The playoff race is almost over! Only a few more spots up for grabs! Division clinching! Champagne Showers! World Series Dreams!
All of that is exciting stuff, but is there anything we can look at this last week to bet on? OF COURSE THERE IS. I decided to use the Game Number filter to look at the very end of the season and to see if there was any money to be made. This is do-or-die time for some teams, and others are just trying to keep momentum (which doesn’t exist) going heading into the playoffs. The data says you should probably be betting against all of them.
As you can see from the image above, MLB underdogs have been very profitable at the end of the season. They are even more profitable when you focus on underdogs against winning teams. In this case, I described “winning” as teams with a winning percentage of 53% or higher. Every team with a winning percentage of 53% this season is in the playoff hunt and a couple (Cardinals & Giants) are actually below that threshold.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is a high-volume system. Systems that have more games will always have more volatility by nature. By looking at the Past Picks section, we can see there were seven game matches just for yesterday’s games:
Common sense might expect these teams to perform well considering they are expected to win and also desperately need to. But the data suggests otherwise. Both teams trying to play spoiler and winning teams are profitable in this system, and both home and visiting teams are profitable as well. No matter which way you slice it, the dogs like to bark at the end of the season.