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This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Doubleheaders/Doubledealing

In a four day span last week, the Washington Nationals played two doubleheaders and split both of them.  It reminded me of something I recently overheard about betting on doubleheaders.

Sirius-XM has a betting channel that I happened upon the other day and heard a conversation about betting doubleheaders in baseball.  The person being interviewed noted that betting on the team that lost the first game of a doubleheader to win the second game was one of baseball's safest and surest bets.  His contention was that the majority of double headers end up being split.

I did some research on this - I know I need a life - and found that it's not as simple as my radio dude was putting it.  Opinions and explanations seem to be all over the place on whether or not betting on the loser of the first game of a double header is the bet to make.  

For example, one  study (click here) found that out of 218 doubleheaders played from 2005 thru 2014, sweeps occurred roughly 52% of the time.  That certainly contradicts the radio dude's advice.

Other betting "experts" see the subject as being a little more nuanced (click here.)  Several factors impact the betting process such as whether or not it was the home team that won or lost the first game.  There is some evidence that home teams losing the first game are more likely to win the second game.  Road team sweeps of double headers are not as likely as are home team sweeps (click here.)  (Note that both of the Nationals recent double header splits were played at home.)  

So the betting logic would seem to go, if the home team loses the first game of a double header, load up on betting them to win the second game.  But then you have to factor in who are the two teams playing.  If the worst record Orioles are home playing a doubleheader against the best record Red Sox, you still may want to hedge on the betting the Orioles to win that second game after they have lost the first.  (In fact, you may want to hedge your bets on the woeful Orioles in any game that they play this season. (You don't know how painful that was for me to have written that.)

As I have said before, things baseball are often times not as simple as they seem.  Little like life wouldn't you say?  (Bowell's book Why Life Imitates the World Series comes to mind.)

Mike and the Moonpies have a great tune/video on the subject of gambling (hence this post's title:)


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