Just how rare is the Nats’ 10-game winning streak?


(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Nats won again, extending their win streak to 10 games.

Needless to say, such a streak is rare. It becomes even rarer when you factor in the walk-off wins and last minute drama.

If we gave the Nationals a 50/50 chance at winning every game, the chances they would win 10 out of 10 can be calculated by taking 50 percent to the 10th power, which results in 0.0977 percent, or 1000-to-1 odds. However, they were favored in each game of the streak, so the odds are a bit better.

Using the Vegas money lines, we can get an estimated win probability for each of the games. For example, if the money line is plus-200, that means a gambler would win $200 for each $100 they bet and would translate to a 33.3 percent implied win percentage. If the money line is minus-150, that means you have to wager $150 to win $100, and have an implied probability of 60.0 percent.

Here are the expected winning percentages for the current streak:

Vegas bookmakers expected the Nats to win each game, but the chances they would win all the games was 0.82 percent, or 120 to 1. That’s eight times more likely than a .500 team having the same stretch.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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Neil Greenberg · August 22

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