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MLB Betting Trends: Trying to figure out why Wakefield and Dickey show day/night splits?

04.06.2012     01:56 PM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Back in 2010, we posted a blog on the oddity of Tim Wakefield's day/night splits. For whatever reason – who couldn't come up with anything logical – Wakefield's career numbers during the day were dramatically better than at night.

Wakefield Day: 3.69 ERA/1.22 WHIP/.238 BAA 
Wakefield Night: 4.72 ERA/1.41 WHIP/.261 BAA

This from a guy who showed little to no split both righty/lefty and home/road. It stood out even more considering some of his fellow knucklers – Phil Niekro, Tom Candiotti, and Charlie Hough – didn't have any day/night dichotomy.

Well with Wakefield now retired – he'll be on the Yankees by mid-June – that leaves us with our main man R.A. Dickey as the lone knuckleballer. Dickey is slated to start tomorrow at home against Atlanta...for a 1:10 pm ET start. Remembering Wakefield's split, we out of curiosity checked Dickey's career numbers during the day. What we found further cemented Wakefield's splits as being random; Dickey's career numbers during the day are awful.

Dickey Day: 5.32 ERA/1.58 WHIP/.293 BAA 
Dickey Night: 3.91 ERA/1.33 WHIP/.268 BAA

Now Dickey has made only 34 career daytime starts and since becoming a full-time starter the last two years, his day numbers have actually been pretty good. However, during 2010 and 2011, Dickey recorded a combined 34 BBs, 68 Ks in 117 IP during the day and 62 BBs, 180 Ks in 266 IP at night. That is a difference of nearly a 2-1 to 3-1 K-to-BB ratio. Anyway, when it comes to trends, a lot of them end up being too random to confidently apply to a handicap. We think this falls under that category. That being said, maybe there is some logical explanation to it. If you have one, feel free to share it with us in the comment box below.  

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