Monday, October 29, 2007
it was wire to wire.
New England fast developing into a major sports power house. Keep your eyes on North East.
Friday, October 26, 2007
COL +1.5 at -115 for 1 unit(L)
*Follow the title link to NBA where we are 8-2 last 10 preseason basketball
0-1 -1.15 units
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
The team no one considered contenders emerge as the National League Champion. Making their miraculous and dominant September and October run Rockies are the top NL team playing in a zone. Did the long rest ware off their winning ways? will they play with rust? will Red Sox be too much to handle in Fenway, after knocking out the Indians out scoring 30 to 5 in last three games? With all the questions to defuse anybody thinking about Rox even with +200 moneyline is there anything to hang a hat on Colorado? The reasonable man may pass the first game to see how Rockies will measure. Maybe take Red Sox on -1.5 runline.
I'll go against the big home favorite and back the Rox in game. Not going to sweat it if I drop one here, but what a great spot to steal game 1 at Fenway.
COL +202 for 1 unit(L)
0-1 -1.00 unit
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Carmona will take the mound against Curt Schilling and the mighty Red Sox at Fenway. Red Sox 54-31 at home, 27-14 with Total of 9~9.5 and 20-9 with a day off, but my play will back Indians to close the series in Fenway. Schilling with losing August and September was clobbered by these Indians 10/13 and I will go with Carmona. He too was hit by Red Sox, but quality numbers are outstanding 27 out of 34, 14 out of 16 away and 6 for 7 in most recent starts much better number than Curt. I know the pick maybe upsetting to many, but that's the call.
CLE +123 for 1 unit(L)
Wow, that was bad choice. We will rebound on next MLB play.
0-1 -1.00 unit
Monday, October 15, 2007
On the American League match up. Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians
D. Matsuzaka and J. Westbrook I like the strength of pitching on both sides and ALCS has been playing Over heading into a Under.
BOS/CLE UNDER 10 at +102 for 1 unit(W)
National League match up.
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies
Battle of young guns M. Owings and F. Morales. It would be too easy to think pitching over hitting is the trend in NLCS. Go against the grain.
ARZ/COL OVER 9.5 at +124 for 1 unit(W)
2-0 +2.26 units
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Rox are still rolling and now they are back home with a 2-0 edge. We enter a soft pitching spot in series game 3 with Josh Fogg and Livan Hernadez. Both of these pitchers have been winning games entering October and they are well capable of keeping hitters off balance. I'm not sure what will derail Colorado, but +150 plus dog in playoff spot is tempting with not much variance between starting pitchers Fogg 5-4 home with Rockies 8-6, .370 OBP and 5.97 ERA against Hernadez 5-8 away with Diamondbacks 7-11, .383 OBP and 4.98 ERA. Even with pricing premium Rockies will get the money flow and Livan will be playing with fire. What does stand out with Livan's game away is O/U 4-13 and has nothing to do with him pitching better, but Zona not scoring and the contrast is huge O/U 12-2 at home. Consider Livan's Unders and outside of Helton he's done a pretty good job. Fogg goes Over at home O/U 9-5, but he too matches up well with Arizona. Both pens are doing good job and Coors Field is nothing like it used to be. Total 10 looks a bit high.
Friday, October 12, 2007
CC Sabathia vs Josh Beckett
Pitching angle I have on this game is Cleveland, but as you know AL games have not been kind.
So take Boston and if you don't like the juice play -1.5
Just an advise to fade my AL side. No play for me, but hope it works out for all you players.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jeff Francis on cover of SI will test the jinx at Arizona against Webb. This is pretty interesting with D-Backs at home is over shadowed by the Amazing Rox. All I hear lately is Rockies the team that refuses to loose. Don't get me wrong I love the Rox and what they've done and I'm all for going with hot trends, but keep in mind the lone loss during the amazing winning stretch came at the hands of Webb and desert snakes.
Now holding off on the Sides as we have time...
ARZ -122 for 1 unit(L)
The other is the low Total of 7.5 hung for this first match. I know many players like the Over and that's what the Books are expecting too. I think the run total will be around 5 so Under will be the play.
COL/ARZ UNDER 7.5 at +102 for 1 unit(W)
COL/ARZ UNDER 7.5 at +118 for 1 unit(W)
Rox still look great. I tip my hat to them. D-Backs are no way done, but Colorado are the balanced team.
1-1 +0.98 units
Monday, October 08, 2007
Paul Byrd (15-8) Indians 19-12 is 0-2 in last 3 games, 2-3 in September with team record of 3-3. Paul is not in good form pitching 2 quality out of last 6 starts.
Chien M. Wang (19-8) Yankees 21-10 is 1-1 in last 3 games, knocked out by Cleveland on 10/4, 3-1 in September with team record of 3-2. He has 2 poor outing in last 7 and both came away.
This game has the look of game going Over, Wang on short rest and Byrd out of form, but both pitcher are bit Under in tonight's situation. Byrd is marginal O/U away 6-8-1. Wang O/U home 6-8-2. I'd love to go with the big dog, but Yanks at home win 64%, as -200 or more 75% and elimination games runs come at a premium.
CLE/NYY UNDER 10.5 at -106 for 1 unit(W)
1-0 +1.00 unit
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Schilling vs Weaver
Can not tell you how disappointing my last loss with Angels was. Most likely my biggest 1 unit loss this season, if you know what I mean.
Today in big A the wind is gusting in knocking down fly balls during BP and this has got to go against Red Sox, but what stand out is single frame of scoring by Angels in 18 innings thus far.
BOS/LAA UNDER 8.5 at +104 for 1 unit(L)
6th inning 2-0 Boston lead. This game is available live at "Matchbook.com"
Over is now +1000 and I'm not going to watch Angels loosing game any more.
So taking the Over for 0.25 units and I'm covered on both O/U.
In-Game: middle 6th inning
BOS/LAA OVER 8.5 at +1000 for 0.25 units(W)
Got lucky when I optioned out. Just didn't want to watch the game with Angels offense dead in the water. I did not for a second think Over would hit, I was willing to settle for +0.79 units with 0.25 wager as a insurance. Why didn't I just wager 0.10? Just looking at the bigger upside making 0.20 units more or risking 0.15 units more for return of 2.25 and gain of 1.25 units.
1-1 +1.25 units
Friday, October 05, 2007
Kelvim Escobar (18-7) Angels 22-8, Away (8-3) team 9-4
Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-12) Red Sox 17-15, Home (8-4) team 9-5
Call me a homer, call me a fool, Angels are not hitting? Vladimir Guerrero's playing hurt? Garret Anderson? Dice K is OK at home, but just OK because Red Sox scored no less than 5 runs for him in September. Other than that he is hittable with 4.86 ERA at Fenway and 2 quality starts out of last 7 recording 2-3 and 6.86 ERA.
Kelvim 10 quality away starts out of 13 games. Coming off couple of losses against division rivals, but Angels are 8-1 against AL East.
I will take the good pitcher over a mediocre one as a pretty good size dog.
LAA +152 at 1 unit(L)
0-1 -1.00 unit
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Franklin Morales (3-2) Rockies 6-2
Kyle Kendrick (10-4) Phillies 13-7
We knocked down the Under against the public yesterday, but you know the nature of these teams are Over. Kendrick has been pitching Over games 6 out of last 7. Morales has 3 wins and Rox are 5-0 behind him in September, but he just doesn't go the distance. Second look for Phillies since 9/11 and I'm not sure how long Morales will play above himself.
COL/PHL OVER 10 at +100 for 1 unit(W)
1-0 +1.00 unit
Aces in game 1 of series have produced Under's across the board.
Wang 19-7 with Yanks 21-9 behind him is not exactly a Under machine with O/U 15-12-3 and goes Over a bit more away O/U 9-4-1, but he is in pretty good form with 6 quality starts out of last 7 with 2.44 ERA (has risen in last 3) Yanks play the Indians very well sweeping them at home and away, but Sabathia has been tough in September 4-0 with Indians going 5-0. He is also O/U 2-9 in his last 11 games
NYY/CLE UNDER 8.5 at +114 for 1 unit(L)
Indians were amazing today. Did not expect it and American League is a thorn on my side.
0-1 -1.00 unit
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox
This is a match up where you first consider the home team. Both teams earn bulk of the money at home and Boston hold the edge 6-4 overall, 5-2 at home. On top of that Red Sox sends their top money pitcher Josh Beckett, but if Angels are to face Beckett it's better at home than away.
You'd also want to send your best road starter John Lackey with Angels 12-5 away. Beckett will need to keep runners off base as Angels will run today and take deep counts. It may not have the power of Red Sox , but small ball is worth a play.
LAA +164 for 1 unit(L)
0-1 -1.00 unit
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I am not going to give you analogy on every game. Picking my spots and I'll enjoy the games as a fan.
Rockies at Philadelphia
Jeff Francis vs Cole Hamels
Looks like a good match up here with good arms and these two teams are pretty much split evenly against each other, but as you know Totals go OVER at better than 66% Even with these two pitchers, Francis O/U away 7-6-3, against NL East 5-0, day games 5-3-2 and most recent two road starts have gone Over. Hamels is quite balanced on O/U, but the nature of these two teams at Philly should be enough to entice a play on Over 9.....or should it? This game comes after each team claimed victory to play in the Playoffs, the tension in each respective club's line up might have eased after taking the win. On this small notion I will select starting pitchers to have the edge today. Smart pitching to keep early scoring to minimum and this one sneaks in Under.
*This number is rising from 9 to 9.5. Looking to take Under 9 at +110 or better.
OK, +117 or better.
COL/PHL UNDER 9 +118 for 1 unit(W)
COL/PHL UNDER 9.5 -110 for 1 unit(W)
2-0 +2.18 units
A team-by-team look at the playoff bullpens:
Boston Red Sox: This is a deep unit, though the uber-bullpen that the Sox thought they'd assembled hasn't quite worked out. That's because Eric Gagne has been a disappointment since his trade from Texas. Even with Gagne not right, there's a great deal to like. Jonathan Papelbon is overwhelming. Hideki Okajima and Mike Timlin are dependable, youngster Manny Delcarmen has the faithful buzzing and Javier Lopez makes a fine second lefty.
Cleveland Indians: If a bullpen is only as good as its closer -- hint, it's not -- then the Indians have some worries. Joe Borowski's save total masks what wasn't a very good season; note the nine homers allowed. The two guys setting him up, though, are dynamite -- righty Rafael Betancourt and lefty Rafael Perez have just been nasty. This group, with talented but unknown youngsters like Perez and Jensen Lewis, bears some resemblance to the '06 world champion Cardinals.
Los Angeles Angels: As always, the Angels have a fine 'pen, but this year's group is not quite as intimidating as some of recent vintage. Francisco Rodriguez and Scot Shields have been a little more mortal this season, though veteran additions Darren Oliver and Justin Speier have helped. Depth is still an asset here, but it's not quite like earlier years this decade, when an Angels lead in the sixth meant the game was over.
New York Yankees: It's feast or famine, definitely a different look from the days when Joe Torre had four-headed monsters of death in the late innings. This time, it's Mariano Rivera in the ninth, Joba Chamberlain setting up and a lot of question marks. Torre won't hesitate to make sure Rivera and Chamberlain get in games, though, and that's a plus. The starters need to pitch deep, or the sixth and seventh innings could be problematic.
Arizona Diamondbacks: This is the best bullpen you haven't heard anything about. Jose Valverde and Juan Cruz are big-time power guys, both averaging well over 10 strikeouts per nine innings. Brandon Lyon and Tony Pena throw strikes and get outs. There's no lefty-killing lefty, but that never stopped the Angels in recent years, and besides, Valverde and Lyon can get left-handed hitters out.
Chicago Cubs: The reputation of the bullpen as the Cubs' weak link is a bit overstated, but this team has had some scary moments. Ryan Dempster has only blown three saves, though, and the right-handed setup relief has been outstanding. Carlos Marmol and Bobby Howry make an excellent late-inning tandem. Scott Eyre is having a decent year but is miscast if he's used as a specialist, but Will Ohman gets lefties out. Oh, and you think Wrigley will go nuts if Kerry Wood gets the call for some big outs in October?
Colorado Rockies: Manny Corpas supplanted Brian Fuentes as the guy in the ninth, and it's worked out very well. Corpas has been more reliable in finishing games, and Fuentes has been dominant in the second half -- especially against left-handers. Jorge Julio is a big name but remains somewhat flammable, but Jeremy Affeldt, LaTroy Hawkins and Matt Herges have done solid work. This group is good enough not to hurt the Rockies, but not good enough to change the dynamic of a series.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phils have the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in the National League -- by far the worst of any NL playoff team. It's not just their ballpark that's to blame, either. Brett Myers settled in nicely in the ninth, but beyond that, it was a season-long search for the right guys in the right spots. Some intriguing pieces are here, but Charlie Manuel is going to need to trust the kids rather than going to old hands like Jose Mesa, Antonio Alfonseca and even Tom Gordon.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Colorado is storming into the finish line. Padres got pounded by Brewers unable to close the deal in Milwaukee. San Diego's ace Peavy is being held back for the must win game, but Rockies are on fire while Padres are showing cracks. This game is worth a study, what you might ask yourself, is Peavy able to carry Padres against a hot team and in most cases hot team at home is the way to go. But this game with Post season on the line pitching sets the tone as the best of the group will get all the work. In this match up Padres must show their strength which is pitching, using Peavy on 3 days rest is a formula that has failed will have him go on normal 5 days.
Josh Fogg beat Padres in Colorado 9/09 with less than stellar stuff and Padres loss was, in my opinion, a turning point for Padres slide and Rockies surge.
The overall numbers:
Jake Peavy (19-6) 2.36ERA (away 2.16 ERA) left bats hitting .240 right bats hitting .164
September (4-1) 3.20 ERA including one ND in Colorado where Peavy was sharp, but beaten.
Another note is 9/05 game in Arizona, Peavy pitching on 3 days rest was clocked by D-Backs.
He won the other 4 games, but soft games to Dodgers and Giants twice. I don't want to down play Peavy too much except for the Arizona's beating he is almost flawless on the road with 13 quality starts out of 14 games and Padres are 11-3 on those road games. His last 7 games are excellent 6 quality with Pads winning 5-2. His outing doesn't always produce UNDER's as road O/U is 8-5-1, against NL West 8-7-1.
Josh Fogg ( 10-9) 4.79ERA (home 5.66 ERA) left bats hitting .274 right bats hitting .304
September (3-0) 3.25 ERA in 5 starts Rox have won 4-1 and the ND loss to Florida was a tough 1 run loss. All September wins cashed as Underdogs losing the lone -130 money line. He looks great in current form, but keep in mind he is 12 quality starts out of 28 games and only 4 of those are out of 12 home games. He is a OVER starter at home with O/U 8-4.
I think the number to look for is Total 9.5 OVER, but this is not out yet and line up should be considered. So watch the board and expect some movement.
We have a Total of 9 Over -110 out. Let's see if the price moves Under.
Yes, the money is moving Under 9 now -105 at Pinny and Even money at Matchbook.
Not concerned with better pricing at this point and fairly certain all the usual suspects will take part in this game.
OVER 9 at +104 for 1 unit(W)
We have a Total DROP!!!
OVER 8.5 at -105 for 3 units(W)
Game's not over, but selection is a clear Over!
2-0 +4.04 units
Florida Marlins at New York Mets
D. Willis (10-15) team 16-18
T. Glavine (13-7) team 18-15
Marlins have 3 wins behind D-Train and this is a rematch of 9/20 game against Glavine. Willis got a ND in that game, but Marlins won it 8-7 at home. This time Willis is coming off a beauty, 8 innings of work only allowing 2 runs to Cubs at home, which is bad timing for Mets to face a surging pitcher. Glavine has a loss and two ND in his last 3, got tagged pretty good in his last two. But looking at the pitching angle Glavine is 12 quality out of 15 at home with record of 7-2 so he's pretty tough. Mets are not supportive as team record is 8-7 and Marlins are very suspect playing with no pressure. All this makes difficult take on Marlins or Mets, However Over on run total has the edge.
FLA/NYM OVER 9 at -108 for 2 units (Push)
Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Jered Weaver gets the call today and he is in position to take the mound in post season making the big A (Angels "A" ) 1, Lackey, 2 Escobar and 3 Weaver 1-2-3 punch. I expect them to roll against Oakland and Gaudin.
It's a late addition with the line up's out, this is Angels "B" team, I am betting the Angels off and taking the Under at plus money. Angels might still be OK if Weaver is right on, but be careful his pitch count is getting high lately.
*LAA +108 for 2 units *Off load with OAK -110 for 2 units(sacrafice -0.04)
take LAA/OAK UNDER 8,5 at +110 for 2 units(W)
1-0-1 +2.16 units
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
Jake Westbrook (6-9) team record 13-11 vs
Gil Meche (9-13) team record 14-19
Current season match up 6-10 O/U
Westbrook 3-11 O/U at home
Indians as favorite 4-13-1 O/U
Meche 12-21 O/U
Royals as underdog 8-16 O/U
Against RHP 8-19 O/U
Take UNDER 9 at -111 for 1 unit(W)
Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox
Carlos Silva (13-14) team record 15-17 vs
Tim Wakefield (16-12) team record 18-12
Silva on Road 4-10 team 4-12
Silva as Underdog team 6-14
Silva lost to Wakefield and Red Sox at home in last meet
Wakefield home 9-4 team 10-4
Wakefield as Favorite 16-6
Have not recorded a home loss since 7/17
BOS -110 for 1 unit(W)
2-0 +2.00 units
Friday, September 28, 2007
Angels at Oakland A's
This game will feature LA's finest John Lackey (18-9) team record 22-10. He has been consistent and I look for him to stop the losses. Oakland will send their top guy Dan Haren (15-8) team record 19-14. He is tough at home (8-3) team 11-5, but 1-4 last 6 with A's 1-5 and prior to win at Cleveland he gave up double digit hits in four consecutive starts losing all of those.
Angels may have lost 3 in Texas, but I think they'll regroup in Oakland.
I will also take the Under with Lackey Road O/U 4-11-1, Haren Home O/U 5-10-1, Angles vs Athletics 2007 O/U 5-11, at Oakland O/U 2-4 with three seasons running 8-15-3.
LAA at +107 for 2 units(W)
LAA/OAK UNDER 8 at +101 for 1 unit(W)
2-0 +3.15 units
Thursday, September 27, 2007
What's up fellas? Took a little time off posting to make sure all the loops were clean and
after taking out some elements selections were excellent. So let's keep it rolling .
Houston at Cincinnati
Wandy Rodriguez (9-13) may have broken road losses on 9/20 (also 8/31) current road record 3-10 out of 15 away starts Astros have lost 4-11. Wandy has pitched 4 quality starts away, but two has come within his last 4 stars with Astros winning 4 out of last 5.
Matt Belsle (8-9) holds similar number, 15 home starts 4 quality with 3-7 record. Reds are 4-11 in his home starts. With given similarity I taking Houston Astros as they have 10-4 this season against Reds, 7-1 at Cincinnati.
HOU +107 for 1 unit(W)
1-0 +1.07 units
Monday, September 24, 2007
Working on it.
Here's a interesting read by Ron Shandler written in January 2005.
Ashley-Perry Statistical Axiom #3: Skill in manipulating numbers is a talent, not evidence of divine guidance.
Ashley-Perry Statistical Axiom #5: The product of an arithmetical computation is the answer to an equation; it is not the solution to a problem.
Merkin's Maxim: When in doubt, predict that the present trend will continue.
The quest continues for the most accurate baseball forecasting system.
I've been publishing player projections for the better part of nearly two decades. During that time, I have been made privy to the work of many fine analysts and many fine forecasting systems. But through all their fine efforts at attempting to predict the future, there have been certain constants. The core of every system has been comprised of pretty much the same elements:
Players will perform within the framework of their past history and/or trends.
Skills will develop and decline according to age.
Statistics will be shaped by a player's health, expected role and home ballpark.
These are the elements that keep all projections within a range of believability. This is what prevents us from predicting a 40-HR season out of Juan Pierre or 40 SBs for David Ortiz. However, within this range of believability is a great black hole where any semblance of precision seems to disappear. Yes, we know that Albert Pujols is a leading power hitter, but whether he is going to hit 40 HRs, or 45, or 35, or 50, is a mystery.
You see, while all these systems are built upon the same basic elements, they also are constrained by the same global limitations. We are all still trying to project...
a bunch of human beings
each with their own individual skill sets
each with their own individual rates of growth and decline
each with different abilities to resist and recover from injury
each limited to opportunities determined by other people
and each generating a group of statistics largely affected by tons of external noise.
As much as we all acknowledge these limitations as being intuitive, we continue to resist them because the game is so darned measurable. The problem is that we do have some success at predicting the future and that limited success whets our desire, luring us into believing that a better, more accurate system awaits just beyond the next revelation. So we work feverishly to try to find the missing link to success, creating vast, complex models that track obscure trends and relationships, and attempt to bring us ever closer to perfection. But for many of us fine analysts, all that work only takes us deeper and deeper into the abyss.
Why? Because perfection is impossible and nobody seems to have a real clear vision of what success is.
Is reasonable predictive accuracy even an attainable goal? Most agree that, given external variables such as injuries, managerial decisions and the like, only about 65-70% of the player population is even marginally predictable in any given year. But even within that group, you cannot get two analysts to agree about what it means to be accurate.
In truth, the only completely accurate projection would be one that looks like this:
AB HR RBI SB BA OBA SLG OPS
=== === === === === ==== ==== ====
PROJ 500 25 95 15 .280 .330 .450 .780
ACT 500 25 95 15 .280 .330 .450 .780
Clearly, you would be overjoyed if all of our projections yielded perfect results. But it is impossible to be on target with all of these individual categories, each moving more or less independently for 180 days each baseball season.
An alternative might be to focus only on the most important statistical gauges. After all, each raw data category measures only an isolated element, and some stats like batting average are flawed. Perhaps a better measure of accuracy can be gleaned by using a gauge of overall talent, like OPS.
It sounds reasonable in theory. However, if I projected a player to have an OPS of about .868, for instance, he could post any of the following 2004 stat lines and my projection would still be considered a success:
AB HR RBI SB BA OBA SLG OPS
=== === === === === ==== ==== =====
A 240 13 40 0 .296 .365 .504 .8688
B 573 32 67 13 .255 .371 .497 .8685
C 467 19 76 10 .298 .380 .488 .8682
D 438 26 71 0 .279 .329 .539 .8679
E 704 8 60 36 .372 .413 .455 .8676
I suppose, for simulation gamers and pure scientists, these players are all comparable. And with my .868 OPS projection, any of these results would have provided for a perfect success story. But I'd hardly think that, if I projected Brad Wilkerson (B) to have Jason Varitek's stats (C), you'd consider I was a heck of a prognosticator. Kevin Mench (D) and Ichiro Suzuki (E) are hardly comparable either, even though OPS does say that.
Admittedly, John Mabry (A) should not be in this group, but aggregate gauges like OPS make no distinction for playing time. Even if we were to separate out full-timers from bench players, OPS again can't reflect the impact that Brad Wilkerson's additional 100- plus ABs has over Varitek or Mench.
Despite the similarities using a gauge that measures aggregate performance, these are very different skill sets for most fantasy applications.
One way to resolve this issue might be to use a more fantasy-friendly gauge. Rotisserie dollar values can serve a dual purpose here. First, they measure only those categories that we are interested in. A second benefit is that they incorporate the importance of playing time - which OPS does not - and eliminate the problem of a John Mabry being included in this group. And in fact...
AB HR RBI SB BA 5x5
=== === === == === ===
Mabry,J 240 13 40 0 .296 $7
Wilkerson,B 573 32 67 13 .255 $22
Varitek,J 467 19 76 10 .298 $18
Mench,K 438 26 71 0 .279 $15
Suzuki,I 704 8 60 36 .372 $35
...now this group is no longer cut from the same cloth. But Rotisserie values still do not negate the underlying problem with comparing sets of numbers. Varitek is a nice $18 player, but $18 doesn't always buy you the same type of statistics:
AB HR RBI SB BA 5x5
=== === === == === ===
Varitek,J 467 19 76 10 .298 $18
Grissom,M 562 22 90 3 .279 $18
Wilson,J 652 11 59 8 .308 $18
Lugo,J 581 7 75 21 .275 $18
So, using dollar values doesn't work either. The last thing that a power-rich, speed- starved team needed was Marquis Grissom's numbers when you thought you were paying for Julio Lugo's. With all these obstacles to using aggregate performance gauges, perhaps we need to refocus on projecting individual stat categories. Can this provide any better hope for defining prognosticating success?
Here is where it gets "personal."
If I were to project that Albert Pujols is going to hit 45 HRs this year and he only hits 44, you will probably accept that level of inaccuracy. But what if he hits only 43? Or 42? Or 40? Or 39? At what point do we cross that imaginary line where the projection is "officially" deemed a failure?
You might say "40." I might say, "Okay, so if Pujols has 39 HRs on the final day of the season, and he hits a long fly ball that Corey Patterson makes an amazing over-the-wall leap to rob him of #40, has that one event been the difference between success and failure?" We have to draw a line between success and failure somewhere, but there is always going to be a grey area where it can go either way. You might consider the grey area as representing "inaccuracy." But more important is the fact that the size of this grey area is different for everybody.
In early 2003, we asked this type of question in two online polls at BaseballHQ.com. Here were the results:
If I were to project 35 HRs for Hideki Matsui this year, what is the threshold of actual HRs at which you would perceive that my projection had failed?
If I were to project 15 wins for Tom Glavine this year, what is the threshold of actual wins at which you would perceive that my projection had failed?
There is no clear consensus in either poll. That's why this is "personal." Accuracy can only be assessed based on your own subjective tolerance for error.
But you might say, "Shandler, there has to be some type of benchmark I can use. There has to be some way to gauge accuracy."
I'm not so sure. There are some people who might consider a broad stroke approach to be sufficient, using a flat percentage benchmark across all categories. For instance, you might be satisfied if a projection was off by only 10% across-the-board. Doesn't that seem reasonable? But a casual "eyeball test" can be deceiving. To wit:
AB R H HR RBI SB BA
=== == === == === == ====
PROJ 550 79 169 29 113 13 .307
ACT 599 70 169 26 100 10 .282
At first glance, this looks like a pretty good projection, at least one that you wouldn't be too unhappy with had you expected to purchase that first set of stats. Our eyeball test says that his overall productivity was pretty much on target. In reality, every one of his statistics was mis-projected by over 10%. Based on the "acceptable" 10% tolerance, this projection was a complete failure. Of course, I could just loosen that tolerance, perhaps to 15% or 20%, which will boost our perceived success rate, but the eyeball test will get much fuzzier.
Here is the above example with actual results within 15-20% of projection:
AB R H HR RBI SB BA
=== == === == === == ====
PROJ 550 79 169 29 113 13 .307
ACT 632 62 169 23 87 7 .267
My own eyeball test says that, while this projection was marginally in the ballpark, perhaps a 20% error is beyond the limits of my comfort level. But again, you might look at the above results and think these are perfectly fine within your tolerance for error. Can we agree on anything? Not likely.
The irony with the above examples is that, despite the shortfalls in batting average, both projections nailed this player's hit total. All of which begets other questions...
If a slugging average projection is dead on, but the player hits 10 fewer HRs than expected (and likely, 20 more doubles), is that a success or a failure?
If a projection of hits and walks allowed by a pitcher is on the mark, but the bullpen and defense implodes, and inflates his ERA by a run, is that a success or a failure?
If the projection of a speedster's rate of stolen base success is perfect, but his team replaces the manager in May with one that doesn't run, and the player ends up with half as many SBs as expected, is that a success or a failure?
If a batter is traded to Colorado and all the touts project an increase in production, but he posts a statistical line exactly what would have been projected had he not been traded, is that a success or a failure?
If the projection for a bullpen closer's ERA, WHIP and peripheral numbers is perfect, but he saves 20 games instead of 40 because the GM decided to bring in a high-priced free agent at the trading deadline, is that a success or a failure?
If I project a .272 batting average in 550 AB and the player only hits .249, is that a success or failure? Most will say "failure." But, wait a minute! The real difference is only two hits per month. That shortfall of 23 points in batting average is because a fielder might have made a spectacular play, or a screaming liner might have been hit right at someone, or a long shot to the outfield might have been held up by the wind... once every 14 games. Does that constitute "failure?"
Many questions, but all rhetorical.
When it comes down to it, perhaps the only thing we can really trust is the eyeball test and our own personal tolerance for error. A fantasy leaguer with a loaded bullpen doesn't care whether his third closer puts up 40 saves or 30. When you are leading your league in home runs by 25, it doesn't matter whether Jeff Bagwell hits 39 HR or 27. And when all the aggregates wash out come October, the fact that your $25 Barry Zito saw his ERA rise by over a run will only affect your team's bottom line by 0.15 - in most leagues, a loss of maybe 2-3 points at worst.
Obstacles to comparing different systems
It's tough enough to answer these questions when you are trying to measure the accuracy of a single set of projections. When you open things up and begin to look at multiple prognosticators, then there are even more issues to address.
The number of published projections that appear in print and online has been rising annually, and with them, expectations, questions and unbearable hype. How can there be equivalent credibility with so many different sets of numbers?
I've been asked to prove my prognosticating prowess more often than ever before. There have also been several recent analyses published that compare the Baseball Forecaster and Baseball HQ numbers to those of other touts, but the same thing happens time and time again:
1. We never finish first. 2. The purveyor of the study always does.
Is that a wonder? How can there be so many different "objective analyses" out there, and all of them so allegedly accurate?
Peter "Ask Rotoman" Kreutzer from mlb.com has this take: "Someone who tries to sell you projections that are "much better" than any others is bulls****ing you. The important thing for you as a consumer to understand is what system your prognosticator is using, what biases that introduces, and learn to make the necessary adjustments to incorporate risk evaluation into the process. Only then can you get the players who fit your league's rules best."
Ah, biases. The truth is, there is an inherent bias that exists in any comparative analysis that includes the author as one of its subjects. It's impossible to avoid. The reason is obvious: A tout is not going to publish such an analysis unless he can present himself in a favorable light. And the only way to do this is to instill some level of bias into the structure of the study.
Here are some of the ways this is done:
Selection of the study group: Some of the analyses I've seen contained perhaps a half dozen or so prognosticators, but I can easily count at least 20 books, magazines and websites that published projections last year. How do we know whether there were other touts not chosen for the study that might have fared better?
I've seen qualifiers such as: "We evaluated only those players who had a forecast provided by each of the seven projections systems." This means, the addition or omission of any of the seven prognosticators could change the composition of the players studied, and thus the results of the study.
As such, unless the study is exhaustive, it cannot be completely objective.
Selection of the study variables: We've already discussed the limitations inherent in choosing a study variable. However, those who conduct comparative analysis have to select something to compare. Will it be an overall aggregate gauge like OPS or Win Shares? Will it be a fantasy-relevant gauge like dollar values or fantasy points? Will it be a raw, traditional measure like ERA or batting average? And most important, how do we know that the measuring gauge chosen isn't one that just happens to yield the most favorable results?
As such, unless the study uses a viable test variable, it cannot be completely objective.
Selection of the study methodology: Even if a comparative analysis included all relevant test subjects and somehow found a study variable that made sense, there is still a concern about how the study is conducted. Does it use a recognized, statistically valid methodology for validating or discounting variances? Or does it use a faulty system like the ranking methodology used by Elias to determine Type A, B or C free agents? Such a system -- which ironically is the basis for Rotisserie scoring -- distorts the truth because it can magnify tiny differences in the numbers and minimize huge variances.
As such, unless the study uses a proven, accurate methodology, it cannot be completely objective.
And bias immediately enters into the picture. You simply cannot trust the results.
The only legitimate, objective analysis that can filter out the biases is one that is conducted by an independent third party. But the challenge of conducting such a study is finding a level playing field that all participants can agree on. Given that different touts have different goals for their numbers, that playing field might not exist. And even if one should be found, there will undoubtedly be some participants reluctant to run the risk of finishing last, which could skew the results as well.
Other challenges to assessing projections
Ashley-Perry Statistical Axiom #4: Like other occult techniques of divination, the statistical method has a private jargon deliberately contrived to obscure its methods from non-practitioners.
As users of player projections, and in a hurry to make decisions, we want answers, and quickly. We want to find a trusted source, let them do all the heavy lifting, and then partake of the fruits of their labor. The truth is, the greater the perceived weight of that lifting, the greater the perceived credibility of the source. Only the small percentage of users who speak in that "private jargon" can validate the true credibility. The rest of us have to go on the faith that the existence of experts proficient in these occult techniques is proof enough.
Well, so what? That's why we rely on experts in the first place, isn't it? What is the real problem here?
Complexity for complexity's sake
One of the growing themes that I've been writing about the past few years is the embracing of imprecision in our analyses. This seems counter-intuitive given the growth in our knowledge. But, the game is played by human beings affected by random, external variables; the thought that we can create complex systems to accurately measure these unpredictable creatures is really what is counter-intuitive.
And so, what ends up happening in this world of growing complexity and precision is that we obsess over hundredths of percentage points and treat minute variances as absolute gospel. When George W. Bush proclaimed that his 3.3 million vote margin was a "mandate," the fact was, in terms of popular vote, the margin of victory was only 2.8%. That's like saying the Yankees' 3-game victory over the Red Sox for the A.L. East title -- also about a 3% margin -- was a resounding triumph. Yes, the Yankees did clearly win, but suggesting that a 3% margin is significant is a bit of quantitative spin.
Two buddies go to the ballpark and are stocking up at the concession stand. Their orders arrive but one notices that he was given fewer nachos on his plate than his friend. He takes offense, and to prove his point, starts counting the chips. In the end, for want of confirming what turned out to be a variance of two chips, he missed out on two important facts:
1. Both plates were delicious.
2. The beer was missing.
And we also forget such "hard" baseball facts such as:
The difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter is fewer than 5 hits per month.
A true .290 hitter can bat .254 one year and .326 the next and still be within a statistically valid range for .290.
A pitcher allowing 5 runs in 2 innings will see a different ERA impact than one allowing 8 runs in 5 innings, even though, for all intents and purposes, both got rocked.
And finally, there is the issue of "Marcel the Monkey." This is the assertion by folks on some of the sabermetric blogs that a "chimp forecasting method" - a simplistic averaging of the last few seasons and making minor adjustments for age - is nearly as good as any other, more comprehensive system.
Well... this is mostly true. If 70% accuracy is the best that we can reasonably expect, Marcel gets us about 65% of the way there. All of our "advanced" systems are fighting for occupation of that last 5%.
Gall's Law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
Occam's Razor: When you have two competing theories which make exactly the same predictions, the one that is simpler is preferred.
Even if it was created by a monkey, I suppose.
Married to the model
It's one thing if the model has a name like Claudia Schiffer, but quite another if a tout is so betrothed to his forecasting model that "it" becomes more important than the projections.
Whenever I hear a tout write, "Well, the model spit out these numbers, but I think it's being overly optimistic," I cringe. Well then, change the numbers! The mindset is that you have to cling to the model, for better or for worse, in order to legitimize its existence. The only way to change the numbers is to change the model.
On occasion, I will take a look at one of my projections and admit that I think it's wrong. Usually, it's because I see things in the BPIs that I overlooked the first time through. Then I change the numbers.
In the end, is the goal to have the best model or to have the best projections? That should be a no-brainer.
Hedging and the comfort zone
Given the variability in player performance a "real world" forecast should not yield black or white results. Some touts accomplish this by providing forecast ranges, others by providing decile levels. We provide a single statistical projection, for simplicity's sake, and then color it in our player commentaries. In fact, most touts do this, however, many use the commentary as a hedge against the numbers they've committed to. But when does a hedge negatively impact your ability to assess the accuracy of a projection?
One of the best examples was Ben Sheets last year. This was a pitcher coming off a 4.46 ERA, yet had incredible leading indicators. The typical forecast would never venture into uncharted, sub-4.00 ERA territory because straight computer-generated projections would neither find the history nor see a trend that pointed in that direction.
Still, four of us did break rank. But which of these projections, and comments, was the most committed?
Tout 1 - Us (3.94 ERA projection here last year, updated to 3.82 on BaseballHQ.com): "BPIs are developing nicely, but a 5% drop in his strand rate served to hide those gains in a higher ERA. Keep a close eye on this one. He's at the prime spot to post a breakout season. Major sleeper."
Tout 2 (3.97 ERA): "He's got better stuff than his numbers would indicate but his upside is limited pitching for the Brewers. He would warrant fantasy consideration in NL-only leagues but probably not elsewhere."
Tout 3 (3.83 ERA): "Fewer walks, fewer strikeouts. Hard to say what to make of that. Besides hooray if you're in a 4x4 league, boo if you're in a 5x5 league. Basically the same season."
Tout 4 (3.79 ERA): "Sheets has been a very good pitcher but lacks the consistency to reach the next level. He relies too much on just his curve and fastball... If he can find a third pitch and stay away from the gopher ball then he has a chance to post a sub 4.00 ERA next season."
The other three touts provided skittish recommendations, but their "official" published projections all eclipsed the 4.00 ERA barrier. It's a common hedge. Did they truly believe Sheets had the potential to post a sub-4.00 ERA? You wouldn't know it from their comments alone. That makes it difficult to figure out the "official line" on their projection. In the past, some authors used this tactic as a means of playing both sides so that they always had a winning projection to promote the following year. Thankfully, that level of deception is rare these days.
But also notice that none of us four touts came anywhere close to projecting the season that Sheets really did put up, even though the evidence in his BPIs was strong and supported such a breakout performance.
As a group, there is a strong tendency for all pundits to provide numbers that are more palatable than realistic. That's because committing to either far end of a range of expectation poses a high risk. Few touts will put their credibility on the line like that, even though we all know that those outliers are inevitable. The easy road is often just to split the difference.
I handle this phenomenon in the Baseball Forecaster by offering up the possibility of outlying performances in the commentary. Occasionally, I do commit to "official" outlying projections when I feel the data supports it. But on the whole, most projections are going to be within close range of the mean or median expectation of a player's performance.
I like to call this the comfort zone, a range bordered by the outer tolerances of public acceptability of a projection. In most cases, even if the evidence is outstanding, published pundits will not stray from within the zone.
For instance, nearly everyone in 2004 assumed that a healthy Randy Johnson would be a vintage Randy Johnson, yet not one tout had him down for a 20 win, 2.50 ERA season. Most touts doubted Esteban Loaiza's ability to repeat his 2003 numbers, but nobody was willing to risk the possibility that he might revert to his pre-2003 form. In fact, in a survey of 10 touts last April, eight of them projected an ERA between 3.50 and 3.93, even though Loaiza had never posted an ERA in that range in his entire career.
They say that the winners in any fantasy league are those who have the most outliers on their teams. There is an element of truth to this. It is likely that owners who rostered surprises like Johan Santana and Adrian Beltre fared well in the standings this past year. The problem is, these type of performances are the most difficult to project. Still, the prognosticators who fare the best in this exercise should get their props, shouldn't they?
According to analyst John Burnson, the answer is no. He says: "The issue is not the success rate for one player, but the success rate for all players. No system is 100% reliable, and in trying to capture the outliers, you weaken the middle and thereby lose more predictive pull than you gain. At some level, everyone is an exception!"
Peter Kreutzer again: "Those projections that are outside the comfort zone, as Ron calls it, are flashy, but they're of little statistical use. What you want is to follow the predictor who gets the general flow (guys who improve, guys who fall off) more right than anyone else. If someone does that they'll make you money in almost any league."
Yes! That "general flow" is far more important than any pure accuracy level. And far more attainable. And perhaps, that is the study variable that makes the most sense.
Berkeley's 17th Law: A great many problems do not have accurate answers, but do have approximate answers, from which sensible decisions can be made.
Maybe I'm a bit exasperated by this obsession with prognosticating accuracy because my own projections system is more prone to stray from the norm - by design - and thus potentially fare worse in any comparative analysis. My system is not a computer that just spits out numbers. I don't spend my waking hours tinkering with algorithms so that I can minimize my mean squared errors. My computer model only spits out an objective baseline and then the process becomes hands-on and highly subjective.
From the Projections Notes page at BaseballHQ.com:
"Skills performance baselines are created for every player beginning each fall. The process starts as a 5-year statistical trend analysis and includes all relevant performance data, including major league equivalents. The output from this process is a first-pass projection.
"Our computer model then generates a series of flags, highlighting relevant BPI data, such as high workload for pitchers, contact rate and PX levels trending in tandem, xERAs far apart from real ERAs, etc. These flags are examined for every player and subjective adjustments are made to all the baseline projections based on a series of "rules" that have been developed over time."
As an example, let's look at Pujols. After hitting 37, 34, 43, and 46 HRs, his baseline projection called for 42, which represented a normal regression to the mean. However, our flags pointed out consistent upward trends in contact rate, fly ball ratio, batting eye and a second half surge in his power index. Add in his alleged age (25) and a reliability rating of 94, and all signs pointed north for his power trend to continue. Our projection now calls for 50 HRs.
Why 50? I believe it is reasonable to expect Pujols to maintain his second half PX level for a full six months, given the trends in his skills. For some people, it might take a moment to accept 50, but the more you look at it, the more it passes the eyeball test. This is a player with no true comparables in history. All we have is our eyeballs and a general idea of what makes sense. Fifty makes sense to me.
The end result of this system is not just a set of inert numbers. As I mentioned earlier, I consider the commentary that accompanies the numbers to be just as vital a part of the "projection," if not more so. Think of it this way... The numbers provide a foundation for our expectations, the "play-by-play," if you will. The commentary, driven by all the BPIs, provides the "color." Both, in tandem, create the complete picture.
Admittedly, a system with subjective elements tends to give classic sabermetricians fits. But that's okay because, at the end of the day we're still dealing with...
a bunch of human beings
each with their own individual skill sets
each with their own individual rates of growth and decline
each with different abilities to resist and recover from injury
each limited to opportunities determined by other people
and each generating a group of statistics largely affected by tons of external noise.
Now here's the kicker... In the end, my primary goal is not accuracy. My goal is to shape the draft day behavior of fantasy leaguers. For certain players with marked BPI levels or trends, I often publish projections that are not designed to reflect a "most likely case" scenario but rather present a "strong enough case to influence your decision- making." There are reasons to stray beyond the comfort zone.
For instance, sometimes, when my projection says $27, it is intended solely to make you say $22 when the bidding stops at $21 (assuming the context of normal market conditions). If I had published a projection of $23 or $24, that's not enough of a psychological push for you to take that last leap of faith. I need a set of numbers that screams at you: "These BPIs could be HUGE! His upside could be far greater than any projection system would reasonably predict! It's worth the risk-yes, SAY $22!"
And I want you to make these decisions with a minimum of hesitation. That lack of hesitation comes from a trust I try to build between us, from sound analysis and a 19-year track record that has been shown to work.
How can I play so loose with dollar values? Because they are entirely market-driven anyway. If you are convinced that Eric Chavez is worth $26 and land him for $21, you will have overpaid if the rest of the league sees him as no more than a $17 player. Even if he is really worth $35. So my goal is to get you into the mode of playing off that volatility with the knowledge of where your profit opportunities really lie.
And that answers the question, "For any player, what is the one piece of information that is far more important than the most accurate projection?" That information is how the other owners in your league value that player. If you know that, and have a sense of a player's potential, it doesn't matter a whit how accurate your projections are.
So our track record is not necessarily built on any given level of prognosticating accuracy. Our track record is built on a series of analytical tools and a decision-making process that has led to success in playing this game. And since your ultimate goal is to fare better in your fantasy competitions, I see this all as a justifiable means to an end.
I'm not publishing deliberately inaccurate projections. I'm just taking a potential reality from an upper or lower decile, based on strong underlying indicators, and engaging in a bit of behavior modification. If you are offended by the psychological implications, I apologize. If you now consider me a sabermetric hack, I've been called worse. But the users of this information seem to be winning their leagues so I'll accept the baggage that comes along with it.
It's all about winning. Reasonably accurate projections are important, but will only get you part of the way there. The rest is knowing what to do with the information, especially at the draft table. Even if you had a crystal ball and knew exactly what every player's statistics were going to be next year, you can still lose at this game.
I believe your goal is to win. As such, you should not worry if my analysis says that David Ortiz is going to hit 39 HRs and the other prognosticator says 42. Even if his projection is powered by the latest shiny, new computer model, by next October 2, the difference between his and mine may be three unexpected gusts of wind.
Baseball Variation of Harvard Law: Under the most rigorously observed conditions of skill, age, environment, statistical rules and other variables, a ballplayer will perform as he damn well pleases.
Will take a old time tested play with Angels at Texas Rangers. You know the fan forcast is 78% on Angels today? Yet money line is Texas -135 from -130. Why is this whipping boy team of Angels getting the money today is in part what was said on their official web site about keeping their team healthy and resting players. Rangers are one of the 2nd half young surging team with everything to prove. This might be a soft Los Angeles team on the field tonight.
Don't forget Santana away 1-9 with 8.33 ERA, 1.85 WHIP and .401 OBP. When he takes the mound on road trips Angels are 3-10. What's not to like about the home team?
TEX -125 for 2 units(W)
1-0 +2.00 units
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants
Harang against Blackley. The price has been dropping for the road favorites, although they were over priced to start, this might be closer to fair price.
Pitching angles are Aaron Harrang (16-4) with Reds winning impressive 24-8 and his road numbers are better than at home, 9 quality out of 15 road starts with Reds 13-2. His current form is very good 5 quality outof last 7 with Reds 5-2 .
Travis Blackley, Australian import and one time Seattle prospect has not been all that since missing 2005 (surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder) In Fresno triple A Grizzlies recorded 4-3 from July 14 to Sep. 1, his last 10, I think Reds will hit and out pitch him for most of this game. So I will play.
Reds -138 for 2 units(L)
Oh crap missed my deadline!
Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs
Grozelanny is a 50% pitcher for Pittsburgh and that's not good enough to take the Cubs on a mission. Tom has faired well but Bucks have lost game without his decision. Zambrano is hard to figure especially when he's at home, but he is a big game guy and Cubs do need this win.
Simply Bucks are done and Zambrano in late season will shut them down. I'll play the Runline.
Cubs -1.5 at +101 for 2 units(W)
Baltimore at Texas
Can we get this total to go any higher! I know everyone likes the Over, but both of these teams match up Under with Under trending ump.
BAL/TEX UNDER 10.5 at -103 for 2 units(W)
Seattle Mariners at Angels
Lackey beats Weaver no problem. Jeff Weaver has been inconsistant this season he is worthy of a fade with rising WHIP and OBP. Big John Lackey maybe tough to out do his last outing, but 1.09 WHIP in his last three, 10-5 at home with one of best home team in Majors.
LAA -1.5 at -108 for 2 units(W)
Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamond Backs
Chad Billingsley against Edgar Gonzalez. For this game the Pitching angle does not hold merit as Dodgers season is folding and their effort to disrupt Arizona is not all there. Yes these are proffessional basebal players but at this point Dodgers just look tired to me. Billingsley holds advantage and he has been pitching well, but pen is not to be trusted and Melvin has been making calls like this is post season games.
ARZ +105 for 1 unit(L)
3-2 +2.26 units
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Angels over Seattle -122 for 1 unit(L)
Oakland at Cleveland Under 9 at +100 for 2 units(L)
Colorado over San Diego +148 for 1 unit(W)
Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamond Backs Over 8.5 at +100 for 2 units( L)
Game have turn it's tide, days are dark, nights are cold and I have miles to go before I sleep.
1-3 -3.74 units
Friday, September 21, 2007
Pirates over Cubs at Wrigley. Pirates have played Cubs well this year and this is too high of a price for Cubbies. Marquis 8-3 home (Cubs 12-4) is good, but 4.09 ERA is not convincing. His recent form is good, but Cubs are only 2-3 in his last 5. I'm not going to cast a stone at Maholm for getting rocked in his last outing. His stock hold value and he was solid in August.
PIT +195 for 1 unit(L)
Adding following games 1 unit each.
PHL/WAS OVER 8.5 at -108(W)
MIL/ATL UNDER 9 at -105 (W)
STL -111 (L)
COL/SDP OVER 7 at +103(L)
3-3 -0.11 units
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Jon Garland takes the ball for surging White Sox and Royals will counter with Zack Greinke. Seems like these teams are turning in opposite directions or maybe returning to norm.
Sox are winning again and Royals are losing, but books are not adjusting so KC remains home favorites. I'll take the dog and waiting to pull the trigger.
Both pitchers are in good form and teams trend Under, but 8.5 is kind of low.
CWS +113 for 2 units(L)
LAA -1.5 Runline at +104 for 1 unit(W)
1-1 -1.00 unit
1-1 last selection YTD 102-75-1 +41.89 units
New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Mike Pilfrey against Matt Chico
Game UNDER 9.5 at -106 for 1 unit(L)
Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Brad Penny against Josh Fogg
Game UNDER 9.5 at +108 for 1 unit(L)
San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks
Barry Zito against Doug Davis
Game UNDER 8.5 at +100 for 1 unit(L)
Looks like I'm running out of time to give you the skinny. Totals are technical bias in my opinion. Basic number are readily available and you should accumulate your own set of micro numbers. When my micro numbers fit the macro numbers (readily available stats) it holds advantage. So without telling you much play them if you agree.
Sorry fellas plays sucked today.
0-3 -3.06 units
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tuesday night baseball National League West.
Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres
Gregg Maddux will take the home mound and he will be favored as Pads have dominated this match up. Bucks sending lefty Gorzelanny and Under money has pushed the total to 7 from 7.5
I like both trends to break here with Tom pitching Bucks are 8-3 away and though Maddux raises the bar on pitching he is only 50% Under. I'll be taking the higher total at 7.5
PIT +141 for 1 unit(L)
PIT/SDP OVER 7.5 at +135 for 1 unit(W)
What a grind!
1-1 +0.35 units
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Is a one sided proposition late in Season with New York looking to win every game left, playing at home (47-27) against 'ready for a vacation Baltimore'. But let's consider how draining the Boston series was... Look back and see Baltimore has taken all the series against Yankees this year, not to mention Cabrera's 6 inning 2 hit no run performance in New York (8/14 Baltimore win @NYY 12-0). Another note here is Cabrera's wildness being not as apparent on the road with 67% quality starts. Baltimore comes in winning the series at Toronto, winning 3 of last 4 since stopping the sweep against Angels on 9/13.
Young Phil Hughes is a pitcher with stuff to stay in the Majors and offensive surges must take off some pressure, but he is a rookie who climbed the system very fast and more than likely will not factor into the result. He would of taken the loss against Baltimore last time if not for the O's pen getting Phil off the hook only to have Mariano give up 3 runs for that Yankees loss (8/15 Baltimore win @NYY 6-3)
Mariano was scary against BoSox in Sunday's game loading the bases it sure looked like another Ortiz walk off moment.
Play the sleeper Yankee nemesis of 2007.
BAL +235 for 1 unit(L)
Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Red Sox travels north to match up with McGowan and Blue Jays. Toronto does not look inspired as they have dropped Baltimore, Tampa and New York series along with Tigers make up game for 3-7 record in last 10 games. Boston will not get any easier with 1-5 record against Red Sox in Toronto this season and Wakefield has been tough on Jays. Still Jays are winners at home and Boston after a Yankee series might show some after effects. Personally I side with Red Sox, but my play here is UNDER 9.5 McGowan is O/U 7-16 overall, at home 3-8, against AL East 1-6 showing 5 quality starts in last 7 with very good 1.037 WHIP.
Wakefield O/U 14-13-1 but 4-10 away. Coming off two rare ND starts and may have Over trend for Aug. & Sep, but where he has pitched deep he's not giving up much runs.
BOS/TOR UNDER -108 for 1 unit(W)
1-1 +0.00 units
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Belisle for visitor against Villanueva is a game I will back the Over 10 at plus money. Both of these team are capable of erupting and I don't think the starters will go the distance.
CIN/MIL OVER 10 at +104 for 1 unit(L)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Seattle Mariners
Working on several angles here but my main motivation here is Washburn's sub par start 44% Seattle wins 4 quality starts in last 7 producing 1-6 record with Over cashing 3 in a row, 4 out of last 5 and even the 3 under prior games Mariners gave up 6, 5 and 4 runs. Sonnanstine plain plays Over 12-5, 8-2 away and 6-1 Over in last 7 games.
TAM/SEA OVER 9.5 +110 for 1 unit(W)
1-1 +0.10 units
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox
Jered Weaver coming off a home loss to Cleveland will try to right the ship against Jon Garland and Chicago White Sox. Jered 41% wins for Angels on the road compared to 69% at home is currently in good form pitching 5 quality out of last 7 with Angels winning 5-2. He is also good at rebounding after non quality outing, but the number I like here is his O/U 9-15
Jon Garland has 18 quality starts out of 29 games splitting 9 at home and away. Sox are not winning behind him and are 5-9 at home but does have Under advantage at O/U 4-8-2.
LAA/CWS UNDER 9 +107 for 1 unit(W)
1-0 +1.07 units
Friday, September 14, 2007
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox.
Daisuke Matsuzaka affectionately known as Dice-K is rolling snake eyes, three's and box carts.
Dice K leading BoSox starters with money lost. 5 quality out of 12 home starts, 3 quality out of 7 Aug & Sep starts and only reason for Boston having a winning record of 8-4 with Dice K at home is because the bats are out slugging their opponents. I think Boston media is right on Dice K being out of gas. Pettite gets the call for New York he is 12 quality out of 16 road games better than 8 out of 14 at home. He is 5 quality out of last 7 and Yankees have won 6-1.
NYY -114 for 1 unit(W)
Kansas City Royal at Cleveland Indians
CC Sabathia looks like a man on mission 7 out of last 7 quality starts. Indians are 12-5 at home with CC getting the ball he has not given up more than 2 runs since July 29th (only 1 earned run) for more than 2 earned runs go back to July 19th.
As good and tough as he is KC has beat him twice and he needed a shut out to get the only win this season with 1-0 score. Bannister for KC is the top money pitcher even though he was clobbered by New York in last outing. He is 5 quality out of last 7, 9 quality out of 12 road games with KC taking 8 of the 14 winners on the road. Bannister has beaten the Indians 6/6 in Cleveland pitching 7 strong innings and backers got a nice +200 price on that contest.
KCR +198 for 1 unit(L)
Arizona Diamond Back at Los Angeles Dodgers.
Here is LA's top gun Brad Penny taking the mound he has earned more than 4 times Billingsley, who is 2nd money pitcher, with excellent 25 quality out of 30 games, 14 out of 17 home starts and Dodgers are 12-5 at home with Penny. I do see rising WHIP and ERA in Aug & Sep and there are declining tendencies in second half. Arizona is 19 games above .500 and they are winning games, 7-3 Sept and Davis is Arizona's top money pitcher, he's made more than double of Webb, with 19-11 team record and 4 quality out of last 7 D-Backs are 6-1. He has recorded 4 wins after 5 ND's. Arizona is 4-2 at Dodger Stadium this season and have faired well running 3 seasons now at 14-10. Zona as dogs 4 times in Sept is 3-1.
Take a chance on D-Backs as more pressure is on LA.
ARZ +157 for 1 unit(L)
Tampa Bay at Seattle Mariners
This is the 5th meet of 7 games between these two teams. Felix Hernandez (12-7)will take the ball for the home team. He has pitched 3 quality out of last 7 and bit unpredictable as he alternates double digit hits with 5, 3, 4 and 6 hits in Sept. & Aug. but Mariners play winning ball with 6-1 record and if the pattern holds true he will have a good outing tonight. Mariners 10-4 at home with Felix. James Shield (12-8) will go for D-Rays. He is 6 quality out of last 7 games record of 4-1 with Rays winning 6-1. James pitched back to back 7 innings in Sept. and back to back 8 innings before that all won by D-Rays, but keep in mind the timing of his starts matched him with cold hitting Oakland, Baltimore *twice and Toronto. Seattle bats are heating up a bit. Mariners won the series in Tampa 3-2, won 4 straight and 8 of last 9 in Seattle.
SEA -134 for 1 unit(W)
2-2 0.00 units
Thursday, September 13, 2007
New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Ian Kennedy is holding his own in the Bigs but I'm basically taking him out of the equation or factoring neutral pitchers rating for Yanks and giving Toronto the pitching advantage with Burnett in recent form. Since returning from DL in August, 6 quality out of last 7 starts and strong 8 quality out of 9 home starts. So the hypothesis is hot pitcher against a hot team winning 5 or more consecutive games I tip my hat to the hot team. Sure Jays have talents in their line up to chase Kennedy out but they have not been cashing in the runs. AJ Burnett coming off 8 inning 3 hit 1 run 8K's 1BB outing which I feel was a peak performance since August which means due for a drop tonight and he is susceptible to long balls. Jays are marginal 5-4 with AJ on mound at home and marginal 4-3 in last 7 games.
NYY +101 for 1 unit(L)
Kennedy out pitched Burnett and NY blow the game with Britton.
0-1 -1.00 unit
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
September has not been kind to the Royals starting the month splitting the Minny road series losing the Texas road series came home got swept by Yankees and now they are on the verge of back to back sweep against the Twins. Silva getting the ball has already beat them twice and Royals will send capable but hard luck Gil Meche to stop the bleeding at 7.
I think they have a good chance. Carlos Silva is pitching strong with 6 quality out of last 7. Take out the Cleveland game and rest of August is all 7 innings of work 2 runs or less two 6 innings 3 run starts in September, but Twins are 3-4 in those starts. His 11-13 and Twins 13-16 are combined balance of grossly opposite home 8-4 (Twins 10-5) road 3-9 (Twins 3-11) record.
Gil Meche has no wins to show for his recent effort you'll have to go back to July 20 at Cleveland and Royals are only 40% winner with Meche at home or away but if you notice O/U 4-11 at home he's tight at Kauffman and Royals record does not do justice. I do like KC here, but like the Under better.
MIN/KCR UNDER 8.5 at +116 for 1 unit(L)
Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Braves will send Smoltz to the mound and he has 23 quality out of 28 games and tough luck record of 13-7 Braves winning 16-12. His team wins marginal 57% but only 2 of Braves 7 recent losses with Smoltz are more than 1 run. He is 7 quality for last 7 games. Maine has only 6 quality out of 14 home starts with Mets going 7-7. He has only 1 quality start out of last 7. Braves line up maybe little lite but like Smoltz at this price.
ATL +102 for 1 unit(L)
0-2 -2.00 units
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Boston Red Sox
Curt Schilling (8-6) 12 quality starts out of 21, 5 out of 10 at home maybe he's going to turn it up in post season but for now he's middle of the pack pitcher matter of fact losing money with majority of losses at -125 to -150 money line Red Sox winning 12-9 with Curt on the mound is not cutting it. It hasn't been easier 2-4 since Aug and 4.50ish ERA.
Here comes the under estimated, under rated 12-4 in last 16 Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I'm not feeling BoSox middle line up and Kazmir gets the ball. Top money pitcher for Devil Rays Kazmir with excellent K to BB has been giving up the long ball of late but good spot in Boston to bring his "A" game. D-Ray bats have been hot lately and I look for them to sneak this win.
1-0 +1.54 units
Sunday, September 09, 2007
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies
Young has not been 100% and he's been showing it on the mound. Yesterday's Colorado loss with anemic performance at home with Francis was a rarity and Fog is pitching under the radar.
1-0 +1.22 units
Saturday, September 08, 2007
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies
Good pitching match up with Maddux against Francis. The wise old veteran 18 quality out of 27 games is in fine recent form hitting 6 quality out of last 7 with 4-1 record and Pads going 6-1 with 0.970 WHIP and 2.44 ERA but if you take the prior 7 games he has 2 quality 1-5 record with Pads going 2-5 making Gregg Maddux a bit more human. He may sparkle at home (team 10-4) but he's not all that away (team 6-9)
Jeff Francis 16 quality out of 29 starts stat numbers may not equal that of Maddux but that's understandable for a starter in mile high city. Had undefeated July with Rox winning all 5 of those starts, had 4-2 August showing some trouble traveling through SoCal, dropping one to Pads *with Maddux and one to Dodgers with Penny but rebounded taking care of Giants at the Bay and home.
Francis on the mound Rox are 11-4 at home 15-5 against RHP, 11-6 as favorites and 8-5 against NL West. Padres pen not all that scary in second half.
COL -122 for 1 unit
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs.
Lowe better on road starts 10 quality out of 16 games compared to 6 out of 12 and Dodgers are true to the term "win at home tie on the road" with Lowe 7-5 home and 8-8 road record. He was chased at San Diego giving up a Grand Slam to Cameron and Gonzalez crushed another. The long ball has been over a month long problem serving them up 6 out of last 7, back to back multi homer games but strike to walk ratio is excellent and batters are grounding out in droves. O/U 15-11-2 overall, 7-9 away, Aug & one Sept starts 4-1-1.
Jason Marquis quality differential is not much home/away the difference is team wins at home going 12-3 vs away 6-7 O/U is 12-13-3 overall, 8-6-1 home, Aug. & one Sept. starts 2-4. Jason also keeping it on the ground. I think cubs split the series here but also like Lowe to improve. Wind maybe blowing out but number looks too high.
CUBS ML +102 for 1 unit(L)
LAD/CUBS UNDER 11.5 -114 for 1 unit(W)
Cubs had this game in their hip pocket and the number should of been more like 6 instead of 11!
Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels.
Paul Byrd has been good this season matter of fact he is the top money pitcher in Indian's rotation. Not much differential home and away but he does show a much better road 3.49 ERA. He is O/U 4-7-1 away and only thing I don't like is Byrd coming off a complete game shutout. Escobar is 2nd in money among Angel starters but not much difference between Lackey, Escobar and Saunders. 15 home starts 10 quality and Angels are 11-4. O/U 9-17 overall, 6-9 at home and 7-16 as favorite poised to have a quality outing tonight.
CLE/LAA UNDER 9 at -119 for 1 unit(L)
1-2 -1.19 units
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Almost game time.
Oaklnad A's at Los Angeles Angels.
We have two good pitchers going today. Joe Blanton 11-9 with a 3.88 ERA against top money earning starter for Angels Joe Saunders 7-2 with 3.61 ERA. Though this match up suggest Under implication with relatively high 9.5 Blanton's quality outing is less than 50% at 6 out of 15 games, 5-4 with A's recording 7-8 and importantly 5.27 ERA. Total O/U 9-5-1. Recent form 4 quality out of last 7 recording 3-2 with 4.53 ERA.
Saunders is also weaker at home with 2 quality out of 8 games but getting big offensive lift with Angels recording 6-2 while Saunders have 4.64 ERA. Last 7 games 3 quality starts 3-2 but Angels are still 5-2. Total O/U 6-2 for Saunders at home.
OAK/LAA OVER 9.5 +113 for 1 unit(L)
0-1 -1.00 unit
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Happy labor day fellas. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. We all work hard for our money, but you know what's better? Winning it!
Florida Marlins at Washington Nationals.
This game will feature bad pitching and not much viewing interest, but Jason Bergmann 2-5 is a low man on Washington pitching staff getting -130 on opening money line. He is unlikely to factor into the result with one quality out of last 7 with Nats going 2-5 in those starts. Nats are 50% (3-3) on his home starts and there are memorable wins, but it's few and far in between.
Rick Vandenhurk 1-2 has no quality starts out of 5, but maybe the game samples are too small and coming off good outings in last 2 games should help his confidence. Marlins to out perform Nats in early game.
FLA +116 for 1 unit(L)
I have one more. Another game with little meaning...
Kansas City Royal at Texas Rangers.
Zack Greinke back in rotation with 2 games under his belt he looks good to go, 119 pitches 7 innings of work 6 hits no runs 1 walk and 7 strike outs, he is scheduled to go about 80 pitches and pen has been doing their job. Loe coming off a 5 inning no decision Texas win against White Sox and Rangers are playing very good baseball of late. Loe will be the key and his quality starts are low 9 out of 22 games 6 of those at home in 13 games but consider his recent form in 3 games with 16.2 innings of work 18 hits 11 runs only 4 earned 7 walks and 13 strike outs giving him 2.16 ERA. Loe is O/U 7-13-2 overall 3-9-1 at home. Texas boasts 4th best pen in the Majors. I look for a tight game here and hoping the weather holds. Head to head O/U 1-4-1 this season, all 3 games at Texas went Under and Under trends at Texas against KC for 3 seasons O/U 2-6-1
KCR/TEX UNDER 9.5 at +106 for 2 units(W)
1-1 +1.00 units
Saturday, September 01, 2007
New York Mets at Atlanta Braves.
Early action big game with Mets 74-60 overall and good road record of 39-30 against Braves 69-66 and home record of 34-32 but known to heat up in September. These two teams in recent form is producing just above 9 runs average. Glavine looks hittable with 1.63 WHIP last 3 games and Braves hitting lefties .353 average over last 10 games up from .276 average. Smoltz is better on the road, quality and team wins, but he is pitching well right now with 6 quality out of last 7 only his team is 3-4. Come to think of it Glavine has 6 quality out of last 7 and Mets are 3-4. There has been 2 meets this season with Mets losing both and splitting Over/Under 1-1 but games are too old. This is what I think with money moving Over 8.5 both pitchers are wise old warriors pitching in September good chance of bringing their A-game. Glavine 5-10-1 O/U in away games, 2-7-1 O/U against NL East. Smoltz 3-8-1 O/U in home games, 3-8-0 O/U against NL East. This match up is currently 1-7 O/U in Atlanta this season.
How did I get +118? Offered it on the Overnight line at Matchbook and someone took the Over at -118 giving me Under +118! Very nice.
Backing NYM/ATL Under 8.5 at +118 for 1 unit(W)
Late game addition with double down big dog.
Texas Ranger at Los Angeles Angels.
Rangers are surging and they will send Gabbard who is pitching very well. Lackey for Angels has been money all season but he is hittable and good at toughing it out of jams. The problem with Angels at this expensive price is they are playing uninspired baseball once again. After sweeping Seattle at Seattle they should be blowing out this whipping boy team from Texas but they are not and Rangers have been in it for this series. Can Angels drop this series? I know how unlikely this may seem at home, but do not under estimate a team on a surge.
TEX +206 for 2 units(W)
2-0 +5.30 units