MLB Streaks: Handicapping 14 unique betting systems
Like clockwork, it seems that the month of June always welcomes an inordinate amount of lengthy winning and losing streaks in Major League Baseball. Call it the “Dog Days of Summer." This point in the season always finds certain teams on ridiculous rolls or in inescapable ruts. In 2023, so far we have seen extraordinary runs by teams like the Giants, Reds, Braves, Red Sox, and Phillies while teams like the Brewers, Mets, Royals, Rockies, and Pirates couldn’t seem to catch a break during losing skids. At the same time, previously putrid Oakland went on a seven-game heater itself before falling into another slide. As you can see these stretches of unusual play can affect any level team, baseball is just that type of game and that long of a season where it happens.
Most of the time these stretches don’t define a team’s season, but it does make for some interesting betting data that can be employed to take advantage of such streaks. Let’s dig into some of the best betting systems that have developed lately using MLB streak data. I started the analysis at the four-game mark for both winning and losing streaks
Using data through Wednesday, June 21st, since the start of the 2021 season, there have been 406 different stretches of teams losing at least four games in a row and 411 such runs of four straight wins. Each consecutive added game from those points goes down proportionately. Here is a list of the different streak lengths and the teams’ records in the game following that streak:
Losing Streaks – record next game
L4: 201-205 (49.5%) +33.68 units, ROI: 8.3%
L5: 90-112 (44.6%) +-5.93 units, ROI: -2.9%
L6: 47-66 (41.6%) +-1.58 units, ROI: -1.4%
L7: 21-43 (32.8%) +-13.3 units, ROI: -20.8%
L8: 12-30 (28.6%) +-13.73 units, ROI: -32.7%
L9: 12-17 (41.4%) +0.17 units, ROI: 0.6%
L10+: 17-36 (32.1%) +-12.96 units, ROI: -24.5%
Winning Streaks – record next game
W4: 215-196 (52.3%) +-17.74 units, ROI: -4.3%
W5: 122-93 (56.7%) +3.26 units, ROI: 1.5%
W6: 72-50 (59.0%) +5.54 units, ROI: 4.5%
W7: 41-30 (57.7%) +-0.02 units, ROI: 0.0%
W8: 25-16 (61.0%) +-0.3 units, ROI: -0.7%
W9: 16-9 (64.0%) +5.5 units, ROI: 22.0%
W10+: 32-14 (69.6%) +13.64 units, ROI: 29.7%
Essentially, the early data is very promising regarding streaks. At the four-game mark, both winning and losing, it has been profitable to bet the opposite way as more streaks tend to end than not at this point. On the losing streak side, it would seem to be a good time to abandon ship afterward. On the winning streak side, it’s not a bad strategy to follow any streaking team once they survive that fifth game. In fact, once you get up to the nine-win mark, the positive ROI percentages reach absurdly high levels.
Of course, whenever I dig into data sets and find information as promising as that which I just shared, I always like to dig deeper. Some of the variables I looked to add into the mix included game locales, lines, quality of team, level of play during the streak, and a few others. Take a look at some of the streak betting systems I uncovered. Use these in the coming weeks and months to build your bankroll off of streaking teams:
Losing Streak Betting System #1
Teams on losing streaks of seven games or more are on a 22-66 skid (-28.2 units, ROI -32%) in the next game when playing as road underdogs.
These teams are simply playing too bad of baseball to take a chance, even at heavy underdog pricing.
Losing Streak Betting System #2
Teams on losing streaks of seven games or more and winning fewer than 43% of their games on the season are on a 41-91 skid (-28.4 units, ROI: -21.5%).
These teams are not good overall and now they streaking bad, not a good combination.
Losing Streak Betting System #3
Strangely, teams on losing streaks of seven games or more tend to fare best against their best opponents. Against teams winning 61.5% of their games or more, these teams on losing skids have gone 13-15 (+6.82 units, ROI: 24.4%) while against all other opponents with lesser records than 61.5% winning percentage, they are just 49-111 (-46.6 units, ROI: -29.1%) since the start of the 2021 season.
These teams streaking poorly are either more motivated to beat better teams or the quality opponent is taking them for granted. Although not counted in this result as the game occurred Thursday night, the Royals beating Tampa Bay qualified under the first angle.
Losing Streak Betting System #4
Teams on losing streaks of seven games or more and playing against divisional opponents are just 26-57 in their last 83 tries (-18 units, ROI: -21.7%).
Divisional foes love to stomp on their rivals when they are down.
Losing Streak Betting System #5
Teams that have lost their last four games but are playing on the road in a competitive line scenario (+130 to -300) have been wildly successful in snapping their skids, 60-43 outright (+12.89 units, ROI: 12.5%).
Teams that are on losing skids but still getting respect from oddsmakers on the road are worthy of your betting dollar. Back them as small road dogs or as favorites.
Losing Streak Betting System #6
Teams that have lost their last four games but are getting reasonably good pitching during the skid have been solid wagers in game #5, as those that allowed 6.0 RPG or fewer during the streak are on a 118-94 run (+48.84 units, ROI: 23.0%).
These teams allowing 6.0 RPG or fewer during their four-game losing skids are not playing that badly and thus more capable of breaking the streaks quickly.
Losing Streak Betting System #7
The matchup most likely to find a team ending a four-game losing streak is a non-divisional league matchup, as these teams are 86-81 (+22.38 units, ROI: 13.4%) in such games since the start of the 2021 season.
League foes don’t have as much motivation as divisional rivals in these contests and aren’t as hungry to kick these losing teams when they’re down.
Winning Streak Betting System #1
Teams on winning streaks of five games or more are on a 149-72 (+19.9 units, ROI 9.0%) run in the next game when playing as home favorites.
The teams are playing well, playing at home, and the “experts” give them a good shot at continuing the streak. A good recipe.
Winning Streak Betting System #2:
Strangely, teams on winning streaks of five games or more and winning fewer than 50% of their games on the season have been the better investment than winning teams as they are 42-36 (+7.4 units, ROI: 9.5%) in their last 78 tries to extend streaks.
Lesser teams embrace the momentum of winning streaks a little more than those used to greater success. They are also lesser priced typically.
Winning Streak Betting System #3:
The teams with some of the best value in looking to extend winning streaks typically don’t score a lot of runs. Teams on winning streaks of five games and scoring less than 4.5 RPG are 111-78 (+16.98 units, ROI: 9%) since the start of the 2021 season.
You get better value with teams that are streaking well that don’t otherwise command a higher price.
Winning Streak Betting System #4:
Teams on winning streaks of five games or more and playing against non-divisional league opponents are 131-81 in their last 212 tries (+27.59 units, ROI: 13%).
Similar to losing streak system #7 above, non-divisional foes don’t pack the motivation and familiarity level needed to end these strong runs.
Winning Streak Betting System #5:
Teams that have won their last four games but are playing on the road as large underdogs (+140 or more) have struggled, going 12-37 (-14.5 units, ROI: -37.2%) in their last 49 tries.
Oddsmakers set the table for these streak-stoppers, basically feeding bettors the winning information thru their work.
Winning Streak Betting System #6:
Oddly, teams that score the most runs per game are the best to fade to see their four-game winning streak reach five. Teams scoring 5.0 or more runs per game and riding a four-game winning streak are just 44-46 (-19.3 units, ROI: -21.4%) in the next contest since the start of the 2021 season.
Good pitching is typically a better common denominator for teams that extend lengthy winning streaks.
Winning Streak Betting System #7:
Not surprisingly, when teams get to the level of having won nine games in a row or more, the lowest-priced teams riding winning streaks offer the most value. In fact, teams on winning streaks on 9+ games and favored by -145 or less (or underdog) have gone 29-13 (+17.61 units, ROI: 41.9%) in trying to stretch the streak another game.
Red hot teams that are underpriced are naturally a superb value. Keep this in mind for the Reds should they continue to win against the Braves this weekend.
Use these Streak Betting Systems for the rest of the MLB season to score big profits.