Opening Day

Yesterday was like Christmas morning, for so many reasons.

The biggest reason that I was excited was there would be a nearly full slate of baseball games on over the course of the entire day. At any point in the day, I could have had MLB.tv on with a game playing. (Yes, MLB.tv is still the greatest invention for a baseball fan. The biggest issue they need to fix is their blackout policies.)

The other reason that I got extremely excited is it was the first full debut of the Greg Danchik Model, or GDM. Yes, I am selfish enough to name the model after myself.

The GDM is a model to predict the outcome of Major League Baseball games relative to the implied odds that sportsbooks give out every day.

The four main ideas behind the model are…

  1. The order of the lineup matters! If a player can contribute more runs to a teams total runs, you want them higher in the order. Therefore, runs scored for each team is totally lineup dependent.
  2. Defensive statistics are unreliable. If Vegas is using them, it could be a disadvantage to them. I am going to stick to the basics of hitting and pitching, which are much easier to quantify and predict (not that either is actually easy).
  3. The best way to predict how good a bullpen is going to be is by using the average bullpen statistics from last year. Relievers, other than Mariano Rivera, are the most fickle of all athletes. They come from everywhere including from behind the plate, like Kenley Jansen. It is really too hard to predict game to game how to relievers will be used or perform. That’s why I am sticking to the average.
  4. Using projected stats from projection systems that have proven to be accurate will be better than using past statistics. I do not know if this is true, but it is what I believe, so it is what I am doing.

I am not going to break it down much further, but I will give some results from Opening Day.

Felix Hernandez delivering a pitch in the first inning of the Mariners Opening Day game in 2014 (Photo Cred: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

Felix Hernandez delivering a pitch in the first inning of the Mariners Opening Day game in 2014 (Photo Cred: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

This rudimentary model only went 5-3, but I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to see Danny Farquhar finish off the Angels after the Mariners extended their lead in the 9th around 1:30 am EST. The game that started with Jered Weaver and Felix Hernandez at 10 pm EST had finally come to a close. That signaled an above .500 Opening Day, and I, now, feel justified for spending a lot of my spare time over spring break getting this done before Opening Day.

And here’s to hoping for more, or mostly, above .500 days for the reminder of the MLB season.

Greg Danchik

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