Commentary: Alphabet Soup | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

Commentary: Alphabet Soup

phunwin

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According to Moneyball, players like Chone Figgins of the Angels or David Eckstein of the Cardinals wouldn’t exist, guys who don’t do any one thing particularly great but do everything pretty well.

No.

The point of Moneyball was that certain players are undervalued and that you can pinpoint these players and often acquire them for far less than they are worth. In the mid-late 90s, it was sluggers with plate patience who couldn't field for a hill of beans. Billy Beane (and others) realized that the offense these guys created often far outweighed their deficiencies in the field, and that a good team could be built at minimal cost. It's a common misperception that Moneyball was just about plate-patient sluggers, but in fact, it was about value, that's all.

Players like Eckstein and Figgins have historically been overvalued in baseball. Managers, fans and announcers love guys who do all "the little things", when in fact, "the little things" seldom make up for big things like runs.

Now obviously, both those players are having fine seasons, especially at their positions, but how much are they really helping their teams? That's what sabermetrics is designed to measure.
 

RWhitney014

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Taken from Main - Mod

Well, I guess this is a perfect thread to discuss my latest column...or at least provide a link for it. Believe it or not, it's got the same basic premise.

http://www.finheaven.com/cms/152.html

Enjoy! Please comment (if you have any) on the proper thread, linked at the bottom of the page.
 

Awsi Dooger

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RWhitney014 said:
Well, I guess this is a perfect thread to discuss my latest column...or at least provide a link for it. Believe it or not, it's got the same basic premise.

http://www.finheaven.com/cms/152.html

Enjoy! Please comment (if you have any) on the proper thread, linked at the bottom of the page.

Well, I do statistical analysis for Nevada sportsbooks, and for a handful of bigtime sports bettors who pay me as a consultant. I don't claim numbers are the sole solution, but as someone who has lived in Vegas since the late '80s I don't know anyone who has survived here betting sports without excellent knowledge and utilization of them. That applies to all the games, like blackjack and poker. The feel guys come and go. Inevitably there are several every year who show up early in football season, say they love this team or that team, and they may win big for a while. Six months later you hear all these exaggerated tales of how high their bankroll got before they blew all of it. A common fault is to wager too high a percentage of their bankroll on each play, always being 4-6 bets away from broke no matter how much they have.

Your column makes some excellent points. The constant struggle is to input the correct percentage of numbers and subjectivity, which each have their place. Many times my numbers will show a distinct edge to one team, but that statistical advantage is based on several players who are injured and won't play. At that point do I pass entirely, or bet a lesser amount?

I found it amazing you isolated golf stats. That sport provides the bulk of my betting income right now, wagering on head-to-head matchups. I ran the player stats via Excel for 6 weeks in summer 2000, all the nonsense you mentioned; sand saves, greens in regulation, etc. I didn't calculate at all until late summer. Once I did it was like the secret to life had been unveiled! Phenomenal percentage and so basic. Golf commentators like Johnny Miller are just catching on to it. Driving distance and putting are all that matters. The rest is pure garbage. As long as you can blast it and putt it, basically it doesn't matter if you're in the mush 20% more than straight ahead dinkers like Corey Pavin.

That revelation inspired me to become more basic in evaluating all sports. I trashed dozens of bloated Excel workbooks full of complicated statistical analysis in football and basketball. In college basketball I use a preseason rating of every team first to last then utilize that all season including post season. It doesn't matter if number one starts the season 0-6. They are still my top ranked team. That eliminates the daily subjective judgements which can wreck a brain especially during basketball season. The wouldas and couldas. If my numerical rating says bet Team A, I do it. Plus that approach saves dozens of hours every week. My handicapping is done years ahead of time in regard to college basketball, before the players even declared their collegiate choice. If number 39 is playing at number 207, I know what to do depending on the pointspread. That is the beauty of numbers in my case. In my 40s I don't need daily time expenditure and second guessing, as opposed to taking off on an Alaskan cruise, like I managed three weeks ago.

Run the ball often, pass the ball well. Those are the basics of NFL football. I'm thrilled I don't overanalyze nonsense like net punting in relation to return yardage anymore. The pointspreads are so good and edge are so slight you're not going to hit more than 55-57% in the long run, if that high. But if anyone disputes the run often, pass well formula, I'm more than obligated to forcefully disagree and provide numbers supporting my argument.
 

RWhitney014

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Awsi Dooger said:
Well, I do statistical analysis for Nevada sportsbooks, and for a handful of bigtime sports bettors who pay me as a consultant. I don't claim numbers are the sole solution, but as someone who has lived in Vegas since the late '80s I don't know anyone who has survived here betting sports without excellent knowledge and utilization of them. That applies to all the games, like blackjack and poker. The feel guys come and go. Inevitably there are several every year who show up early in football season, say they love this team or that team, and they may win big for a while. Six months later you hear all these exaggerated tales of how high their bankroll got before they blew all of it. A common fault is to wager too high a percentage of their bankroll on each play, always being 4-6 bets away from broke no matter how much they have.

Your column makes some excellent points. The constant struggle is to input the correct percentage of numbers and subjectivity, which each have their place. Many times my numbers will show a distinct edge to one team, but that statistical advantage is based on several players who are injured and won't play. At that point do I pass entirely, or bet a lesser amount?

I found it amazing you isolated golf stats. That sport provides the bulk of my betting income right now, wagering on head-to-head matchups. I ran the player stats via Excel for 6 weeks in summer 2000, all the nonsense you mentioned; sand saves, greens in regulation, etc. I didn't calculate at all until late summer. Once I did it was like the secret to life had been unveiled! Phenomenal percentage and so basic. Golf commentators like Johnny Miller are just catching on to it. Driving distance and putting are all that matters. The rest is pure garbage. As long as you can blast it and putt it, basically it doesn't matter if you're in the mush 20% more than straight ahead dinkers like Corey Pavin.

That revelation inspired me to become more basic in evaluating all sports. I trashed dozens of bloated Excel workbooks full of complicated statistical analysis in football and basketball. In college basketball I use a preseason rating of every team first to last then utilize that all season including post season. It doesn't matter if number one starts the season 0-6. They are still my top ranked team. That eliminates the daily subjective judgements which can wreck a brain especially during basketball season. The wouldas and couldas. If my numerical rating says bet Team A, I do it. Plus that approach saves dozens of hours every week. My handicapping is done years ahead of time in regard to college basketball, before the players even declared their collegiate choice. If number 39 is playing at number 207, I know what to do depending on the pointspread. That is the beauty of numbers in my case. In my 40s I don't need daily time expenditure and second guessing, as opposed to taking off on an Alaskan cruise, like I managed three weeks ago.

Run the ball often, pass the ball well. Those are the basics of NFL football. I'm thrilled I don't overanalyze nonsense like net punting in relation to return yardage anymore. The pointspreads are so good and edge are so slight you're not going to hit more than 55-57% in the long run, if that high. But if anyone disputes the run often, pass well formula, I'm more than obligated to forcefully disagree and provide numbers supporting my argument.

So you liked it? :lol:
 

HelloMotto

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Awsi Dooger said:
Well, I do statistical analysis for Nevada sportsbooks, and for a handful of bigtime sports bettors who pay me as a consultant. I don't claim numbers are the sole solution, but as someone who has lived in Vegas since the late '80s I don't know anyone who has survived here betting sports without excellent knowledge and utilization of them. That applies to all the games, like blackjack and poker. The feel guys come and go. Inevitably there are several every year who show up early in football season, say they love this team or that team, and they may win big for a while. Six months later you hear all these exaggerated tales of how high their bankroll got before they blew all of it. A common fault is to wager too high a percentage of their bankroll on each play, always being 4-6 bets away from broke no matter how much they have.

Your column makes some excellent points. The constant struggle is to input the correct percentage of numbers and subjectivity, which each have their place. Many times my numbers will show a distinct edge to one team, but that statistical advantage is based on several players who are injured and won't play. At that point do I pass entirely, or bet a lesser amount?

I found it amazing you isolated golf stats. That sport provides the bulk of my betting income right now, wagering on head-to-head matchups. I ran the player stats via Excel for 6 weeks in summer 2000, all the nonsense you mentioned; sand saves, greens in regulation, etc. I didn't calculate at all until late summer. Once I did it was like the secret to life had been unveiled! Phenomenal percentage and so basic. Golf commentators like Johnny Miller are just catching on to it. Driving distance and putting are all that matters. The rest is pure garbage. As long as you can blast it and putt it, basically it doesn't matter if you're in the mush 20% more than straight ahead dinkers like Corey Pavin.

That revelation inspired me to become more basic in evaluating all sports. I trashed dozens of bloated Excel workbooks full of complicated statistical analysis in football and basketball. In college basketball I use a preseason rating of every team first to last then utilize that all season including post season. It doesn't matter if number one starts the season 0-6. They are still my top ranked team. That eliminates the daily subjective judgements which can wreck a brain especially during basketball season. The wouldas and couldas. If my numerical rating says bet Team A, I do it. Plus that approach saves dozens of hours every week. My handicapping is done years ahead of time in regard to college basketball, before the players even declared their collegiate choice. If number 39 is playing at number 207, I know what to do depending on the pointspread. That is the beauty of numbers in my case. In my 40s I don't need daily time expenditure and second guessing, as opposed to taking off on an Alaskan cruise, like I managed three weeks ago.

Run the ball often, pass the ball well. Those are the basics of NFL football. I'm thrilled I don't overanalyze nonsense like net punting in relation to return yardage anymore. The pointspreads are so good and edge are so slight you're not going to hit more than 55-57% in the long run, if that high. But if anyone disputes the run often, pass well formula, I'm more than obligated to forcefully disagree and provide numbers supporting my argument.

based on your area of expertise could you give me an educated guess on # of wins this year for the fins. thanks in advance.
 

Da 'Fins

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Awsi Dooger said:
Well, I do statistical analysis for Nevada sportsbooks, and for a handful of bigtime sports bettors who pay me as a consultant. I don't claim numbers are the sole solution, but as someone who has lived in Vegas since the late '80s I don't know anyone who has survived here betting sports without excellent knowledge and utilization of them. That applies to all the games, like blackjack and poker. The feel guys come and go. Inevitably there are several every year who show up early in football season, say they love this team or that team, and they may win big for a while. Six months later you hear all these exaggerated tales of how high their bankroll got before they blew all of it. A common fault is to wager too high a percentage of their bankroll on each play, always being 4-6 bets away from broke no matter how much they have.

Your column makes some excellent points. The constant struggle is to input the correct percentage of numbers and subjectivity, which each have their place. Many times my numbers will show a distinct edge to one team, but that statistical advantage is based on several players who are injured and won't play. At that point do I pass entirely, or bet a lesser amount?

I found it amazing you isolated golf stats. That sport provides the bulk of my betting income right now, wagering on head-to-head matchups. I ran the player stats via Excel for 6 weeks in summer 2000, all the nonsense you mentioned; sand saves, greens in regulation, etc. I didn't calculate at all until late summer. Once I did it was like the secret to life had been unveiled! Phenomenal percentage and so basic. Golf commentators like Johnny Miller are just catching on to it. Driving distance and putting are all that matters. The rest is pure garbage. As long as you can blast it and putt it, basically it doesn't matter if you're in the mush 20% more than straight ahead dinkers like Corey Pavin.

That revelation inspired me to become more basic in evaluating all sports. I trashed dozens of bloated Excel workbooks full of complicated statistical analysis in football and basketball. In college basketball I use a preseason rating of every team first to last then utilize that all season including post season. It doesn't matter if number one starts the season 0-6. They are still my top ranked team. That eliminates the daily subjective judgements which can wreck a brain especially during basketball season. The wouldas and couldas. If my numerical rating says bet Team A, I do it. Plus that approach saves dozens of hours every week. My handicapping is done years ahead of time in regard to college basketball, before the players even declared their collegiate choice. If number 39 is playing at number 207, I know what to do depending on the pointspread. That is the beauty of numbers in my case. In my 40s I don't need daily time expenditure and second guessing, as opposed to taking off on an Alaskan cruise, like I managed three weeks ago.

Run the ball often, pass the ball well. Those are the basics of NFL football. I'm thrilled I don't overanalyze nonsense like net punting in relation to return yardage anymore. The pointspreads are so good and edge are so slight you're not going to hit more than 55-57% in the long run, if that high. But if anyone disputes the run often, pass well formula, I'm more than obligated to forcefully disagree and provide numbers supporting my argument.

With respect to the golf - I've seen the same. Putting is the key. However, I would like to see the difference between the regular tour stats - where the rough is ultimately inconsequential - and U.S. Open stats. No doubt distance still is a factor - a player like Tiger or others who can bomb it long can get out of trouble even if they are in the rough. But, putting still matters. Campbell putted much better than Tiger - but both of them also hit a slew of fairways and Campbell wasn't as long as several of other players. Distance still will have an impact to some, but perhaps lesser, degree.
 

caneaddict

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Is this article for real?

The use of statistics has greatly expanded over the past two decades due to the wide availability of computers. Most corporations have been benefiting from the expanded use of data analysis; why not sports?

Here's a quick example: Wal-Mart's data mining software noticed a correlation related to higher beer sales whenever beer was placed near diapers. Further data analysis showed that the sales spike between 4:00-7:30pm. The actual explanation is that wives often ask their husbands to pick up diapers on the way home from work and if the beer is within eyesight of the diapers the men will often grab some beer too. This could only have been found through statistical analysis. Why shouldn't sports managers and coaches benefit from the same level of sophisticated analysis to determine that specific formations or players in specific formations are statistically more effective in certain situations.

In your article you ask why we need anything more than FG% etc. Well if say for instance someone were to run some numbers and find that if you mixed two obscure statistics it gave you an almost perfect predictor of wins, wouldn't you rather use that then FG% when deciding to add players?

The exponential drop in computing costs over the past decade has just allowed us the oportunity to explore more valuable statistics in the hope of gaining a better understanding of successful teams, so why not use it? A car is a heck of a lot more complicated then a horse and buggy yet I would venture to guess that you don't ride a horse to work. Likewise, today's cars are for more complicated than automobiles from the 1950's but no one complains about crumple protection, stability and traction control, navigation systems, ABS, seatbelts, airbags, adaptive cruise control etc. Sure the car still does the same thing as the cars from the 50's (get you from point A to point B), but it's much more comfortable, efficient and safe in doing it. The new statistics do the same thing as the old ones did (measure a player or team's effectiveness) but the new ones help with gaining a deeper understanding in evaluating effectiveness.
 

phunwin

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caneaddict said:
Here's a quick example: Wal-Mart's data mining software noticed a correlation related to higher beer sales whenever beer was placed near diapers. Further data analysis showed that the sales spike between 4:00-7:30pm. The actual explanation is that wives often ask their husbands to pick up diapers on the way home from work and if the beer is within eyesight of the diapers the men will often grab some beer too. This could only have been found through statistical analysis. Why shouldn't sports managers and coaches benefit from the same level of sophisticated analysis to determine that specific formations or players in specific formations are statistically more effective in certain situations.

Sir, you are wise beyond your years. This is the coolest piece of information I've learned today. :)
 

RWhitney014

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Statistics for sports evaulation and statistics from physics in car designing are two totally different things. My only point was that we get drowned with information used to evaluate players that is completely superfluous. Unless, of course, you wish to explain to me what VORP is and how it is useful.

I never said that there were too many statistics used in real world applications. This was a pure sports article. The other misinterpretation is the recipient of the stats themselves...coaches can and should use them to whatever advantage they can find. But for fans' sake, there are so many completely useless stats. For instance, the other night, ESPN reported Vladimir Guerrero's batting average when he puts the first pitch he sees in play. That ignores the first pitches he swings at and misses, thus rendering it useless.
 
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