Let’s Bet on Clayton Kershaw
This was an idea I had last season, that collapsed after Clayton Kershaw went on the DL with back issues. There are two ways to look at the recent turn of events that have placed Kershaw back on the disabled list with what seems to be a similar ailment nearly 12 months later.
First is the morbid view; Kershaw isn’t expected to be back for a chunk of time that seems to get smaller with each passing day. Second is the optimistic view; our model netted a 150%+ return if you bet based on the Dodgers’ moneyline on the opposing pitcher’s FIP – which you could’ve done through SportsBetting.ag. The idea was to capitalize on bookie’s failed manipulation of just how much impact Kershaw can have on a given start. This made a game against nearly any team worth the price of admission, which in many cases was around only -250. You’d only need to win 75% of Kershaw’s starts if those were the odds to net a small return. Instead, Kershaw decided to rattle off an unprecedented 15 wins in a row for the Dodgers, making virtually any bet on the southpaw one that provided value back. Even Kershaw’s last start, where he was pulled after an immaterial amount of work, the Dodgers still got an extra-innings win.
Will we choose to revive the spirit of this betting when Kershaw comes off the disabled list? More than likely, yes, but let’s reminisce in our spoils while the profit hovers around a laughable amount.
Our rules were very simple, bet on the “moneyline” for every Clayton Kershaw start. That’s the objective part. We only need the Dodgers to win, and Kershaw gave them a better chance to do so than anybody else in the majors.
The subjective part is how much money to put down. Our guidelines for that were as follows. We focused on the opposing starter’s FIP and veered in one of two directions.
3.75 FIP or above, we’ll bet 30.
3.74 FIP or below, we’ll bet 20.
Total starting pot was an even 100.
Here is our model’s results just prior to the injury…
Photo via the Flickr Creative Commons, thanks to Keith Allison for the shot of Kershaw.
Odds from Bovada.com
Statistics from Fangraphs.com