Home Run Derby!

Let’s see what we can do with the 2019 Home Run Derby. I’ll use some advanced analytics in a recipe I created to calculate the win probability for each player in the Derby. First, I ran all the numbers on each player through my Home Run Derby algorithm. Yes I have one of those too! I loved betting the Home Run Derby since I was back in high school. It was always a fun event and cool to put $20 on one of the guys and hope he took me to the promised land. Usually he didn’t but it was still fun. I never lost my enjoyment of the Home Run Derby as I got older. Eventually, when I started getting serious into algorithms, July rolled around one year and I thought, I have to figure out a calculation for odds in the Home Run Derby! Back then the All-Star break included the only days in the year where there were no US sports to bet. It gave me plenty of free time. So I used the time and created my formula. As with any algorithm, it sucked at first but eventually I learned from mistakes and dialed it in. It then became a profitable algorithm in the years that followed. I often preach with any selection, while it has had success winning 8 of the last 15 years, it is not a sure thing. Your betting on this event should be pizza money at best. Just to give you something to watch and root for given there is little action elsewhere this week. Let’s dive in!

I ran this year’s field through my HRD algorithm. It calculated the field as follows:

The percentage probability is what the algorithm calculates as that player’s chance of winning the HRD. The fair moneyline is what the moneyline should be based on my probability calculated of that player winning the HRD. The current odds are the current listed odds at the time I am posting this at Bookmaker.eu/CRIS.com. The differential is simply the difference between my calculated odds for each player and what Bookmaker is offering. The green numbers means we are getting better odds than what we calculate it should be (POSITIVE VALUE!!!) and the red numbers means we are getting paid less than we should based on the player’s probability of winning (NEGATIVE VALUE!!!).

As you can see, Alonso is both the highest probability player and carries a positive value of $1.01 on the odds. He should be +305 and instead he is +406! If I had to select just one player to win this year, it would be Alonso even though Santana and Acuna have higher values. I will lean to very good value and a high percentage chance of winning if I was allowed only one play.

However since there are four players with value, how could you bet to take advantage of the calculated value that exists on each player? I would advise the following breakdown:

In this breakdown I show you how I would take 1.05 units and split it among the players with value to generate a guaranteed profit if any of the four won the Derby. Now to me, 1.05 units is money within my bankroll that I would not even think about if I lost. So, if none of the four won the Derby, I will still have a great time enjoying the Derby and not even think about it. If 1.05 units IS NOT something you could handle losing when the Derby is over then by all means, BET LESS!!!!! Also, you should think about a different bankroll management strategy but that’s your choice. The betting here is supposed to be fun action so please don’t go wild. We are just here to have some fun!

OK, with the disclaimer posted, I take 1.05 units and split it among the four participants that show value. I have 0.4 units on the top pick, 0.3 on the next best, 0.2 on the third best and 0.15 on the final value bet. The return column shows the profit on that player’s individual ticket cashing. The net profit column takes the profit returned from that player and subtracts out the losing tickets on the other three players. You can see in this breakdown that that if Alonso wins we net the most but if any of the other three come in we profit .75 to .78 units! Not bad for taking half the pool of players in the Derby. If you just want to take one shot on a single player, then I would say Alonso is the guy based on value and probability. Let’s see what happens tonight! Remember, any player can easily win the Derby, the algorithm is here to tell us who has a good price and who has a bad one.

Regardless of the outcome, enjoy the Derby and thanks for having some fun with me on baseball math!

Good luck in your action!
~ The Sharp Plays