Computer Sims Like Angels; Utility Company Likes Computer Sims

Published on 15-Mar-2013 by Alan Adamsson
MLB / MLB Daily Stake

Computer Sims Like Angels; Utility Company Likes Computer Sims

There's a famous theorem about an infinite number of monkeys. The calculus posits that if they were given an infinite number of typewriters, sooner or later, they'd compose the complete works of Shakespeare.

It would definitely be a process.

Making 50,000 calculations is a far cry from infinity. So is 50,000 x 162. That would be the number of simulations a computer would conduct to cover one major league team's season. There are 30 MLB teams; it takes two to tango, of course, so cut that number in half. Thus, a full season of calculations at the 50,000 sims per game level would be:

50,000 x 162 x 15 = 121,500,000 game simulations

While this is a very impressive total, it's still not infinity.

However, it is enough for its programmers to declare the Angels as the favorite to win the World Series in 2013. Enough, that is, if a 12% chance of doing so is considered to be a confidence builder at the ticket window.

The Prediction Machine website isn't exactly pounding its binary fist on the table to endorse this data, but it is making some eyebrow raising claims. For example, this outfit lists figures showing it compiled a 90% success rate on the MLB teams' win totals for the 2012 season.

Conveniently, the season-win totals are based on Bovada's lines. Altruistically, the Prediction Machine shares four of its estimates:

Teams Projected Wins Bovada's Line Pick Pick Pct
Los Angeles Angels             93.3             92.5 over      53.9
San Diego Padres             72.7             74.5 under      53.1
Cleveland Indians             76.8             76.5 over      52.3
Cincinnati Reds             91.1             91.5 under      52.0

Just remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

And since the Prediction Machine picked the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII with a 67% result rate, it's possible that the system still needs tweaking. Or better data.

Or an infinite number of monkeys.

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