Just for fun, not for keeps, we’ll take a quick look at where the 2010 Cardinals line up with the gamblers.
As I often do around this time of year, I just took a peek over at the yellowed betting slip from the Luxor Sports Book in Las Vegas that is stuck up on the board next to my desk. It reflects my bet from five years ago this week, February 28, 2005, when I laid down a whopping $20 on the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series. I received 6-1 odds, meaning I could have won $120.
I was not only betting on a bounce back from the disappointing sweep by the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series, but the excellence of Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter as well as the nostalgia value of the final season of Busch Stadium II.
As most readers here probably know, the 2005 Cardinals won 100 games again and Carpenter and Pujols took home the game’s highest individual honors, the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player Awards, respectively. Yet the Houston Astros ended the Cardinals’ dream in a six-game National League Championship Series.
The old slip reminds me why I don’t bet.
Still, I find it interesting to look at what kinds of odds those who are willing to put their money down this year are seeing.
I checked out three online betting sites, where the Cardinals vary from 9-2 to 11-2 odds to win the National League. The Phillies are favorites, with the Dodgers and Cubs behind the Cardinals.
|NL pennant 2010||Philadelphia||St. Louis||Dodgers||Cubs|
Here are their odds for the World Series. I added in the Yankees, since they are the favorites to repeat. The Cardinals range from 11-1 to 13-1 to take it all this year.
|World Series 2010||Philadelphia||St. Louis||Dodgers||Cubs||Yankees|
Right before I ended my search, I ran across an even more interesting site. betED.com also provides an over-under bet on number of wins in the 2010 regular season for each MLB club. I am assuming that all betting lines opened at -115, meaning you would need to bet $115 to win $100.
I imagine that odds have shifted from there based on betting interest. As you can see below, the Cardinals’ over/under is 88 ½ wins. If you are the optimist and think they will win at least 89 games, you only have to bet $110 to win $100. The pessimists must be out in greater volume, as it will take a $120 bet to collect $100 on the under, 88 wins or fewer.
No word on whether these lines shifted with last Friday’s word of Felipe Lopez’ signing. I am betting, er… guessing not.
|New York Yankees||94½||-140||110|
|Boston Red Sox||94½||-105||-125|
|New York Mets||89½||115||-145|
|Tampa Bay Rays||89½||-115||-115|
|St. Louis Cardinals||88½||-110||-120|
|Los Angeles Angels||84½||-105||-125|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||84½||-115||-115|
|Chicago White Sox||82½||-125||-105|
|San Francisco Giants||82½||-115||-115|
|Kansas City Royals||71½||-115||-115|
|San Diego Padres||71½||-115||-115|
|Toronto Blue Jays||71½||-115||-115|
Perhaps it is not surprising, but the largest deviations have occurred with the New York teams. If you believe the Yankees will win 94 or fewer games, you can earn $110 on your $100 bet. On the other hand, if you think 95 or more victories will be the result in the Bronx, you have to lay down $140 just for a chance to collect $100. The poor Mets, starting at an incredibly optimistic over/under of 89 wins, have trended in the opposite direction with the smart money on them doing more poorly.
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