DANIEL MURPHY—NO HOT HAND IN THE WORLD SERIES. Last fall, just before the World Series began, I posted about this article by Robert Silverman which raised the question whether Daniel Murphy’s hitting streak in his last nine games might cast doubt on the “hot hand fallacy”, which is, according to wikipedia, “the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success with a random event has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts”. Murphy, who had never hit more than 14 home runs in a season, had hit 7 home runs in his last 9 games, including a home run in each of his last 6 games. Would he have unusual success in the upcoming World Series?
Although the hot hand theory would have predicted success for Murphy, he did not do well in the five game World Series, with a batting average of .150 and an OPS of .470 and no home runs.
I made a prediction here that Murphy’s OPS for the Series would be 0.849. Notice that I did not adopt the “hot hand theory”, which would have led to a prediction similar to Murphy’s batting performance during the six games (or nine games) when he had the hot hand and had an OPS in the range of a record-breaking 1.500.
Also take note that my prediction of the OPS for the Series for Murphy was very wrong.