Friday, 13 June 2014

THE SYSTY (Or, Who is San Fran playing next?)

This is getting a little out of hand. No series' qualified through the week, so we look to the weekend, and basically, at the Giants.

They are, once again, the only team that qualifies.. And this weekend could be a bit of a risk. The Rockies are in San Fran, and I'm not in love with the pitching match-ups. Game 1 has the surprisingly (sometimes) effective Jorge de la Rosa up against Let Timmy Smoke. Game 2 is Vogelsong vs. Christian Bergman, who has only made one career start. Those kind of match-ups scare me, as it could take Giants hitters a while to figure the fucker out...

HOWEVER, CarGo remains on the DL, and the Giants are winning us all money every week. Ride er til she bucks ya.

One unit on SF starting tonight.


Friday, 6 June 2014

THE SYSTY - WEEK 2.5


Big Weekend.

Still up. Giants drop another series opener, but win the all-important game 2, with even more favorable odds. I like when that happens. Let's keep riding them, as they are still the only series that qualifies for the weekend. Here is where your money goes this weekend...


SF Giants (RPI - .535) over NY Mets (RPI - .480)

San Fran is taking a nice little tour through the bottom of the RPI rankings. It's making me money, so let's continue to take advantage. Matt Cain returns from the DL to start Game 1, and just in case he falters, we've got the ageless Tim Hudson in Game 2. Should be business as usual.

The guys rookie card is an oil painting for fucks sake.

As always, if you missed my original post, or wanted to wait and see if the SYSTY was worth risking your money with, get caught up HERE.

(Side bet: Anyone putting money on the Belmont Saturday night? I don't like to bet on the wrong side of history, so I will be putting some action on California Chrome)


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

THE SYSTY - WEEK 2

We're up. The Giants beat the Cubs in Game 2 of their series last week. We are up approximately half a unit at this point. That's the only goal, up. Finishing with more than we started with.

Not a whole lot to choose from early in Week 2. I've noticed that this year, a lot less series' tend to fit the SYSTY. I'm sure as the season goes on, and teams that are overachieving regress a little bit, we'll have more opportunities to gain financially from their shittiness. But for now, we take what the SYSTY gives us.

SF Giants (RPI - .537) over CIN Reds (RPI - .480)

The Giants still rank first overall in the RPI rankings (found HERE if you're doing your own research) so expect to be backing them frequently. One Unit on the Giants tonight, and if Lincecum can get the W, the return should be pretty solid, depending on the book you're using. Let Timmy Smoke.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

THE SYSTY - WEEK 1


Big week here. Big, big week. Huge week. I'm starting the 2014 SYSTY with Monday night's games. Who's with me? Anyone besides Scott? Probably just Scott, eh? Fuck it, let's go.

If you missed my original post explaining the SYSTY, and are interested in potentially making some money betting baseball this summer, read it here. (One quick note on my first post... Scott blew it and chose the wrong Pete Rose picture to run. Shoulda been this one. No question)

Here's what I'm going with to start the week.

SF Giants (RPI - .542) over CHI Cubs (RPI - .463)

We get a gift here, with the highest ranked RPI team playing the lowest ranked RPI team at home. Little scary seeing The Shark in game 1, but not scary enough for me to not play it. The returns will be minimal, but this series is getting played. One unit on the Giants for Monday night.

As far as I can tell, the only other series that works is Boston at Atlanta. Atlanta qualifies as the home favorite, but I'm going to stay away. Don't love seeing Buchholz and Lester in games 1 and 2 (the ones you need to win to profit). I also don't think the Sox are as bad as their RPI would suggest. Going to play it safe, and just go with the one series.

Here we go...


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tommy John is an Arse

Shocking his elbow blew up...


Well, not really.  In fact, he's basically a hero when it comes to players all across professional baseball.  With 288 career wins, the man should be famous enough - but it's the revolutionary surgery he underwent that's his claim. 

Mr. John won nearly half of his 288 wins AFTER the surgery.  Today, the procedure has been relatively perfected with the help of Dr. Death (James Andrews) - yet it carries with it a dark cloud.

Tommy John surgery brings about a minimum 12 months of missed time, a general drop in velocity (although not always the case) and the long LONG road of recovery.  During said recovery a number of things could happen
-loss of ability to pitch without pain
-drastic drop in velocity
-putting stress on other muscles, causing further injury
And perhaps the most threatening to players - loss of relevance in the game.  What if someone who's elbow didn't snap steps into the job and leads the team to victory...

Regardless of the careers Tommy John has prolonged, he's still a dick in the minds of players and fans alike.

Here's a current list of players who are either recovering from Tommy John Surgery or are experiencing elbow issues that could result in the procedure down the line.
Keep in mind - THIS IS CURRENT, these players are not able to play because of elbow surgery or soreness - (normally referred to as forearm soreness)

Sean Burnett - Angels
Brian Moran - Angels
Jose Cisnero - Astros
Alex White - Astros
Ryan Cook - Athletics
A.J. Griffin - Athletics
Eric O'Flaherty - Athletics
Jarrod Parker - Athletics
Sergio Santos - Blue Jays
Brandon Beachy - Braves
Cory Gearrin - Braves
Kris Medlin - Braves
Johnny Venters - Braves
Kyjui Fujikawa - Cubs
Patrick Corbin - Diamondbacks
David Hernandez - Diamondbacks
Daniel Hudson - Diamondbacks
J.J. Putz - Diamondbacks
Matt Reynolds - Diamondbacks
Chad Billingsly - Dodgers
Scott Elbert - Dodgers
Onelki Garcia - Dodgers
Jose Fernandez - Marlins
Matt Harvey - Mets
Bobby Parnell - Mets
Erik Davis - Nationals
Andrew Cashner - Padres
Josh Johnson - Padres
Casey Kelly - Padres
Cory Luebke - Padres
Joseph Wieland - Padres
Cliff Lee - Phillies
Martin Perez - Rangers
Tanner Scheppers - Rangers
Jeremy Hellickson - Rays
Matt Moore - Rays
Trevor Bell - Reds
Tyler Chatwood - Rockies
Luke Hochevar - Royals
Joel Hanrahan - Tigers
Bruce Rondon - Tigers
Luke Putkonen - Tigers
Chris Sale - White Sox
Ivan Nova - Yankees

A quick look at this list and a couple things jump out
1) It's fucking massive
2) There are pitchers of all types on here...


-Seven year veteran Joel Hanrahan, never logged more than 84 innings in a season, doesn't throw particularly hard

-Young budding stars Jose Fernandez & Matt Harvey - completed one major league season before succumbing to surgery, both have above average velocity

-Bruce Rondon hasn't reached the 30 inning plateau yet in his major league career

-Cliff Lee, pushing the 2150 inning mark, and has been relatively healthy through his illustrious career is feeling forearm tightness (although not yet recommended for the surgery)

-Josh Johnson, recently underwent his second season ending Tommy John


So, here's what we can take from this....Workload doesn't always equate to issues, nor does velocity or  age, and having the surgery once does not strengthen the arm enough to guarantee anything.

Long story short, it's a crapshoot - the ligament can snap, and it can snap at any time - and when it comes, Tommy Boy comes a calling (again, Tommy John is only the player, James Andrews is the renown surgeon, and even at that, the team probably has to give him a shout, not vice versa).

It's truly saddening and frustrating to see Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey succumb, two of the brightest stars in the next crop of talented pitchers.  It's difficult to watch Josh Johnson, whom once had a promising career headed in the right direction get derailed not once, but twice.  I don't suspect I'll ever hear the name Bruce Rondon again...fading into the obscurity of farm systems upon rehab.

I won't pretend to have a theory as to why the onslaught of elbow ligament injuries has come in 2014 (although it has been trending upward for sometime) - why didn't Rodgers Clemens or Randy Johnson run into trouble?  They both threw hard enough and hard weirdly shaped bodies to boot!

Perhaps the best theory I've come across went something like this:
Little Leagues and farm teams have implemented pitch counts, rest days and countless other programs to help young pitchers stay healthy and succeed.  The goal of Little Leaguers and Minor Leaguers is to make the show, and to do so, they must stay healthy and grow as a player on the field - not in a recovery bed.  Perhaps this is delaying the inevitable - let's say for instance, in 1995, of 20 Little Leaguers, 1 would make the big leagues.  That one lucky ball player was talented enough to catch the eye of scouts, and was structurally sound enough to avoid any serious ligament issues in his elbow.  In 2005, of those same 20 little leaguers, 5 make the big leagues.  Four of which are not structurally sound, but were able to delay the issues with pitch counts and rest days.  So, once in the majors, time catches up with these players and the elbow gives way to the nature of things.

It's tough to tell really, one this is agreed on however.  The human arm is not structurally able to sustain such motion and torque repeatedly.  Thus, we can expect the issues to continually arise until a solution is found.
_________________________________________________________________________________

It's interesting to look at Commissioners of professional sport leagues, they each tend to leave a footprint.  Something they focused on that changed their game, for good or bad.  Gary Bettman has made the NHL not just a Canadian national sport, but spread it all across the US.  Adam Silver has maybe already put a stamp on his reign with his Donald Stirling ruling.  Roger Goodell brought the NFL to financial juggernaut...at the expense of some his players well being.
Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball spent the better part of his time fighting the war on steroids.  Pouring countless hours and dollars into legal fees.  Selig defamed some of the greats in the history of the game and punishing many looking to achieve the same status, all the while blacklisting anyone linked to the supply of performance enhancing drugs.
The end of the 2014 season will mark the end of Selig's 22 years as commissioner, and the search for a replacement is already commenced.


Without a doubt Selig's successor will be faced with many daunting tasks, but none more pressing than keeping pitchers, especially young electric talent, on the mound.  His or Her legacy depends on it.
Maybe it'll be time to dust of that aforementioned blacklist, place a couple calls, and work with the PED suppliers to find a way to use modern therapy to better the game.  Maybe "cheating" is the only way to keep the game as it once was...










SYSTY PICK TONIGHT - Padres over Cubs - $15





The "Systy" - from the depths of Pete Rose's modest room at the Belagio

THE SYSTY

It’s fair to say that Pete Rose and I don’t have a lot in common. I am not Major League Baseball’s career hit leader. I did not win 3 World Series titles, play in 17 All-Star Games at 5 different positions, nor did I spend the last few years of the 90’s being annually tombstoned by Kane. BUT, Charlie Hustle and I do share one mutual love: Betting on baseball.



I have been betting on sports for a little less than half of my 26 years. My mother used to take my already filled out Pro-Line cards to the counter for me before I turned 18. While it might sound like it, this is not my ‘10,000 hours’-type statement of expertise. Let’s get the truth out of the way; I have never been a particularly good baseball bettor. Like everyone who places the odd wager, I’ve had some good wins, and many, many more painful defeats. The 2013 season was different. I accomplished the only thing a true gambler should aspire to: I finished the season with more money than I started with. 

This is how I did it. Around this time last year, browsing reddit.com/r/sportsbook (A great resource for sports bettors), I came across an MLB betting system that supposedly had great results in 2012. I gave it a shot. I won some money. It’s not really that exciting of a story, but it worked. I did not create this system, but I call it the ‘SYSTY’, and it is now the only way I bet on baseball. I want to share it with you, a person reading my friend Scott’s blog.

The SYSTY is based heavily on ESPN’s MLB Relative Power Index rankings. ESPN uses a variety of variables, like win percentage, strength of schedule, run differential, and a few others, to give teams an RPI ranking, displayed similarly to a players batting average. For example, our current RPI leader this year is the Braves at .604, while the Cubs are at the bottom of the rankings at .421. You can find these rankings at http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/rpi. If you are planning on using the SYSTY this year, bookmark that website.

The SYSTY is a series-chase bet. When teams begin a 3-game series, we identify which team to bet on using the RPI rankings (I’ll come back to this). We are betting that they will win one of the next three games. If they win the first game, we are done with that series, we take our money and move on. If they lose game 1, we bet on them to win game 2. If they win game 2, we are done with the series, if not, we hit them again for game 3. Sweeps are the enemy. 

Here’s how we manage our money. This is a modified martingale betting system. You have to decide how much you are willing to play per series. Identify a betting unit. Your unit may be $2, it may be $10, or it may be $50. It is entirely your call, but YOUR UNIT SHOULD MAKE UP A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF YOUR TOTAL BANKROLL (For example, if you have $1000 in your betting account, your unit should be less than $100). For the first game of the series, we bet 1 unit. If the team we bet on loses game 1, we TRIPLE the bet (3x your betting unit) for game 2. The thinking behind this is that by tripling the game 2 bet, we recoup our game 1 loss, and earn a similar profit that we would have by winning game 1. If we lose game 2, we go back to betting 1 unit on game 3. Doing the math, you’ll see that a series that goes to a third game will result in a net loss. However, the theory is that this happens so rarely that future wins will recoup these losses. The creator of the series found that 65% of series’ will result in a win in game 1, 26% will end after a game 2 win. That means we are supposed to profit in over 90% of series’ played, which will cover the rare losses.

The Betting Approach Simplified:

GAME 1: BET ONE UNIT. IF WIN, STOP BETTING SERIES. IF LOSE:
GAME 2: BET THREE UNITS. IF WIN, STOP BETTING SERIES. IF LOSE:
GAME 3: BET ONE UNIT. 

We know how to bet; now we need to know who to bet on. We go back to the RPI rankings. At the start of a three game series, compare each teams RPI ranking. If the AWAY TEAM is 50 or MORE POINTS HIGHER in the RPI rankings, we will be betting on them to win the series. If the HOME TEAM is 42 or MORE POINTS HIGHER in RPI rankings, we will be betting on them to win the series. Not every series is going to fit the SYSTY, use the RPI rankings, do a little math, and find the candidates to bet on. Unfortunately, I have to complicate things. Just because a team qualifies according to the RPI rankings, we don’t automatically throw money down on them. There are a few other factors to be aware of. Maybe our teams star player is hurt, maybe they have lost 6 straight, maybe the underdog team has gotten hot and is running their two best pitchers out in games 1 and 2 of the series.  There are a number of things to be aware of before putting any money on the line. For example, the creator of the system will never bet on a team with a sub .500 winning percentage, even if the RPI rankings qualify them as a winner. The RPI rankings are a guideline, but you HAVE to do a little old-fashioned research before deciding who to bet. 

New series’ typically start on Monday’s, Tuesday’s, and Friday’s. Some weekends, you may have 4 series’ on the go, others you may have 1 or none, and that’s cool. I can’t emphasize this enough; the SYSTY is a marathon, not a sprint. We will almost always be betting on favourites to win. The profits are small, but this is about volume betting. We chip away, small wins at a time, and by the end of the year, hope to have turned a nice profit. This should go without saying, but this is gambling we’re talking about. The SYSTY is not perfect, and I didn’t create it. I can’t guarantee a fucking thing. I may lose every cent I have in my bankroll, and if you choose to bet with it, you might too. If this happens, please don’t murder me. You may also make a little bit of money, like I did last year. If this happens, I would also prefer not to be murdered.

I’ll be checking in once or twice a week to talk about who I am liking for upcoming series’, as well as keeping track of the success of the SYSTY in general. The MLB season is still young, and the RPI rankings need time to normalize. I’m planning on starting the 2014 SYSTY on either Friday May 9th, or the following Monday. If you have any questions, I’ll answer what I can in the comments. 


Let’s make Pete Rose proud, let’s bet on baseball.


- The Perrs

Friday, 4 April 2014

Instant Replay - Not So Instant

As many teams finish off their opening series, the newly stated "Instant Replay Rules" have reared their ugly head...


Instant replay has been introduced for 2014, with limitations - but replay is here, and it's making itself known to just about anyone watching a game.
Here is how league officials (whom unanimously voted yes to this) drew up the use of it;
PLAY TYPES
The following play types will be subject to review:
  • Home run
  • Ground rule double
  • Fan interference
  • Stadium boundary calls (e.g., fielder into stands, ball into stands triggering dead ball)
  • Force play (except the fielder's touching of second base on a double play)
  • Tag play (including steals and pickoffs)
  • Fair/foul in outfield only
  • Trap play in outfield only
  • Batter hit by pitch
  • Timing play (whether a runner scores before a third out)
  • Touching a base (requires appeal)
  • Passing runners
  • Record keeping (Ball-strike count to a batter, outs, score, and substitutions)
All other plays will not be reviewable; however, the Umpires may still convene on the field at any time to discuss the play.
INITIATION OF INSTANT REPLAY

  • Field managers may initiate replay review on one reviewable play per game by verbally indicating his intention to challenge, in a timely manner, to the Crew Chief. Guidelines will be established to determine whether a challenge is timely. 
  • The manager may request that the umpire review multiple portions of the same play, but he must specify exactly which portions of the play he is challenging. 
  • If any portion of a challenged play is overturned, the manager who challenged the play will retain the ability to challenge one more play during the game. No manager may challenge more than two plays in a game.
  • Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. In that circumstance, the Crew Chief is not obligated to invoke instant replay if requested by the manager.
  • Home run calls that are currently subject to instant replay review will continue to be reviewed at the Crew Chief's discretion. Managers may request that an Umpire review a home run call, but managers cannot challenge home run calls.
    REVIEW PROCESS
  • Once instant replay review is invoked (either by the Manager or the Crew Chief), the Crew Chief will signal to the official scorer that the play is under review.
  • The Crew Chief and at least one other umpire will then move to a designated communication location near home plate, where they will have access to a hard-wired headset connected to the Replay Command Center in New York. 
  • Major League Umpires will be staffed as Replay Officials at the Replay Command Center, located at MLB Advanced Media headquarters, for all Major League games.
  • The Replay Command Center will have direct access to video from most cameras in the ballpark in real-time, regardless of whether they are shown on the live broadcast. 
  • The Replay Official will look at the video feeds and determine if there is clear and convincing evidence to overturn the call on the field. If the Replay Official overturns a call on the field, he will also use his judgment to determine where to appropriately place runners if the play had been called correctly on the field.
  • The umpires on the field will not have a monitor to review the play and they will not leave the field at any time.
  • The Replay Official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call.
  • On-Field personnel may not argue with the decision of the Replay Official.
    CLUB ACCESS TO VIDEO
  • To determine whether to challenge a play, personnel in the dugout will be permitted to communicate with a video specialist in the Clubhouse who has access to the same video that is available to Replay Officials. This communication will occur via the dugout phone. 
  • Both the home and visiting Clubs will have standardized technology to ensure each Club has equal access to all video.
  • No monitors or additional electronic equipment will be permitted in the dugout.
    SCOREBOARD REPLAYS
  • Clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on its ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play is reviewed.  
Did you read all that? No? Perfect...let me tell you how this works, or at least how managers and umpires are using it thus far.

Step 1: A relatively close play, whether it be a "bang bang" play at a base, a ball landing close to the foul line, a trapped baseball in the outfield etc etc...you get it.

Step 2:
Players and umpires sort of stand around, now making the assumption a Field Manager will make his way out to dispute the call.

Step 3:
Field Manager slowly walks out to Crew Chief, whilst Bench Coach gets on the phone with team staff whom are watching the replay from different angles, presumably in a booth high above.

Step 4:
Field Manager has a discussion with Crew Chief - literally about NOTHING - John Gibbons spoke on The Fan 590 yesterday regarding this - here are some quotes about his first "challenge, but not really a challenge"
Gibby "I said to the umpire, you know we gotta wait here a little while..."
Umpire "Yeah that's fine, what do you wanna talk about"
Gibby"I told Brian Gorman the other night, I didn't understand why I was second guessing him in the first place, I was just out there to make those guys look good"

Step 5:
Field Manager glances back at bench coach, to get a thumbs up or thumbs down (or something like it) signalling whether he should challenge the play or not.

Step 6:
Depending on the appeal, the Manager will either saunter back to the dugout, or challenge, forcing the umpires to use a headset and screen on the side of the field to call New York and discuss the play.

Digging around to find some numbers - after the opening series, challenges took an average of 93 seconds - with the high end being 2 minutes 34 seconds.  Keep in mind, these numbers are only taking into account official challenges and the time from the challenge to the result - not the meandering and small talk, and not those instances when a Manager stops the game, decides the call was correct, says sorry, and sits back down.

Here's A Proposed Solution:
Field Manager is allowed to enter the field under the following circumstances:
1) To engage in conversation with umpire over disputed call, if they decide NOT to challenge they can no longer enter the field again, or they will be FORCED to use their challenge.
2) UNLESS the Manager is entering the field of play to make a pitching change - if a pitching change is NOT made, the Manager loses their challenge option.

This should inherently make Manager's think twice before entering the field of play and slowing the game - which many complain is already too slow.
Favourite Challenge Thus Far:
Last night as the Yankees beat the Astros 4-2...in the ninth inning, the umpiring crew decided to take a look at replay in order to clarify THE COUNT.
The challenge was initiated by the Astros catcher - and according to mlb.com, it went something like this:
"I asked the umpire, 'What's the count?'" Corporan said. "And he said, 'I don't know, I've got 2-1.' I said, 'I've got 2-1 as well.' I kind of forgot about the pitchout that we made. [Solarte] was like, 'No, it's 3-1,' and [the umpire] said, 'Of course you're going to think it's 3-1.' They wanted to make sure, so they took a little time."
Good God.


Early next week, Oppo Taco Town will glance backward at opening week - and gaze forward what opening week can tell us about the 2014 season.