The all-new baseball Stat Challenge, thanks to FanDuel.com

I’m thrilled to account a major upcoming feature on High Heat Stats: an all-new version of the immensely popular Stat Challenge I ran a couple of years ago.

I stopped the old stat challenge because the bookkeeping was too difficult. This is where FanDuel.com comes in to play–this new website is all set up for fantasy sports challenges, and each one lasts only a day. Click through for more info on how our Stat Challenge and FanDuel.com work.

Back on the old Baseball-Reference.com blog, I ran a weekly stat challenge that asked users to make guesses at weekly stats. I then went through the painstaking process of tabulating scores (often making errors) and maintaining overall rankings. A lot of people were unhappy when I decided to end the challenge because it was too much work.

FanDuel.com is a fantasy sports player’s dream. They have tons of leagues, but each baseball one lasts for just one day. That’s right–you don’t need to log on every day and mess with your roster, and then take a nosedive if you forget to check in. Each of their contests is one day, and it’s really simple. Each player has a fantasy salary, and you get a salary cap from which to draft your team for that day. Then your players accumulate points based on performance for that day, and the entry with the most points wins.

As the baseball season gears up, I’ll be posting more information. Once the season starts, I’m going to be running lots of Stat Challenges through FanDuel. Most will be completely free for you to enter and participate in, but there will also be chances to win some actual money. I have a feeling that some members of our stats-heavy community will have a great shot at performing really well.

More to come on this in the next couple of weeks!

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Brandon
9 years ago

Awesome. I look forward to it!

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
9 years ago

I’m a little confused by “free” challenges and “money” challenges. Does this mean you can only win actual money if you fork over some before you play? Even if so, this sounds fun. More importantly, though, do I have to have an account at FanDuel to play, even if it’s a free, no-cash-prize game?

bstar
bstar
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy, do we have to be a member of a league to play for pay? Or can we just pop in and play for one day, no hassles? I’m not a fantasy guy.

bstar
bstar
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Thanks for the reply and info, Andy. Sounds fun.

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy there are a number of places on the web you could get the over/under futures picks for MLB. I think it would be fantastically interesting if you would post the Vegas picks for number of wins and allow and encourage everyone here to pick those numbers apart. For example the Cubs are 73 and 1\2 for this year as we stand. I’m not saying make a contest of it, but it would be great to hear stats driven people go out on a limb and say “I think the Royals will win more than 81 games this year because… Read more »

bstar
bstar
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Here’s a link to over/under odds for wins in the NL West, based on LVH Sportsbook. You can link to all other divisions also from this page. It’s dated March 2, so I’m sure there have been some changes since then(A.J. Burnett’s broken face, Utley’s bad news)

bstar
bstar
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy
Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

I will do so Andy. The best place I know is from an online sportsbook. I’m not saying everyone go out and bet. I just would love to see real stats people look at the numbers and go on the record as to what they think. I took the liberty of copying the win total over under from a leading online SB. These are the numbers below, and if you’d like I can do it again next week and send you an updated file as the numbers change. Arizona Diamondbacks (86.5 Wins) – Atlanta Braves (87.0 Wins) – Baltimore Orioles… Read more »

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Please keep in mind I’m not trying to sell anything, or turn anyone into a gambler or promote gambling. I am fascinated by the amount of knowledge some of the guys have here, and by the passion for baseball. I’m also fascinated by Las Vegas and how the rubber hits the road with stats and money. Let me say right now that as I look at the win totals, most look about right or about a game or 2 in either direction. But in my opinion there are some teams that I think will play better or worse.

topper009
topper009
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Well Timmy I just calculated the average wins from your list at 78.45 (maybe wrong) which means you should just bet over on every team and guarantee to come out on top…right?

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Topper are you factoring in the push?

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Also If you have a team that does grossly worse than what the total is, my pick would be Detroit, then that would skewer you plan to make money from betting every team.

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Or vice versa! A team that does much better or much worse splashes cold water on your plan. Really if you came up with 4 teams that you were sure would do better or worse than the number, and 3 of those won for you, you’d be looking good. Hard to bet Vegas but it can be done if you pay attention.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago

The MLBPA has asked me never again to participate in fantasy baseball. They’re tired of seeing everyone get hurt the moment I draft them. 🙂

Hartvig
Hartvig
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

In 2004 I was certain that I had drafted a team that would finally bring me another championship after about 15 years in my hard core, mixed league fantasy league- especially since I had Roy Halladay to anchor my pitching staff.

I’m pretty certain that if I had been alive in the ’30’s and they had such a thing as fantasy baseball back then I would have ended Lou Gehrig’s career a few years earlier…

Jeff Allen
Jeff Allen
9 years ago

Tag for later spending too much time on

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
9 years ago

RE: #14,15 above – “win total over under from a leading online SB”: Keep in mind that when on-line sportsbooks release predictions as above, they are not necessarily trying to predict the exact number of wins for each team. They are also trying to balance the betting line, so that the amount bet “above” the number they put out is about equal to the amount bet “below” the number. It’s the same with the point spreads for NFL games; if they say “team X is +7 over Team Y”, it’s not entirely that they think that Team X is indeed… Read more »

bstar
bstar
9 years ago
Reply to  Lawrence Azrin

Very good point. We would have to know which side of the over/under the “smart” money is betting on…..they usually wait til the very end and swoop in and bet counter to what the general public is betting, if they see an advantage. Perhaps getting the insider info on what the smart money’s opinion on the issue is would be more helpful, but that doesn’t mean Timmy’s info wouldn’t still be fun to argue about.

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
9 years ago
Reply to  bstar

Thanks, bstar. Just remember that the #1 priority of the sports books is to make money, not to make accurate predictions. They don’t care where the “center” is of a prediction, as long as people keep betting their money.

bstar
bstar
9 years ago
Reply to  Lawrence Azrin

That being said, I’ll take what the Vegas experts have to say about a point spread in football more than I will what any panel of “football experts” you can parade in front of me say any day. The people who set the lines in sports betting are super whip-smart and really good at what they do. Otherwise they’d be out of a job.

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  bstar

Very well put bstar, as I said Vegas is where the rubber hits the road. There is nothing I hate worse than NFL analysts. So does anyone see anything that jumps out at them above? Let me say I’m not sure the Royals or Cubs do as well as expected. I think the Astros have a 2 in 3 chance of losing 100 games.

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