Well, another long MLB winning streak came to a halt Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers went to Philadelphia and won 5-0, snapping the Phillies’ eight-game run that dated to Aug. 1.
History indicates that now is the time for major league baseball bettors to wager against Philly, a team that likely no longer has the added adrenaline rush fueled by the streak.
A Little Recent History
Dating to 2019, there have been 26 other winning stretches of eight games or more that came to an end before the season concluded. The teams involved, naturally, had great overall records. This year the squads with such streaks are a cumulative 145 games over .500. In the abbreviated 2020 season, they were 30 over .500. A year earlier the number was 150 over.
(To help clarify, this year the Dodgers have had three such winning stretches, but their plus-23 overall win-loss differential is counted only once.)
Clock Strikes Midnight
Anyway, it seems that right that after the magical streaks end these strong squads turn into pumpkins by playing only .500 ball their next four games. That’s the exact percentage that has occurred in this scenario in each of the past three seasons.
This year, for instance, there were 11 long streaks that were KO’d. In the aftermath of that first loss and those clubs combined to go only 22-22 their next four outings. The kicker is they were a favorite in 33 of them, so there was money to be made by taking their foes with a money line bet.
An extreme example happened in late June after Houston’s 11-game ride ended with a loss in Detroit.
The Astros then lost four of their next five, including three straight at home to (gasp!) the Orioles. In back-to-back games, Baltimore prevailed at +300 and +260 at various online betting sites.
Back To The Phillies
Philly now appears prime to tumble out of first place in the NL East with at least with three losses over the course of their next four games, all at home, against Dodgers on Wednesday and Thursday and vs. Cincinnati on Friday and Saturday.
What’s disappointing, though, from a betting perspective is the fact that the Dodgers are a favorite in Wednesday’s road game with lefty David Price going for LA against former Texas All-Star Kyle Gibson. It would be wise to hold off on an anti-Phillies wager just yet. There wouldn’t be enough value taking LA.
But on Thursday, go for it when the Dodgers’ Julio Urias (13-3) faces the Phils’ Ranger Suarez (5-3, 0.98).
A word of caution about Suarez’s dazzling stats. Until being inserted into the starting rotation after the trade-deadline acquisition of Gibson, Suarez had been working out of the bullpen, eventually taking over as the closer.
The problem for the Phillies is that he still isn’t stretched out properly, not going past the third inning in either of his two starts this month. And a bullpen game for these guys is bad news.
The forecast here is to go against Philly in the series finale vs. the Dodgers and in both games against Cincinnati if the Phillies are favored. That way money can be made with a split.
The Reds ought to have a nice money-line number going against Philly’s Zack Wheeler on Friday. He’s fresh off a shutout of the Mets.
As They Say In Louisiana…
Now for some lagniappe.
The aforementioned trend even would have worked more than a century ago.
The longest winning streak in major league history was 26 games by the New York Giants late in the 1916 season. (There was a tie mixed in.)
After their run ended, the Giants promptly lost three of their next four.