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MLB Home Front

The MLB presents sports bettors with an interesting situation each year. There are 162 games during the season and even the worst of the worst teams usually win at least 60-65 games. That means that there are 60+ winning plays on the absolute worst teams in baseball and they will all be plus money plays (plus money means they are the underdog).

Here’s another interesting fact about the MLB season. Teams, by in large, win at least 1 game in a home series—even the worst teams in the league. Isn’t that nice to know? So if you have the Atlanta Braves visiting the Arizona Diamondbacks and the D-backs are getting plus money the whole series, there’s a good shot you can turn this nugget of information into a winner. If that stat holds true and the D-backs were to lose game one, that means they have a 50% probability to win game two. Imagine if they were a +150 underdog. Who would not want to get +150 on a team with a 50% probability to win? What if you noticed they lost the first two games? For the third and final game of the series, the D-backs would have, according to this theory, a 100% probability to win. If the series was four games, these numbers change some, but you get the idea.

Do teams get swept at home? Sure they do. However, it happens rarely usually. In fact, some of the worst teams are great teams at home. Think this idea is nuts? Let’s take a look at some bad teams in the MLB in 2005 to see if we can prove a point. Please note, we ignore two game sets, because they are not a real series:

Arizona Diamondbacks
Last year the Arizona Diamondbacks were a pretty bad team. They won 77 of their 162 games, which is 47.5%. Maybe they were not the worst, but they were still a losing club. They played 27 series at home and they were only swept 3 times. That means this theory held true 88.8% of the time. If not for the SF Giants, they would have been swept only once.

Kansas City Royals
Ok, you wanted a bad team. Look no further than the Kansas City Royals. They were absolutely horrible in 2005. They won just 56 of their 162 games, which is a win percentage of 34.5—ouch. Surely a team this bad is going to blow our theory out of the water. They played 24 series at home and got swept 6 times. Half of their sweeps came at the start of the season. Still, this theory held up a healthy 75% of the time with perhaps the worst team in the game.

Minnesota Twins Here’s a team who is just playing over .500 ball. They won 83 of their 162 and had a winning percentage of 51%. The Minnesota Twins played 25 series at home and they were never swept. This theory held up 100% of the time. That’s pretty amazing. Looking around at other teams, we can see that this theory holds up very well. Last Year’s World Series Champions, the Chicago White Sox won at least one game in their 25 homes series 88.8% of the time. Another really bad team in 2005 was Tampa Bay. Even though they only won 69 games all year, this theory managed to hold up 80.8% of the time.

The list goes on and on. While betting solely on the theory may not be the wisest move, the theory of home series in the MLB can certainly aid in making a selection. Here’s an idea to help improve this theory. Never bet on the first game in the series unless the other team is equal or less. In other words, if in 2005 you were going to bet on Tampa Bay, you would not play game 1 if the Yankees were in town. You might if Kansas City was in town though. In fact, if the visiting team is way above the home team in class, you might wait to bet the third game if the first two were lost.

Jay Bird

Writer for

This is an original article by Please seek permission if you wish to duplicate this content.

30.04.2006 16:35
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