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Gambler's Fallacy

Postby bobbing_headz » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:18 pm

Article posted on Yahoo discussing this and it's relation to fantasy baseball. Most of you probably know about this to some degree but I thought it would provide for interesting discussion. Don't necessarily agree with the article but I'll comment more later.

http://sports.yahoo.com/fantasy/blog/roto_arcade/post/No-Andruw-will-not-hit-360-something-after-the?urn=fantasy,85565&cp=4#comments
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby jake_harv88 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:25 pm

I've got to be honest that was one of the lamest things I've ever seen yahoo post. It was entirely just a re-iteration of what Hardball Times posted a few days ago. Basically Andy Behrens was saying "hey look at this awesome piece that I found on the internet". I had read that piece 3 days before he posted it up. Poor work IMO...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/fantasy/article/the-myth-of-the-law-of-averages/
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby jake_harv88 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:36 pm

Now that I've commented on the illegitimacy of yahoo I figured i'll comment on the original article which was posted by Derek Carty...

The Law of Averages is not absolute one way or the other. Its not easy to say that it exists or doesn't exist. There are many other factors to consider. An owner must consider various things like sample size and his peripherals. If Arod starts out the season hitting .200 through 50 ABs it's not ridiculous to expect him to hit over .300 to get back to his career average. Other factors to consider are GB%s, K/BB, BABIP, etc. Its not as easy to say he'll return to his average; you need to be constantly re-evaluating a players performance...
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby OneLoveBoomer » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:40 pm

jake_harv88 wrote:Now that I've commented on the illegitimacy of yahoo I figured i'll comment on the original article which was posted by Derek Carty...

The Law of Averages is not absolute one way or the other. Its not easy to say that it exists or doesn't exist. There are many other factors to consider. An owner must consider various things like sample size and his peripherals. If Arod starts out the season hitting .200 through 50 ABs it's not ridiculous to expect him to hit over .300 to get back to his career average. Other factors to consider are GB%s, K/BB, BABIP, etc. Its not as easy to say he'll return to his average; you need to be constantly re-evaluating a players performance...



yep, well said.
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby noseeum » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:26 pm

jake_harv88 wrote:Now that I've commented on the illegitimacy of yahoo I figured i'll comment on the original article which was posted by Derek Carty...

The Law of Averages is not absolute one way or the other. Its not easy to say that it exists or doesn't exist. There are many other factors to consider. An owner must consider various things like sample size and his peripherals. If Arod starts out the season hitting .200 through 50 ABs it's not ridiculous to expect him to hit over .300 to get back to his career average. Other factors to consider are GB%s, K/BB, BABIP, etc. Its not as easy to say he'll return to his average; you need to be constantly re-evaluating a players performance...


I disagree. It is always unreasonable to assume someone will do something they haven't before. The Arod example is poor because he has demonstrated the skill of hitting over .300 before and is in fact a .306 career hitter.

But if you have a career .270 hitter who's hitting .200 for 50 games, you cannot expect him to hit .300 for 50 games to get himself back up to close to even. If anything, that .200 should make you worry he won't hit even .270 the rest of the way. But in reality, if his core skills are the same, you plan on .270 and you figure out what his BA will end up being at the end, which will be slightly below his career norm. Of course, if you're trading for him, what do you care? You're betting on .270 and hopefully buying at a discount.
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby jake_harv88 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:35 pm

noseeum wrote:
jake_harv88 wrote:Now that I've commented on the illegitimacy of yahoo I figured i'll comment on the original article which was posted by Derek Carty...

The Law of Averages is not absolute one way or the other. Its not easy to say that it exists or doesn't exist. There are many other factors to consider. An owner must consider various things like sample size and his peripherals. If Arod starts out the season hitting .200 through 50 ABs it's not ridiculous to expect him to hit over .300 to get back to his career average. Other factors to consider are GB%s, K/BB, BABIP, etc. Its not as easy to say he'll return to his average; you need to be constantly re-evaluating a players performance...


I disagree. It is always unreasonable to assume someone will do something they haven't before. The Arod example is poor because he has demonstrated the skill of hitting over .300 before and is in fact a .306 career hitter.

But if you have a career .270 hitter who's hitting .200 for 50 games, you cannot expect him to hit .300 for 50 games to get himself back up to close to even. If anything, that .200 should make you worry he won't hit even .270 the rest of the way. But in reality, if his core skills are the same, you plan on .270 and you figure out what his BA will end up being at the end, which will be slightly below his career norm. Of course, if you're trading for him, what do you care? You're betting on .270 and hopefully buying at a discount.


Little do you know you actually completely agreed with me. Maybe I phrased what I was trying to say poorly, but the point is that you can't say the law of averages applies one way or the other. Of course there are cases like Arod where he's almost certain to hit .300 given a big enough sample size. While there are other cases, such as you mentioned, where a players skill set wouldn't allow him to hit over their average to even things out.

To be entirely clear it's more important that you continually re-evaluate a players talent and skill. One should look at all factors involved such as age, injury, trends, and like I mentioned before, their relevant peripherals (BABIP, GB/FB, BB/K, choose your fancy).

In the end there is no possible way to 100% accurately predict a players future performance (even great systems like PECOTA only capture about 70% of the variance), however, what we can do is take the facts at hand to make a reasonable educated decision and hope for the best.

I hope that was more clear ;-D What say you, my good man?
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby noseeum » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:44 pm

jake_harv88 wrote:
noseeum wrote:
jake_harv88 wrote:Now that I've commented on the illegitimacy of yahoo I figured i'll comment on the original article which was posted by Derek Carty...

The Law of Averages is not absolute one way or the other. Its not easy to say that it exists or doesn't exist. There are many other factors to consider. An owner must consider various things like sample size and his peripherals. If Arod starts out the season hitting .200 through 50 ABs it's not ridiculous to expect him to hit over .300 to get back to his career average. Other factors to consider are GB%s, K/BB, BABIP, etc. Its not as easy to say he'll return to his average; you need to be constantly re-evaluating a players performance...


I disagree. It is always unreasonable to assume someone will do something they haven't before. The Arod example is poor because he has demonstrated the skill of hitting over .300 before and is in fact a .306 career hitter.

But if you have a career .270 hitter who's hitting .200 for 50 games, you cannot expect him to hit .300 for 50 games to get himself back up to close to even. If anything, that .200 should make you worry he won't hit even .270 the rest of the way. But in reality, if his core skills are the same, you plan on .270 and you figure out what his BA will end up being at the end, which will be slightly below his career norm. Of course, if you're trading for him, what do you care? You're betting on .270 and hopefully buying at a discount.


Little do you know you actually completely agreed with me. Maybe I phrased what I was trying to say poorly, but the point is that you can't say the law of averages applies one way or the other. Of course there are cases like Arod where he's almost certain to hit .300 given a big enough sample size. While there are other cases, such as you mentioned, where a players skill set wouldn't allow him to hit over their average to even things out.

To be entirely clear it's more important that you continually re-evaluate a players talent and skill. One should look at all factors involved such as age, injury, trends, and like I mentioned before, their relevant peripherals (BABIP, GB/FB, BB/K, choose your fancy).

In the end there is no possible way to 100% accurately predict a players future performance (even great systems like PECOTA only capture about 70% of the variance), however, what we can do is take the facts at hand to make a reasonable educated decision and hope for the best.

I hope that was more clear ;-D What say you, my good man?


I disagree that you agree with me. :-b

Just kidding. We're on the same page for sure. Now trade me Arod for Nate McLouth, because he's clearly only a BA .287/OBP .362/SLG .522 player at this point in his career.
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby jake_harv88 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:54 pm

What are you even trying to say with that last post?
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby noseeum » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:06 am

jake_harv88 wrote:What are you even trying to say with that last post?


Those are Arod's current stats. Just another joke that obviously didn't come through via text.
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Re: Gambler's Fallacy

Postby JasonSeahorn » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:11 am

Don't degrade Yahoo for posting that, not everyone will look at sites such as hardballtimes and not everyone is a fantasy expert. Yahoo is just trying to do as much as they can to help out anyone who was willing to read extra articles posted by them. I'm sure that particular article was helpful to many fantasy newbies.
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