Home > Trends > Do Bad Teams Give Up in Baseball as the Season Draws Down?

Do Bad Teams Give Up in Baseball as the Season Draws Down?

Major League Baseball enters its final full month tomorrow and there’s a theory that pops up every now and then that bad teams start to give up in the last couple months of the season while the contenders start to pour it on.  The Grey Matter Stats S.H.A.R.P. system allows us to look back at the season to see if there’s any truth to trends in the rate that contenders (aka favorites) are winning on the Moneyline and covering on the Run Line.

For the overall 2011 MLB season, the cover and total rates are as follows (again these are drawn from the S.H.A.R.P.) system:

Moneyline Favorites – 57.7% win

Runline Favorites – 39.0% win

Total Over – 51.0%

Now we isolate just the most recent 30 days of the 2011 MLB season:

Moneyline Favorites – 63.0% win

Runline Favorites – 42.0% win

Total Over – 54.9%

The contrast between the overall season stats and the most recent 30 days stats is very clear.  In the month of August, Moneyline and Runline favorites covered significantly more often than they have over the course of the overall season.  In addition, the percentage of games going over the posted total is also higher in the isolated 30 day period.  This makes some sense, as an increase in Runline favorites covering would seem to imply that the contenders are perhaps winning by larger margins and scoring more runs over the cellar-dwellers than they were just a couple months ago.  In fact, using the S.H.A.R.P. system, when we isolate just games in which the Runline favorite covered, we see that the percentage of games going over has increased from the overall season number of 55.9% to 57.2% in the most recent 30 days.

Only time and actual data will tell whether this trend stays true in September (and one school of thought suggests that the trends will accelerate).

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Categories: Trends
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