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After a pretty decent day of MLB wagering Sunday, I sat down for dinner and contemplated playing the Sunday night contest between the Braves and the Cubs for the fun of it. Rather than go through my usual in-depth routine of breaking down many facets of the game, I instead turned to Twitter for a quick decision on which team I would back. My attention was quickly grabbed by a tweet from a user who cited how much better the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks has been throughout his career at home as compared to the road. This hit home with me instantly, as I had studied this subject as recently as late last summer. Well, that was enough to convince lazy me to back Chicago. Surely, any of you who bet the game recall that the Braves tagged Hendricks for seven runs in four innings and his team went on to lose 13-4. Needless to say, that was not a ticket-cashin’ moment for me.
After researching the data on the reason I wagered the game, I quickly realized that the trend regarding Hendricks had turned dramatically of late. In fact, Sunday’s loss was the Cubs’ fifth straight at home when he was starting, a streak dating to Sept. 23 of last season. He hadn’t pitched horribly in that span until Sunday, but even so, the fact that Chicago had lost 8.9 units in those five defeats made me sick to my stomach that I had simply wagered the game without looking at current data.