Day one of the post-Manny world was rocky for his Dodgers. The good news was that they scored nine runs. The bad news was that that was only against the lowly Nationals, and it wasn’t enough runs to win. There’s not much in that game that can be blamed on the loss of Manny directly, and we didn’t learn that much, but losing to the Nats is never a good thing.
Sports Betting Section
MADDUX'S WINNING PICKS
MADDUX'S LIVE ODDS
After reading the news yesterday and reading my colleague’s insightful blog on Manny Ramirez, I had to chime in on the situation. Just when you think the air may be clear in MLB, it clouds up again with accusations and evidence of wrongdoing. Because it’s baseball the effects are huge on the game, the world of sports betting and society. (Yes, even society.)
There’s only one big story in sports today, and it is far from a pretty one. Hitting savant Manny Ramirez joins the frustratingly long list of high profile drug cheats in major league baseball, and becomes the first of them to get caught red-handed and face immediate and concrete punishment.
Interesting little note for horseplayers coming out of Belmont Park. The field was set today for Saturday’s Peter Pan Stakes, a Grade 2 race over 1 1/8 miles that has become a well-used prep race for future Belmont Stakes runners. It’s a pretty solid seven horse field. There’s a horse entered named Scorewithcater, a New Mexico based runner. Normally,he probably wouldn’t get much attention – New Mexico based horses never do. This horse has one interesting distinction, though – he has beaten the Kentucky Derby winner in each of his last two outings. He outdueled Mine That Bird down the stretch in the Borderland Stakes, and then he finished third, one spot ahead of Mine That Bird, in the Sunland Derby. Given the shock that Mine That Bird pulled, Scorewithcater will almost certainly get more attention from bettors than he likely deserves. The puzzle will be to figure out if whatever happened to Mine That Bird between his time in New Mexico and the Derby is contagious, and whether this horse caught it.
For your viewing pleasure you get a double dose of baseball news and thoughts today. There is so much interesting news going on these days that you can hardly help but think about what it means for us betting types.
The Major League Baseball season is more than a month old. Here’s what’s happening with just 136 games to go in the season.
The first seed Cleveland Cavaliers easily handled the Detroit Pistons in round one of the NBA playoffs, winning the series four games to zip. However, the fourth seed Atlanta Hawks had a much tougher time dispatching the fifth seed Miami Heat, finally taking the series in the seventh game. In the regular season, the Cavs took the series 3-1. However, one game was a one-point win and another a six-point victory.
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the second seed Boston Celtics will meet the third seed Orlando Magic. Boston went the full run against the Chicago Bulls, the seventh seed, finally beating them in the seventh game. The Magic met and were victorious over the Philadelphia 76ers, taking their series four games to two.
It’s not particularly surprising that LeBron James was named MVP today – he certainly deserved it. What was surprising, though, is the margin by which he won it. There are 121 first place votes cast, and James picked up 109 of them. He’s the youngest player since Moses Malone in 1979 to win the award, and the third youngest ever. Cleveland coach Mike Brown was also named coach of the year last month, and that raises a surprising stat – this is just the fourth time that a team has had the MVP, top coach and the best record in the league in the same year. Just one of those teams, the 1996 Bulls, has gone on to win the title.
In round one, the Los Angeles Lakers, the number one seed in the West, easily dispatched the Utah Jazz in five games to move onto the Western Conference Semifinals. Meantime, in the initial round of the NBA playoffs, the fifth seed Houston Rockets beat the fourth seed Portland Trailblazers four games to two. Thus the stage is now set for what should be a tough, hard-fought series between the two clubs. Simply put, the Lakers are favored in this one. Can the Rockets stop them?