking pitchers in good spots to give you five good innings. We'll keep posting possibilities and seeing how things play out.
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