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First Week of Trials

Posted on 10/24/2013

The first week of handicapping NFL games went as well as can be expected, especially with how badly things went for some of the professional handicappers I follow. One handicapper lost all four of his Sunday day bets and decided to place two bets of $55,000 each on the Sunday night game. He won one and lost one. Here is how I did.

If you recall from the last post, I have multiple strategies for both the spread and over/under bets on (American) football games. I've altered things a little bit so I would first like to give an update. I have three general strategies on the spread and a fourth which is an "average" of the three distinct strategies. Similarly, I have four strategies for the over/under and one average. Here are the winning percentages for each (note that there was one push on the over/under bets):

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Updated on 04/02/2021

Trying My Hand at Handicapping

Posted on 10/19/2013

It's no secret that I believe math and sports go together. After designing and analyzing my own baseball statistic, I've decided to try handicapping sports games. I'm starting with (American) football because it is hands-down the most popular sport in America and arguably the sport with the most betting action. Depending on the success of this endeavor, I may move on to basketball and/or baseball. Of course this takes a tremendous amount of time, and it's not something I'm jumping into head-first.

I've done quite a bit of research and preparation for this announcement. I've searched for trends in game outcomes relative to closing betting lines. I've analyzed betting strategies to maximize profits while maintaining winning percentages. Home dogs, road favorites, over/unders, and first-five inning bets: I've looked at them all! I've learned nothing.

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Updated on 04/02/2021

Consistency Index Examples

Posted on 06/26/2013

The Consistency Indices are two baseball statistics I invented a few months ago. I've dedicated a lot of my time and computing time to these statistics. I have calculated both the On-Base Consistency Index (OBCI) and the Hit Consistency Index (HCI) for every batter's career debuting in 1915 or later with at least 2000 plate appearances. I have also calculated the top indices for each year, three-year span, and five-year span since 1915 (with plate appearance restrictions for each). All of this is through the 2012 season. I would like to share some of my thoughts and data.

Let's start with the career data. The average OBCI and HCI for all the careers I calculated are 4.758552464799467 and 2.0165131499264994, respectively. The best careers for OBCI and HCI should not be a surprise: Ted Williams has the highest career OBCI and Joe DiMaggio has the highest career HCI. Unfortunately I don't have access to game log data for Ty Cobb because he debuted in 1905. I would expect that he would have the highest career HCI. Lou Gehrig owns the second highest career OBCI, which did not surprise me either. However, I was surprised that Ichiro Suzuki has the second highest career HCI. This made a lot of sense after looking at Ichiro's numbers and recalling that he had an extremely low swing-and-miss rate in his prime. It validates that both indicies are measuring the correct thing. Click here for a list of the top 50 career OBCIs and here for a list of the top 50 career HCIs. Both indicies are included in each list for comparison and the ordered index is highlighted.

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Updated on 04/02/2021

Introduction to the Consistency Indices

Posted on 06/22/2013

One hundred sixty-two games is a long season during which a hitter will go through several hot streaks and slumps. As a manager makes a lineup in the "dog days of summer," wouldn't it be nice to know which solid, consistent hitter to keep in the middle of the lineup? A hitter that one could count on to get a hit or get on base nearly every game. There are advanced metrics that attempt to measure many different aspects of a player's game. However, I found a small gap; there is no metric that attempts to measure how consistent a batter is at getting hits or on base. I have developed two statistics that try to measure this. I call them the "On-Base Consistency Index" (OBCI) and the "Hit Consistency Index" (HCI). What follows is the idea behind the indices, where I got the data, and how I processed that data. The next post will contain examples and analysis of specific players, years, and careers.

Both the OBCI and HCI are constructed using the same fundamental idea: a batter that is "streaky" will have long streaks of games in which they get on base (or get a hit) followed by long streaks of games in which they don't get on base (or don't get a hit). Of course consistent hitters should have long streaks of games in which they do get on base (or get a hit), but have very short streaks of games where they do not. To calculate OBCI and HCI, streak lengths are determined from game log data (which will be described later). Then the streak lengths are compared a few different ways, resulting in one number for each index. The higher the number, the more consistent the hitter - at least according to these stats. Until I figure out exactly what I am going to do with these stats, I won't give away the exact formulas used. I will say that the formulas have changed drastically over the development process, and they are fairly simple; the hardest part of the calculations is gathering the data. The formula for OBCI and HCI are exactly the same using their respective data.

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Updated on 04/02/2021

How I Created This Blog

Posted on 05/31/2013

When I decided to create a blog to log my thoughts and ideas, I didn't want to use any of the existing blogging platforms. For one, most of the existing (free) blogging sites require you to have a subdomain of their domain (i.e. Tumblr was the only one I found that did not require this, but I will stay away from it now that it has been purchased by Yahoo. For another, these sites only give you a fixed number of free themes to work with, and instead of taking the time to write my own theme, I can simply use the CSS files I already have for my website. This all led me to create this blog from scratch. I would like to take this time to describe how I did that.

The base of the blog consists of three HTML pages (one being the "Credits" page), two CSS files, two JavaScript files, and three PHP scripts. The first HTML page is the main blog page. It shows a preview (read: first paragraph) of the five most recent posts. It also displays the date the post was created, the date it was updated, and a link to the comments of the post (which will be "Disqus-ed" later). These are all displayed using PHP code in the HTML file. You may also notice an "Archive" section; this will be discussed later. The second HTML file displays a desired blog post to the reader. It uses the $_GET variable to retrieve the desired post. The PHP code that does this is robust; if the user changes or deletes the "post" entry in the URL, the code handles this by displaying an error message. The post HTML file also displays dates, comments, and archive mentioned above. The third HTML file is the credits page. It lists the appropriate credits and mentions for resources used in the blog.

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Updated on 04/02/2021

First Blog Post

Posted on 05/25/2013

Hello to you. My name is Donald Adams and I would like to welcome you to my blog. One day, while reading one of my favorite iPhone/iPad blog, I ran across an article written about Don Melton. He is best known for heading the Safari project at Apple. He is retired now, but has chosen to share his thoughts and some of his experiences on his blog. An interesting thing about Mr. Melton is he was not a "tech nerd" as a youngester. He was actually once in seminary; you might not believe it if you listened to him on iMore's Debug podcast. The point is he got a late start in computer programming and has inspired me to pursue it myself. My first project was to code this blog. My next post will describe how I did that. For now, I would like to share little bit about myself.

I usually go by Donnie; I prefer not to be called Don (that's my dad). I currently live in Tempe, AZ with my wife and my beagle. I moved to Tempe to attend Arizona State University and pursue my Ph.D. in pure math. Currently I am studying arithmetic geometry and number theory. I moved from San Diego where I attended San Diego State for my bachelor's and master's degrees (both in math). In case you don't know, number theory is the basis of cryptography including the kind used in computer communication. As I learned the foundations of these cryptosystems, I naturally became interested in programming. I just never thought of making it a career or a lifestyle.

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Updated on 04/02/2021

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