Operation Toothpick


After a disastrous day last week (losing 30 out of 30 baseball picks on Thursday), I’ve started a new project of starting with $1, and seeing how far up I can go over time. Out of disaster comes a higher sense of focus, and I thought this would be a good project to share with all of you.

The self-imposed rules are that I can only spend 25% or a maximum of $1 with any day’s picks, whichever is the greatest amount. Also, I can only pick one sport to play per day. I also have a 25 cent ticket, which I will use at some point if my bankroll swells to $5 or more.

If my bankroll rises to $100 or more at any point, I will bank all but $1 of my total, and start again.

My first endeavor was making picks for the Olympic golf tournament in Rio, placing all of my lowly $1 in a 50/50 game. I had the red-hot Henrik Stenson in my six picks from the field, who finish second in the tournament. He lost a Gold medal to the UK’s Justin Rose by just one stroke, and I also had Thomas Pieters who finished just out of the medals in fourth. Overall, I got 12th in a 57 player pool where a finish of 25th or higher would have won.

Last night, with a $2 balance, I played in a $1 MLB 50/50. Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Drew Smyly of the Tampa Bay Rays were my two pitchers, and 40% of the $50,000 salary cap I had. I was a little concerned that Scherzer was pitching in Denver tonight against the Colorado Rockies, a big park, but with Denver’s altitude, a park that usually favors good hitting. On the plus side, Max has 218 K’s in around 163 innings pitched going into tonight, so he should rack up points with his strikeouts. Smyly was pitching at home against a San Diego squad that’s 19th in team OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage), plus he seems to do well at home at Tropicana Field.

With only nine MLB games on the slate, that’s a good thing, as it should keep variance down a bit. Unfortunately for me, Scherzer DID have the bad night I thought he might have, giving up 4 runs in as many innings. The hitters I chose also under performed, so my pick was a solid loser. I have to learn to trust my instincts a bit more.

This project might end before it really gets a chance to begin.

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