September 17, 2021

Sarris: Why the odds missed on the Nationals, and what we can take from that (The Athletic)

The world champion Nationals were the biggest World Series underdogs of the decade. You have to go back to 2007 to find a bigger underdog, and those Rockies were swept by the Red Sox. Throw those odds out, baby, they’re no good!

Eh, we all know odds don’t work that way. There might not be anything to learn from this World Series. There might not be any reason to change the way the algorithms are put together, no reason to think that anything happened here other than singular performances from high-level athletes coming together at the right time and the right place. We can’t run this World Series 1000 times and see if the Astros really would have won 600 (plus!) of them as the odds suggested, so we can’t know if the odds were really wrong or if this was just something that happened.

But there might also be something this World Series could teach us.

Apologies to Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick, Anthony Rendon and all of the position players…

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