An ex–Wall Street trader improved on Moneyball’s famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games—with a 41 percent return in his first year. Trading Bases explains how he did it.
After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta was out of a job. He found a new one but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That’s when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball—and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?
In Trading Bases, Peta shows how to subtract luck—in particular “cluster luck,” as he puts it—from a team’s statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball “hedge fund” returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011—and has never been down more than 5 percent. Peta takes listeners to the ballpark in San Francisco, trading floors and baseball bars in New York, and sports books in Vegas, all while tracing the progress of his wagers. Often humorous, occasionally touching, and with a wink toward the sheer implausibility of the whole project, Trading Bases is all about the love of critical reasoning, trading cultures, risk management, and baseball. And not necessarily in that order.
Joe Peta|Fred Sanders
About Joe Peta
After earning an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Joe Peta was a Wall Street market maker and hedge fund stock trader for fifteen years, but he was a sports bettor for even longer. A lifelong baseball fan, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.
About Fred Sanders
Fred Sanders has been seen on Broadway (The Buddy Holly Story), in National Tours (Driving Miss Daisy and Big River), and over 100 TV appearances including Seinfeld, West Wing, Will and Grace, Numbers, and recurring roles on Titus and Malcolm in the Middle. BOT narrations include: Born to Run by Christopher MacDougall, K2 by Ed Viesturs, and Ice by Linda Howard.