Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Cole On Fire

For anyone still backing red hot MLB favourites, there's yet another sub -400 selection today, once again the Houston Astros and starting pitcher Gerrit Cole's fourth such outing having won all three previous opportunities and who recently got his 300th K of the season. Justin Verlander is just 12 strikeouts short of 300, and if he does make that number, it'll be only the second time ever that two pitchers from one club have reached this in the same season. 

For some historical perspective and to show how times are changing, from 2004 to 2015 there were just three favourites in this range. In 2016 there was one, and in both 2017 and 2018 there were three in each season. 

Tonight's Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners game is the 13th of the 2019 season, ten of which have been the Astros. Of the 22 matches, only 17 have been won for a loss of 5.1% while backing the favourite on the Run Line has a disastrous return of -21.5%

The edge in these games would appear to favour the underdog, but we're looking at a very small sample size. Tonight's game is a Divisional one, and here favourites do have an edge.  

The Extra Innings system came up with a winner last night (St Louis Cardinals) with another selection today, which along with four probable T-Bone selections, one Overs and the doubleheader game makes for a busy day.

While I was researching the doubleheader sweep / split post, I came across this related idea:
If a team has lost back-to-back games as a road favorite, there is a good chance they will break through with a win if they are favored in the next game. For example, if the Chicago Cubs are visiting the Cincinnati Reds and they drop the first two of a three-game set, there is a good chance they will bounce back and avoid the sweep. This system is harder to execute than the previous one because there are fewer instances where a road team loses twice in a row as the favorite and then enters the third game as a favorite as well. However, there are situations where it happens so it makes sense to track them and capitalize with the road favorites split.
This is certainly profitable with returns of 3.6% / 1.2% (ML/RL) but it's excellent in American League Divisional night games with returns of 23.9% and 29.8% respectively.   

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