gfoss59's Blog

Posted Sunday, May 31, 2009 11:39 AM

5 inning opportunities -- Sunday

These are not picks yet, but good looking opportunities for 5 innings --

If anyone wants to provide feedback, make your comments on the blog...

Today brings a lot of X factors (mostly day games; Sunday games; &tc.) into play, along with injuries to Kansas City,

And the action starts early.

Big opportunities: 

Greinke-KC -- 5 innings (a lot), 9 inning runline (a little)
   (I need a big reason not to like Greinke, esp. at home -- but they do have injuries, anemic offense.  I hear Danks has a better ERA in the day.  Ehhh. We'll see)
Maine-NYM --5 innings
   (Still don't like the way that team plays, 5 or 9.)
Jackson-Detroit -- 5 innings
   (Hoping he's not pitched out from 132 pitches thrown 2 games ago.  This often catches up not on the next start, but the next start after.)
Scherzer-'Zona -- 5 innings
   (Plus he's pitching against Medlen.)
Waingright-Sanchez -- 5 innings under 4
   (Both pitchers solid for 5; both teams sticking anemically.)
Lannan-Nationals -- 5 innings only. 
   (Yah, it's the Nationals.)
Gallardo-Brewers -- 5 innings and maybe 9.
   (Tho Cincy strangely good on the road, now 1/4 into season nearing 1/3.)

Little Opportunities:

Phillies, Rays, Rangers, Pirates -- 9 innings at home
   (Against weak road teams. ... [More]

Posted Saturday, May 30, 2009 02:34 PM

5 inning picks for Saturday

All are 5 innings unless otherwise indicated

Two stars:

Johnson-Marlins, 5 innings
   (Excellent 5 inning stats for Johnson -- see previous blog.)
Verlander-Tigers, 5 innings
   (Little nervous about his day-night, road-away splits -- but he had a bad start to the season with three out of four road games.  Since then he's been lights out, home and road.)
C.C. Sabathia-Yankees, 5 innings
   (Actually like C.C. better outside of Yankee Stadium.  Hope he's jazzed up by the booing in Cleveland.)
Hamels-Phillies, 5 innings
   (Nationals' Martis has an ERA around 4.0 -- but it's composed of about 1.2 in day games, 5.8 at night.)
Carpenter-Cardinals, 5 innings

One star:

Buehrle-White Sox, 5 innings
Red Sox-Blue Jays under, 5 innings
   (Eh...  Blue Jays do stick at home.)
Twins-Tampa over, 5 innings
   (Eh...  Liriano starting to come around, and Minnesota, like the Jays, sticks at home, but not on the road.)
Hamels-Phillies, 9 innings, Runline
   (Why not get even money?)
C.C. Sabathia-Yankees, 9 innings, Runline
   (C.C. better than 90 percent on runline over last 50 starts.)
McCarthy-Texas, 5 innings, and 9 inning Runline
   (He's nothing special, but decent, and the Rangers love LHPs)
Rodriguez-Houston, 5 innings
   (So so, which is why it's... [More]

Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 04:16 PM

5-inning picks for Friday

Note, these are for 5 innings only:

Two-star propositions 

Lee - Indians -- 5 innings
(Lee's last 5 starts, over 5, runs allowed:  0-0-0-1-2)
(Pettitte's last 5 starts, over 5, runs allowed: 0-4-2-3-4)
(Lee pretty good against Yanks; Pettite pretty weak against Tribe.)

Cueto - Reds -- 5 innings
(Cueto starts over 5 innings, runs allowed: 4-4-0-0-0-0-1-1-1)
(Looper over 5 innings, RA: 1-1-0-3-3-6-4-0-5)
(Cueto actually better on road.)

One-star propositions:

Bannister - KC -- 5 innings
Cain -- SF -- 5 innings
Feldman  -- Tex -- 5 innings

Still working on some others... 

Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2009 10:28 AM

Greinke vs. Tigers -- 5i vs. 9i, and runline

History doesn't always repeat -- just ask the Yankees since they announced their desire to exit from the Real Yankee Stadium in 2002 -- but it often does.

So the question for KC and Greinke vs. Tigers today, weather permitting, is:  5 innings or 9 innings? Runline or moneyline? 

5 innings vs. 9 innings

We've already calculated that in KC's last 17 losses on a Greinke start, covering 2008 and 2009, 7 games would have been a win (4) or a push (3) on 5 innings. 

( Background: "Greinke -- what-teams-do-best-against-him?," May 21: Click here. ) 

But how many winning 9 inning bets would have been lost on a 5 inning bet?  Here's a log of 20 wins (for KC; n.n. a Greinke decision) going back to mid-2008:

5-15 BAL -- 5 win.
5-4 CHW -- 5 win.
4-29 TOR -- 5 win.
4-24 DET -- 5 win.
4-18 @ TEX -- 5 push.
4-13 CLEV -- 5 win.
4-8 @ CHW -- 5 win.
(In 7 KC 9-inning wins, KC over 5 innings was 6-0-1.)

9-28 @ DET -- 5 win.
9-18 SEA -- 5 win.
9-13 CLEV -- 5 push.
9-2 OAK -- 5 win.
8-3 CHW -- 5 win.
(not a typo above; KC lost on 4 straight Greinke starts Aug 4  to Sept. 1.)
7-28 @ OAK -- 5 win.
7-10 CHW -- 5 loss.
6-30 @ BAL -- 5 loss.
6-24 COL -- 5 win.
6-19 St.L -- 5 win.
(also not a typo. KC lost 5 straight Greinke starts.)
5-18 @ FLA -- 5 win.
5-13 DET -- 5 push.
5-7 LAA -- 5 win.
4-25 TOR -- 5 win.
4-14 @ SEA -- 5 win.[More]

Posted Monday, May 25, 2009 10:16 AM

Teams starting homestand -- 2008-2009 results

There's an old truism that you while home teams do well, you want to avoid them on the first game of a home-stand.  The idea is that teams come home from a road trip, hit the bars, stay out all night, and so on.

How does this idea stand up to the data?  We've been looking into that a bit, with some surprising results.   Here are the team-by-team reports.

Atlanta 2009 -- 2-1

Atlanta 2008 -- 7-6 

Arizona 2009 -- 1-1

Arizona 2008 -- 11-2

Baltimore 2009 -- 2-0

Baltimore 2008 -- 6-5

Boston 2009 -- 2-1

Boston 2008 -- 9-3

Chicago Sox 2009 -- 2-1

Chicago Sox 2008 -- 10-2

Chicago Cubs 2009 -- 2-1

Chicago Cubs 2008 -- 10-2

Cincy Reds 2009 -- 0-3

Cincy Reds 2008 -- 7-4

Cleveland 2009 -- 1-2

Cleveland 2008 -- 7-4

Colorado 2009 -- 2-1

Colorado 2008 -- 3-9

Detroit 2009 -- 3-0

Detroit 2008 -- 5-7

Florida 2009 -- 1-2

Florida 2008 -- 3-7

Houston 2009 -- 0-5

Houston 2008 -- 8-4

KC Royals 2009 -- 2-2

KC Royals 2008 -- 3-9

... [More]

Posted Monday, May 25, 2009 09:23 AM

When do Sox move Ortiz down in order? An over-under contest.

Inspired by an earlier contest -- when is Papi's next home run? -- I'm asking: 

When will the Red Sox move Ortiz down from third in the batting order?

It's an exhorbitant luxury to have a guy barely at .200 hitting third.  It's costing them games, e.g., first inning vs. Mets over the weekend, men on first and second, no out...  Another Mets error has Santana potentially on the ropes... 

And Pappy can't even advance the runners.  I know he's not paid to bunt, but when you're getting a hit one out of five trips, you'd better humble yourself and doing the little things, like advancing runners.

I'm guessing they move him to 7th during this road trip, unless he turns it around.  Not at Minnesota; they don't want to embarass him; but perhaps the next stop. 

I'm guessing say May 30 at Toronto.  They'll rest him May 29, then "shake up their lineup," and move him down the next day.  Some other good dates:  June 9 vs. the Yankees (also a big series), or June 16 versus Florida (following an intereleague series at Philly where they can't DH him.)

Anyone else?  Submit your dates here. 

Posted Saturday, May 23, 2009 01:52 PM

Teams on first game of a home stand

There's an old truism that you while home teams do well, you want to avoid them on the first game of a home-stand...

The idea is that teams come home from a road trip, hit the bars, stay out all night, and so on.

How does this idea stand up to the data?  We've been looking into that a bit, with some surprising results.

Here, for 2008-2009, are some of the best teams on the first game of a homestand:

Minnesota 13-3
Chicago Cubs 12-3
Arizona D'backs 13-3
Chicago White Sox 12-3
Boston Red Sox 11-4
LA Dodgers 10-4

And here are some of the worst:

Florida Marlins 4-9
KC Royals 5-11
Colorado Rockies 5-10
Washington Nats 5-9
NY Yankees 5-9
NY Mets 6-9

For a complete list, drop me a PM, or visit /gfoss59.

Posted Friday, May 22, 2009 03:51 AM

Halladay in interleague -- correction

Correcting a previous blog item:

Blue Jays were 1-3 in 2008 when Halladay pitched in interleague (not 2-2.)

They were 3-0 in 2007 and 2-1 in 2006.

You can view the pitching log on my previous blog.

Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 05:15 PM

Halladay in interleague play

"Everybody knows" Halladay can't lose, but of course, he'll lose some games this year.

In any series with long negative odds, avoiding 2-3 of the losing bets is highly beneficial.  Even if one "chickens out" and misses, say 4 winning bets, and stays off 2-3 losers...  you make (save) money, net, at a high negative moneyline.

As the Blue Jays prepare for a road trip to Atlanta, here are his interleague stats for 2008:

Date      Opp S/R Res Scr M/L O/U IP H R ER SO BB HR PIT

6/25/2008 CIN S ND 5-6 L -170 O 7.5 6.2 9 5 5 7 4 1 121 6/20/2008 @ PIT S ND 0-1 L -150 U 8 7.0 6 0 0 7 2 0 96 6/14/2008 CHC ... [More]

Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 04:10 AM

Greinke -- what teams do best against him?

Re: Greinke vs. Indians on Thursday.

I've been liking Greinke and Halladay a lot this year, thanks to a couple of friends who know a lot about baseball -- and, so far, so good.

But it never hurts to ask, where can my "sure thing" go wrong?  So, looking ahead at the schedule, I asked several baseball aficionados today, against what teams do they have the most trouble?

No one had a very satisfactory answer, so I'm looking into it some more.  For starters, however, I checked into his record against the lowly Cleveland Indians -- given they face up later today.

And to my surprise, Greinke's not been that great against them.  Indeed, in his last four starts against them, the Royals are 2-2, and in his last 10 starts (five of them in 2005, the rest in 2007-2009), he's 5-5.

In those five wins, KC is 3-2 on the runline...  suggesting this may be one game to lay off that proposition.  (Have also been looking into how some of the better pitchers fare against the runline -- see previous posts on Sabathia, Halladay, and Greinke.)

Of KC's last 16 losses when Greinke was starting (covering all of 2008 and 2009), 11 were on the road, 5 at home.  Five teams account for two of those 16 losses each:  the Twins (both in Kansas City), the Yankees (both in Yankee Stadium), the Indians (one home, one away), the Texas Rangers (one home, one away) and the White Sox (both in Chicago.)  Of course, he faces the Twins,... [More]

Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 09:15 AM

Sabathia's Yankee Stadium Gap -- some chilling stats

As C.C. Sabathia prepared to pitch against the Orioles May 19, a buddy emailed me to say the monelyine on the Yankees winning this game has reached -300.  Pretty lofty territory for a guy with a 3-3 record and 3.70 ERA. 

Is it based on a fair assessment of the likelihood of a Yankees win -- or is someone hoping to collect a bunch of New York fan money at those ridiculous odds, before they inevitably come down? 

Before you answer, let's review several of the things that everyone knows heading into the Orioles game Tuesday.

1. "C.C. Sabathia owns the Orioles." -- ehh, historically true. 

He shut them out, for example, on May 8 in Baltimore.  Then again, he was pounded by the Orioles this April 6, lasting 4 1/3 and allowing 6 earned runs.   

C.C.'s pitched well against the Orioles over the decade.  But note, eight of his last 10 starts against Baltimore were from 2007 or earlier, and 6 of 10 were from 2001-2005. 

In his three starts vs. Baltimore since the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in 2006, he's gone 20 1/3 innings and given up 9 runs.  Not bad.  But not -300 good, either.

2. "C.C. always heats up in May." -- somewhat true. But how hot? And May when? 

In 2008, the Indians with C.C. pitching were 2-5 in his seven starts from May 3 to June 5, losing May 20, May 25, May 31, and June 5.  C.C.'s te... [More]

Posted Sunday, May 17, 2009 06:51 AM

Halladay / Toronto Blue Jays on runline

Bottom line:  Halladay on the runline is a debatable proposition over a small sample of 2009 starts, but looks pretty good historically: a combined 16-3 runline bet from June 1, 2008 to present, and a combined 11-1 runline bet at home, June 1, 2008 to present.

He's had five "runline wins" and two "true runline losses" in 2009 already -- a runline loss being a game in which Toronton won by exactly a run. 

(Outright losses don't count; you lost the bet anyway; and a "runline win" is a win by Toronto by more than 1 1/2 runs.)

Taking his record back to last June, he's a bit better.  He had a runline cover rate 12-1 -- i.e., there were 13 games he started and the team won in June-Sept 08, and in 12 of them, Toronto won by 2 runs or more.

In fact, you have to go back to a June 8 game, against the Baltimore Orioles for his final "true runline loss" of the 2008 season. 

That game (June, 2008) was also Halladay's last "true runline loss" at home -- his two "runline loss" games in 2009 have come on the road (at Chicago and at Cleveland).

In other words, if you bet Halladay on every home start for the past calendar year, you only lost one bet by taking the runline.  You won 11 times, and so, on the favorable change in the applied moneyline you gained, had a much higher yield.

Halladay starts -- 2009

5/12/2009 NYY S W 5-1 W -127

... [More]

Posted Sunday, May 17, 2009 06:19 AM

Greinke for KC Royals on runline (update)

Updating a previous post:

Runline analysis shows KC Royals are 20-18-2 in Greinke's last 40 starts, going back to early 3008 --

That is, they won 20 times by two or more runs, they lost outright 19 times, and there were two games in which they won by exactly a run, failing to cover the runline...  still making a runline bet a pretty good proposition.

In 2009, they're 10-1-0, that is, 9 wins, one outright loss, and zero wins by exactly one run. 

Posted Friday, May 15, 2009 01:03 PM

Greinke vs. Baltimore; Greinke on runline

Grienke's been great all year; here are some random reasons to at least consider holding off him and KC for this game.... 

I don't say these are all strong, or that they even add up to staying off the game, but here are some factors worth thinking about:

   1. KC has lost six in a row, including Greinke's last start, gone into their (admittedly excellent) bullpen a fair amount in the last three games.  It's still a team game, and as much as I like their team mojo, they just can't seem to stick enough to keep winning games.

   2. Baltimore by contrast beat 'em last night, and is 2/3 and 6/10, those 10 coming against the semi-reviving Yankees, Twins, and Tampa.

   3. Orioles do love righties, scoring more than 6.0 runs a game against them and batting .289. 

   4. Greinke on the cover of SI this week, ;-).

   5. Greinke did poorly in his only post-2004 start vs. Baltimore (last summer)....  tho KC did win the game in the late innings.

   6. Eaton stinks, but Orioles have won in 4 of his last 5 starts.  A couple of them were on huge + moneylines on the road.

   By the way -- I may still like Greinke; just a devil's advocate here --

   Kansas City is 9-1 in Greinke's last 10 starts.  All nine wins were by two runs or more, meaning, one did a lot better taking him on the runline at much better odds.... [More]

Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 06:25 AM

C.C. Sabathia, Yankees, and the runline

My quick and dirty analysis shows that in his last 50 starts, C.C. Sabathia has either lost outright (so you lost the bet anyway), or won by two runs or more each time except for 5 games.  

In other words, when betting C.C. for 9 innings, one may as well take the run line, at least historically.  In 90 percent of the sample, his team either won on the runline, or lost outright.

Here are this season's starts --

5/8/2009 @ BAL S W 4-0 W -156

5/2/2009 LAA S L 4-8 L -261

4/27/2009 @ DET S L 2-4 L -117

4/22/2009 OAK S ... [More]

Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 05:43 AM

Washington Nationals on the Runline

Here's how the Washington Nationals (who've won 5 of 6 b.t.w.) did in games in which 1. they were underdogs and 2. lost the game...  for those who might be thinking of betting their games on the runline, to improve winnings against those big (-) moneylines:

(I've left out games in which they were favored, given that on these, you would have had the runline against you, and games on which they were 'dogs but won, because you would have lost both a straight up and a runline bet.)

05/06/09 @ LA L 3-10
04/30/09 STL L 4-9 04/28/09 @ PHI L 1-7 04/27/09 @ PHI L 11-13 04/25/09 @ NYM L 2-8 04/24/09 @ NYM L 3-4 04/22/09 ATL L 0-1 04/19/09 FLA L 4-7 04/18/09 FLA L 6-9 04/17/09 FLA L 2-3 04/13/09 PHI L 8-9 04/12/09 @ ATL L 5-8 04/11/09 @ ATL L 3-5 04/10/09 @ ATL L 5-6 04/08/09 @ FLA L 4-6 04/07/09 @ FLA L 3-8 04/06/09 @ FLA L 6-12
That's 17 losses as underdogs, out of which they would have managed to cover the runline only 4 times.

Many of the moneylines above were over 150, and of those that were closer, taking the runline often pushes you to +150 or better.

You lost 25 percent of your bets outright, but your payouts on the winning bets were 70-80 percent higher (moving, in general, from say -180 moneyline to even money, or from -135 moneyline to +145.)  

I... [More]

Posted Wednesday, May 06, 2009 05:58 AM

Dodgers, Billingsley on moneyline vs. runline

People have been making lots of money betting the Dodgers at home... hard to lose when the team is unbeaten. But can one do better, taking them on the runline? It's tempting, given the negative moneylines one sees -- such as Wednesday's -190 for Clayton Kershaw. (Admittedly, against the Nationals... but Clayton Kershaw, -190?)

Here's how the Dodgers would have done betting them under various conditions on the runline...  remember, you would generally have gained substantial moneyline improvement. 

1. At home:  8-4.  (Vs. 12-0, of course, on moneyline.)  Hard to calculate if you won or lost on this proposition since often, a -120 moneyline on straight up gets you to +120 or more on the runline, and -200 can come down to close to even money.  They should move even more given the rate at which moneyline favorites overall have been losing.

2. With Billingsley pitching:  3-0 at home, 3-0 on road, even giving a run and a half.  Not a single 1-run win.  Definitely worth taking. 

3. With Randy Wolf pitching: 0-2 at home (two one-run wins), 1-3 on road (though Dodgers are 1-3 on the road with Wolf pitching anyway.  Their one road win with him pitching was by 3 runs).  So far, much better off taking him without the - 1 1/2. 

4. With Clayton Kershaw pitching: 0-2 at home (two one-run wins), 0-3 on road (but 0-3 on road straight up).  Once again, better to take the -runline than th... [More]

Posted Saturday, May 02, 2009 02:54 PM

Denver-Dallas series

Hard to handicap this series by the record, given that both teams have changed quite a bit throughout the year -- and, especially, I would argue, over the last 20-25 games.  (Dallas gets Terry and Howard back; Denver becomes a Serious Team for the playoffs, including J.R. Smith and even Dahnte Jones's excellent defense on CP3.)

Still, Denver owns the series -- 8 of last 10 going back to Dec 06.  Margins of victory have been close, but note the following from this season: 

03/27/09 DAL 101 - DEN 103
(Denver wins in Dallas.  No Josh Howard for Dallas but no Nene for Denver.  Admittedly, Dallas shot 36 percent, but they also had only 3 turnovers.  And the shooting %s partly reflected decent matchup defense, e.g. Melo owns with 43 points, Nowitsky 26.  Chauncey had a weak game, allowing Barrea to go off for 23 points, and with 6 CB turnovers, but has won the matchup with Kidd-Barrea in other games.)

01/13/09 DEN 99 - DAL 97
(Close Denver win at home.  No Josh Howard for Dallas, but no Melo for Denver, a bigger loss.  Denver still wins despite Nowitsky going off for 44.)

12/15/08 DAL 88 - DEN 98
(Fairly easy win in Dallas for the Nuggets, tough Dallas started Devin George at forward...... [More]


User: gfoss59
Joined: February 2009
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