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MLB Hangover Betting Theory: Does It Really Work?

The Hangover Theory. It’s a betting spot that’s been around as long as players have been spraying alcoholic beverages in celebration in Major League Baseball. 

The theory says this: Play against teams the game after they clinch their division because, you know, they’ll be too hung over to swing a bat. 

Well, as far as records go, there’s a little something to this. Since 1999, teams are 41-47 in that spot. In the past five seasons — since the adjusted playoff format — teams are a measly 12-18.

(Sorry, we don’t have units won/lost, which I realize is important, but this gives you some idea of how teams perform.)

We went with division-clinching records only because it’s not always the same for teams when they clinch a wild-card spot. They still could be in a divisional race. 

On Wednesday night, the Twins clinched an AL wild-card spot while the Cubs clinched the NL Central. Both opened as big underdogs on Thursday with the Twins moving up to +245 underdogs at Cleveland while the Cubs were +178 at St. Louis.  

For the Cubs, it marks their biggest underdog line of the season by far. They were +132 on Sept. 19 at Tampa Bay as their second-biggest underdog spot of the year. 

The Twins, meanwhile, are looking at their fourth-biggest underdog spot of the season. They were +276 at the New York Yankees on Sept. 20.

Last year, division winners went 2-4 in the game after they clinched the division. 

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