MLB Betting Strategy - The Snapped Losing Streak

Professor MJ’s

Sports Betting Strategies

 

MLB – The Snapped Losing Streak

This in-depth analysis answers the following question:

When a MLB team wins a game after undergoing a long losing streak, how does it react in its next game?

 

The statistical study below is based on a dataset on all Major League Baseball regular season games from the seven (7) seasons covering the 2010 to 2016 period. In total, data is available on over 17,000 games. The most recent seasons were omitted because I do not own such data.

1. Basic Exploration

Assume Team A goes through a losing streak of length “x” before winning a game. What would have been the results, over the 2010-2016 seasons, from placing $1 bets in their following game?

The table below presents the outcome both from betting Team A and by fading them (where “fading” means “betting against”).

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak

The first ascertainment that pops up from the table above is that both options of betting or fading Team A are equally bad (-$36.19 versus -$50.69 overall).

Is any of the two options offering value as the length of the snapped losing streak grows? When betting Team A, you could argue that you would have made +$9.15 over 547 games when the streak’s length was 5 or more. However, considering we made money when the length was 5 or 6, but lost quite a bit when it was 7 or more, it does not seem like a reliable strategy.

When fading Team A, increasing the streak’s length did not yield any positive gains whatsoever.

2. Facing the Same Team or a Different Team

As you are certainly already aware, MLB teams often play the same opponent for three- or four-game series.

Do the results above change depending on whether Team A faces the same team again after beating them, or faces a different team? The next couple of tables give some hints about this issue.

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak, when facing the same team

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak, when facing a different team

Note: The last row when facing the same team corresponds to a streak length of 10+ versus 8+ when facing a new team because the sample sizes were getting too small under the second scenario.

The tables above provide valuable insight with respect to the case of betting Team A. Overall, doing so when playing the same or a different team led to similar losses (-$19.01 versus -$17.18, respectively).

However, putting your money on Team A when facing a different team after snapping a losing streak of length 6+ produced a +$18.83 profit over 93 games. Therefore, the return on investment (ROI) was 18.83 / 93 = +20.2%. Despite the fairly small sample size, let me retain this system since its ROI is substantial. Let’s call it Strategy #1.

Meanwhile, betting against Team A performed badly when facing the same team, whereas the situation where it was playing a new team won money when the length of the snapped losing streak hit 3 or 4 games, but lost quite a bit if 5+. Therefore, nothing promising comes out of this case.

3. The Road/Home Split

Why don’t we split the results based on whether Team A was the visiting or the home team? Perhaps we’ll get some interesting findings.

First, let’s see what happens when Team A was the road team:

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak when it is playing on the road

Backing Team A might sound appealing when seeing that we won $23.38 whenever the length of the snapped losing streak was five or more, but a careful review shows a profit when the length was 5 or 6, but losses when it hit a figure of 7+. That’s not reassuring, so we omit this potential system.

On the other hand, fading Team A turned out to a poor choice across the board.

Let’s now turn our attention to the situation where Team A plays in front of its home crowd after seeing its losing streak getting snapped in their previous game:

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak when it is playing at home

Under such circumstances, betting Team A does not seem like a viable idea.

In contrast, fading Team A whenever the length of the losing streak was four or more yielded a net profit of $9.69. Unfortunately, we need once again to leave out this potential system due to its illogicalness. It did pretty well when the streak’s length was exactly 4 (+$16.38) but it fared terribly when the length was 5+ (-$6.69).

Does it make a difference if Team A was facing the same team or a different one? It does! As a matter of fact, you’ll see that it provides a second potential betting strategy.

First, let’s go back to the case where Team A was on the road, but this time splitting the results into the two possible scenarios:

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak when it is playing on the road and facing the same team

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak when it is playing on the road and facing a different team

When glancing through these two tables, the only glimmer of hope comes from the case where we wager on Team A when facing a different team after snapping a losing streak of length 6+. Under these conditions, we obtained a +$8.00 profit over 46 games. I strongly recommend excluding this strategy because of its very small sample size, which makes the results pretty unreliable.

Now, what if Team A was at home?

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak when it is playing at home and facing the same team

Betting or fading a team who just snapped a long losing streak when it is playing at home and facing a different team

This is where I believe we might have found a hidden gem: fading Team A at home when facing the same team and the length of the snapped losing streak was four or more. In this case, we racked up a +$22.48 profit over 406 games (ROI = +5.5%). Let’s call it Strategy #2.  This time, the sample size is significant and the ROI is more than decent!

4. The Odds Split

Before going further, let’s review the two strategies we have kept hold of:

  • Strategy #1: Betting Team A when facing a different team and the length of its snapped losing streak was six or more. Profit = +$18.83 over 93 games (ROI = +20.2%).
  • Strategy #2: Fading Team A when facing the same team and the length of its snapped losing streak was four or more, and Team A plays at home. Profit = +$22.48 over 406 games (ROI = +5.5%).

The next aspect I’m going to scrutinize is the money line. Did the couple of strategies above do better under certain sets of odds?

Let’s break down Strategy #1’s results depending on the odds:

Betting a team who just snapped a losing streak of length 6+ when facing a different team (from the previous day)

To me, the conclusion to be drawn is fairly simple: bet all odds, except if the money line on Team A is over +175 (or 2.75 in decimal format).

Based on this choice, we get what I’ll call Strategy #1B: Betting Team A when facing a different team, the length of its snapped losing streak was six or more and the money line on Team A was 2.75 or less. Profit = +$24.59 over 81 games (ROI = +30.4%).

Let’s now have a peek at Strategy #2’s results as a function of the money line:

Fading a team who just snapped a losing streak of length 4+ when playing at home and facing the same team

We could either argue that this system worked well across all odds, or that you should avoid the case where the money line on Team A was between 0 and 1.50 in decimal format.

I have decided to go with the second option, which I’ll call Strategy #2B: Fading Team A when facing the same team, the length of its snapped losing streak was four or more, and Team A plays at home with its odds above 1.50. Profit = +$27.36 over 388 games (ROI = +7.1%).

5. The Season Split

I am willing to put money on a system if it has shown a good performance almost every season. In plain English, I want to observe some consistency across the years.

Here is how Strategy #1B fared in each season from 2010 to 2016:

Betting a team who just snapped a losing streak of length 6+ when facing a different team and its money line is 2.75 or less

While not perfect, those results show good consistency. Sure, having half of the overall profit made in one single season (2013) is not ideal, but seeing that our absolute worst loss was $1.46 is great! Based on all the evidence, I do endorse this system.

Let me now unveil the yearly performance of Strategy #2B:

Fading a home team whose money line is over 1.50 who just snapped a losing streak of length 4+ when facing the same team

We notice five winning seasons versus only two losing ones, which is good. However, a $8.62 loss in 2010 is cause for concern. Still, I believe it’s worth pursuing in the future.

6. Conclusion

My final call, based on the statistical evidence, is that I would personally go with the following couple of strategies:

  • Betting a team whose losing streak of length 6+ was just snapped in their previous game. Bet only if that team is now facing a different team and its money line is 2.75 or less.
    • +$24.59 over 81 games (ROI = +30.4%)
    • Expected profit per season = 3.51 units ($24.59 / 7 seasons)
  • Fading a team whose losing streak of length 4+ was just snapped in their previous game. Bet only if that team is at home (so you are betting the road team), its money line is above 1.50 and it is playing the same team once again.
    • +$27.36 over 388 games (ROI = +7.1%)
    • Expected profit per season = 3.91 units ($27.36 / 7 seasons)

If you use both of these angles, you should therefore expect to win 3.51 + 3.91 = 7.42 units over the course of a single season. In other words, if your average bet is $1,000 you can anticipate a +$7,420 profit.

You should play many such systems at the same time in order to make substantial money. In this regard, why not take a look at my other sports betting strategy articles?

7. Are You Looking for a Trustworthy Online Bookie?

I invite you to take a hard look at my list of top online sportsbooks, including thorough reviews of 20 of them:

https://www.professormj.com/pages/sportsbook-reviews

Each specific review contains affiliate links to these bookmakers. If you click one of those links/banners and you end up making a deposit with them, the casino will give me a little reward.

That’s a great way for you to thank me for the sport betting strategies/lessons that I provide for free!

Keep investing wisely!

 

Professor MJ

Professor MJ logo (sports investor)

Disclaimer: I am not telling anyone to go out and bet those angles blindly. There are no guarantees in the sports betting world. This article is presenting findings from past data and then trying to find what seem to be potential winning strategies. Bet at your own risk. I am not responsible for any losses incurred from such wagers.