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Ongoing Research: Daily H2H Strategy

June 3, 2015

The claim up for discussion is: Everything else being equal, start the hitter on the visiting team.

Now I’m not sure I believe it, but it is being aggressively researched.

Let’s take it piece by piece:

1) “Everything else being equal”… and that’s just what it says. You have two guys and you’re not sure which one to start. And everything else you can think of (your two guys’ skills, their spot in the batting order, the quality of the teams they play on, their pitcher matchup including handedness, park factor…) is pretty close.

2) “Start the hitter on the visiting team.” This is also what it says it is.

The Rationale: The visiting team will always get 27 outs. The home team might only get 24. So, sometimes, you’ll get an extra AB out of the road team’s player.

Why I don’t like it: Home teams win about 53% of their games. It’s not a huge statistical leap, then, to think most players perform slightly better at home. But even if you toss THAT into “but you said everything else equal, remember?”, it’s still not much of a leap to say “Well, if Home Team only batted eight times, some of their guys must have hit OK because they won!”–and I want a shot at picking one of those guys who outperformed.

The data-crunching continues… by guys whose brains are bigger than mine. The motive is optimal strategy for daily cash games (DraftKings, FanDuel…).

I’ll let you know what they come up with, but I thought I’d put it out there if anybody wanted to try it.


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