Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two Minus Three Equals Negative FUN!

More fun with numbers, this time courtesy of Jon Heyman at CNNSI. You no doubt remember this post where I linked to Jon Heyman’s playoff preview. Well as part of his playoff preview, Heyman provided his odds that each team would win the World Series. Now, hang in there, but I’ve dropped those odds into Excel, and computed the % likelihood that is implicit with the applicable odds.

Yankees - 5 to 2 - 28.6%
Red Sox - 3 to 1 - 25.0%
Diamondbacks - 5 to 1 - 16.7%
Rockies - 10 to 1 - 9.1%
Phillies - 11 to 1 - 8.3%
Angels - 12 to 1 - 7.7%
Indians - 15 to 1 - 6.3%
Cubs - 25 to 1 - 3.8%

You’ll notice the following:

- The combined odds exceed 100% (105.5%), which I realized when I posted earlier but didn't think it was worth noting (though it is retarded).
- The Red Sox odds imply that Heyman thought they were 2.75 times more likely than the Rockies to win.

Why is this relevant you ask? Well in today’s daily scoop, Heyman noted the following:

Baseball is filled with number crunchers, sabermetricians and stat geeks. So can someone please explain to me why the bookmakers have installed the Red Sox as 2½-to-1 favorites over the red-hot Rockies in the 103rd World Series? I just don't get it. The numbers don't compute.

They've played .950 baseball over the last month. Yet the oddsmakers are saying that they have only a 28 percent chance to win the Series.

If you now focus only on the odds that Heyman gave for the Red Sox and Rockies earlier, the total percentage is 34.1% that either of them will win. The Rockies’ percentage of that? 27% (The Red Sox = 73%)

So there you go Jon, I'm not a sabermetrician and I really don't consider myself a stat geek, but I've explained it to you using your own numbers.

Now, I get that Heyman may have given different odds if you asked him who would win a head to head series. But if he did it right, I'm not sure he should have to.

Update: I just noticed that at the end of the preview Heyman had changed his tune and said the following: Conclusion: I see Rocktober spilling into Rockvember, and Colorado winning in 7. So apparently the Rockies chances (in comparison to the Red Sox only) have about doubled in Heyman's mind, while the Red Sox have gone down about a third.

1 comment:

Matt said...

That's really too good. Hope you've alerted Heyman directly. It's incredible the numbers work out that way - almost like Heyman's brain is appalled by its own idiocy.