Streak Journal: MLB Picks will be the death of me
After a temporary hiatus from my weekly column, Streak Journal, I decided to delve back in to my joy for statistics and analysis. My victim this time around is straight up MLB picks because they are plentiful and very statistical based, meaning I can quickly obtain many parameters with minimal calculations and clicks of my mouse.
Another advantage to there being so many MLB props, I’ve decided to keep a running tally for the season and write a couple of articles a week to better inform streakers on the props they are choosing. Hopefully my research and analysis leads to more GREENS!
Over the first week of analysis, I looked at a whopping 76 MLB props on ESPN’s Streak for the Cash!
In an effort to construct a formula to help pick these type of props, I carefully chose five groups of statistics that I felt would make a difference in picking a prop.
Home/Away Splits – Almost any sport has a “homefield” advantage and some teams are dreadful on the road. This week, teams with a better home or away record went a surprising 34-34.
Result in Last 10 Games – A team’s recent success can indicate “hot” and “cold” teams. They didn’t help much this past week as teams with a better record in their last 10 went a mediocre 34-32.
Better Run Differential – Run differential is the amount of runs scored minus the runs allowed by a team. It typically represents how good a team really is and hints at under/over-achieving teams. Teams with a better RD went 39-37.
Starting Pitcher ERA – Starting pitchers have always been thought of as the most influential piece in predicting a game. Maybe this will get better with more games, but better pitchers went an even 36-36 in the first week.
Vegas Moneylines – A lot of streakers favorite statistic is Vegas’ odds on picking a winner. They were the best in week one, but not by much with a 40-36 record.
The idea is to use a combination of all five of the aforementioned tools to predict games that look like strong opportunities. Week 1 provided very mediocre and random results. Here’s how three models I’m tracking performed on all games:
Nick’s Predictor Model (39-37) – I used a combination of the five statistic groups and barely finished above .500. I’ll break down the formula a little more in a streak journal later in the week.
ESPN’s PickCenter Consensus Picks (38-38) – ESPN’s PickCenter provides a consensus moneyline pick from sportsbooks which represents how the public is usually going to pick. The betting public was an even .500 in week one.
Streakers (42-34) – Believe it or not, your streak would have been best off if you sided with the majority of streakers in the past week. They had the best record and it probably means that streakers are doing more research than they ever have which is a great thing!
FUN ONE LINER TRENDS
– Streakers had a hot spot as any team picked with 90.1 to 95% confidence went an astonishing 9-2.
– Don’t get too ahead of yourself though because any team picked with 95.1% or more confidence in Streak for the Cash went an underwhelming 4-6.
– Vegas provided a glimpse into why it’s sometimes too good to be true as both teams favored by (-161) or more went 0-2.
– Washington lost to Miami 11-2 on 4/15 as -170 favorites.
– Tampa Bay lost to the NY Yankees 10-2 on 4/15 as -170 favorites.
– It’s not all bad though as Vegas favorites (-141 to -160) went 9-4 on the week.
The lesson I took from the first week is that MLB is a “gut feeling” kind of sport and a team being better on paper doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to win a game.
I’ll keep logging the games and lets see if we can get any closer to “27 in a row” next week!
Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions on my research! Happy Streaking!