If you have bet on sports for any period of time, you know that losing streaks are part of the overall picture. It doesn’t matter who you are or how good of a handicapper you are, losing streaks are going to occur. It also makes no difference how you handicap. Bettors who rely on statistics, trends, or systems are not exempt from the inevitable slump, which makes following some of the baseball chase systems a dangerous task.

A chase system closely resembles the old Martingale betting strategy of simply doubling up after a loss, with the expectation of recovering any previous losses and showing a profit when you do win. If you were guaranteed a winning bet within three plays, the chase system would work fine, but there are no sure things in sports betting.

Just as streaks are part of baseball betting, they are also part of baseball and it isn’t unusual to see teams win or lose six, seven or even eight games in a row.

When somebody is promoting a baseball chase system, you will be drawn to an impressive record, but the records that are given aren’t the actual win-loss record of the games bet, but instead is the record of the chase sequence.

As an example, if a chase system says to bet the New York Mets, the Mets could lose their next six games. If they win the seventh game, a bettor following the sequence would show a record of 1-6 in the seven games they bet. But the system would be credited with a record of 1-0 on the premise that the sequence was successful.

If that isn’t bad enough, nearly every chase system will have you playing the favorite on the moneyline or taking the runline if the team is an underdog. Either way, you are going to be risking much more money than you stand to win. If you take an underdog of +120 on the runline, you can expect to risk close to -175 to get the 1.5 runs.

Using -160 for either a moneyline favorite or a runline underdog, assume a bettor wants to show a chase sequence profit of \$100. The first bet will obviously be \$160 to win \$100. If the bettor wins the first bet, they will start a new sequence. It’s when the bettor loses the first bet that things begin to get a bit complicated. With the loss, the bettor is now down \$160 and needs to win \$260 on their next bet in order to recover the money lost and still show their desired \$100 profit.

To win \$260 on a wager that is -160, you will have to bet \$416. If the second bet wins, the bettor can close out the sequence with a \$100 profit, but if the second game loses, the bettor is now down \$576 and will need to win \$676 to show a profit for the sequence. That leads to a third bet of \$1,082 and if the third bet happens to lose, the bettor is down \$1,658 and will have to wager \$2,813 to show a \$100 sequence profit on the fourth bet. If it goes to a fifth bet, the amount required to bet would be \$4,471, which could very well exceed a bettor’s betting limit or most likely, a bettor’s bankroll. A win in the fifth game would be good for a \$100 sequence profit, but a loss will yield a sequence loss of \$7,284.

Losing five bets in a row isn’t all that unusual. It does happen. But when it happens with a chase system it can get awfully expensive in a hurry and will knock all the best-funded sports bettors out of the picture.

Consider these numbers before you invest in a handicapper who claims to have a 44-1 record or have gone 22-0 last season. Losses happen, it’s a reality of the game.