Friday, March 30, 2012

R.A. Dickey is a top 25 pitcher

I have been getting frustrated over the last few weeks seeing fantasy drafts happen where Dickey goes undrafted, as a response I have been issuing a challenge that no one can prove R.A. Dickey is not a top 25 pitcher using a rational stats based argument. Here are some numbers I am using to back my claim:

In 2011 Dickey posted a 3.28 ERA, 25th lowest in baseball.

Dickey Posted a 4.9 rWAR in 2011, that's 6th amongst all NL pitchers.

He finished 29th in strikes thrown with 2101

He finished 27th in baseball for IP, with 208.2

He was tied for 17th in Quality Starts with 22 (the other guys he was tied with Buehrle, Sabathia and King Felix).

Further evidence can be found in some of my previous posts: here, here and here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mets Gambling Preview part 2: Player Props

Yesterday we looked at the odds for various bets based on the Mets team performance as a whole. Today we will take a look at individual player prop bets (short for proposition). These bets all take place as over/unders (O/U) and odds are provided by Bovada. All the projections I look at come from Fangraphs.

Jason Bay 2012 Batting Average
O/U .250
My Pick: Over (but it might be pretty close)
I don't like this bet at all, I think it will end up being close to .250 and it's a crapshoot which side it falls on. He has only hit under .250 twice: in 2007 and last year. In 2011 he hit .245 which was the low end of a 4 year decline, which means that to break .250 he will have to raise his average for the first time in a while. Projections are pretty split. Bill James has him at .257 and Marcel at .248 and ZiPS at .249. I am hoping the shorter fences give him the extra one or two hits he needs to get over the .250 hump.

Jason Bay 2012 HR's
O/U 15.5
My Pick: Over
I can't believe I am picking Jason Bay to do something right twice in a row. He has hit over 15.5 every year except for his two with the Mets where he hit 6 and then 12. The majority of projections have him over 15.5 (only Marcel and Rotochamp had him at 14). I don't believe the Citi Field wall will make a big difference to Bay but a situation like this, where one or two more HR might make the difference, the short walls will be a huge advantage.

David Wright 2012 Batting Average
O/U .275
My Pick: Over
In case you haven't noticed bookies are really good at setting these lines. They are all such toss ups and could really go either way, which is exactly how Vegas wants it. Wright has only hit below .275 once, last year when he hit .254. Projections have him on both sides: Bill James has him comfortably over with .286 but Marcel and ZiPS both show him hitting under. Wright has been hurt for most of Spring Training so we don't have anything to go on there, ultimately I am betting that last year was the abberation and he will rise back to his historical numbers.

David Wright 2012 HR's
O/U 22.5
My Pick: Over
In eight MLB seasons D Wright has exceeded 22.5 5 times. His last four years have been a roller coaster hitting 33,10,29,14. If that trend continues this will be an up year but that kind of logic doesn't really hold up. I have long been an advocate that the outfield wall won't help Wright or Bay much but it is guaranteed to give them at least a few more homeruns. Much like with Bay I think this will be a close bet so I am hoping the short walls give Wright the extra few homers to make this a safe over bet.

Ike Davis 2012 HR's
O/U 21.5
My Pick: Under
I totally think Ike can hit way more than 22 homers and won't be shocked if he does, however he doesn't have enough of a track record for me to comfortably bet he will do something he has never done before. In his first full season he hit 19 and 7 is his 36 game second season. He has shown all the skills to get there and many projections showing him hitting the over, I just need to see it at least once before I can bet it.

Dan Murphy 2012 Batting Average
O/U .300
My Pick: Under
He hit .320 last year, Bill James thinks he will .302 and I won't be shocked it he breaks .300 but it is tough to bet anyone will hit over.300. It's not easy to do even for the guys who do it regularly and Murph has only done it once. Again I am taking the under here do to lack of track record and the overall difficulty of being a .300 hitter.

Johan Santana 2012 Wins
O/U 9
My Pick: Over
This bet should really be called "Santana 2012 Health" because I think everyone agrees that if he plays a full year (or close to it) he will easily win 10 games. He has done it every year since 2003, he looks healthy enough in Spring Training and he is still reasonably young. I am betting on a healthy Santana to carry the over.

Johan Santana 2012 ERA
O/U 3.45
My Pick: No Bet
How do you guess an ERA? He has never thrown over a 3.45 in his life and he appears to have pretty close to his old stuff in Spring Training so why can't he do it? That being said I simply would never make this bet, it's too hard to geuss and unlike BA, Pitchers can't really game the system as much to affect their ERA so he will get what he gets, I don't want to lose money because someones bad defense causes him to get a 3.46. Also this bet requires 130 IP to qualify, so again your betting on health.

Mike Pelfrey 2012 Wins
O/U 9.5
My Pick: Under
Fangraphs has six predictors listed for Pelfrey and all but one has him with 9 wins (the other will 11). I am predicting he wins 6. Their is a logical argument to be made for the over, Little Pelf's one great skill is his ability to throw a lot of innings. He may be able to garner over 9 Wins by just showing up and pitching a lot. However I just have no faith in the guy, his Spring Training has been bad and I just don't see him doing it.

R.A. Dickey 2012 Wins
O/U 11.5
My Pick: Over
I think I have made the case quite clear about Dickey on this blog (refer to the Dickey Report for further evidence). he has actually never won over 11 in his career but this will be his year. He was 15-20 win quality each of his last two years but got screwed by non pitching factors into a low number of wins. He is the last knuckleballer left in baseball so nobody will be used to hitting him, he has consistently low ERA and xFIP and is an absolute strike machine. R.A. Dickey is a top 25 pitcher in baseball, I dare anybody using actual numbers to name 25 better pitchers.

Frank Francisco 2012 Saves
O/U 30.5
My Pick: Under
I am not even convinced Frank Frank will be the closer over the long term so I certainly can't take the over. I think if he does get the job this is a realistic bet and he will probably do it. But he has never had 30 saves before largely because he has never been able to hold down the job, I see no reason to think he will buck that trend this year.

I hope everyone enjoyed this mammoth post. Send along your feedback and what you think I had right and what was way off.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mets Gambling Preview: Team bets

It's always wonderful when I can write about two of my passions together, gambling and the NY Mets. We previously took a look at some Mets futures odds, today we will expand that and offer some updates. Regular readers know I am a numbers guy and tend to let stats and probability judge my baseball analysis, ironically I don't do this at all when gambling and tend to make bold, passion based bets... I lose a lot. All bets use the money line, which is the common betting format for baseball bets.

Odds to the win the World Series
This means that $100 dollar bet wins you $5000. I am probably going to bet this, I don't know why. I know they won't win but I like a long shot and I can't pass up the opportunity to cash in AND have the Mets win it all. As you can probably tell, I am a shitty gambler.

Odds to win the National League Pennant
 I disagree with this. The implication here is that it is half as likely that the Mets win the Pennant as they do the World Series and that it is just as difficult for them to win the pennant as it is for them to win the World Series if they already made it there. I think these odds should be higher. If the Mets somehow won the pennant, they would be a pretty good team and them winning the world series would not be such an outrageous leap.

Odds to win the NL East
+ 2000
The others teams odds are: Braves + 435, Marlins + 460, Nats +490 and Phillies -500. The odds makers have the Mets pretty well pegged for 5th here. These odds read that the Phils are the clear favorite, the Mets are clearly the worst and and the other three are basically a toss up. Let's hope these odds don't reflect the actual season.

Regular Season Wins
Over/Under 72
The last time I checked this was 70.5. I am guessing that Johan having a good spring training gave us the 1.5 game boost. Last time I said this about it and I stand by my analysis: I definitely like the over here. The Mets won 77 games (our Pythagorean wins was 79, so we actually got a little unlucky) in 2011,we lost Reyes but are getting back Johan and Ike which should put us at least as good and possibly only a game or two worse than last year so any projection should have us over that number.

Those are the major team bets.Would love to hear reader feedback on what bets they would make. Tomorrow I will be looking at individual player prop bets.

Grapefruit League Standings 2

Periodically I like to look at Spring Training wins and losses and see how it would look in the NL East. Here are today's Grapefruit League standings.

PHI  11-13
MIA 9-10
ATL  9-14
WAS 7-14
NYM 6-15

Right now the Grapefruit League looks pretty much how most handicappers are calling the NL east. The Mets are within striking distance and could take over 4th place and win the coveted Most Improved No Prize of Spring Training.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fare thee well Tobi Stoner

I have no idea what Tobi is doing in this picture.

I was away for a week on holiday in Ireland and the UK and returned to find lots of Mets news. Longtime Met Archenemy Larry Jones is retiring but if comics have taught us anything, he will be back, or replaced by a female version of himself or his own son (whose name is Shea and would be kind of bad ass). Perhaps the saddest news of all was that the Mets released Tobi Stoner.

Tobi Stoner has the second best name in recent Met history (after Lance Broadway). Tobi was drafted in the 16th round by the Mets out of Southern Garret High Scool (go Rams!) who retired his number, 13. He pitched only 11.1 major league innings posting a 3.97 ERA and a 5.55 FIP. My brother once saw a guy on the subway wearing a Tobi Stoner jersey, this event has since captured our imiganiations and has sparked much debate about who the jersey wearer was, the top 3 theories are:

1) Tobi Stoner himself
2) Tobi Stoner's Dad
3) A pot smoking Mets fan who got that jersey made up not knowing it was an actual player.

The mystery remains unsolved.