Monday, July 28, 2008

Odd odds - the race to the World Series

Some fascinating MLB World Series outright odds available today, this morning, on several Irish/English bookies sites. There isn't much value in the top four. As documented below;

  • Boston - 3-1
  • Chi Cub - 4/1
  • LAA 21-4 (!?)
  • Tampa - 8/1

Boston, Chicago and the Halos are all arguably similar value, each of them around the same price. Tampa are too short for a team that has never had a winning season. They should be in the region of 20/1, even if they were five games up in the AL East. As it is they are barely clinging on with two established, veteran, monsters steaming up behind them, ready to pounce. In all honesty, if you are a realist, how long before either Boston, NY or both have a five game lead on the inexperienced, thin-squad, Rays?


The real value is amongst the next batch. Check these guys out.

World Series outright
  • NYY 10/1
  • Arizona 12/1
  • NYM 12/1
  • Brew Crew 14/1
  • Philly 14/1
  • Detroit 15/1
  • Florida 40/1

NL Pennant
  • Florida 16/1

Now, before I launch into this, bear in mind I am not saying any of these teams will definitely scoop the World Series. However, these are, I think most would agree, great value bets.

NYY 10/1
Hey, it kills me to say it, but this is just a mistake, end of story. By the end of this week the Yankees could very well be in first place, they have all the pieces in place to make a serious run. Therefore this 10/1 is a massive, massive price and I can not believe bookmakers are willing to take this risk. When you consider the sheer star-power the Yankees can put out on the field, 10/1 is simply insane. Having said that, their Kryptonite (known as A-Rod) will undoubtedly diffuse any post season runs. I wonder was there any Red Sox fan in the entire world actually worried when A-Rod stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in last night's showdown? You always knew he would find a way to choke in that situation. Bless his little cotton socks.

Darth Vadar puts an 'A-Rod'-hold on a rebel commander

Arizona 12/1
The only way I can justify this inflated price is 'Zona ply their trade in the (much) weaker NL, which will probably get pounded 4-1 or even 4-0 in the Series anyway. However, if you like Arizona and their gritty pitching staff and plucky young hitters, 12/1 is a whopping price for a decent side.

NYM 12/1
Hey, its the Mets, anything can happen. They could go 30-10 in the last 40 games and charge into the playoffs, or they could slump horrifically and miss them entirely. It must be absolute hell being a Mets fan, not knowing which side is going to show up month to month. They are the streakiest team in baseball, long losing streaks followed by incredible winning streaks. For me, their pitching staff is too thin to make a serious run, but if you like the Mets, how can you resist 12/1?

Brew Crew 14/1
When you consider the powerful lineup and the big two of Sheets and Sabathia, this team is primed for a deep run in the playoffs. With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder amongst others this is one of the most AL like lineups in the NL. How on earth are these guys 14/1?

Philly 14/1
I kind of understand this one, kind of. The Phillies have one of the worst pitching staffs of all contending MLB clubs. What should be appealing to any potential Phillies backers would be their crazy lineup that doesn't break sweat when down by 7-10 runs. No problem. They are the masters of 'lost-cause' comebacks, particularly at home. No lead is safe against these guys. The problem is, you face better pitching in October and the runs are harder to come by. Still, if I was from Philadelphia I would gobble this 14/1 up like Vince Wilfork knocks down Bacon double cheeseburgers. Actually, if I was from Philadelphia first thing I would do is move. Then maybe place that bet.

Detroit 15/1
The AL version of the Phillies. Streaky, unreliable pitching, potentially spectacular lineup. Detroit have the ability and the talent to go on a serious run, and thus this 15/1 is very good value, Edgar rent-an-error aside!

Florida 40/1
Saving the best to last. Have you seen these guys play lately? They are incredibly fun to watch. Their pitching is young, energetic and wildly streaky. It can be spectacular or terrible, however their amazing, young, talented and powerful lineup can often overcome a poor outing by their pitching staff. They are scaring the absolute c-r-a-p out of every NL team they face right now. They are only 2 games behind the Mets and 1 behind the Phillies, both streaky sides who could fall apart in September. Have you seen Hanley Ramirez play baseball? He is quite literally a joy to watch. Sensational value bet. If I was a gambling man I would be all over this like a bad rash.

NL Pennant Florida 16/1
Wait, there's better yet! You can get a ridiculous 16/1 on Florida just winning the NL, and then sit back and relax while Boston pummels a 'Happy to be here' Marlins side in the big show! Everybody wins!

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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