Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Vagaries of Picking Games

Major League Baseball is a sport of a great deal of random happenings. The best teams are going to lose sixty times. The worst teams will win at least fifty-five. The best hitters will make an out sixty percent of their plate appearances and even the best pitchers will lose thirty percent of the time and face an even larger percentage of either getting a loss or a no-decision. With all those odds occurring at random times at any given moment, picking winners and losers on a daily basis is no better than an educated crap shoot.

The Fan has been picking games at BallHype.com since the start of Spring Training. Believe it or not, the success rate was higher during Spring Training than since the season started. Figuring out who is going to win on any given day has been a hysterical case of throwing a dart at a swinging dartboard. Take yesterday for example.

The Fan went 9-7 yesterday, which lately, was a good day. Here were the picks and the rationality:

  • Washington over the Cardinals: The Nationals' best pitcher, Martis, was pitching and though Joel Pineiro has been hot of late, he was due for a bad start. Score! Got this one on the nose.
  • Cubs over Marlins: Simply felt that Lilly was due for a good game and the Cubs were due for a win. This was another good call. Score!
  • Yankees over Angels: Felt that Sabathia was up for a big start as the weather heats up. He was great for five innings. Lost the game in the seventh. Wrong.
  • This one seemed like a toss up. Come on! It was Bergesen against Ray. Which one would be worse? Picked the Blue Jays because the Orioles have been scuffling. Sure enough, Sherrill blew another save and the Fan scored.
  • Phillies over the Mets. Perez was starting for the Mets. Enough said. Turned out it took extra innings, but the Fan scored.
  • Braves over Astros: Gave Jerrjens a slight edge over Oswalt. Then the game was delayed an hour and a half due to rain and both starters were out after just a couple of innings making that logic a moot point. Dang rain. Wrong.
  • Detroit over Cleveland: Liked Minor over Laffey and Detroit was at home. Turned out it was the bullpens that decided the game and a blown save by Betancourt made this pick a winner.
  • Giants over Rockies: Marquis has been great, but figured he was due for an off game. Cain has been great for the Giants who were at home. Wrong! Marquis was brilliant, pitching a complete game. Cain was not.
  • Diamondbacks over Brewers: Picked Haran to stay hot and figured Looper was...well...Looper. Score!
  • Reds over Pirates: This pick was based on Micah Owings pitching for the Reds and the Fan being a big Fan. Owings gave up four runs in the first and never recovered. He didn't get any hits either. Wrong. Oh well.
  • Red Sox over Tampa Bay: Because the Red Sox were due. And they were. Score!
  • Twins over Kansas City: Figured Bannister was due for a let down. Figured Perkins had been pitching well. Wrong on both counts. Both teams blew saves and the Royals won in extra innings. Wrong!
  • Texas over Chicago: Believe Contreras is done as an effective major league pitcher. McCarthy has been one of the Rangers' best pitchers. Was right about Contreras and McCarthy and though the Rangers' bullpen tried its best to lose the game, they held on to win. Score!
  • Mariners over A's: Liked Washburn over Cahill. Both were brilliant, but both left with the game tied 1-1. Oakland's bullpen was better. Wrong!
  • Dodgers over Padres: Liked Wolf over Young. Again, both were brilliant but both got a no decision. The Dodgers won in extra innings when Guillermo Mota won in relief--a day after the Fan stated in this space that he should retire. Poetic? Score!

Today's picks: Detroit, Yankees (rooting for Hughes), Orioles (because the Fan is nuts), Reds (like Cueto over Karstens), Mets (because it's their turn?), Cardinals (because the Fan has sane moments), Astros (like Wandy over Reyes), Bay Rays (don't like Brad Penny), Brewers, Twins (Baker is due for a good game), Cubs (have to take Zambrano over Nolasco), Giants (because Barry Zito is the underdog), Dodgers (Billingsley is the Man), Oakland (because Outman is a great name for a pitcher) and the White Sox (because Danks is better than anyone Texas has).

So we'll see what happens.

2 comments:

Francisco Serrano said...

Im following your blog every day. Great content for a baseball fan. Thanks a lot for your picks, hope you can publish them every day. I don't bet big money, but sometimes is nice to call a game or two.

I like Seattle today though.

William said...

Thanks, Francisco! That's nice to hear. I can publish my picks every day, sure.