Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 Yankees 'offensive levels Yankees fans haven’t seen since 1991 when Steve Sax and Kevin Maas were Opening Day starters,' NY Post, Joe Peta, baseball wagerer

"Joe Peta, a former hedge fund trader, is the author of a new book, “Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Dutton). Here he explains why his new job, wagering on baseball, may be a better bet than buying stocks."
3/31/13, "Biz whiz: Bettor up!" NY Post, Joe Peta. "My best gamble: Walking away from Wall St. to $core big on baseball wagering."

"Baseball can be modeled more accurately because a baseball game, at its core, is simply about 70 one-on-one confrontations between pitcher and batter. I can model Justin Verlander’s strikeout rate with extreme confidence, and it wouldn’t vary significantly if he changed teams, leagues, stadiums, etc....

With a tip of the hat to the pioneers, particularly stat guru Bill James, I built my own model, based on such factors as how often teams scored with hitters on base, pitching efficiency and other statistics.

For example, let’s turn to Opening Day in The Bronx, where the Red Sox face the Yankees. It’s CC Sabathia’s fifth straight Opening Day start for the team, but this year he takes the mound with, by far, the weakest lineup supporting him. Every Yankee team he’s pitched for has been top three in slugging percentage, scoring at least 200 home runs and 800 runs each year. Based on statistics, tomorrow’s lineup would be lucky to hit 150 home runs and score 700 runs — offensive levels that Yankees fans haven’t seen since 1991, when Steve Sax and Kevin Maas were Opening Day starters.

This year’s Yankees starting lineup, with Sabathia on the mound, looks like a 90-win team. This year’s Red Sox lineup projects to be just mildly above league average. He may have the better offense supporting him, but Jon Lester’s ability to strike out batters dropped for the third year in a row in 2012 — a trend that doesn’t project well for 2013. With Lester on the mound, I see the Red Sox as an 87-win team.

A lot of it comes down to home-field advantage, which I calculate as 4 percent in baseball — meaning if two evenly matched teams take the field, the home team wins 54 percent of the time. Thanks entirely to the superiority of Sabathia over Lester, that increases by 2 percent — the Yankees win tomorrow’s

Not really a sure bet, but from a money-line perspective, I’d bet the Yankees at „¦125 or better or the Red Sox at +130 or better. That means you would need to bet $125 on the favored Yankees to win $100 or wager $100 on the underdog Sox to win $130.

And that’s part of what makes gambling on baseball less heartbreaking than football. If the win expectancy of the model differs from the price that Las Vegas set, a bet is made.

There are no point spreads, where you’re, say, paying for the New York Giants to score a meaningless field goal in the final minutes to be up by more than 10. When you bet on a baseball team to win, your interests are aligned perfectly with the players on the field.

The manager in the dugout will be doing everything possible to help his team triumph and, by extension, you win your bet."...

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