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Handicapping "Think Tank" technical handicapping and statistics

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Old 05-22-2006, 06:52 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

Each category is rated on a scale of 1-3, with 3 being the best and 1 being the worst. If I had a "tweener," I'd round to the nearest half. If you disagree with the ratings on your own, just pencil in your own number and alter the total to your satisfaction. I'm rating starters mostly based on full season ERA but adjusted if I think recent form deserves some consideration. I'm rating bullpens based on the numbers currently at covers.com in their full season bullpen ERA's. I'm rating offenses mostly based on their road medians this year...though I give Arizona a boost at home because they score a ton at home when the roof isn't shut. Same for Cincy in terms of home scoring (but no roof issue).

1 point is added for Home Field Advantage

Hou: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 4.5 total points
Was: 1.5 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 6 total points (1 for HF)

ChiC: 2 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 5 total points
Fla: 1.5 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 5.5 total points (1 for HF)

Milw: 1.5 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 4.5 total points
Cinc: 3 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 8 total points (1 for HF)

Pitt: 1 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 6 total points
Ariz: 1 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 8.5 total points (1 for HF)

Atla: 3 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7 total points
S.D.: 3 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 8.5 total points (1 for HF)

Colo: 2 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7 total points
LA D: 1.5 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 8.5 total points (1 for HF)

St. L: 3 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 8 total points
S. F.: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 6 total points (1 for HF)

TBay: 1.5 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 3.5 total points
Toro: 2 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7 total points (1 for HF)

NYY: 2.5 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7.5 total points
Bos: 2 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7 total points (1 for HF)

Oakl: 3 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 8 total points
CWS: 1.5 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2.5 Off equals 6 total points (1 for HF)

LAA: 3 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 6.5 total points
Tex: 1.5 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 7.5 total points (1 for HF)

Det: 3 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 7.5 total points
KC: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 5 total points (1 for HF)

Balt: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 4 total points
Sea: 2.5 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7.5 total points (1 for HF)


I'll categorize stuff in replies below. Figured I'd stop for air after typing all of that in...
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:58 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

Differences of at least 2.5 or more:
Cincinnati -150 over Milwaukee (8 to 4.5)
Arizona -140 over Pittsburgh (8 to 4)
San Diego -115 over Atlanta (8.5 to 6)
Toronto -180 over Tampa Bay (7 to 3.5)
Detroit -180 over Kansas City (7.5 to 5)
Seattle -120 over Baltimore (7.5 to 4)

You can use your own thresholds for what represents line value. I know most people are averse to laying 170 or higher. But...doing that versus teams like KC and Florida has worked great this year. Tampa Bay is 11-22 in games not started by Kazmir...so it's worked there was well at less than 200.

I've considered correlating price ranges to edge margins. I've considered using the Pythagorean formula for creating a monelyine out of the point margins (that's not really how it was intended obviously, but it might actually line up reasonably well).

Yes...I know it's wacky that the biggest grading goes to a team starting a pitcher with an ERA near 7. But...Arizona grades out as having a top bullpen (amazing considering how high scoring their home games have been), and has a much better offense than Pittsburgh in the math. The starting pitchers cancel out, and the other stuff adds up to a team that's 14-9 at home beating a team that's 4-19 on the road. That's not so illogical.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:05 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

Differences of 2 or less to consider as virtual coin flips where you just take the dog and hope the math takes care of you over time:

Houston/Washington (near pick last I saw)
Florida + a little vs. Chicago
Colorado +110 at LA Dodgers (big telecast in Korea!)
San Francisco +110 vs. St. Louis
NYY +130 at Boston
Oakland +110 at CWS
LAA +110 at Texas

Now...I'm not saying I "like" the dogs here or anything. It's hard to ever like Florida, and Anaheim's in a big slump. I'm just in the early stages of seeing if we can qualify teams for the "coin flip" theory. We've seen that oddsmakers and the public generally overprice the perceived superior option in what are statistically virtual coin flips. In some years, it seems like ALL of baseball is a virtual coin flip. I don't really think that's the case this year. But, there's got to be a "subset" of matchups each day that are. These would be today's qualifiers for that subset.

It would be cool if we could find a way to grind out a profit from games that don't have a grading. The "coin flip" theory's performance in March Madness, the college bowls, and the hockey playoffs suggests this is possible. And, one of the reasons so many "sharps" have always considered focusing on underdogs most of the time in this sport comes from the same place in the spectrum. The value may not like in finding the "right" dog...but in just playing dogs in all the coin flip scenarios and letting nature take it's course.

We'll see. It's a strategy more for "traders" who play the board rather than somebody who wants 1-2 plays per night.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:08 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

There are no cases of 1 starter with a 1 bullpen tonight.

The closest are:
Milwaukee: 1.5 and 1
Florida: 1.5 and 1
Tampa Bay: 1.5 and 1
CWS: 1.5 and 1

I've got McClung at a 1.5 instead of a 1 because he's been doing better lately. I put Florida's rookie at 1.5. I usually put 1 and let them prove themselves. He wasn't a disaster in his first start so I bumped him a half for now. Garland's struggling, but we know he's better than that (surprised the CWS bullpen grades out so badly). Bush for Milwaukee I'm not sold on yet.

But...no qualifiers in the hunk we studied over the weekend that went 9-4 straight up and 8-5 against mostly underdog moneylines on the 1.5 run approach.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:10 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

The "Kazmir Club" will go for any 3 starter that's backed up by a 1 bullpen in honor of Stevo's success with 5-run lines this year.

Tonight:
Smoltz of Atlanta (bullpen struggling, they miss their pitching coach!)

That's the only guy tonight. Clevfan posted an article about pitch counts and Schilling that mentioned Smoltz threw something like 125-130 pitches in his last outing. I haven't double checked. If that's true, I'd be wary of him here...particularly with that weak bullpen. But, if you ALREADY liked Smoltz, you might consider him at the 5-inning line rather than the full game. Or...the Under in that good matchup with Peavy at 5 innings rather than the full game.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:23 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

Just cutting and pasting now from the original framework article:

***A 3 pitcher with a 3 bullpen is a guy you can back either way because your pick is less likely to get burned after the starter leaves

San Diego with Peavy
St. Louis with Mulder
Oakland with Zito
Detroit with Verlander
(Not endorsing these picks...just listing the qualifiers. If you ALREADY liked the starting pitcher, the bullpen is likely to back you up if you get a good outing)

***A pair of offenses that add up to 4 or more vs. a pair of pitching combinations that add up to 3.5 or less apiece, and you want to consider the Over

No qualifiers...a lot of decent pitchers out there tonight. The thresholds may be too stringent. Arizona/Pittsburgh Over almost gets there with offenses adding up to 4...and the pitching combo's clocking in at 3 and 4 for the two teams.

***A pair of pitching combinations that add up to 8 or more against a pair of offenses that add up to 3.5 or less and you want to consider the Under

Atlanta/San Diego Under
Detroit/Kansas City Under

***Take any 2.5 offense AND the Over vs. a pitching combination of starter and bullpen that adds up to 3.5 or less, or any 2.0 offense AND the Over versus a combination of 2.5 or less (adding in the latter)

Cincinnati and the Over vs. Milwaukee
Arizona and the Over vs. Pittsburgh
Toronto and the Over vs. Tampa Bay
Oakalnd and the Over vs. CWS

***Take any 3.5 pitching combo AND the Under vs. any offense that registers at 1.5 or less, or any 5.0 pitching combo AND the Under vs. any offenst that registers at 2.0 or less (adding in the last part)

Washington and the Under vs. Houston
Arizona and the Under vs. Pittsburgh (oops, cancels out prior)
Both Atlanta and San Diego qualify here...which is like 2 votes for Under but the side is a cancel
Toronto and the Under vs. Tampa Bay (cancels out prior)
Texas and the Under vs. LA Angels
Detroit and the Under vs. Kansas City
Seattle and the Under vs. Baltimore

(We see here some "duplication" from the initial list of big gradings. The teams that had big edges of like 7.5 to 4.5 or whatever are likely to also qualify for a tandem grading of some kind simply because they must have a match up edge to get the big grading in the first place).
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:40 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
MW Writer, S.H. Austin
 
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Default Monday Matchups (5/22)

So what's that leave us with? A MESS!

Just for the fun of it, I'll break it down into hunks...and we can just kind of monitor the hunks. This is all new...and there's no way to know if it's even going to work, or if tinkering needs to be done.

SYSTEM PLAYS
Cincinnati -146 over Milwaukee
Arizona -131 over Pittsburgh
San Diego -115 over Atlanta
Seattle -122 over Baltimore

HALF A UNIT ON TOTALS
Atlanta/San Diego Under 7 +102
Detroit/Kansas City Under 9 +114 (some 9.5's out there)
(For now I'll leave out anything that appeared as a tandem option, its not like we're aching for action based on this...lol)

HALF A UNIT ON BIG FAVORITES THAT GRADE OUT
Toronto -183 over Tampa Bay
Detroit -181 over Kansas City

HALF A UNIT ON COIN FLIP GAMES (latest numbers from Pinnacle to resolve who the dog is in pick-em games)
Washington +106 vs. Houston
Florida +114 vs. Chicago Cubs
Colorado +111 at Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco +123 vs. St. Louis
NYY +143 at Boston
Oakland +109 at CWS
LAA +117 at Texas

HALF A UNIT ON ANY GRADING OF 2.5 POINTS OR MORE WITH A 1.5 RUN LINE IN A PARK KNOWN FOR OFFENSE
Cincinnati -1.5 +136
Arizona -1.5 +151
Toronto -1.5 +110

The studies being done here in the TANK regarding this angle have been pretty productive. Wanted to include it in the mix. Cincinnati didn't make our list of hitter's parks in the preseason (based on 3 year indices)...but it was definitely one last year...and has been big time this year, so I included it. Since these are duplications of system plays, you might consider mixing things up differently than 1 unit on the normal line and half a unit on the total. Up to you.

Well...that's the list I'll go with for now as the unofficial but official "framework" selections for the first day. Let's have fun with it and see what we learn from the effort. Thanks to all in advance for any comments you have.

Don't feel a need to argue certain ratings. If you think an offense or pitcher is better than I've got...make a change yourselves and play around with the possibilities. There's just no need right now to discuss whether somebody's a 1.5 or a 2...or whether a bullpen is a 2.5 with one guy but a 1.5 with the other (which will probably be true with the Yankees depending on the starter, to name one obvious example). We can save that stuff for later when we've got a better sense of whether or not this approach is really worth the energy or not...
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