Winning Streaks (05/05/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Astros, Mets and Cardinals - the probability of winning streaks.



Last night, the Texas Rangers snapped the Astros' 10-game winning streak. It was Houston's first loss of the season in any game in which they had the lead.

The ‘Stros 10-game winning streak was part of the best 25-game start to a season in franchise history. Houston is coming off a 70-92 season, which was preceded by three straight years of at least 106 losses.

The New York Mets recently won 11 games in a row, which got a lot of attention because the Mets haven't been very good. It has been six years since the club had a winning record and nine years without a playoff appearance.

How likely were each team's winning streaks?

The Astros' winning streak was highly improbable, partly because six of the ten games were played on the road but also, like the oddsmakers, we only favored the ‘Stros to win in two of the ten games. There was only a 0.04 percent chance that Houston would win ten games in a row or a 1-in-2500 chance.

The Mets winning streak was three times as likely to occur compared to the Astros but still highly improbable. We favored New York in eight of the eleven games they won. The odds of the Mets winning eleven games in a row were 0.12 percent or a 3-in-2500 chance.

To have a long winning streak you have to get lucky. For Houston that included winning five one-run games during their streak, two of which went to extra innings. The Mets also enjoyed success in close games when they won eleven in a row. New York won five one-run games during the streak.

Houston's run came to an end in a loss in a one-run game last night. Since the Mets streak ended, the team is 0-3 in games decided by one run. Luck!

Good teams and bad teams have winning streaks, which club is legit?

Houston has the best record in the American League. The Astros are projected to win the AL West and have a 50.5 percent chance to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

The same cannot be said for the Mets. New York is closer to a .500 ball club. The Mets only have a 25.2 percent chance to reach the postseason.

#CardinalsDevilMagic



The Cardinals have the best record in baseball. St. Louis is now 19-6, the best start for the franchise since 1900. The Redbirds are enjoying a seven game winning streak. We favored the defending NL Central champs to win each of those seven games but there was still only a 2.6 percent chance that the streak would occur.

St. Louis is one of the best teams in baseball but the Cardinals needed luck just as much as skill to keep this streak alive. Four of the seven games were decided by one run and three went to extra innings. Plus, the Cards rallied from five runs down in the first inning last night against the Cubs, a 12.4 percent chance to win, to extend the streak.

Winning streaks are part of baseball. The Cardinals are currently enjoying the longest run, how long will it last and which team will go on a tear next?