Predictive analytics for the 2019 College Baseball World Series

Who should win the 2019 College Baseball World Series? Analytics and markets can help answer this question.

Ken Massey tracks a number of baseball rankings. However, only some of these numbers are predictive going forward.

My research in college football has shown that using margin of victory is essential for predictions. A method like RPI on the Massey site is immediately not considered.

A method like Elo can be predictive, but only if margin of victory is used in the calculations, not just wins and losses.

Two methods I know use margin of victory are Dokter Entropy and Massey Ratings. Here are the ranks of the 8 World Series teams by these two numbers (Dokter, then Massey).

  • Vanderbilt: 1st, 1st
  • Mississippi State: 3rd, 2nd
  • Arkansas: 4th, 4th
  • Texas Tech: 6th, 8th
  • Louisville: 8th, 5th
  • Michigan: 30th, 17th
  • Auburn: 35th, 11th
  • Florida State: 37th, 10th

The top 5 teams (Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas Tech and Louisville) are the primary contenders, as they rank in the top 10 by both metrics. Michigan, Auburn and Florida State are on the outside looking in.

The markets agree with this assessment. These are the odds at Caesars.

These odds translate into these implied win probabilities.

  • Vanderbilt, 21.0%
  • Arkansas, 21.0%
  • Mississippi State, 18.7%
  • Texas Tech, 9.3%
  • Louisville, 9.3%
  • Florida State, 7.6%
  • Auburn, 7.6%
  • Michigan, 5.3%

These odds have probably moved since June 10th.

Finally!! Win probabilities for the 2019 NCAA tournament

The field of 68 is set, and I’ve used my college basketball team rankings to calculate the win probabilities for each team. 

In addition, the results gets shown in an interactive data visualization. Hover over a team to get its probability to advance through each round. Hover over a game to see the odds that each team wins that game.

To check it out, click here.

You can get the tournament win probabilities by hovering over the center dot.  However, sometimes it’s easier to look at these results in a list. 

Here are the win probabilities for the top 20 teams in 2019.

1. Virginia, 21.0%
2. Duke, 18.2%
3. North Carolina, 12.5%
4. Gonzaga, 12.0%
5. Michigan State, 10.9%
6. Tennessee, 6.5%
7. Michigan, 6.3%
8. Kentucky, 4.5%
9. Texas Tech, 2.2%
10. Purdue, 1.0%
11. Florida State, 0.8%
12. Wisconsin, 0.5%
13. Houston, 0.5%
14. Virginia Tech, 0.5%
15. Kansas, 0.4%
16. Iowa State, 0.4%
17. LSU, 0.3%
18. Auburn, 0.3%
19. Buffalo, 0.2%
20. Louisville, 0.2%

You can use these numbers to apply the contrarian ideas I write about in my book How to Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool.

Or, if you don’t have much time, you can let me do the work for you.  My full bracket advice optimizes your chances to win your pool.  To learn more, click here.

Big Ten offense, defense rankings by adjusted yards per play, 2018

To evaluate offense and defense in college football, I look beyond points per game, which can be affected by tempo and turnovers.  You can get more insight by looking at an efficiency metric like yards per play.

Based on an algorithm I developed, I make schedule adjustments to yards per play to rank college football offense and defense.  Below, I show the results for the Big Ten after 7 weeks of the 2018 season.

The format below gives rank, team, and rating, or an expected yards per play against an average FBS opponent. 

This data comes from a small sample size of 7 games at most.  These results are noisy, as you would never say too much about a basketball or baseball team after a similar number of games.

Offense

4. Wisconsin, 6.99
6. Purdue, 6.86
8. Ohio State, 6.82
15. Penn State, 6.54
22. Michigan, 6.35
33. Nebraska, 5.98
36. Maryland, 5.93
38. Iowa, 5.92
62. Michigan State, 5.60
71. Illinois, 5.50
76. Northwestern, 5.35
81. Indiana, 5.29
96. Minnesota, 5.12
128. Rutgers, 3.96

Wisconsin jumped to the top of the Big Ten with a respectable 5.78 yards per play against Michigan’s top ranked defense.

Defense

1. Michigan, 3.87
15. Penn State, 4.51
19. Iowa, 4.65
29. Michigan State, 4.92
37. Maryland, 5.13
41. Minnesota, 5.26
42. Nebraska, 5.26
60. Northwestern, 5.39
73. Indiana, 5.57
80. Purdue, 5.70
91. Ohio State, 5.89
97. Wisconsin, 6.12
106. Rutgers, 6.39
116. Illinois, 6.72

Ohio State has struggled this season, as they most recently allowed 7.07 yards per play to weak a Minnesota offense.

I broke down Ohio State’s defense in this week’s podcast The Football Analytics Show.

Become a member of The Power Rank

Members get access to adjusted yards per play numbers for all college football teams.  It also includes spread predictions for all college football and NFL games.

To learn more, click here.

College football playoff and conference win probabilities for 2018

This content is for members only

College football win totals for 2018

With the college football season only weeks away, you’d like to know how many games your team will win.

Analytics can help, as team performance tends to persist from year to year in college football.  This makes it possible to use linear regression to predict the 2018 season.

My preseason model considers team performance, turnovers and returning starters.  To check out the rankings, click here.

These rankings gives a predicted point spread in each game, which accounts for home field.  This point spread implies a win probability for each team.  The sum of these win probabilities give the win totals below.

The remainder of this articles gives college football win totals for 130 FBS teams.  The first number gives a team’s rank in the preseason rankings.  The rating gives an expected margin of victory against an average FBS team (neutral site).

Southeastern

2: Alabama, 19.4 rating, 10.0 wins.
4: Georgia, 18.2 rating, 10.1 wins.
5: Auburn, 17.6 rating, 9.0 wins.
10: Mississippi State, 14.3 rating, 8.6 wins.
21: Texas A&M, 9.0 rating, 6.9 wins.
26: LSU, 7.9 rating, 6.3 wins.
34: Mississippi, 6.9 rating, 6.7 wins.
36: Florida, 6.8 rating, 7.4 wins.
45: South Carolina, 5.2 rating, 6.6 wins.
47: Missouri, 4.6 rating, 6.4 wins.
50: Arkansas, 3.9 rating, 6.2 wins.
59: Kentucky, 1.2 rating, 5.6 wins.
71: Tennessee, -1.9 rating, 5.2 wins.
84: Vanderbilt, -4.0 rating, 4.4 wins.

Big Ten

6: Ohio State, 17.4 rating, 9.6 wins.
8: Wisconsin, 16.0 rating, 9.5 wins.
11: Michigan State, 13.9 rating, 8.9 wins.
12: Michigan, 13.4 rating, 8.0 wins.
15: Penn State, 12.3 rating, 8.3 wins.
19: Iowa, 9.9 rating, 8.1 wins.
32: Northwestern, 7.2 rating, 6.5 wins.
48: Purdue, 4.3 rating, 5.8 wins.
49: Nebraska, 4.0 rating, 5.8 wins.
58: Minnesota, 1.7 rating, 5.9 wins.
68: Maryland, -1.0 rating, 4.7 wins.
74: Indiana, -2.1 rating, 4.6 wins.
83: Rutgers, -3.9 rating, 4.3 wins.
90: Illinois, -5.2 rating, 4.0 wins.

Big 12

3: Oklahoma, 18.6 rating, 9.8 wins.
14: TCU, 12.9 rating, 8.1 wins.
18: Oklahoma State, 10.1 rating, 7.6 wins.
23: Texas, 8.8 rating, 6.9 wins.
28: Iowa State, 7.6 rating, 6.5 wins.
31: Kansas State, 7.3 rating, 6.5 wins.
38: Baylor, 6.7 rating, 6.5 wins.
39: Texas Tech, 6.5 rating, 6.3 wins.
43: West Virginia, 6.1 rating, 6.1 wins.
93: Kansas, -5.5 rating, 3.2 wins.

Atlantic Coast

1: Clemson, 21.6 rating, 10.4 wins.
17: Miami (FL), 10.4 rating, 8.2 wins.
22: Florida State, 8.9 rating, 6.8 wins.
24: Virginia Tech, 8.8 rating, 7.8 wins.
25: Georgia Tech, 8.3 rating, 6.8 wins.
27: Duke, 7.8 rating, 6.8 wins.
33: Louisville, 6.9 rating, 6.9 wins.
37: Boston College, 6.8 rating, 6.8 wins.
41: Wake Forest, 6.2 rating, 6.6 wins.
46: Pittsburgh, 4.6 rating, 5.5 wins.
51: North Carolina State, 3.3 rating, 6.1 wins.
56: Syracuse, 2.2 rating, 5.7 wins.
63: North Carolina, 0.7 rating, 5.1 wins.
65: Virginia, 0.5 rating, 5.6 wins.

Pac-12

9: Washington, 14.8 rating, 9.1 wins.
13: Stanford, 13.3 rating, 8.4 wins.
20: USC, 9.5 rating, 7.6 wins.
35: Utah, 6.9 rating, 7.1 wins.
40: California, 6.3 rating, 7.3 wins.
42: Oregon, 6.1 rating, 7.5 wins.
44: Arizona, 5.7 rating, 7.6 wins.
53: UCLA, 2.6 rating, 5.1 wins.
54: Arizona State, 2.6 rating, 5.5 wins.
55: Washington State, 2.4 rating, 6.2 wins.
89: Colorado, -5.2 rating, 4.0 wins.
101: Oregon State, -7.5 rating, 3.0 wins.

Independents

7: Notre Dame, 16.3 rating, 9.2 wins.
82: Army, -3.9 rating, 7.2 wins.
85: Brigham Young, -4.2 rating, 4.9 wins.
99: Massachusetts, -6.5 rating, 6.2 wins.
105: New Mexico State, -9.5 rating, 6.2 wins.
121: Liberty, -14.7 rating, 4.2 wins.

American Athletic Conference

16: UCF, 10.8 rating, 9.7 wins.
29: Memphis, 7.5 rating, 9.2 wins.
57: South Florida, 2.2 rating, 7.7 wins.
61: Houston, 1.1 rating, 7.2 wins.
62: Navy, 0.9 rating, 7.5 wins.
75: Temple, -2.2 rating, 6.2 wins.
78: SMU, -2.8 rating, 5.5 wins.
81: Tulsa, -3.8 rating, 5.3 wins.
91: Tulane, -5.3 rating, 4.9 wins.
100: Cincinnati, -6.5 rating, 5.3 wins.
107: East Carolina, -10.0 rating, 4.1 wins.
119: Connecticut, -13.5 rating, 3.0 wins.

Mountain West

30: Boise State, 7.3 rating, 9.2 wins.
64: San Diego State, 0.5 rating, 7.8 wins.
66: Fresno State, -0.0 rating, 7.4 wins.
72: Utah State, -2.0 rating, 7.3 wins.
77: Wyoming, -2.4 rating, 6.7 wins.
88: Colorado State, -4.7 rating, 6.1 wins.
92: Air Force, -5.3 rating, 5.5 wins.
104: Nevada, -8.8 rating, 5.2 wins.
108: UNLV, -10.0 rating, 5.6 wins.
110: New Mexico, -10.5 rating, 4.3 wins.
122: San Jose State, -15.1 rating, 3.4 wins.
125: Hawaii, -16.0 rating, 4.0 wins.

Mid-American

67: Toledo, -0.6 rating, 8.2 wins.
76: Northern Illinois, -2.2 rating, 6.2 wins.
79: Ohio, -3.2 rating, 7.7 wins.
86: Western Michigan, -4.4 rating, 6.8 wins.
94: Buffalo, -5.7 rating, 6.8 wins.
98: Miami (OH), -6.4 rating, 6.0 wins.
102: Eastern Michigan, -7.9 rating, 5.8 wins.
103: Central Michigan, -8.6 rating, 5.3 wins.
106: Akron, -9.7 rating, 4.9 wins.
115: Bowling Green, -12.2 rating, 4.1 wins.
127: Ball State, -16.8 rating, 3.4 wins.
129: Kent State, -19.8 rating, 2.6 wins.

Sun Belt

73: Appalachian State, -2.1 rating, 8.4 wins.
80: Troy, -3.6 rating, 7.5 wins.
87: Louisiana Monroe, -4.5 rating, 6.9 wins.
95: Arkansas State, -5.7 rating, 7.0 wins.
97: Georgia Southern, -6.0 rating, 6.7 wins.
109: South Alabama, -10.2 rating, 5.1 wins.
118: Coastal Carolina, -13.5 rating, 4.5 wins.
120: Georgia State, -13.8 rating, 3.8 wins.
124: Louisiana, -15.8 rating, 3.9 wins.
126: Texas State, -16.6 rating, 4.0 wins.

Conference USA

52: Marshall, 3.0 rating, 8.9 wins.
60: Florida Atlantic, 1.1 rating, 7.5 wins.
69: Louisiana Tech, -1.6 rating, 7.6 wins.
70: Middle Tennessee, -1.7 rating, 7.3 wins.
96: North Texas, -6.0 rating, 7.3 wins.
111: Southern Miss, -10.6 rating, 5.6 wins.
112: Western Kentucky, -10.7 rating, 4.9 wins.
113: UAB, -10.8 rating, 6.1 wins.
114: UTSA, -11.4 rating, 4.8 wins.
116: Florida International, -12.2 rating, 4.9 wins.
117: Old Dominion, -12.6 rating, 4.8 wins.
123: Charlotte, -15.6 rating, 3.8 wins.
128: Rice, -19.5 rating, 3.7 wins.
130: UTEP, -21.5 rating, 2.6 wins.