Thursday, February 14, 2013
With a projected win total of 86 1/2, bettors can place a season-long wager on whether the Yankees will have 87 wins or more, or if they’ll have 86 wins or fewer. A winning $115 wager would return a $100 profit. New York’s worst record during the past 17 years was an 87-74 mark in 2000, when it went on to win a third straight World Series title.
The Yankees head into spring training with 14-1 odds of winning this year’s World Series, tied for eighth among the league’s 30 teams at the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book. The Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays and defending champion San Francisco Giants currently have better odds.
See, CAIRO is projecting 87 wins. So changing the underlying components and assumptions to make the Yankees look better than they are is working as designed.
Seriously, I’m sure this news is shocking for Hal Steinbrenner.
Even more seriously, Vegas odds are based on public perception and not on rigorous statistical analysis. They are created with an eye on maximizing profits by splitting the bet as evenly as possible and not on getting all the teams right. While there’s something to be said for the wisdom of crowds, perception that the Yankees “haven’t done anything” is likely a large driver in what bettors are seeing. Whether or not the bettors are right remains to be seen.
If I was still a betting man and was forced to take the over/under, I’d take the over on 86.5. But I’d rather sit this one out.
In other news, the Yankees have acquired reliever Shawn Kelley from the Mariners for Abe Almonte. Assuming Kelley’s labrum is not torn already, here are his CAIRO percentile forecasts.
FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RAR: Runs saved above replacement level using RA
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RAR divided by 10)
Kelley takes a 40 man roster spot, but he does have an option left so he gives the Yankees a solid relief arm who averaged around 92 mph with his fastball last season and some roster flexibility. Almonte doesn’t look like much more than fringe prospect at best, whose upside may be fifth OF for defense and baserunning. I like this move.