Hello again bank-breakers and debt-drowners! Miles O’Malley back again as your guide on our meanderings down the moneyline. With baseball in full swing, playoff upsets in the works, and noted trader/mortuary Pawn of the Dead offering some killer deals, there’s lots of opportunity afoot! Let’s jump right in!
Major League Baseball
Hot Series: New York (AL) at Los Angeles/Anaheim (April 27,28,29)
Angels win series 2-1: 3/1
Yankees win series 2-1: 4/1
Angels sweep: 7/1
Yankees sweep: 10/1
MO: I don’t quite see a sweep happening here. The news will hype this up as Ohtani vs. Tanaka and/or Ohtani vs. Judge, but let’s not forget that Mike Trout is also on the Angels. The fact of the matter is that right now, the Angels are playing better. While call-up Glaybor Torress may offer a new hope to the Evil Empire’s ho-hum season so far, you know I’ll always bet on the more godly team. Angels will take 2 of 3.
Which of April’s impressive baseball feats will be most relevant in later months?
Giancarlo Stanton’s pair of platinum sombreros: 3/1
Sean Manaea’s no-hitter: 5/1
Bartello Colon throwing 7 perfect innings: 9/1
The White Sox getting outscored 50-15 over the course of one week: 12/1
Shohei Ohtani making next scheduled start despite blister: 15/1
Brandon Belt’s 13 minute at-bat: 25/1
MO: I’m sure the Angels have invested in everything from medical care to homeopathy to shamanistic incantations to help Ohtani’s blister heal, so this is just a bump in the road for him. The Astro’s performances against the White Sox don’t say much beyond the defending World Series champions being far superior to the bullpen-less Sox. I have to put my money on Stanton’s performance so far. Considering what the Yankees traded to get him (a sandwich from Jeter’s favorite deli, if I recall correctly), Stanton’s poor showing and the backlash from fans says a lot about the kind of team we’ll be seeing this year.
Where will baseball expand next?
Puerto Rico: 12/1
Mexico City: 25/1
Iowa farmlands: 100/1
MO: There’s been some talk about expanding recently, with Portland and Charlotte being given serious looks. Personally I don’t buy either location. Charlotte has a minor league team, and Portland seems like a better fit for a less mainstream league sport, like cricket or hurling. Mexico City and Havana are interesting choices, if only to make the World Series more worldly. Personally I don’t think the Iowa market is big enough, and while the Elysian Fields are practically begging for a ballpark, I don’t think the players’ union will accept the travel times. In the interest of supporting capitalism, I’ll say Mexico City.
National Basketball Association
Which matchup will result in an upset?
Toronto vs. Washington: 3/1
Boston vs. Milwaukee: 5/1
Monstars vs. Toon Squad: 7/1
Charlie Murphy’s band of flunkies vs. Prince and the Revolution: 15/1
Team Othello vs. Team Iago: 25/1
Cleveland vs. Indiana: 30/1
MO: Cleveland, Toon Squad and Revolution all have players that can pretty much choose if they’re going to win or not. Personally I’m picking Milwaukee; if I had extra cash I’d put it against team Othello. Their much publicized star has been trippin’ recently.
What’s the next gift Lebron James will offer his team in exchange for their love?
Custom Rolex Watches: 3/1
Autographed copies of the King James Bible: 4/1
Matching Porches: 5/1
Big Baller Brand sneakers: 7/1
Professional Chef’s Knife Sets: 9/1
Meet & Greet with Francisco Lindor: 17/1
The NBA Title: 23/1
MO: Custom suits is a tough act to follow; Rolexes, Porches, and Indians won’t be enough. His best bet is a pair of Big Baller Brand sneakers for each teammate. Sure it’ll be expensive, but sneakers send a message loud and clear, and let’s be honest who wouldn’t want to wear the very same shoes as Lonzo Ball?
National Hockey League
Which unpleasant Stanley Cup Finals matchup possibility will occur?
Penguins vs. Predators (2017 rematch): 7/1
Penguins vs. Sharks (2016 rematch): 9/1
Jets vs. Maple Leafs (USA-less Final): 13/1
Predators vs. Lightning (small market showdown): 13/1
Golden Knights vs. Lightning: (natural ice-less Final):15/1
Golden Knights vs. Anybody Else (insufferable fans): 17/1
Capitals vs. Anybody (insufferable Ovechkin fans): 21/1
MO: New York, Chicago and LA have long since abandoned playoff races for baseball (with varying degrees of success), leaving us these scary possibilities. The Eastern Conference Final winner will likely take home the Cup again, so might as well plug your nose and pick the Lightning over the Predators.
Who will win the Conn Smythe trophy (Playoffs MVP)?
Sidney Crosby, Penguins: 3/1
Filip Forsberg, Predators: 7/1
Pekka Rinne, Predators: 9/1
Happy Gilmore, Bruins: 12/1
Fredrick Anderson, Maple Leafs: 17/1
Marc Andre Fleury, Golden Knights: 19/1
Teddy Bridgewater, Jets: 25/1
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals: 30/1
MO: Filip Forsberg is supplying a lot of the offense for a defense-heavy team, so he’s sure to get noticed. Crosby might take it again, at this point out of habit. Don’t sleep on that Bruins enforcer Gilmore though; voters will like seeing some old-school hockey in this gritless, Kane-ian version of the game we’ve found ourselves in.
Studs & Duds
The Diamondbacks did indeed take 2 of 3 from the Dodgers in their April 13th-15th series. The Braves and Mets both got off to hot starts, so get your betting on them out of the way before July or so, when the Nationals decide to pull together and live up to their hype. Anthony Davis and James Harden continue to prove that they can set moneylines on their own with impressive performances in the NBA Playoffs. Sidney Crosby is also up for a Silver Slugger award after batting pucks into the goal multiple times this season.
I’m loathe to put money on the Celtics or the Cavaliers after seeing how much 1st round trouble they’re having. That rumored home-run race between Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge is clearly not happening, and there has been a shocking lack of players compared to Tolkien dwarves, despite Dallas Keuchel and Justin Turner both looking the part.
Harness Racing Hot Tips
Here’s the latest on the Harnessed Ones! Italian Stallion trainer Domenico Cecere has teamed with Lindy Farms for what should be a lucrative year for us all. Kimberlee is now 4-for-4 in 2018 and 3-for-3 at the Weiss, so have money ready when she posts there next! Soto was a surprise winner at Harrington; I’m kicking myself for not taking those 3/1 odds; Soto won’t be that undervalued again. Classicality got upset by Lady’s Dude at the Meadows, pretty much guaranteeing me a bus ride home and a week on the couch. Sorry Sara!