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Handicapping "Think Tank" technical handicapping and statistics

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Old 05-23-2006, 06:27 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

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...

1 point is added for Home Field Advantage

Hou: 1 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 3.5 total points
Was: 1 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 5.5 total points (1 for HF)

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

Milw: 1 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 4 total points
Cinc: 2 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7 total points (1 for HF)

Phi: 1 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 6 total points
NYM: 2 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 8 points (1 for HF)

Pitt: 1 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 4 total points
Ariz: 1 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 8 total points (1 for HF)

Atla: 1 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 4 total points
S.D.: 1 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 5.5 total points (1 for HF)

Colo: 2 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 7 total points
LA D: 3 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 9 total points (1 for HF)

St. L: 1.5 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 6.5 total points
S. F.: 1.5 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 5.5 total points (1 for HF)

TBay: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 4 total points
Toro: 3 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 8 total points (1 for HF)

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

Oakl: 1.5 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 6.5 total points
CWS: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 2.5 Off equals 6.5 total points (1 for HF)

LAA: 3 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 6.5 total points
Tex: 2 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 8 total points (1 for HF)

Det: 3 Starter, 3 Bullpen, 1.5 Off equals 7.5 total points
KC: 1 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 4 total points (1 for HF)

Cle: 2 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 3 Off equals 6 total points
Min: 3 starter, 3 Bullpen, 2.5 Off equals 9.5 total points (1 for HF)

Balt: 1 Starter, 1 Bullpen, 1 Off equals 3 total points
Sea: 1.5 Starter, 2 Bullpen, 2 Off equals 6.5 total points (1 for HF)
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:34 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

Differences of 2.5 or more for system consideration:
Cincinatti -131 over Milwaukee (7-4)
Arizona -157 over Pittsburgh (8-4)
Toronto -300 over Tampa Bay (8-4)
Detroit -215 over Kansas City (7.5-4)
Minnesota -169 over Cleveland (9.5-6)
Seattle -146 over Baltimore (6.5-3)

Some taller prices today. We'll probably once again split them into "less than 180" and "more than 180" down at the bottom.

Differences of 2 or less for "coin flip" consideration
Washington +104 vs. Houston
Florida +106 vs. Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia +126 vs. NY Mets
(No Dog in Atlanta/SD at Pinny)
Colorado +153 vs. LA Dodgers
San Francisco +103 vs. St. Louis
NYY +142 at Boston
Oakland +159 at CWS
LA Angels +108 at Texas
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:52 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

***1 Starters combined with 1 bullpens (potential disasters for teams involved):
Houston with Nieve (5.94 ERA for year, 7.53 last 3 starts)
Florida with Olsen (6.55 ERA for year, 11.30 last 3 starts)
Milwaukee with Eveland (8.44 ERA for year in 2 starts)
Atlanta with Sosa (5.55 ERA for year, 4.91 in last 3 starts)
Kansas City with Hernandez (6.75 ERA for year, 11.08 last 3 starts)
Baltimore with off-rotation starter (bullpen has improved of late)

Amazing that we could have NONE last night...and six tonight. Over the weekend these were 9-4 if I recall, with eight of the winners being by more than 1.5 runs. By winners, I mean going AGAINST the teams with this set up on the mound. So...this approach would be encouraging consideration for Washington, the Cubs, Cincinnati, San Diego, Detroit, and Seattle.


***The "Kazmir" Club...with a 3 pitcher backed up by a 1 bullpen:

Smoltz was the only qualifier last night...and did win an Under in the first 5 innings (and, as it turned out the whole game as well). There are no qualifiers tonight, with very few top quality pitchers on the mound.


***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

Detroit with Rogers vs. Kansas City is the only qualifier tonight


***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 (Both Monday qualifiers were winners)

Tampa Bay/Toronto Under
Detroit/Kansas City Under (but it's all Detroit's side, like last night lol)



***Take any 2.0 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) (These went 6-2 Monday Night)

Cincinnati and the Over vs. Milwaukee
Arizona and the Over vs. Pittsburgh
St. Louis and the Over vs. San Francisco
Seattle and the Over vs. Baltimore


***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)

Arizona and the Under vs. Pittsburgh (AZ's bullpen the key)
Toronto and the Under vs. Tampa Bay
Texas and the Under vs. LA Angels
Detroit and the Under vs. Kansas City
Seattle and the Under vs. Baltimore (O's have horrible math!)
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:16 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

Putting it all together...let's use last night's outline

SYSTEM PLAYS (3-1 last night)
Cincinnati -131 over Milwaukee
Arizona -157 over Pittsburgh
Minnesota -169 over Cleveland
Seattle -146 over Baltimore

HALF A UNIT ON TOTALS (2-0 last night)
Tampa Bay/Toronto Under 8.5 -112
(Can't pull the trigger on Under 9 in Detroit/KC with the awful Hernandez stats and awful KC bullpen)

HALF A UNIT ON BIG FAVORITES THAT GRADE OUT (2-0 last night)
Toronto -300 over Tampa Bay
Detroit -215 over Kansas City
(Those are awfully high, and I probably wouldn't lay those prices myself. Well...maybe the 215 since Kansas City should apparently be a +500 dog every time they take the field)

HALF A UNIT ON COIN FLIP GAMES (2-5 last night, though it took Oakland's late meltdown to keep it from being close to break even)
Washington +104 vs. Houston
Florida +106 vs. Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia +126 vs. NY Mets
Colorado +153 vs. LA Dodgers
San Francisco +103 vs. St. Louis
NYY +142 at Boston
Oakland +159 at CWS
LA Angels +108 at Texas
(I hate having the slumping Angels in here...but their pitching stats are good enough that they don't grade out to lose during this meltdown)

HALF A UNIT ON ANY GRADING OF 2.5 POINTS OR MORE WITH A 1.5 RUN LINE IN A PARK KNOWN FOR OFFENSE (2-1 last night, and I accidentally left off Detroit in Kansas City's hitter's park. I realized that an hour later, but figured I'd leave it out as a test to see if any of you noticed the ommission. You flunked! The gradings in the hitter's parks won by scores of 15-5, 4-3, 6-4, and 8-0. People who "subsituted" 1.5 run lines for the regular lines went 3-1 instead of 4-0...but those who "supplmented" the plays weren't really hurt that much thanks to the winning record)

Cincinnati -1.5 +149
Arizona -1.5 +129
Toronto -1.5 -134
Detroit -1.5 -133
Minnesota could be consdired an optional at -1.5 +132. That park plays like a hitter's park until they turn the AC on. It's been a high scoring park this year thus far...and was in the last home series vs. CWS.

Feel free to share your thoughts on anything you see above...Thus far I'm pleased with how the gradings are outlining the expectations fairly accurately. It may just be that favorites are on a lucky run of late. But...is it really luck that Arroyo pitched well at home again and the Reds crushed a bad pitcher in that ballpark...or that Detroit crushed Kansas City again...or that Baltimore kept strugglinig? Maybe it's lucky that bad luck didn't happen in those games. We'll keep studying and learning...
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:22 AM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

Well...there seems to be some merit to this approach based on the first few days. I won't be able to go game by game every day like this. You've got the tools to do this on your own now. And, you've got an approach that's posted these marks in the first two days of daylight...after a strong weekend test run before unveiling...

SYSTEM PLAYS: 6-2
SYSTEM TOTALS: 3-0
BIG FAVE'S: 4-0
COINFLIP DOGS: 6-9...with the dog payoffs reducing the suffering from a losing record a bit
1.5 RUN GRADINGS: 7-1 if you include the Detroit pick that I inadvertently left off the first night because I was rushing to get this stuff up. Some nice underdog payoffs amidst that 7-1 performance as well. You can call it 6-1 if you think it's unfair to count Detroit from that first night.

Don't forget to consider Spraguer's numbers when you consider the options as well. I haven't been able to update the run-lines for several days because I've been putting this together. I'll try to get those back up to speed the next few days.

Good luck with this methodology. Let me know how it works for you!
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:47 PM
cash cash is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

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

Well...there seems to be some merit to this approach based on the first few days. I won't be able to go game by game every day like this. You've got the tools to do this on your own now. And, you've got an approach that's posted these marks in the first two days of daylight...after a strong weekend test run before unveiling...



SYSTEM PLAYS: 6-2

SYSTEM TOTALS: 3-0

BIG FAVE'S: 4-0

COINFLIP DOGS: 6-9...with the dog payoffs reducing the suffering from a losing record a bit

1.5 RUN GRADINGS: 7-1 if you include the Detroit pick that I inadvertently left off the first night because I was rushing to get this stuff up. Some nice underdog payoffs amidst that 7-1 performance as well. You can call it 6-1 if you think it's unfair to count Detroit from that first night.



Don't forget to consider Spraguer's numbers when you consider the options as well. I haven't been able to update the run-lines for several days because I've been putting this together. I'll try to get those back up to speed the next few days.



Good luck with this methodology. Let me know how it works for you!</end quote></div>

Mucho gracius..
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Old 05-24-2006, 05:48 PM
Chilly Chilly is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

Have you thought about weighting the categories? I don't think bullpens should count the same as starting pitching or hitting. Maybe pitching and hitting are the only two categories (plus a home team point) and pitching is 66% starters and 33% relievers.

I would also wonder if pitching overall counts more or less than hitting.

Simplicity if it works is just fine, but I think the results could be spurious at this point and in reality pens are just not equal to starters, so its worht pondering.

thanks for your hard work.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:15 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

Thanks for your comments Chilly.

The role of the bullpens kind of depends on the starter...and the impact they have depends on how much action they get in a given game. I agree with you that it's probably not 50/50 in terms of their impact overall. The typical starter will go 6 innings...leaving just 3 for the bullpen.

That being said...the bullpens might have more than 33% of the influence in determining who wins certain kinds of games. And, when you add it up the way we add it up...it could turn out that:

6's are dominant (a 3 starter backed up by a 3 bullpen)
2's are disastrous (a 1 starter backed up by a 1 bullpen)
3 starters backed up by 1 bullpen's should be used only at the 5 inning options

And...it's better just to look for "take" teams who add up to 5 or 6 in the pitching...or "go against" teams who add up to 2-3 in the pitching. Trying to tinker with the exact percentages doesn't necessarily add much of a boost to the bottom line simply because the guidelines are so general anway.

Let's say a game grades out 8-4 in our scoring system. A "refined" methodology might yield 7.2 to 4.6. Does that really change much?

To me the value here is that it FORCES people to consider the offenses and the bullpens. So many handicappers place an inordinate amount of weight on the starting pitchers on the assumption that the other stuff will cancel out. What happens in actual practice I believe is that the starting pitchers cancel out...and the differences between the offenses and bullpens determine who wins a high percentage of games.

I think one reason people have understimated the horribleness of teams like Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Florida is that they're not looking at how offenses and bullpens fit into the mix. I think people have underestimated the Dodgers this year (particularly of late) because they don't realize how good that offense is.

I'm afraid that if we go something like 40-40-20 (bullpens 20), that this will de-emphasize the bullpens too much. The good ones won't influence a grading to the degree they should...and the bad ones won't punish a grading to the degree they should. Please feel free to try it out that way on your own and report back with the results!

I've been so happy with the results of IMPOSING the bullpens into what I had been doing on my own that I'm very hesitant to back off of that right now.

Can't say I disagree with your general point though...
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:33 PM
Chilly Chilly is offline
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Default Tuesday Matchups (5/23)

agree on most points. I didn't want to suggest you get overly complex, but if yu do some sort of dynamic scoring/weighting is probably the way to go once things have already moved an inch above simplicity. By that I mean bullpen scores get weighted every day by the quality of the starter and the probability the starter goes X # of innings.

Bullpens matter less if the starter is a gem plus goes 7+ inns. Conversely, like you say, a bad starter who maybe gets 6 inngs tops with a gascan of a bullpen waiting to make it worse is a fire in seach of kindling. Which is a reason I'd speculate that pens and starters are correlated: 5 quality starters mean pens get used less often, making them more effective, and can be used more in specialty situations (see STL) that overtaxxed pens can't afford to do (waste a reliever for one batter).

I am already too busy to tinker with your model; I was just thanking you for putting so much time into it and thought about what you were doing and suggested a revision to the basic model. I do something similar for football, actually, and it works well. A simple model can go a long way sometimes...
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