Part of the reason the NFL is the most popular sport in the United States—arguably the main reason—is that the sport of football is perfect for betting. Major League Baseball, due to its long season and at times arbitrary results game to game (picture a broken bat walk-off single in game 7 of the World Series against a certain Evil Empire) does not capture America’s betting obsession quite so perfectly. But let’s see what we can find and have fun with some possible bets for the upcoming Red Sox season.
First of all, let me preface this entire blog by saying I have either tricked myself or I have been tricked into believing in this Red Sox team. For some reason, I now think it is logical for less talent and big-money players to equal a more positive and gutsy team, which in turn will equal more wins.
Odds to win the 2013 American League East: Red Sox +580.
So if you bet $100 you can win $580. Basically, you multiply whatever you bet by 5.8. This is a solid bet IF you parlay it with another bet: the Tampa Bay Rays are at +310 to win the AL East. The Jays are at +140 with the Yankees at +240. The Yankees will not win this division and will finish in the bottom two; they are too hurt already. Vegas loves Toronto, but they have yet to prove anything. Shortstop Jose Reyes and starting pitcher Josh Johnson cannot be relied upon to stay healthy. Who knows what a post-PED Melky Cabrera brings to the table. Jose Bautista is coming off a wrist injury from last season, and Edwin Encarnacion had a career year for the ages last season with 42 homers and an OBP of .384. He will not repeat those numbers. Their money line is way too high to win this division. It will come down to the Sox and the Rays, so I’d put money on both, and you’ll come out on top one way or another.
Odds to win the World Series: Red Sox +2500.
Might as well, right? Parlay this with the odds of my three other favorites to get to the series from the AL—Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Anaheim—and you have a solid chance of guaranteed money.
More base hits in the season: Chase Headley (San Diego Padres) versus Will Middlebrooks.
Middlebrooks is being given a +2 line for this matchup as well, meaning you get to add two hits to his season total when comparing it to Headley’s season total. Headley had a career high 173 hits last season and 31 homers. Even if he matches his career high in hits, Middlebrooks, barring an injury, should be right up there with him. Furthermore, if Headley does continue his hot hitting from last year into this season, he does not have much protection in the Padres’ lineup. He already walked a career high 86 times last season, 24 more times than he had in any of his previous five seasons. Expect more of the same even if he catches fire, as pitchers will simply pitch around him in that San Diego lineup.
Those are my three bets for you right now—More to come as we approach the season.