Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Table of Contents Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes. 1. Odds for the Derby, Translated to Win Percentage 2. Unhelpful Video: Pedro Alvarez Homering Once Odds for the Derby, Translated to Win Percentage Introduction With the conclusion of Sunday night’s Cubs-Cardinals game, capital-B Baseball has officially entered its All-Star Break. For those (like the present author) whose affection for the sport is tied directly to its ubiquity during the summer months, the Break is not a particularly welcome interval. For those (also like the present author) whose job it is to produce Notes on a Daily basis, the Break creates what is known as “a dearth of content.” In any case, to divert ourselves today, Day 1 of 4, the author has produced the following — i.e. the projected winning percentages of every participant in tonight’s home-run derby based on the latest betting odds regarding same. Odds for the Home Run Derby, Translated into Win Percentage What follows, as noted above, are the projected winning percentages for all of tonight home-run derby participants. In addition to the latest odds (Odds) and projected win percentages (pWin%), the author has also included each player’s regular-season home-run percentage on contact (HR%), the home-run park factor for each respective batter’s home park (Park), an adjusted home-run rate based on that park factor (HR%*), and something called Simple Win Percentage (sWin%), which is nothing more than the park-adjusted home-run rates scaled such that they all add up to 100%. Here are the odds and projected win percentages, followed by some brief notes on same below: Name Team AB K Con HR HR% Park HR%* sWin% Odds pWin% Chris Davis Orioles 339 109 230 36 15.7% 110 14.2% 21.6% 15/4 16.8% Prince Fielder Tigers 359 74 285 16 5.6% 101 5.6% 8.4% 15/4 16.8% Pedro Alvarez Pirates 300 108 192 24 12.5% 92 13.6% 20.6% 9/2 14.5% Bryce Harper Nationals 196 43 153 13 8.5% 100 8.5% 12.9% 11/2 12.3% Robinson Cano Yankees 350 52 298 21 7.0% 111 6.3% 9.6% 11/2 12.3% Yoenis Cespedes Athletics 304 80 224 15 6.7% 94 7.1% 10.8% 11/2 12.3% David Wright Mets 341 67 274 13 4.7% 102 4.7% 7.1% 9/1 8.0% Michael Cuddyer Rockies 280 58 222 15 6.8% 114 5.9% 9.0% 10/1 7.2% Notes • It should be noted, first of all, that these odds have been taken from Bovada*, which is generally known as a “square” sportsbook. Square sportsbooks cater more to the general public, as opposed to “sharp” sportsbooks, whose odds might more accurately reflect the actual outcome of a particular event. Because Bovada is square might help to explain why Prince Fielder, who won last year’s derby, has received the same odds as Chris Davis despite hitting home runs at nearly one-third the rate. • It should be noted, second of all, that the author has absolutely no idea to what degree a player’s seasonal home-run rate informs his probability of winning the home-run derby. Maybe none at all, is the answer. Finding that answer, however, would require both time and expertise not currently available to the author. • For all of the attention Chris Davis has received, it appears as though Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez has hit home runs — on contact, at least — at roughly the same rate as Davis, once home parks are accounted for. That one stipulation regarding contact, of course, is not an entirely negligible one. *Pinnacle, the sharp book from which the author generally takes his odds, wasn’t offering any bets on the home-run derby as of Sunday night. Unhelpful Video: Pedro Alvarez Homering Once For the benefit of no one, probably, here’s video footage of Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez homering one time: Your browser does not support iframes.
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