Our resident sabermetrician has used Wins Against Replacement (WAR) to help wager on MLB futures for two years now, and the results for the 2016 season are in and continued to be impressive. Read on as he breaks down the results of the model for betting MLB team win futures.
2016 MLB Record 55-40-4, +12.00 Units
In early March I presented the 2nd annual team win/loss futures-baseball odds system based on the sabermetric analysis. The first year of the betting system was highly successful, with the Under calls cashing at an 80% clip. In 2016, the WAR models were skewed slightly to the high side which created a need for an adjustment in this year's model. The model was picking 29-32 teams to be Over the listed total. For the adjustment, I made any team with a projected result +2 or below the futures line available was an Under call. Any team projected to exceed their futures line by 5 or more games was an Over call. Everything else was a Pass. This stratified the results into rough thirds. Here's how that model performed in the 2016 season:
While these results aren't as robust as the 2015 season, the Under projections using this system still continue to be very strong and worth noting MLB picks. With the 2 game adjustment, the Under performed at 67%, while teams projected to exceed their futures total by 5 or more games performed at 63% with an Over call.
Now, what is important to note here is that the 2 to 5 game “Pass” area was basically arbitrary, and it performed at 7-6 for the Over in its entirety. However, for next year I will be considering getting rid of passing on games altogether, and instead using +3 as the Under and Over boundary. We are dialing in on the inflation of the WAR model and the depression of the betting market for games won. This is indicated by the double line I've placed in the 2016 results and would have resulted in being even more profitable this year. The results of that boundary line would have been 69% for the Under and 64% for the Over. Nothing to sneeze at and the robustness of this system to choose Under is fully intact. I look forward to bringing the results of this model to you for the 2017 season!