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Odds Newsbeat

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How Much Do the Playoff Odds Change in a Shorter Season?

Will there be a 2020 baseball season? How many games will teams play? What will that mean for the 2020 baseball season? Normally, these would be extremely upsetting questions to contemplate; in the world in which we’re currently living, they’re somewhere around the 75,000th most important quandaries facing us. But as someone qualified to serve as a baseball writer rather than an epidemiologist, they’re also the kinds of questions I can actually seek to answer, and the differences between how baseball will eventually look versus what we’re used to are bigger than you might think. Assuming we have a season, that is; if no games are played, the projections will be 100% accurate.

So how much do the playoff races change in a shorter season? To answer this, I spent the weekend reconfiguring ZiPS so that it wouldn’t assume a 162-game season — an eventuality I had hoped not to have to deal with unless or until there was a strike — allowing me to run playoff probabilities for seasons of any length. Let’s start with the baseline projections, how ZiPS saw the races before the world turned upside down


There are no COVID-19-based changes in here, just the projection based on if the world had frozen in place two weeks ago and everything happened as we would normally expect. But let’s assume we hit one of the better-case scenarios, get a quickie two weeks of “spring training” in late May, and start the season on June 1. Let’s further assume that, with MLB having a vested interest in playing as many games as possible without killing people, they come to an agreement to play the playoffs in neutral warm-weather cities throughout November, giving the league an extra month to play regular-season games. Under this scenario, the league could theoretically fit somewhere around 140 games in. How do great teams look in a 140-game season instead of a 162-game one? Let’s run the numbers.

Before we do, keep in mind that there’s no adjustment made in the below numbers for, say, James Paxton and Aaron Judge being healthy. We’re just trying to gauge how much things change based only on season length

Jim Mora has some thoughts on this topic….


QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: odds, playoffs, shortened season

Saturday, February 22, 2020

MLB 2020 Division Winners: Favorites and Best Bets

With spring training now in full swing, betting boards at the Westgate SuperBook are loaded with a massive variety of futures betting options. That includes prices to win each of the six regular season division championships.

Will the Yankees steamroll to back-to-back AL East titles? Will the Dodgers rule the NL West for an eighth straight season? Are any dark horses poised to make a breakthrough? Here is an early look at each team’s title chances.

New York Yankees Are Thick AL East Chalk

New York Yankees: -1200
Tampa Bay Rays: +800
Boston Red Sox: +1600
Toronto Blue Jays: +10000
Baltimore Orioles: +100000

Something for the gamblers among us- interesting to think of how mainstream this sort of thing became so quickly…..


QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, odds

Friday, February 21, 2020

A Quick Look at Our Playoff Odds

With the release of full ZiPS projections, our playoff odds are up and running. For the most part that means putting a number to things that we already know. The Dodgers are 97.7% likely to make the playoffs, which sounds about right. The NL Central is a four-way tossup with the Cubs out in the lead. The NL East has three teams each with around a one-in-three chance at it. That all tracks with intuition.

Indeed, for the most part, the standings are self-explanatory. That doesn’t mean that everything is obvious and intuitive, however. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the cases where a deeper dive is necessary.

It’s tempting to think of a team’s expected win total as just a sum of their WAR. After all, the W is right there in the acronym! As Dan notes every year, however, adding up WAR totals on a depth chart isn’t a great way to go about things. Rather than just do that blindly, however, we can look at teams whose projected wins diverge the most from their WAR.

To do that, we’ll need each team’s projected WAR totals. Thankfully, there’s a handy page that shows all that data. The Dodgers have the most projected WAR and the Orioles have the least.

Well, no better time of year to start making such predictions than the present…...


QLE Posted: February 21, 2020 at 01:18 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: odds




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