Valero Texas Open Picks, plus a look back at The Arnold Palmer Invitational

by thesanction1

No time for real analysis this week. Last week was a good week, hopefully you didn’t get burned by Bubba (who was projected outside the top 5 here, so perhaps that saved you). Gotta run but the charts and the picks are below! One quick comment on last week’s performance: I need to look into the strange phenomenon of rank-order (%cut made, %top 10’s, etc.) vs RMSE performance and see if I can’t figure out what’s happening between the Machine and Notorious from I’m starting to believe there’s a non-linear method of combining these picks (or even, say, a Top 25 classifier and making this whole thing a classification problem) which would take their predictive power to a new level. Stay tuned!

Look back at The Arnold Palmer Championship

The same caveats as always apply to this analysis.  

As usual the comparison picks are from Notorious at, a very well respected name in the daily fantasy sports industry. If you don’t know what these graphs are showing (and you care) then just go to first fantasy golf post that’s hyperlinked above – it contains all the explanations of the relevant concepts used in this analysis. 

Below is a grid showing Notorious’ draft street points projections (DSP), the rescaled draft street points projections (RescaledDSP), the machine’s RescaleDSP and the actual RescaleDSP’s:

Picks_Arnold Palmer Invitational_2014_MFP_Grid

Looking at the RMSE, this week the Machine did extraordinarily well when compared to Notorious on this measure (and you can think of RMSE as a measure of the ‘general goodness’ of the predictions). The discrepancy between this RMSE measure and the %Cut, %TopN figures is the ‘Rank Order vs Absolute Performance’ issue I discussed above. It’s happened ever since the switch to rescaled figures (as opposed to % mean field numbers), and it bears investigation (hopefully before the Masters, but no promises):

Picks_Arnold Palmer Invitational_2014_RMSE_Grid

Again, almost no blending with Notorious’ methods produced the optimal RMSE last week:

Picks_Arnold Palmer Invitational_2014_Blending_Plot

The farther left you are on this line, the more of the machine’s projections you are using, the farther right here represents Notorious. So last week was a rare example where the Machine outperformed Notorious on average such that blending the two predictions would not provide any average lift in the resulting RMSE. But again, like last week, that’s a very loaded statement.

Here’s the cut percentage for both of us:

Picks_Arnold Palmer Invitational_2014_Made_Cut_Grid

As well as the machine did at RMSE reduction, it was ousted by Notorious in the percentage of golfers correctly projected to make the cut. So the interpretation here is that Notorious’ method did a better job of predicting the rank order in terms of fantasy performance, while the Machine did a better job at predicting the actual performances.

Finally for those less mathematically inclined an idea of how many of the ‘top-n’ players were predicted correctly in each method.  Keep in mind all the caveats around who gets included in this analysis… If I get the comment ‘But, so-and-so didn’t finish in the top 10!’ I’m going to be very disappointed, dear reader.

Picks_Arnold Palmer Invitational_2014_TopN_Grid

I’d say we both had an average to below average predictive outing based on this chart, but it’d only be an artifact of the data feed not having been updated this yet week (my apologies). From my perspective, last week was quite solid – I even picked myself a 50-1 winner in Matt Every on where – as an experiment – I’ve been placing 5-7 $1 bets to win, using the Machine’s picks as a starting point, for the last few weeks … felt pretty good to pick a first-time tour winner for the first correct winner pick of the season – certainly making the experiment profitable for now.

At this point everything is leading up the to Masters, where DraftStreet has already announced the first ever $100K guaranteed tournament for fantasy golf.  DraftKings answered the call with their $300K Spring Golf Classic, maintaining their spot in my mind as the premier golf offering in the DFS space.

There are indeed great things to come, but right now we’ve got ourselves an Arnold Palmer Invitational to dominate!

Picks for the Valero Texas Open

Here they are:

Picks_Valero Texas Open_2014

The red line here represents the cut, based off of these projections (the cut being returned to its normal 70 count).

Good luck everyone in your contests.  Talk to you next week.