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MLB Division Betting

  • 02-04-2013 11:23am
    Registered Users Posts: 13,219 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    As promised, here are my finishing positions for 2013. I'll give you a brief overview of how I projected these.

    Firstly, I took the amount of Runs Scored and Runs Allowed (conceded) for each team in the majors in 2013.

    Following this I used the Pythagorean Expectation formula using x = 1.83 as an exponent as opposed to the generally accepted exponent x = [(RS + RA)/G]0.285

    The reason for choosing 1.83 (which is Bill James' own adjustment to the formula) is purely just preference, as I think both exponents predict to a similar level and using a constant just makes it simpler. So the formula used is:


    So what this gives me is an expected win total for each team based on the actual number of runs that they scored and allowed.

    For instance in 2012 the San Diego Padres scored 651 runs and allowed 710. This means that their winning % should have been 46% or 74.6 games in 2012 (regular season is 162 games)

    However, the Padres actually won 76 games in 2012 with those run totals. This allows us to suggest that the Padres were a slightly lucky team in 2012, winning a game more than might have been expected based on their run totals.

    Of course, luck is what cannot be predicted. Some teams will be lucky and some teams will be unlucky. If you follow certain sabermetrics commentators you will find them predicting 2013 run totals based on individual players weighted on base percentages and extrapolating up to team totals. Now I have tried this in the past, but I just think that there are so many variables in baseball and so many instances of luck, that we cannot rely on statistical projections 100%.

    So what I have done this year, instead of statistically predicting 2013 win totals based on projected runs, I am subjectively adjusting actual win totals from 2012 based on opinion of what has changed per team in the areas of offence, rotation and bullpen. (this is a basic adjustment with a +/- system on my opinionated factor of whether each area has improved or dis-improved from 2012, I had help from various sources such as Baseball Prospectus 2013, Fangraphs, SABR community)

    This resulted in me getting a win total for every Major League team. Now I put these in each division. While these are presented as an end-of-year look at the divisions, the real detail from the projections comes at a team level. So while these look like division predictions, just remember that I did not set out to predict each division, rather I set out to predict each team's win total and then stacked them up at the end.

    So if you find markets for win lines this could also be useful. I already have big Overs for the Astros (59.0), Rays (86.5), Nationals (92), Padres (74), and Indians (77.5). (numbers in parentheses are Paddy Power lines) And also Unders on Cubs (72.5), Royals (78.5), Blue Jays (89), Giants (97.5), and Miami (63).

    Also if you really want long term calls now, I think Angels will win the American League and beat National League winners the Nationals in the World Series. However you shouldn't be betting on these markets right now, or even until the season ends and playoffs begin. It's a lot easier to project over 162 games than a playoff series. Kind of like the way with the Premier League you can predict which of 3/4 teams will win rather than FA Cup where any of 5-10 teams might win at the start of a season.

    Enough rambling! Any questions please post them here. Also check out my log in the Challenges/Logs forum for match bets during the year. Here's the projections: