Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I know all of you probably think I type "ESPN Stupid Ideas" into Google News everyday and proceed to pick on the Leader, but I swear that isn't the case. And while I don't actively search for items to pile on ESPN....they just seem to fall in my lap as of late.
Like this one....oh and what about this one?
Well folks...let's add a third one for the month. I give you "Win Probability"! During this year's College World Series ESPN will add to it's "Tourney Track" production element something so ground breaking, I can't even contain myself....
The second year of Tourney Track, a device that has been tracking run probabilities in key situations for the entire three-week tournament (e.g. - percentage of times teams were able to get out of a bases loaded and no outs situation without giving up a run) will now feature the addition of Win Probability which will track the probability of one team defeating another as the game unfolds. Win Probability is predicated on the supposition that before a game begins two teams facing each other have an equal chance of winning and that is altered with each subsequent occurrence of the game.Well there's one fatal flaw with that system. Both teams usually don't have an equal chance to win. Let's take some games from last Thursday as an example. Two lines....Louisville +265 Rice -285, Mississippi State +232 North Carolina -252. Now if you're not a betting person those spreads mean that Rice and UNC are favored by over 2.5x their competition. You have to bet $285 to win $100 on Rice, and $100 wins you $265 on the Cards. That doesn't seem very equal to me.
Let's take the Louisville/Rice game for example....Say L'Ville takes a 1-0 lead after the Top of the 1st (which they did). Wouldn't Rice have a better chance to comeback considering they have better pitching and hitting than if the score was reversed? Don't you have to factor a team's ability into the "Win Probability", and isn't that impossible.
L'Ville's Win Probability was at 60% after the first. It probably went up to 75% after they went up 5-0 in the third. They lost 15-10. What's the point of the stat then? Especially in a sport as back-and-forth like College Baseball.
Maybe I'm being a bit too critical, but stats like these can get annoying during a game. I'd rather here that Louisville's Center Fielder enjoys the music of Avril Lavigne than a pointless stat. Tell me if I'm wrong in my thinking here....
P.S.- Your Announcing crew the rest of the way is Mike Patrick, Orel Hersheiser, and Erin Andrews. I was also unaware that Barry Larkin is an analyst now.....he's done though after doing a few earlier games with Sean McDonough.