Sunday, June 11, 2006

Are trends useful?

Are trends useful? Let's say you hear that the Yankees have won 10 straight day games. Does that mean anything? I don't think so. What if you hear that Dodger Stadium has gone over the Total with a record of 21-10-2 this year...does that mean anything? well, possibly.

What is the difference between these two trends that makes one probably meaningless and the other one maybe meaningful?

I think the reason the Dodgers Over may be meaningful is because of the redesign of the ballpark for this year. The park is not the same as it used to be. There is now a lot more scoring in Dodger Stadium than in previous years. This may not mean their home games will continue to go over - especially if the lines are now higher than and the market has adjusted. In their first 5 home games this year, the average total was 7.8. In their last 5 home games this year, the average total was 8.4. So maybe the line has already adjusted, and now the trend is useless because it is measuring something that the bookies have adjusted to. Still, it is something worthwhile to think about. Maybe the true average total should be a half run higher still and the bookies are in the middle of adjusting but haven't adjusted enough.

In the first trend mentioned - "the Yankees have won 10 straight day games" - I think that's a useless trend. Unless there is a viable reason why this has happened. It could be possible, but seems implausible. If you knew that the Yankees were a bunch of good guys who never go out drinking and never stay out late...but every other team in baseball always stay out late and drink til they puke...then maybe you could say the Yankees were a better day game team than others. But of course, I just made that up, the Yankees are probably no different than any other team in the major leagues as far as their drinking habits and the time they get their shut-eye. So there is no viable reason behind that trend, and I would dismiss it as anything useful at all.

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