Welcome to baseball season. I know Opening Day is always the last day of March, but this year it seems way too early. Maybe because we are getting hit with snow on April 1st, the Masters is next weekend and the C’s and B’s are getting ready for the playoffs. If you are a new reader to Big Rips, you should know that I am a Yankees fan. Yep, blow me. Everyone needs at least one friend who lives in Boston, but is introduced as “he’s a Yankee fan” as they sit in their seat when Youk hits a home run at Fenway. That’s why I always bet overs when I go to a Sox games. It’s a bitter sweet year for me. As one of my top five Yankees that I have followed in my lifetime has retired. Andy Pettitte hung them up in the offseason, creating a gaping hole in the Yankees rotation, that Brian Cashman couldn’t even fill with Gabourey Sidibe. What he did was drive around Queens and found fat Freddy Garcia and fatter Bartolo Colon eating at McDonalds, then signed them with a Big Mac and fries as incentives. What an offseason for Cash, he whiffed on Crawford, Greinke and Cliff Lee, my vote for executive of the year. He filled holes with guys who haven’t been good since the crack down on steroids and HGH such as Colon and Garcia then Kevin Millwood (4-16 in ’10), Eric Chavez (yes the ex-Oakland Athletic 3rd baseman who is making $12.5m) and Mark Prior. I’m always a realist when it comes to the Yankees, this year the outlook is bleak. So to make this unbearable season fun, I am doing what most Pittsburgh Pirate fans should do and that’s place some long-term bets.
O/U 15 1/2 regular season wins by John Lester I blogged a couple of weeks ago that My Guy is offering the O/U for Wins by any MLB pitcher, a few of us hammered this bet last year and won. I should have locked it in earlier, the line has now conveniently jumped to -200. No worries I’ll just out smart him by winning loads of money on individual pitchers. Lester has averaged 16.6 wins the last three years and now has a better lineup and defense behind him with Crawford, Jacoby and Nancy Crew, plus Gonzalez and Youk at the corners. I love this bet, taking the OVER of 15 1/2 wins by Lester.
O/U 20 1/2 Total Wins by any MLB pitcher (-200) – I still think this is free money, not going nuts like last year, doing it for the tradition we started. Bet the OVER of 20 1/2 wins by any pitcher.
O/U 30 1/2 Home Runs by Ryan Braun – He had a down year last year with 25 dingers after hitting 34, 37 and 32 in the previous 3 seasons, more of a reason to like this bet. I see a solid comeback from Braun, who said recently ” There’s no doubt in my mind I’m better than I’ve ever been at baseball” I wish I could say that about myself for gambling. Bet the OVER of 30 1/2 home runs and put some money on Braun to win NL MVP +2250 .
NL Manager of the Year – I mentioned that Pettitte is one of my all time favorite Yankees, the other 4 are Giambi (documented a lot last year when I tried getting him to my birthday party), Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Don Mattingly. Donnie Baseball is finally getting a shot as Manager and is taking over a very difficult situation in LA. The McCourt divorce settlement is the headline story, not the team. The Dodgers are coming into season with low expectations and the NL West has the defending champs. We all know the NL West is major crap shoot and a team can win the division by winning 84 games. They’ve got one of the best starting rotations, maybe enough to win the division and make Mattingly look like a genius. The unsettled ownership could help his case too, if he can win. Bet Donnie Baseball as NL Manager of the Year +1200, maybe we’ll see him in Cooperstown as a Manager someday.
O/U 76 1/2 Regular Season Wins Baltimore Orioles – Buck Showalter has already started to make enemies in the AL East, by talking some shit about Derek Jeter and Theo Epstein. The guy is a notorious prick who players can either really love or hate. If Buck is able to get this team off to a decent start I think the O’s can win about 80 games. They signed some solid free agents like Vlad, Derek Lee, J.J Hardy and Mark Reynolds.The pitching is young and suspect, they don’t have a # 1 guy. If they start slow and the players turn on Buck, then look out for 100+ loses.
Good luck this season,
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