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Analyzing the Run Line (cont'd)
Nevertheless, a more striking point worth noting is the Home-Away Dynamics of the Run Line.
Probability of winning by more than 1 run given that the team wins the game straight up.
Home Teams: 68.5%
Road Teams: 77.1%
Home Favorites: 69.7%
Road Favorites: 79.1%
Road Favorites better than -120: 80.1%
Analyzing it further, we see that Road Teams in the Money Line Odds range of better than -120 specified in our earlier table beat the Run Line 80% of the time when conditioned on winning the game. There is a 10% difference in covering the Run Line for the Road Team than for the Home Team.
The reason for this is quite simple: Home Teams that win the game do not have to bat in the bottom of the 9th. Road teams that win the game still bat in the Top of the 9th. That means the Road winner has 12.5% more at-bats than the corresponding home favorite.
Let us statistically model this scenario to show us how it works. During any half inning, the expected value of runs scored is 0.5. This means that the expected value of number of half innings necessary to score 1 full run would be approximately every 2 half innings. The home teams beats the Run Line with a 70% probability. This means that for every 100 games, they are ahead by more than 1 run going into bottom of the 9th 70 times and only ahead by 1 run going into the bottom half of the 9th 30 times. Since the home team wins, there is no need to bat in the 9th. Conversely, for the road team, they will be batting all 100 of those times. Of those 30 times, the expected number of games for them to score an extra run necessary to beat the run line is 15. This is an increase of 15%!! Reality only shows a 10% improvement and this can be explained by the fact that although the average number of runs per half innings is 0.5. They will not be spreading 1 run every 2 games. They will be held scoreless about 66% of the time and for the remaining 33% of the time score 1 or more runs.
We will be revisiting this issue later when dealing with Totals. It just so turns out that when Road Teams win the game, the average total score is about 0.4 higher than if the home team won.
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