Saturday, October 29, 2016

NBA 2016-17 Heavy Underdogs and Play-offs ATS Recap

Based on an undergraduate Stanford University paper that I found online, I take all heavy underdogs against the spread (ATS) in Archibald's National Basketball Association (NBA) pool. In the 2016-17 regular season, heavy underdogs finished 40-58-1 ATS or 40.5%.

Archibald's ATS pool continued throughout the play-offs. I picked overdog favourites except "heavy" underdogs with more than 12 points and 1 "light" home underdogs when I deviated from my system because I couldn't resist the game 4 finals spread which seemed wrong. After picking GS -9 over cleveland igame 5 of the finals, I finished 47-29-3 ATS in the play-offs or 61% = 41-27-3 light overdogs, 5-2 heavy underdogs and 1-0 light underdog. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Toronto Blue Jays 2016 Playoff Autopsy

On the Saturday, 1 October 2016 radio broadcast of the Golf Show, Fan 590 blowhard Bob McCown said there was nothing in the Toronto Blue Jays' recent batting performance to suggest that they would break out of their team-wide slump to do well in the playoffs. 
(Updated 20 October)
After falling 4-1 in match victories and scoring only 8 total runs or 1.6/match against Cleveland in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), the Jays appear to have confirmed McCown's doubts. 
To finish the regular season in September and October, the Blue Jays racked up 16 losses against only 13 wins with less than 1 home run (HR) per match and a lower slugging % than for any prior month. The Blue Jays scored the fewest runs in major-league baseball (MLB) in the final month of the season. 
This is what Bob McCown was talking about. 
However, in a 162-match regular season, focusing on just the latest matches does not tell you anything about future prospects. Even in September, the Jays had a stretch winning 6 of 8 matches and hit 11 HRs or 1.4 HRs/match. That strong stretch of 8 matches was recent enough to promise succour to Godiva toy boy and perpetual fiance Archibald and all other Jays fans. 
Indeed, the Jays did recapture their hot bats in their first playoff matches to beat not-really-all-that-good Baltimore and Texas hitting 10 HRs and outscoring their opponents 27-12 .
Even down 3 matches to none, I predicted that the Jays still had a chance to defeat inferior and injured Cleveland. I did agree with McCown that some change was needed. I was glad to see Manager Gibbons accepting my recommendation to switch Bautista to batting 1st instead of Carrera with his below-average .323 on-base % (OBP) in the 2016 regular season. 
McCown was on his afternoon radio show on Monday the 17th doubting Bautista as leadoff batter -- evidently not knowing that Bautista's 2016 regular season OBP of .366 was in line with his .368 career OBP. McCown even claimed that either Tulowitzki (.318 2016 regular season OBP, .317 2015 regular season with Toronto) or Carrera would be better leading off. 
While it's true that Bautista's 2016 playoff OBP ended up at .308 vs. Carrera's .343, a set of 9 play-off matches is not a true test of who is more suited to leading off. Wherever he ends up next year, Bautista is likely to maintain a higher OBP than Carrera over almost all 9-match periods.
Kudos to 1st year Jays President Mark Shapiro for building Cleveland and maintaining the Jays.