Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate Baseball 2009

There is a wealth of opportunity out there my friends. A virtual road paved with gold... I have seen the future, and the Detroit Tigers are going to lose a lot of games. Yes, that Mad Max/Escape from New York barbaric landscape will play host to yet another baseball season falling way short of expectations. Fingers will be pointed. Fat guys with no jobs will pound Bud Lights and try to make sense of a World Gone Mad. But I get ahead of myself...

As savvy sports bettors should be well aware, win totals are posted prior to the season for each sport. I take these win totals VERY seriously, and pull out all my resources looking for an edge. This year I have once again drawn from my sabermetric pals at The Hardball Times, a group of super math nerds that have applied their skills to baseball analysis. The great thing about baseball is that it's a long long long season that provides plenty of measurable data that tends to play out close to expectation over the course of 162 games. Vegas betting lines tend to be created with a combination of reasonable expectation and public perception. That's the key. Public perception. As we have discussed many times in the past, the public is always wrong. (Things like Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, flipped up collars on polo shirts, Paris Hilton, Creed, and American Idol immediately come to mind.)

Here's a few opportunities to make some scratch that are probably much more reliable than any half assed stock pick a douche bag broker is going to float by you. Let's start with the best pick on the board, the Colorado Rockies. This is a team only one year removed from a World Series appearance that has to win over 76.5 games to give you a winner. These guys play in the NL West, which completely blows. Last year they started too slow, were out of it by May, and limped it in. The key for them is scoring runs, and the wienies at Hardball Times like their chances as long as Spilborghs and Ianetta can lay off pitches out of the strike zone. Based on the finish of last year, I think they can. Garrett Atkins is OK, Hawpe can hit, and there's "a bunch of guys" that should make it happen. The computer model (based on 100 simulations) likes them to win an average of 85 games. That's 8.5 above the line, and looks like a nice play.

Feeling ballsy? Take the Houston Astros to go over their win total of 72.5. Sure, they won something like 2 games in Spring Training. Yes, they just signed Pudge from the scrap heap to be their starting catcher. I know. Roy Oswalt looks like damaged goods. Yes, I do know that the players hate manager Cecil Cooper and pitcher Shawn Chacon punched him in the face last year. Admittedly, there are problems. However, let's focus on the positive shall we? So much attention has been paid to their Spring meltdown that The Public thinks this is going to be the expansion Mets. This is a legit (although average) MLB team. Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee are studs. Matsui is pretty good when he plays, and Miguel Tejada isn't in jail. The rotation is s-k-e-t-c-h-y with Oswalt, Mike Hampton, Wandy Rodriguez, and stiffs like Brian Moehler. But, they do get to play the Reds and Pirates, and the NL West plenty. Hardball sees this as a 80-82 team, or 7.5 games above the line.

Let's talk Tigers. I don't like the Tigers very much. You've got Gary Sheffield talking shit every 2 weeks or so. Magglio Ordonez's fucked up mullet is flapping in the breeze. Joel Zumaya is a big fucking Chico driving around in a monster truck. Jim Leland smokes 4 packs a day. All of this though pales in comparison to the starting rotation problem. Verlander is down in velocity. Robertson just got his arm sewn back on. Galarraga is a statistical abberation that will return to earth (hard). Hell, Zumaya is already on the DL. Vegas has these guys at 81.5 wins (or just under .500). The computer simulations put them at 74-88 and in last place in the AL Central. Bet the under.

Also for your consideration: Yankees over 94.5, Washington under 72.5, and Baltimore under 72.5. Want to bet the Playoffs? Take a flier on the Rockies at 8-1 to win the NL West. Hardball has them winning the division in 44% of the simulations. The Rangers at 10-1 in the AL West are worth a shot, as simulations have them winning at 17% clip.


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At April 12, 2009 at 10:47:00 AM EDT , Blogger Ken Miller said...

Lovin' that Indians under 85.5

At April 13, 2009 at 1:24:00 PM EDT , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Especially if Cliff Lee keeps going the way he's going now, and if Sizemore continues to put up Uecker-esque numbers.

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