From the Windup: An Idiot's Guide to Gambling on the MLB Playoffs

From the Windup is FanHouse's daily, extended look at a particular portion of America's pastime. Will Brinson may check in from time to time to mock his own gambling "prowess". He will tag these posts "Gamble On". He is doing that because he's bitter he didn't think of the Zeppelin play on words when he named his NFL picks column.

This is our last chance to gamble on baseball until *shudder* April 2009. So what follows is me pretending that I have $10,000.00 and how I'm going to


invest it all on MLB playoff bets. (Please be advised that this is by no means intelligent wagering advice like you might find elsewhere; this is the somewhat belligerent advice of an addicted lunatic flailing to get to .500 on the NFL season.)

For starters -- all lines courtesy of BoDog by the way -- we need to pick our World Series winner. Personally, I don't like the Cubs. Something or another about not winning for a few hundred years just scares me off, and that's creepy, because I love a good loser.

Gambling advice so good it scares Orenthal. But I do like the National League. I like it a lot. So much that I'm willing to take $500 on the NL to win the Series at +140.

And, I'm absolutely willing to follow it up by putting another $1,000 each on the Dodgers and Brewers to win the Series at 9/1 and 10/1, respectively. Yeah, that's right. Go big or go home.

I'm actually torn between the Brewers and Dodgers for who I like more to win it all, and honestly, if I could, I'd pick them to end up in the Series. Damn kids and their stupid "rules" and "leagues". But since I can't, I'm gonna at least pump as much money into their respective series prices as I possibly can.

(In fact, Rafael Furcal is back now. So let's make that an extra $500 on the Dodgers. Don't screw me, Manny.)

The Brewers are an astonishing +155 against the Phillies. It's not surprising because the Phillies are bad, it's just that when you only have to win three games in a series and you have CC Sabathia on your team, well, no one else has to pitch. So, yeah, another $1,000 there, por favor.

And while we've got the wallet out, we might as well get a little crazy with the cheddar and drop a Grrr(and) on the Dodgers, too ... actually, you know what? I'm going to follow the advice of my sage gambling counselor Garry J and just put $1,000 on every single underdog. Please note that Tampa's series price hasn't been decided yet, but, hey, whomever's not favored, right!

So, that's $6,500 out of pocket. Now, there are also some interesting player props. And by "interesting", I do in fact mean "designed for suckers like me". For instance, most home runs in the first round of the playoffs. Now, this is a total and utter crapshoot. You have to examine potential pitching matchups, park factors and most importantly, the potential length of the series.

Some particularly unappetizing odds include: Ryan Howard at 2:1 (not enough payout), Evan Longoria at 6:1 (pretty freaking low) and Jason Kubel at 30:1 (Twins aren't a great bet at this stage). I'm tempted to lay a large fella on Manny at 5:1, but I think the Cubs will do their best to avoid giving him anything worthwhile. Matt Kemp, however, is like a mini-Manny, and the thought of raking in $9,000 after I max him out is fairly appetizing. Plus, this whole ridiculous experiment will have practically paid for itself! So let's roll. And just to even things out, I'll take $200 on Prince Fielder at 10:1 because, well, he's Prince Fielder and things can happen.

Hmmm ... what to do with my last $3,000? Well, since I can't find "Most likely to punch A.J. Pierzynski in the nose" odds (I would have taken darkhorse Ozzie Guillen at 45:1, for the record) and betting only on things with a month from now outcome is a little too patient, how about today's games?

All joking aside, I really do like the Dodgers and Red Sox. White-hot Derek Lowe against Ryan Dempster with a +141 price? And the nearly unstoppable Jon Lester (+115) against John "10 Earned Runs in Two Innings to Close the Season" Lackey? Yeah, I can back both of those for a grand.

Oh, and if I could, I'd totally take the over on "Number of times we hear 'I Love This Town'" at 32. Or 3200. Whatever works.

All right, let's see ... carry the one ... ummm, crap. I knew there was a reason I'm a math major.

Well, since I've done everything but bet on Chicago at this point, I might as well follow up on something I'd previously mentioned and lay that last little change ($500) on a Cubs-White Sox series. Besides, worst case is I was wrong about everything else and the 23/1 price gets it all back!

Now, I would suggest you go to your nearest bank, withdraw everything you've got and make the exact same bets. What? It's safer than keeping it with Wachovia at this point.

Brewers WS Win $ 1,000.00 $ 10,000.00
Dodgers WS Win $ 1,500.00 $ 13,500.00
NL WS Win $ 500.00 $ 700.00
Brewers NLDS Win $ 1,000.00 $ 1,550.00
Dodgers NLDS Win $ 1,000.00 $ 1,800.00
Red Sox ALDS Win $ 1,000.00 $ 1,150.00
White Sox ALDS Win $ 1,000.00 TBD
Dodgers Game 1 W $ 1,000.00 $ 1,410.00
Red Sox Game 1 W $ 1,000.00 $ 1,160.00
Matt Kemp HR R1 $ 300.00 $ 9,000.00
Prince Fielder HR R1 $ 200.00 $ 2,000.00
Windy City WS $ 500.00 $ 11,500.00
$ 10,000.00 $ 53,770.00

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