Thursday, 6 October 2011

Play-Off Lottery

The baseball post-season matches have shown improved liquidity as I mentioned previously, which makes for opportunities. Experience, confirmed by a quick check in The Book - Playing The Percentages In Baseball -told me that the St Louis Cardinals, down by 2 in the middle of the first to the Philadelphia Phillies, were a value bet at close to 4.0. Pre-game they were slight outsiders, at 2.12, but with 27 outs to play with, and at home, it seemed too good to be true. Cardinals came back to win 5-3.

There's another consideration in the first round of the play-offs, which is that these series are short - Best of 5, not best of 7. In many ways, the Wild Card qualifier, in this case the Cardinals, almost has an advantage in that while their opponents have coasted into the post-season, the Wild Card team has effectively been played play-off baseball for the past few weeks. In a short series, the regular season best team can struggle to find top gear again. Perhaps a similar situation to the Football League Play-Offs where the top placed play-off team in the Championship has won only 7 promotions in 25 seasons.

Not that American sports would understand the concept of promotion of course.

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