Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Opening Day

Well, it’s Opening Day. When hope springs eternal. When every team can make the playoffs. When you haven’t received a horrific sunburn by falling asleep in the bleachers on a Sunday afternoon in July at a meaningless Indians v Royals game. It all gets started again today. It’s a long terrible journey. The Major League Baseball season is a Bataan Death March. Players are out in April with grisly injuries only to return in September for the pennant chase. The season is so long, even the players themselves get bored in August. That’s what makes betting win totals so frustrating. You can actually forget that you want the Mariners to lose a meaningless game in July to the A’s because you have them UNDER 70 wins for the season. You really have to focus. On an August night, you may recall the wager and think, “That’s right. I hate that fucker Jack Cust. He just hit an otherwise meaningless two run homer off Brandon Morrow? I hope he busts his fucking ankle crossing the plate.” That’s what baseball is all about.

The key to betting baseball is to understand a few basic principals. A horrible baseball team still wins over 40% of the time. No team is as bad as the public perceives them to be at any given time. That of course excludes the Chicago Cubs, who are in fact much worse than people believe them to be, no matter what season in baseball history we are talking about. I like to start out looking at terrible teams and see if they have been underestimated in their win totals. That brings us to the Cleveland Indians. This line opened at 74.4 wins, and his since plunged down to 71.5. Make no bones about it; the Indians are really going to blow. They have one legitimate semi power hitter, a bunch of no name guys in the starting rotation, and discount bin retreads. It’s damaged goods all around. They had the lowest attendance in the majors, and the team responded by re-signing Austin Kearns. 54 year old Orlando Cabrera passed his physical to become the everyday second baseman. Some guy named Jack Hanahan is starting at third. I’m not saying he’s under the radar as an MLB player, but he may have been the guy that snaked out your drain last winter. We’re not talking about a team that is “loaded” here. However, all they have to do is win 72 games. Hell, they won 75 games in 2010 and Sizemore/Cabrera were hurt all year. I like Cleveland OVER 71.5.

The Cincinnati Reds won 91 games last year with a team that finally played like it looked on paper. It was always perplexing how the Reds played around .500 ball with a team of highly touted studs. Take a look at that roster. These guys have plenty of big time players entering their prime like Votto, Bruce, Phillips, and Drew Stubbs. They also have a nice mix of veterans like Scott Rolen, Ramon Hernandez, and Edgar Renteria. The pitching staff is young, improving, and deep. Cordero is a real good closer. So why is the line set at only 86.5 wins? The way I see it, the Brewers and Cardinals injuries to their pitching staffs are going to cost them some wins early in the year. The Cubs will blow. The Astros will be worse. I feel fairly confident the Pirates haven’t put all the pieces together. I think the Reds win the Central and 90 games. Take Cincinnati OVER 86.5 wins.

Krusty has an advanced degree involving statistics and the analysis of the various information that gets shat out by questionnaires and surveys. This is a man that understands how to read data. This is also a guy that looked at simulations for the 2011 season, and says the Padres prediction in Vegas is dead wrong. Why he always has a shitty fantasy baseball team, I really couldn’t tell you. Actually, now that I think of it, Bobby (old Cowslingers guitar player) has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State and he can’t figure out a 20% tip on a dinner check. Maybe these degrees don’t mean anything. Maybe no one I hang out with knows anything. Maybe I don’t know anything. Some or all of this might be true. But what I do know is this… The San Diego Padres will win more than 75.5 games.

The general public, who we all know doesn’t know a damn thing, believes the Padres will suck because they lost Adrian Gonzalez to free agency. While this first baseman may have been their only legit offensive threat, a first baseman isn’t going to carry you all season. The Padres won 90 games last year with scores of 3-2, 2-1, and 1-0. That’s pitching, not a big hitting first baseman. Is this team going to swing 15 games the wrong way because of no Adrian Gonzalez? Krusty doesn’t think so, and neither do I. Take San Diego OVER 75.5.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home