13 Run Baseball League

I don’t love many things, but I love baseball and I really like gambling. Betting on baseball is one of my favorite summer pastimes. It takes time to research games every day. It’s not for everyone and it can be exhausting. Fantasy baseball is also exhausting, but I still compete in one league which keeps me in touch with my friends back east. Also, my fantasy baseball team name is awesome: Las Vegas Porterhouse. Seriously. That’s awesome.

Last year a friend of mine asked if I would like to be a part of his 13 run league. I was curious and after he explained it to me I joined. In brief, each entrant is randomly assigned a Major League Baseball team. The first team that scores 0, 1, 2, 3…13 runs wins the league. Here’s how the website explains the game.

The object of a 13 run league is simple. You need the total runs your team scores in a game to be between 0 and 13. Each total they reach equals one less number that you need. For example, if Boston wins 8-3, you will light up the number 8 on the board. If Boston loses 5-4, then you light up the number 4 on the board. This continues until all numbers from 0-13 are lit up in Green. The first team to do so, wins!

13run.com not only tracks what numbers your team has scored, but it also tracks several other categories based on your league’s start date. Those categories are:

Games Played – This is the total number of games played to date
Games Back –
This is the number of games the team is currently behind the leader
High Score –
This is the highest score the team has reached in a single game (Generally used to determine 2nd place)
Shutouts –
This is the total amount of times the team has been shutout (Generally used to determine 3rd place)

Again, all categories are based on your league’s start date. High Score and Shutouts make for great ways to determine second and third place in your league. For example, if you draw a team that does not have a good offense and is unlikely to get the high end numbers, you can pull for shutouts and/or that one big game where they put up a big total.

Check out an example of this league type here.

It’s a brainless game and another way to easily be involved with baseball. I’ve had a great time doing the league for the past two years. I’ve tweeted about it a bunch and quite a few people have asked me about the game so I figured I’d pass on the information.

Fantasy sports may been seen as a gateway drug for gamblers. Somehow (probably because ESPN & Yahoo are the biggest players) gambling on fantasy sports isn’t shunned the way actual gambling is so you can set up some kind of entry fee for the league similar to the way you would for gambling on fantasy sports.

I don’t remember which team I had in last year’s league, but this year I had the Tampa Bay Rays. I was pretty stoked because I figured they would score a lot of runs and have a chance to win the league. Unfortunately, they didn’t score 10, 11 or 13 runs in time for me to win. Instead…

…the team I hate most won. As you can see from the screenshot above, the Boston Red Sox were the team to knock of 0-13 first. I was in it for a while but I lost and now I have another reason (not that I need it) to hate the Red Sox.

Next year, if you’re looking for another way to enjoy the beginning of the baseball season, but don’t want to devote time to researching the individual players every game I recommend trying a 13 Run League. It’s free to set up and they do all the run sorting. If you care to make it interesting, you can.

10 Best Days To Watch Sports In Las Vegas (2012)

This article from Forbes titled “10 Best Las Vegas Sports Events – And Where To Watch Them” may have been paid for by MGM Resorts as there are sportsbooks here that nobody will ever recommend and half the list is MGM properties. Additionally, the write ups seem forced or written by someone that doesn’t gamble or has been to Vegas in years. Besides the possibly fraud of a sportsbook Top 10 list the article it provides another list that is a little more realistic, The 10 Biggest Sporting Events Worth Going to Vegas For (in order):

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Opening Weekend (Days 1-4)
2. The Super Bowl
3. TIE: Kentucky Derby (General Public) & Breeders’ Cup (Horse Racing Devotees)
4. Any Big Boxing Title Fight
5. College Football Season Saturdays
6. New Year’s Day Bowl Games (especially when on weekend like this year)
7. Any Sunday in NFL Season
8. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four
9. Soccer World Cup (draws huge international crowds)
10. TIE: Indy 500/ NASCAR Daytona

There are only 2 things missing on this list and they are the NBA playoffs and BCS Championship Game. I’ve watched quite a few NBA playoff gams at the sportsbooks and there are definitely people betting and watching the games – no matter what round. I can’t say the same for any kind of auto racing. Showing that demand is high for the BCS Championship game, Wynn opened the Encore Theater this year for the final game in the college football season.

You could easily remove either auto racing event. Few sports bettors wager on auto racing and most people at the sportsbooks aren’t there to watch auto racing. In fact, there are days when auto races aren’t even on in sportsbooks. I understand that the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 are big fish in their pond, but their pond is small.

I was at the Mandalay Bay sportsbook when and they were airing a USA soccer friendly against Mexico and the place was going crazy. Even though the World Cup is only every four years, I can only imagine that sportsbooks will be swelling with people from all over the world. H0wever, if another event has to be pulled from this list to make room for the BCS Championship game it would be the World Cup.

As a baseball fan, its sad for me to think that the World Series doesn’t belong here, but I really don’t know what I’d remove from this list (besides racing) to add it.

To the list’s credit I’ve been told, multiple times this week, that the first weekend of March Madness is even crazier than the Super Bowl at the sportsbooks. I avoided the sportsbooks last year but I may peek in to see what the action is like. I’m experimenting on the strip with the Super Bowl, why not for the madness!

You know my favorite sportsbooks on the strip are Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo and the sportsbook at Venetian. If you want a book off the strip you know I love the sportsbook at Red Rock casino.

Note: I don’t have any idea if MGM paid for their sportsbooks to be featured, nor am I sure why I care. However, Forbe’s Top 10 list bothered me enough that I will provide a more accurate Top 10 sportsbooks in Vegas list later this week from someone that actually lives, vacations and gambles in Vegas sportsbooks.

Baseball Futures: World Series

Spring Training is here and it’s time for baseball!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Since I’m so stoked I think it’s time to look forward to the season with MLB futures odds.  We’ll look at the futures from sportsbook.com from division winners and then to win the world series.  As always, check sportsbook.com for exact odds as they change all the time.

I don’t like to make many futures bets, in part, because I don’t like to have my money tied up for almost an entire year.  That being said I decided to make one baseball futures play this year and that’s all.  I shared that with you yesterday with the NL Championship futures.

Besides the Brewers, my lone plays for the season is watching as many games as possible and playing in my one fantasy baseball.  I don’t think much about the options beyond the favorites (Phillies and Red Sox) for the World Series and betting chalk bores me so I stay away.  Click any team below to go to sportsbook.com for up to date odds.

World Series

Arizona Diamondbacks +10000
Atlanta Braves +2000
Baltimore Orioles +6000
Boston Red Sox +400
Chicago Cubs +3000
Chicago White Sox +2500
Cincinnati Reds +2500
Cleveland Indians +20000
Colorado Rockies +2500
Detroit Tigers    +2500
Florida Marlins +3500
Houston Astros     +10000
Kansas City Royals +20000
Los Angeles Angels +2500
Los Angeles Dodgers +3000
Milwaukee Brewers +3000
Minnesota Twins +2000
New York Mets +6000
New York Yankees +700
Oakland Athletics +5000
Philadelphia Phillies +200
Pittsburgh Pirates +20000
San Diego Padres +10000
San Francisco Giants +1500
Seattle Mariners +10000
St Louis Cardinals +1600
Tampa Bay Rays +2500
Texas Rangers +2000
Toronto Blue Jays +6000
Washington Nationals +10000

Baseball Futures: National League

Spring Training is here and it’s time for baseball!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Since I’m so stoked I think it’s time to look forward to the season with MLB futures odds.  We’ll look at the futures from sportsbook.com from division winners and then to win the world series.  As always, check sportsbook.com for exact odds as they change all the time.

I don’t like to make many futures bets, in part, because I don’t like to have my money tied up for almost an entire year.  That being said I decided to make one baseball futures play this year and that’s all.

The Phillies are the obvious favorite to win the National League with their amazing pitching staff.  They were also big favorites last year when the San Francisco Giants picked them apart with their great pitching.  The Giants are only 7.5-1 to win the NL this year.  That’s not long enough odds to me for a team that got hot at the right time.  My one and only play in baseball futures went to the Milwaukee Brewers.  I saw (and bet) them at Planet Hollywood at 25-1 to win the NL and they’re now 15-1 everywhere.  The Brewers added some excellent pitchers and have Prince Fielder playing for a free agent contract next year.  They should still have long odds to the Phillies, but I think they have a lot in their favor and will keep my fingers crossed watching one of my favorite teams in baseball all season.

Click any team below to go to sportsbook.com for up to date odds.

NL
Arizona Diamondbacks +5000
Atlanta Braves +1000
Chicago Cubs +1500
Cincinnati Reds +1200
Colorado Rockies +1200
Florida Marlins +1800
Houston Astros +5000
Los Angeles Dodgers +1500
Milwaukee Brewers +1500
New York Mets +3000
Philadelphia Phillies -120
Pittsburgh Pirates +20000
San Diego Padres +5000
San Francisco Giants +750
St Louis Cardinals +800
Washington Nationals +5000

Baseball Futures: American League

Spring Training is here and it’s time for baseball!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Since I’m so stoked I think it’s time to look forward to the season with MLB futures odds.  We’ll look at the futures from sportsbook.com by winning divisions and then to win the world series.  As always, check sportsbook.com for exact odds as they change all the time.

I don’t like to make many futures bets, in part, because I don’t like to have my money tied up for almost an entire year.  That being said I decided to make one baseball futures play this year and that’s all.

I didn’t see anything intriguing in the AL this year because I don’t see anyone challenging the Boston Red Sox for the league.  The only team I think may be a viable long shot are the Chicago White Sox since they should have be able to bomb and have a good short playoff rotation (if they make it), but they’ve gone from 15-1 in the winter to 10-1 this week.  About half the value was lost in that time.  That kept me away.

Click any team below to go to sportsbook.com for up to date odds.

Baltimore Orioles +2500
Boston Red Sox +175
Chicago White Sox +1000
Cleveland Indians +12500
Detroit Tigers +1000
Kansas City Royals +20000
Los Angeles Angels +1000
Minnesota Twins +800
New York Yankees +275
Oakland Athletics +2000
Seattle Mariners +4000
Tampa Bay Rays +1000
Texas Rangers +800
Toronto Blue Jays +2500

Moneyline Odds Basics

I like to bet of sports and baseball season is all about moneyline betting.  Things are just getting rolling in baseball so I figured it would be a good time to touch on what a moneyline is.  Moneyline betting is basic for me because I bet on sports regularly, but I get asked often “what’s up with the pluses and minuses.” I’ll break it down as easily as I can.

Moneyline is a simple bet as there is no worry about point spreads.  You’re just picking winners.

The moneyline is based around $100.  For example, +200 means you will win $200 if you bet $100.  If the moneyline is -200, you must bet $200 to win $100.  I’ll get a little more specific:

Favorites
Moneyline favorites usually come with a minus next to their name.  For example if the Yankees are -190 you would have bet $190 to win $100.

Underdog
The underdog usually has a plus next to their name.  For example if the Red Sox are +150 against the Yankees you bet $100 to win $150.

It’s pretty simple when you’re looking at head to head moneyline sports bets.  The same form holds true if you’re betting on a race or multi-participant event (golf, NASCAR, etc.)

Tiger Woods -150
Phil Mickleson +500

Clearly Tiger Woods is favored over Phil Mickleson.  Mickleson is 5-1.  Pretty long odds.  A $150 bet on Tiger would give you returns of $100, while $100 on Phil would return $500.

Moneyline betting doesn’t take center stage for all sports.  Basketball and football are more about the spreads while baseball and hockey are more focused on the moneyline.

Hopefully this helped simplify how to make a moneyline bet.

Baseball Futures

I love baseball.  I have many ties to baseball, but growing up on the east coast baseball season usually meant spring was just around the corner.

I’m a Yankees fan.  I grew up a Yankees fan and I’ll always be a Yankees fan.  With that said, I would be looking to the National League for any baseball futures bets.  I don’t see any surprises in the AL.  However, the NL has a chance at an upset.  Odds are below.

Odds are from sportsbook.com

Arizona Diamondbacks +3000
Atlanta Braves +2000
Baltimore Orioles +6000
Boston Red Sox +600
Chicago Cubs +1500
Chicago White Sox +2000
Cincinnati Reds +3000
Cleveland Indians +6000
Colorado Rockies +2500
Detroit Tigers +4000
Florida Marlins +3000
Houston Astros +10000
Kansas City Royals +10000
Los Angeles Angels +2500
Los Angeles Dodgers +2500
Milwaukee Brewers +5000
Minnesota Twins +2500
New York Mets +4000
New York Yankees +275
Oakland Athletics +4000
Philadelphia Phillies +600
Pittsburgh Pirates +10000
San Diego Padres +10000
San Francisco Giants +3000
Seattle Mariners +2000
St Louis Cardinals +1200
Tampa Bay Rays +1200
Texas Rangers +2500
Toronto Blue Jays +10000
Washington Nationals +10000

Managing the playoffs in baseball is different than any other sport.  The game changes.  Pitching staff strategies change.  A team only needs 3 starting pitchers.  Maybe 4.  Because of that I look towards NL teams with a few good starting pitchers.

The San Francisco Giants at 30-1 are the team I’m taking a chance on.  The other team of interest to me is the Colorado Rockies at 25-1.

The baseball season takes so damn long that I’ll probably forget about this because I don’t like to have too much tied up for this long so I’ll keep any action low.

Go Yankees!

Go to Sportsbook.com for all sports betting fun.

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer is one of my favorite times to bet on baseball.  By this time I can get a good gauge on which teams can hit and which pitchers are having a good year.

Lately, I’ve been looking to parlay my bets when I see two or more mismatches on the same day.  If you follow me on twitter, you can see when and who I bet.  I try to check the match ups every morning, but usually get side tracked from making picks by my fantasy baseball teams.

I’m bringing this up now because football season is upon us and for many the excitement of the season gets ahead of playing the match ups.

The beast weapon a sports bettor has is data.  I like to bet with strengths and against the weak.  This is a reminder to me and those that gamble like me to go after mismatches in baseball and to keep the excitement under control for football season.

If you frequent ECG, you know I do all of my sports betting from home on Sportsbook.com.  It’s easy to start an account and easy to navigate as long as you stay away from horse betting.  I had an issue at the Preakness.  It was annoying, but I got paid what I was due.

Bet on Baseball at sportsbook.com

World Series Prop Bets

This is my favorite time of the year.  The weather is getting warmer and baseball season is starting!  The first game of the year is this Sunday.  What better time to make World Series picks?  I don’t tend to make picks at the beginning of the baseball season because the season is so long.  After looking at the pre-season odds I may change my mind.

All odds are courtesy of sportsbook.com – where I do all of my online sports gambling.

Arizona Diamondbacks           +1500
Atlanta Braves             +3000
Baltimore Orioles         +8000
Boston Red Sox             +500
Chicago Cubs             +700
Chicago White Sox         +4000
Cincinnati Reds         +5000
Cleveland Indians         +1500
Colorado Rockies         +7500
Detroit Tigers             +2000
Florida Marlins         +3000
Houston Astros             +10000
Kansas City Royals         +8000
Los Angeles Angels         +1200
Los Angeles Dodgers         +1800
Milwaukee Brewers         +5000
Minnesota Twins         +3000
New York Mets             +700
New York Yankees         +350
Oakland Athletics         +4000
Philadelphia Phillies         +1500
Pittsburgh Pirates         +10000
San Diego Padres         +10000
San Francisco Giants         +3000
Seattle Mariners         +8000
St Louis Cardinals         +2500
Tampa Bay Rays             +1200
Texas Rangers             +10000
Toronto Blue Jays         +7500
Washington Nationals         +10000

Betting $100 returns the amount after the “+.”  There are plenty of good returns available.  The favorites such as the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox have a decent return.

There are good returns available for some of the teams that have an outside chance.  Giants and Marlins seem to have great pitching staffs.  The Tampa Bay Rays are 12-1 and last years champs, the Phillies, are 15-1.

All of this is making me reconsider not placing a few small bets before the season starts.  If I decide to make any bets, I’ll update this post this weekend.

UPDATE: I’ve decided not to make any World Series bets.  I need quicker gratification.  I’ll look to the Masters instead.

Bet on Baseball at sportsbook.com