Makinen: MLB extreme stats provide next-game betting opportunities

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I ran this article near the end of last season and thought it would be a good idea to publish it again as there wasn’t a whole lot of time to take advantage of the findings with much of the ’22 season having been completed. Now, bettors can employ the logic for a longer period of time. Plus, the majority of these foundation angles do not occur frequently, so we want to be sure to capitalize when they do, as all are very profitable.

 

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Over the course of a six-month, 162-game Major League Baseball schedule, a lot of extreme statistical performances can arise for each team. Whether it be the number of runs they score in any given game, the hits or home runs they produce or the rare extremes that their pitching staffs can generate, these oddities just happen, and of course, for some teams more than others. Do these rare happenings have any carryover effect for the follow-up game? That’s something I set out to uncover as I analyzed extreme betting systems in MLB.

Using some foundation principles as the basis for them, take a look at these seven betting concepts I was able to uncover in August last season after analyzing my MLB database for the prior 5 seasons.

1. Home teams off blowout losses are solid bets to rebound versus that same opponent

Teams playing at home against the same team after a blowout loss of seven runs or more have been solid wagers over the last 4 seasons, going 250-218 (53.4%) for 45.66 units of profit. This represents an R.O.I. of 9.7%. In football, it’s called “any given Sunday.” In baseball. it could easily be termed “any given day.” One blowout loss hasn’t amounted to a whole lot for home teams, as they are easily able to rebound, outscoring the opponents 4.64-4.49 on average in this revenge spot.

2. Nine is a magic run number for fading a team in the next game

Expanding a bit on #1 above, the number nine in terms of runs scored in a game has proven to be a strong indicator for being able to profitably fade a team in the next game. Doesn’t matter if the team is playing at home or on the road, if they scored nine runs in the previous contest, they are posting a winning record at 1076-1014 (51.8%), but oddsmaker overpricing has resulted in a loss of -146.18 units. This represents an R.O.I. of -7.0%, which is significant in the grand scheme of baseball daily betting. This data does include games where two teams scored nine runs or more against one another in the prior game, so ignore those situations.

3. Road teams that didn’t score well last game and home teams that did are a bad bet in the next outing

You’ll want to consider fading road teams that scored two runs or fewer in their last contest and home teams that scored five runs or more. Both have proven to be bankroll-busting options over their last 4 seasons. These road teams are just 1313-1706 (43.5%) for -165.05 units and an R.O.I. of -5.5% since the start of the 2018 season. In that same time frame, home teams coming off a game in which they scored five runs or more are winning more often than not at 2381-2077 (53.4%) but they have been a loser for bettors at -293.85 units and an R.O.I. of -6.6%. These aren’t exactly “extremes” in terms of run totals, but with these high amounts of data samples analyzed, they have proven to be reliably predictive indicators.

4. Home team hitting slumps don’t last long

MLB Home teams coming off a game in which they had four hits or fewer have rebounded quickly with a 481-396 (54.8%) record in the follow-up contest since the start of the 2019 season. This has resulted in a profit of 49.04 units for backers and an R.O.I. of 5.6%. Similarly, teams that failed to record an extra-base hit in their previous game bounce back with a 235-177 (57%) record in the next contest when at home in that same time span. The profit there is 46.07 units, for an R.O.I. of 11.2%. These are examples of positive fundamental concepts in baseball that show that teams’ hitters typically bounce back well at home, where they are more familiar with the conditions.

5. Hitting a lot of home runs has a carryover effect for home favorites

Home favorites coming off a game in which they hit four or more home runs have proven to be a very good investment for baseball bettors over the last five seasons, going 225-103 (68.6%) for 47.58 units and an R.O.I. of 14.5%! There is obviously a lot of substance to this one in that this team is playing at home, it is hitting well, and the experts expect these teams to win.

6. Unusually poor pitching performances provide motivation for hosts

Home teams coming off unusually bad team pitching performances where they allowed 16 hits or more in a game are on a run of 191-140 (57.7%) for 55.5 units and an R.O.I. of 16.8% since the start of the 2018 season. This is a good example of why baseball bettors need to be able to flush unusual results from their memories and not expect them to continue, particularly when the team is backed by the stability of playing at home.

7. Road favorites off a huge divisional loss are hidden gems

Logic would say that teams playing on the road after a double-digit blowout loss to a divisional rival would be a risky bet. However, oddsmakers have done bettors a solid by projecting a bounce back in favoring these teams against the circumstances. As a result, these road favorites have gone 18-9 (66.7%) for 7 units and an R.O.I. of 25.9%. This winning percentage is far higher than the average road favorite performance, indicating that the blowout divisional loss does provide some additional motivation.