Today, I happened upon a site looking at how well you would do historically if you bet on the Cubs regularly.
Obviously, (and I don’t think we needed actual data to convince us of this) the result of such betting would have been bad. Not Oh-Darn-I-Guess-I-Won’t-Be-Able-to-Buy-That-iPad-Now bad, but more like Holy-Shit-I’m-Now-Homeless bad.
I don’t fully understand how lost “units” are calculated in this post, but I don’t think you have to understand the math behind it to catch the drift of what they are getting at:
The Cubs are down a staggering 173.34 units since 2000. I don’t think any other team is down even 100 units during the same stretch. Keep in mind: this is a team that has made the playoffs multiple times during the 2000s.
Is there a reason for this? Yes, at least I think there is. The Cubs, much like this season, have always managed to hold their own on the road. But they get crushed at home, primarily because oddsmakers give Wrigley Field way too much credit. The Cubs are 9-13 at home this year but are already down 6.37 units.
Three times since 2000, the Cubs were profitable on the road even when they lost 10 or more units in a season at home. Seven times the Cubs have lost more money at home than they did on the road.
Total units lost since 2000:
On the road: -44.59
At home: -123.18
Keep in mind that they said that no other team has lost even 100 units overall in that time period and the Cubs lost over 123 just at Wrigley. Holy. Shit.
But what is causing this? Are oddsmakers using an assumption on “homefield advantage” that simply doesn’t exist at Wrigley? Is it because Cubs fans bet on the team no matter what so the oddsmakers know it and set the odds even more in their favor compared to true odds? Maybe a combination of the two?
It’s kind of fascinating and something that could really only happen to the Cubs. We’ll just throw this onto the pile of the ever-growing list of reasons that maybe the Cubs would be better off just tearing down Wrigley Field and starting over.