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Friday, May 4, 2007

Great Article on a Potential New Market Inefficiency

In Moneyball, Michael Lewis talks about Billy Beane's discovery of a market inefficiency in baseball: On-Base Percentage. Well, today the Hardball Times writes about a new one. Check out the article here. Very well done.

What this article talks about can definitely be applied to Fantasy Baseball. This is actually a strategy I employed in a number of my drafts this season. I drafted Barry Bonds late, knowing I would only get 120 or so games out of him. I then took another outfielder late, such as a Moises Alou or a Pat Burrell or a Chris Duncan, who I intended to play when Bonds gets hurt and on days when the Giants play a day game after a night game and Bonds sits. This has so far worked out well for me, and I think it is a very good strategy that should be employed in certain cases.

It's late now, and I have to get up early, but this is something I will think about and probably talk more about tomorrow. Good night.

1 comment:

Mark Geoffriau said...

This issue was discussed briefly in the book "Fantasyland". I tend to agree with it, with one caveat: judge your level of competition before determining how much risk to accept.

What I mean is this: in an uncompetitive fantasy league (or baseball league, for that matter), you have little to gain by seeking out risky players. If you select safe, proven performers, you should be able to beat your weak competition anyway. Taking on more risk only serves to either (a) increase your lead, or (b) sink your team.

On the other hand, in a very competitive league, you might made the perfectly valued selection in each round of the draft, and yet have only an average team (since every other team will also have drafted well). In this case, it behooves you to seek out riskier players, as you don't have much to lose. Either you will lose by a lot (instead of a little), or the unexpected value will boost you into contention.

Does this make sense to anyone else?