Betting the Streaks: Losing in Baseball After a Long Winning Streak

 


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It cannot be expressed enough the fact that baseball is all about momentum. When teams are playing well, they will continue to play well. The converse is true for a team if they are playing poorly.

As a result, it is very common for a team to go on long winning streaks but when they break out of the winning streak by losing a game, how do they historically perform?

Teams coming off a loss after having a 9+ game winning streak has gone 34-21, +10 Units and is undervalued by the spread by an average of 18 points! This means that the bookies should be adjusting the spread by about 18 points to compensate for the team’s propensity to bounce back after the rare loss. If the loss came against the very same team it is currently playing, the system improves to 29-15, +13 units which is an average of 30 points off the spread. This basically reiterates another point that I have commonly made which is that the propensity for a team to bounce back from a loss is much higher if they are playing the same team that gave it its loss.

This supports the notion that we should not be scared of taking a team off of their first loss after a long winning streak. In fact, we should continue to back them. The Angels were a good example of such a team on September 27, 2005.

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