Baseball season is here

Spring training is over and season proper will start today with one game only and rest of the teams follow suit tomorrow. As described in my earlier post I have been collecting data during the spring training to use as basis for staking and results have been good, maybe even too good as 121 bets showed a profit of 12.73 points and strike rate of 57.85% for a ROT of 10.52%. Average odds were 1.913. Doing a quick p-test shows that this is not yet statistically significant so more bets would be needed to verify that.

But I am happy so far and going on what happens is that I will continue following the free selections from Zcode and using the success rate for bet on a teams to determine the stake size for each match. If the level of confidence is too low no bet is made and stake sizes will be between 1 and 7 points and most of them propably end up being in the 1-3 point range.

One possible problem I have seen so far is that Zcode doesn’t publish all the free picks at the same time but staggered based on start times. This wasn’t a problems during early parts of the spring training as most games started at either 13:05 or at 16:05. But regular season games are spread out more and start as late as 22:05 at night. Selections are made public roughly 4 hours before the game time so I need to check the picks several times during the day to catch them all and one some days might miss them due to other commitments. But, they are free, so can’t really complain.

And now something different

I mostly concentrate on just horse racing but I have been intrigued by baseball betting right from the beginning of my betting career. I think it is combination of statistical emphasis in the game, one of my first system tests and one of the best betting books I have read.

Anyway, new baseball season is looming in the horizon and they are currently wrapping the spring training before commencing season proper and I wanted to have piece of the action. I am not skilled enough in baseball betting to make my own selections but as a result of my Picks Buffet test I have a hypothesis that I wish to test.

I am of opinion that on any given season some teams are easier to predict than others and this information can be used to determine confidence level for a given selection and be used as basis for staking.

What I am going to do is utilize free picks and build a spreadsheet where I track how well teams are predicted. As a source of tips I am going to use free tips released at Zcode System website. Zcode is website that gives out predictions on multiple sports. It is on the expensive side with monthly subscription running at 198$ so you would definately need sizable bankroll if you were to subscribe. I am not a member myself and I haven’t seen what is inside but what can be found from sales page there is quite a lot of content included. For my purposes I am interested in the free picks they publish every day and even though they don’t publicly predict all matches I get 4-6 selections every day which works for me at this point.

I have tracked their selections almost from the beginning of the spring training and before todays games results for 1pt flat stakes show a profit of 8.80 points, strike rate of 58.02% and ROT of 10.87%. So far there are two teams left with 100% success rate, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, several with over 60% rate and some with less than 50% and two with 0% success rate.

When the season begins I am going to use these as confidence factors to decide stakes per match of 1 to 3 points and there is going to be a cutoff point where game is going to be a no bet. Let’s see how this goes.

Black cat in a Ballpark

Random enough headline? I picked up a book called “How to Find a Black Cat in a Coal Cellar” after encouraging review by James Butler of Betfair Pro Trader. And the review didn’t lie, it is a good book and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. And as mentioned by James in his review, while it is written from a viewpoint of analysing tipping services nothing prevents one from using the same ideas when analysing homegrown systems and strategies. I plan to use these tests for my own systems later on but as a practice run I will begin with analysing a betting record I have from last year.

At the beginning of my betting life I ran a tipster proofing blog in Finnish. One of the tests and the longest running one was for a service called Sports Picks Buffet. Service collected tips from several sources and then chose best bets based on ratio between opinions of different tipsters. Service alternated between seasons with MLB and NBA and during my test all tips were for baseball. Buffet was ran under a pseudonym and fake Phd credentials which person behind the system came clean about a short while after my test concluded. Currently the service is run under a presumably correct name and shortened name of The Picks Buffet.

First. lets look at basic info about the betting record. There were total of 336 bets over roughly a three month period and all were baseball moneyline bets. During the test period meagre profit of 6.38 points or return on turnover of 1.90% was achieved. Strikerate during the test was 60.12% and average odds were 1.71. In the chart below you can see how bets unfolded.

As you can see, there was an healthy upwards trend in the results, which was followed by a decline and a new climb. Profits never rose to any extreme heights.

How about statistical significance? Testing this was biggest takeaway from the book I mentioned at the beginning of the post. Anyway, for these bets we can calculate a p value of 34.04% meaning that there is over one third of a chance that results above are purely due to chance alone. Black cat book recommends a conservative limit of 0.01% and when value should be below of that for results to be considered statistically significant I think it is safe to say that these results are not.

If we were to draw a normal distribution with average results above we would get a figure as below. But ofcourse there were many bets above and below of 1.71 that was the average. Betting with odds of 1.71 and fair odds of 1.66 there would still be a 26% chance of negative return.

(Sport) Picks Buffet is priced at pretty expensive 125$ per month and I don’t think these results quite justify that kind of a pricetag. Especially when there is service providing basically a same kind of service for cheaper. I haven’t personally tried this, but based on info on their site it could be used in similar way. So to me Scamdicappers seems to offers the same thing, only for multiple US sports and for 50$ per month.


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