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Ride or fade MLB streaks?

By Steve Makinen  () 


I was very intrigued by the Squawk Box interview of Pete Rose last week. Naturally, Rose is looked upon favorably by most people in the sports betting world, and being one of the greatest baseball players of all time, his opinion on betting baseball is well received. He was asked about the things he looks for when picking baseball games, and the answer I found most interesting was about how teams are playing lately. Rose explained that teams’ good and bad play can extend for days at a time. In other words, it seems that he likes to back (or fade) streaking teams. Is this a valid profit-making strategy? Will it carry you over the course of a six-month season? Naturally I went to the database to find out. Like me, I’m sure you’ll be surprised by the findings.

What is the common perception on what a “streak” entails? Is it winning or losing three in a row? Four? Five? More than that? I feel a streak starts when you beat more than one team during the run. In other words, with most series being three games, winning or losing four games in a row qualifies. With that in mind, I decided to pull out all of the games from the last three-plus seasons in which a team won or lost four or more games in a row. I then analyzed what that team did in the follow-up game in a variety of scenarios.

For the record, as of Friday, we had already seen 14 teams lose four straight games or more and 17 teams win at least four straight. We are less than a month into the season.

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