Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.

Updated: September 27, 2005, 1:10 AM ET
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. | Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

Major League Baseball

• Can we dispense with this nonsense about doubleheaders, that it's tougher to win two games in one day than it is to defeat the same opponent on consecutive days? Yes, the Red Sox will have to juggle their rotation and monitor their relievers for fatigue against Toronto. But just because Monday night's rain-out will be played as part of a day/night doubleheader Tuesday doesn't make it less likely that they will win both games -- or lose both, for that matter.

Here's the proof: Over the last 10 years, there have been 304 doubleheaders, defined here as the same teams facing each other twice on the same day. There were 155 sweeps, or 51 percent. (Hmm, doesn't sound that tough to us.) Let's compare that percentage to the first two games of each series played during those 10 years. The same team that won the first game of a series also won the second game 51 percent of the time. See our point?

So, yes, it's difficult to win two games in a row, but no more difficult to do it on the same day than it is to do it on different days.


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