The good news is that I won the slogan contest at www.crowdpicks.com without even entering.
The bad news is that my latest baseball picking experiment has been a dismal failure so far after ten days. I identified four “undervalued” teams – Atlanta, Cleveland, Seattle and Toronto – with won/loss records significantly below levels predicted by their runs for and against records. I matched them with four “overvalued” teams – Florida, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota and Texas -- with won/loss records significantly above levels predicted by their runs for and against records.
My hypotheses are:
- “Undervalued” and “overvalued” teams will finish the season with winning percentages closer to their underlying runs for and against records. In other words, Florida, LA Angels, Minnesota and Texas can be expected to sink back to the pack over the rest of the season. At the same time, Atlanta, Cleveland, Seattle and Toronto are likely to improve.
- The odds set by gaming houses to induce an optimal balance of bets on overdogs and underdogs in baseball games may not reflect the true values of “undervalued” and “overvalued” teams.
If you’ve entered a friendly non-profit office pool picking major-league baseball (MLB) winners over the course of the season, my advice was to back “undervalued” teams and to go against “overvalued” teams.
So far, this strategy has been truly dismal -- 20 wins outweighed by 43 losses for -27.45 points with:
1 point for a win backing an overdog;
-1 point for loss backing an underdog;
+1.x points for a win backing an underdog with 1.x based on the posted odds;
-1.x points for a loss backing an overdog with 1.x based on the posted odds.
I wasn’t expecting to win 50% of my picks with this system, but I did have grounds for hoping that I would finish on the plus side with the odds factored in. My awful record over 63 games may be due to random bad luck. I plan to keep monitoring this experiment this month at least until the National Football League (NFL) season provides more diverting entertainment. Perhaps this experiment will turn around. Or perhaps we are finding out that this particular approach to baseball pool picking is a pig that won’t fly.