Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Night Prediction -- Week 1

The inaugural match of the USCL season is always by nature one of the most interesting, treating us to a display by players generally unknown to us (at least in the league aspect). This match is a strangely unbalanced one rating-wise, with most past expansion teams looking to get a good jump off the starting blocks to help ease any initial butterflies and signify that they are for real. Nevertheless, this match is what it is. While one team has a distinct rating advantage, there are nevertheless two things which I really feel to be true:

(1) Never take anything for granted in the USCL

(2) A player's OTB strength can definitely vary quite a bit (either higher or lower) in comparison to their internet strength.

Of course, taking these considerations together might suggest that guessing match results in general is a fair crap shoot, and in a league as balanced as this, it probably is! But me and the other predictors (Bioniclime and OrangeKing) don't get paid to not try. However, given as I said these players are completely unfamiliar in the league, I'll simply go with the purely mathematical approach for guessing the board results for this match.

Board 1: Slight Edge AZ

Board 2: Even

Board 3: Edge AZ

Board 4: Slight Edge AZ

So I suppose it won't be hard to guess who I'll be picking to win from that. But given the variance I think is involved with expansion teams in general, you simply can never know how people will react in their first ever match, I'll go with the variance happy approach of the smallest victory margin and pick Arizona 2.5 – 1.5

(FM Ron Young predicts Arizona to win 3 – 1).


Anonymous said...

What's the purpose of the rule 1

"When a team uses a player rated above 2590, that player only counts as 2590 towards the team avg rating. For instance if there is a player rated 2650, they will only count as 2590 towards the legal average rating. However when calculating the actual average rating, the team rating will of course be higher."

This would bias towards teams in large metro areas with a pick of various 2700 plus types.

Greg Shahade said...

We do this to encourage teams to use the highest rated players in the country. If we didn't institute such a rule, there would be no inherent advantage to using someone 2700, which would of course be very bad for the league.

Imagine how horrible it would be for sponsorship and publicity if a team had a choice of using a lineup with Nakamura, but decided not to because their bottom boards would then have to be very low rated.

In order to gain popularity its important to encourage teams to do whatever it takes to get the top players in the country to play.

Anonymous said...

I understand the rationale but the strongest players in the country are concentrated in a few metro regions.

Thus teams not in those regions should also have an equalizing rating manipulation option. For example, teams without access to the 2590+ types should be able to round down - for example their 2130 counts as a 2100, their 2240 counts as a 2200, and so on.

The purpose is to give an equalizing bias to counteract the 2590-plus rule bias.

Arun Sharma said...

"Thus teams not in those regions should also have an equalizing rating manipulation option." If we were to do that, that would pretty much defeat the whole point of giving the 2590+ bonus to begin with. We might as well just have everyone count as the rating they are then. Furthermore, how could you possibly do this anyway? What "regions" would be considered to be deserving of the rounding down feature you mention and which not? I don't see how you could possibly make that work when you have issues like Tennessee would probably be generally deserving of it, but they have recruited a player who is above 2590 now (a tribute in part I think to the fact that the policy is working how we want it to in getting teams to recruit these best players no matter how far away they might be for their teams).

Yes, clearly teams who have more access to higher rated players do get something of an advantage, but it's hardly an insurmountable one (after all of the League Champions in the first three years, not a single one had a player above 2590!), and the bigger issue as Greg said is, if we want the league to really be taken seriously in general we need the top players in the country playing.