IS THERE AN EXPLANATION FOR WHY DANIEL MURPHY’S HOT STREAK HAS CONTINUED? I have posted several times about Daniel Murphy’s hot streak at the end of the season in 2015. He had never hit more than 14 home runs in a season. During the playoffs, he hit 7 home runs in 9 games.
This article by David Schoenfield on the ESPN website describes how Daniel Murphy’s hot streak has continued this season. Murphy’s .409 batting average through May 12 was the second best through that date since 2010. (Murphy had always been considered a slightly above average hitter at best).
Schoenfield gives a plausible explanation why Daniel Murphy went on a hot streak last year, culminating in his “hot hand” in the playoffs. He changed his batting stance. He went from a more straight-up stance to a crouch last season and that helped him deliver more power as he started pulling the ball more often.
One way of looking at the random distribution of hot streaks and cold streaks in basketball and baseball is that the changes players make are randomly distributed. A basketball player starts hitting a higher percentage of shots because his form is better and his streak continues as long as he is able to maintain that form.