Baseball

The Time Chase Utley Ruined a 3K Parlay

Monday, 30 July, 2018

Follow on Twitter @cimini

Back in 2006 was the first true year I could bet legally. With college roommate friends we literally did four things. Went to class, work, occasional parties, and bet on games.

The success during football season was unordinary. By the start of second semester I had taken a break as I didn’t have the time to keep up with basketball.

I did still witness some memorable bets gone right and gone wrong. One buddy had put a large amount on the NCAA championship game of UCLA and Florida. That outcome was not to his favor.

His next large bet came during the MLB All Star game. Pre-All Star game the whirlwind was the fact that the AL had not lost to the NL in quite some time. Bettors love hearing that type of information and so did my buddy. He sweated through one run for eight innings before Michael Young delivered a two-out triple to give the Al the win.

By summer break I had enough free time to keep up with MLB and was doing well.

Suddenly on July 25th I saw the MLB board with full clarity. Even back then I knew it meant to input a parlay. I don’t remember the amount of games inputted but it was in the range of five to six games.

Without sweat I had all games except one in hand. It was the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Philadelphia Phillies.

I had inputted the under of 9.5 runs. Right off the bat the Phillies scored three runs in the first inning. Then another run came via the Diamondbacks, and another by the Phillies. After a wild pitch run by Luis Gonzalez it was 4-2 in the third inning.

Suddenly both teams cooled off and there were no runs besides a Luis Gonzalez solo shot in the 7th. So it’s 4-3 going into the eighth inning. I had a two run cushion with both bullpens needing to pitch well in a tight game.

The Diamondbacks ended up getting a two-out triple to tie it in the eighth. So now I’m sitting with one-run of cushion. By the top of the ninth the Diamondbacks were now winning 5-4.

A winning parlay was three outs a way. One out came and now Chase Utley was in the batters box. Utley was in one of those batter zones on a 25 game hit streak and had already hit a homer in the game.

At this point I couldn’t watch. I had exited the house with my phone and ESPN statcast in view as I took an aimless walk in the neighborhood. It’d be short lived.

Sure enough the Diamondbacks reliever in Jorge Julio served Chase Utley his second homer of the night.

I was frozen and dumb founded at the same time. That feeling you get when something great is suddenly over.

I never call a losing wager a bad beat and that one was not either. But I do think the Diamondbacks should have walked Utley in that scenario.

Twelve years later Chase Utley is finally going into retirement but will always be remembered by myself when I think of parlays.

Cubs Struggles Tied to Spring Training

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

Follow@cimini
Call it what you want. A championship hangover is the common verbiage used in sports for a defending champion slow out the gate.

Last fall’s transcendent game seven and pennant win for the Cubs was a classic. With the plethora of youth talent in hand it was a no-brainer to see Vegas offer the Cubs as clear favorites to win again in 2017.

Heading to spring training the victorious celebrations did not stop. The city of Mesa, Arizona heralded the Cubs and even gave Joe Maddon the keys to the city.

Unprecedented charted waters for a spring training city. Yet, Mesa truly does have a Chicago vibe along with other Valley of the Sun cities. Many Chicago transplants have relocated and settled their new lives in the comforts of 365 days of inarguable weather.

Many lauded Maddon for his use of pitching during spring training, but in wasn’t any more drastic from his past experiences.

Two seasons ago the Cubs faced similar direction as they trailed the Cardinal. Too young of a team at that juncture they faded out of contention for the title and weren’t of playoff consideration.

Last year’s team obviously responded in all phases.

This year’s is proving to show glaring weaknesses in a veteran pitching staff that has arms eroding. Keep in mind Kyle Hendricks came out of no where last season and all the other pitchers have been through the crossroads of their careers.

At the plate no one has found their comfort zone, and a treacherous schedule has not helped matters.

Fortunate for the Cubs it’s only the beginning of June. In an expected tight division race they have the legs and roster to withstand the dog days of summer. Pulling through for a division title should be expected but another playoff run shouldn’t.

Expect some tweaks to overhaul the pitching before the trade deadline and for the Cubs to not fade as they’ve shown here in May.

Dbacks Bullpen Set to Cave

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

Follow on Twitter@cimini
Early season anomalies are common in sports. Perhaps no more so than in MLB. A high dependance on extended pitching is called upon for a seven-month season.

Out in the NL West the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks have surged out in front.

Could we see the success happening offensively for both teams? Yes, the Rockies have been a power offensive team for years and the Diamondbacks have one of the best hitters in the game in Paul Goldschmidt.

Vegas and offshore books showed that they didn’t expect the Diamondbacks to improve. Off of last year’s horrid season the Dbacks win total was given between 74 and 77.5 wins.

Several moves with current roster arms and signings set the stage for a quality beginning by the Diamondbacks pitchers. Veteran arms in Jorge De La Rosa and closer Fernando Rodney were brought in. While both had rocky 2016’s they’ve held a strong role thus far in 2017.

The biggest move though for the Diamondbacks was moving Archie Bradley from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Tonight, marked his first true struggling performance as he sustained his first loss of the season against the Pirates.

How will he bounce back from allowing a walk-off home run? Psyche of a pitcher can flip overnight based on one outing. Based on Bradley’s history of stringing together poor starts last season, one has to be worried as a Diamondbacks fan.

I for one was in disagreement that the Diamondbacks did not use him the closer role originally or bring him back into the starting rotation when Shelby Miller went down.

It’s almost a no-brainer for an organization to bring up their best reliever with starting pitching experience over calling up a pitcher. Yet, that was not the case with Bradley.

Fantasy owners still believe in Archie somewhat as he is owned in over 67% of NFBC leagues. In all likelihood that number has been based more on a stash with hope for a bigger role.

My overall recommendation would be to cut Bradley and expect struggles to lurk much more than what has transpired.

Tampa Bay Rays Worth Long Shot Money

Monday, 10 August, 2015

Follow@cimini

It’s just about mid-August, which means the future market for the pennant is rounding into form. With an additional wild card spot it has made the odds market more interesting then ever. With teams bunched up all over the place it can be hard not to have tunnel vision when looking at the future market.

It’ll be interesting to see which teams secure a playoff spot and distance themselves from the pack over the next month.

There are currently ten teams above the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL pennant odds. They’re 40-1 to accomplish an AL title and 100-1 to win the world series.

It’s hard to look beyond the cream of the crop of which teams are hot right now. The Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays, Astros, etc. have the players and manager that draw money attention.

I’m typically not one to follow the money at limited odds, especially this early in the pennant race. Value of the Rays is far too high on where it should be in my opinion.

Their hitting and lineup may not have heralded players but they get the job done. They’ve knocked around some of the best pitchers in MLB this year including Chris Sale and Corey Kluber recently.

With Odorizzi back off the DL it just strengthens a backing of such odds at this time.

It’ll be a hard feat to make the playoffs with all the talented teams vying for a playoff spot. But why can’t they get it done?

Currently the Rays are four games back for the second wild card position. If they were able to secure the spot, I sure don’t want to have that regretful feeling of missing out on 40-1 or 100-1 odds with Chris Archer deciding the wild card game.

Long-shot approved: Tampa Bay Rays—August 10th, 2015

Handicapping: MLB Series July 31st-August 2nd

Thursday, 30 July, 2015

Follow on Twitter@cimini

The MLB trade deadline will be set this time tomorrow. There have been plenty of big splashes that will spark teams. We’ve seen the Astros roll off some wins after they acquired Scott Kazmir. Of course if adding a new piece to the puzzle were that simple, people would be pouring their money into the sports markets on a daily basis.

Oddsmakers aren’t foolish either. Tuesday featured an inordinate amount of heavy favorites that made it quite an interesting day to find true value.

If you’re in Vegas or at the proper offshore book, you’ve probably dabbled into series odds from time to time. They can be of great value to land 2 of 3 games instead of worrying on a day to day game basis.

On this blog I want to shift the focus onto teams to be leery of this weekend. Teams with momentum value that carries spreads higher as wins keep happening.

New York Yankees
Not only have the Yankees caught fire at the plate throughout their lineup, but reports are they decided against trading for David Price. They feel they can land him in the offseason without burdening their prospects. That could be true or false but what isn’t false is that perception has been spun by the media. I’d be extra cautious this weekend in taking the bite on the Yankees at likely high prices.

Washington Nationals
Bettors are of pattern behavior. People love familiarity and trends. Last year the Nationals ripped off a nice double digit win-streak in August that catapulted them to the division title. They’re starting to win games again and have a crucial weekend series against the Mets. On top of that the Mets are coming off a couple of shaky home losses against the San Diego Padres.

Houston Astros
The Astros won a come from behind win against the Angels and then beat them again on ESPN Tuesday night. Their bats were the catalysts in both of those wins. Pitching has waned a bit and you have to wonder if their staff has a bit of pressure on them with Kazmir acquired. This Fri, Sat, Sunday series against the Diamondbacks is a tricky one. Arizona has won six of seven and has strong momentum at the plate and on the mound. This will likely be a series that I watch from afar with no plays from all three games from a handicapper stand point.

Fantasy football enthusiasts vs. Sports Handicappers

Saturday, 27 June, 2015

The line between fantasy and reality is being blurred by the rapidly-growing Daily Fantasy Sports market, offering fans a chance to not only build the team of their dreams and test their football knowledge but earn big money by playing fantasy sports against other passionate pigskin aficionados. In fact, fantasy footballers are more like sports handicappers than ever before.

Fantasy sports are nothing new to the mainstream, stemming from those hallowed Rotisserie League days in the 1980s and booming in popularity at the turn of the century. Much like sports betting, fantasy football gets fans to not just tune into their favorite NFL teams each Sunday but also watch games involving different players on their fantasy rosters.

And, again like sports betting, managing your fantasy team – daily or season-long – takes a keen eye to spot value in certain matchups that may not be visible to the average fan. Fantasy football is one of the most underrated places to find sports betting tips, and vice versa.

For example, sports handicappers may look to play the Under in a contest in which a team’s passing game is facing a stingy secondary that ranks among the top pass defenses in the NFL, knowing that the offense won’t be able to pick up big gains and will likely have to run the ball more than usual – keeping the gains short and the clock ticking.

The fantasy football player sees this matchup in a similar light, spotting added value in the offense’s running back, knowing the team won’t be passing as much and giving the rusher extra carries to try and move the chains while taking pressure off the receivers and forcing the defense to loosen up on the pass coverage.

One of the biggest trends in fantasy football in recent years is the shift away from the rushing game, with most teams using a multi-back run attack, and the boom in passing. Since defenses are all but handcuffed when defending receivers, more importance is being put on quarterbacks and wideouts – but also running backs who can make plays after the catch. Finding a hybrid running back, that can run the ball and also make catches, is a smart way to win your weekly or daily fantasy football matchup.