Seeing as gambling apparently isn’t quite the taboo it once was in baseball ...
The Red Sox enter the 2006 season with 10-1 Vegas odds to win the World Series. The Yankees and White Sox lead the way with 7-2 and 9-2 lines, respectively. The Kansas City Royals bring up the rear, 400-1 to win the title. Surprisingly enough, the New York Mets, a darling preseason pick for some (not here), are listed at generous 5-1 odds.
Boston is listed at 3-1 to win the AL East, just ahead of Toronto (7-2) and behind New York (2-5). The Orioles (40-1) and Devil Rays (125-1) are long shots. Tampa second baseman Jorge Cantu though is a 300-1 opportunity to win the Home Run Derby. Red Sox slugger Wily Mo Pena is listed at 75-1 to win that competition.
The Yankees are also predicted to lead the way in wins, with 97.5, while the Red Sox (91.5) and Blue Jays (85.5) trail them significantly, providing a couple of enticing “over” bets.
Dave Perkins of the Toronto Star writes: “If anybody sees 98 wins in that Yankee pitching, they have very good eyes. The sky already is falling in Yankee camp over the potentially threadbare rotation. J.P. Ricciardi had one word yesterday when the Yankee number was mentioned: ‘Really?’”
No shock that Alex Rodriguez is favored to win the home run title, a 9-2 shot at Caesars Palace, 4-1 at the Palms and 7-2 at the Plaza in Vegas, according to Jeff Haney. But a bet can be placed on David Ortiz for 6-1 at the Plaza, 8-1 at Caesars and the Palms, and Manny Ramirez , who is 7-1 at Caesars, 12-1 at the Plaza, and perhaps most intriguingly, 16-1 at the Palms.
A couple of other tempting possibilities for breakout power hitters are Hank Blalock -- who is at 60-1 -- and Travis Hafner -- 50-1 -- to lead baseball in homers. Among the not-so-tempting, Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is listed at 1,000-1.
Be sure to heed your own advice before seriously considering any sort of investment though. Don’t be delusional. As in: According to professional gambler Russ Culver, “The Tigers are this year’s version of the White Sox.”
Uh ... no.