If you haven’t taken a breath since “Lucky” Lobaton’s bat miraculously met a very good pitch thrown by Koji Uehara Monday night, here is why you should have no worries about the Sox playing in the ALCS:
"FOLLOW THE MONEY"
Out in Vegas there are reptilian creatures who set the odds on sports’ games. They do not have a dog in the race, so emotion does not enter into their calculations.
Also, they have access to “inside” information; they pay locker room guys to let them know who is hurting and how bad; they can find out how the latest bullpen session went for a starter; they study all the stats and analytics and apply their personal proprietary formulas.
"They are employed for only as long as they get the odds right."
There is no rooting for teams, emotions, warm blood, or foam fingers or such happy horseshit involved; this is about cold, hard cash; real “life and death.”
Forget the pudwits and experts, who have no more at stake than bragging rights, hits on websites, or “loyal readers,” it’s the money guys’ forecasts that matter.
Here is a summary of the betting lines for tonight’s Sox-Ray’s game:
|Boston -1.5@Tampa Bay +1.5
|Tue, Oct 8 8:30 PM ET
|-1.5 140+1.5 -160
In football betting, they give you a “point spread” like +3.
Steelers [+3] vs. Denver.
Denver is a 3-point favorite to win.
You take the Steelers and you start the game with a 3-0 lead and, say the game ends at Denver 21, Steelers 20. Although Denver won the game, if you bet the Steelers, you won the money, because you get to add your +3 to the actual outcome and the result is 23-20 in the Steelers favor.
With baseball the “spread” is called a “runline” and you are awarded an advantage in runs.
If you bet on the Red Sox in tomorrow’s game, you have to “give” or “spot” the Rays 1.5 runs, or one and a half runs. Suppose the final score is Red Sox 7, Rays 6.
Although Boston won the game, if you bet the Rays, you won the money, because you get to add your +1.5 runs to the actual outcome and the result is 7.5 to 7 in the Rays’ favor.
Whether you are betting on games or not, the odds makers are telling you who they think will win the game and by how much.
A 1.5 run spread is small, but it is still saying that the guys who have cash on the line like the Red Sox to beat the Rays in Tampa tomorrow night.
If the odds makers are wrong about Game 4 tonight, the spread on game 5 at Fenway will likely be greater than 1.5 in favor of the Red Sox.
The logic will be:
- Boston starter is a bit better than Ray’s starter.
- Home field advantage; familiarity with the Monster and other field quirks.
- Odds of Tampa winning 3 games in a row.
- Odds that Boston’s offense will be statistically likely to break out.
- Sox closer so much better than Tampa’s.
Yes, the Rays have Longoria and better starting pitchers, but the Red Sox are better in every offensive category and “normally” score over 5.33 runs per game, while the Rays average 4.32 runs per game. Thus, using these average figures the Sox would be a full run better than the Rays on an “average” day.
If the series goes 5 games, the last game will be played in Fenway this Thursday at 5:30 PM EST; that would mean that the Rays could have both Game One starter, LHP Matt Moore or Game Two starter, LHP, David Price rested and ready to pitch.
Regardless of who the Sox would start in game 5, it would appear that their best chance of having an edge in the starting pitchers would be tonight’s game at The Trap.
On the left and right 3% fringes of the Bell curve, we have a Rays’ pitcher bringing his “A” game; on the other extreme we have the Red Sox offense bringing their “A” game.
While Berra The Yogi was right “In baseball, you don’t know nothing,” the Money Boyz in Lost Wages, Nevada live or die on their forecasting acumen. The guiding tenet in town is:
"“Money talks, bullshit walks.”"
Advice: Don’t bet on the ALDS East; just sit back and wait for the Sox to win it.
MORE ON BASEBALL ODDS: http://sportsgambling.about.com/od/baseballbetting/a/baseball.htm
ALSO SEE: Rose, Pete