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## Thursday, May 26, 2022

#### How Good Are Those Probabilities on the Apple TV+ Broadcasts?

That’s a mouthful, so let’s take an example. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the count-based model gave a batter a 30% chance of reaching base. If the nVenue probability was higher than that, I had them bet “reach base.” If it was lower, they bet “don’t reach base.” The payout is simple: if the model “bets” on reaching base, the payout is 0.7 if the player reaches base (1-0.3), and -0.3 if the player doesn’t reach base. It’s the same for every pitch; the “payout” is either one minus the odds (for a positive result) or the negative of the odds (for a negative result).

You could rinse my model by gambling against it this way. All you have to do is bet on good outcomes when the batter/pitcher matchup favors the hitter (a platoon advantage, say, or a great hitter against a bad pitcher) and vice versa when the opposite is true. It should be incredibly easy to beat this count-only prediction.

In practice, the count-only prediction drubbed nVenue’s displayed probabilities. Over those 2,075 pitches, the nVenue prediction did slightly worse than breakeven when gambling against the count-only predictions, losing 11 units across the entire set. On the other hand, when the count-only predictions got to gamble against nVenue’s posted number, it racked up a score of 134.8 units.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 03:30 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
Tags: apple tv

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1. Zach Posted: May 26, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6078555)
Pretty good article.

In general, it seems to me that the on-screen odds suffer from over-fitting. Even if you’re not a statistical sort, you can implicitly understand this from watching a few baseball broadcasts over the years.

Yes.

I think if you wanted to do this for real, the best way would be to break it up:

0th order approximation: the average rate at which event X happens.

1st order approximations:
-count based delta for rate at which event X happens.
-pitcher- and batter based delta for rate at which event X happens.

2nd order approximations:
- controls for handedness of pitcher / batter in first order approximations.

Think it through that way, and it's really hard to see how you could ever have Soler at 19% to hit a homer just based on a 2-0 count. You'd have to have implausibly large deltas for batter, pitcher, and count.

Over 600 at bats, a 5% chance of hitting a home run is 30 home runs. That's as much as the difference between an average batter and a 50 HR hitter. This prediction system is giving Soler three adjustments that large! Has to be overfitting.
2. Paul D(uda) Posted: May 27, 2022 at 07:20 AM (#6078640)
Yesterday's effectively wild podcast was an interview with the CEO of this company. They gently grilled her, and it's a good listen
3. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: May 27, 2022 at 12:47 PM (#6078672)
...and the second half is a convo about tfa.
4. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6078935)
Hmph! Back in my day, ballgames wasn't on the telly-tube, but on KORN radio, broadcastin' from a cornfield! "Crazy Eddie" Lipschitz was the announcer, and he never made no predictions until the big game against Central City and ol' Casey came up inna the ninth! He said, "Well, sir, I'll bet even money that ol' Casey'll get a hit here!" Instead, he struck out and we lost the game! So, ol' Casey jumped into the press box with his bat and pounded Eddie into hamburger meat, live on the air! And the crowd cheered! Yessir, we had real men in them days...!

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