Who doesn't like a fun wager or two?
My friends and I argue about sports-related stuff all the time, including baseball. Those disagreements lead to prop bets, spreadsheets, email chains, silly stakes, angry text messages, and numerous hard feelings. Yep, it's great, and we've been busy lately. Take a look . . .
More K's in 2015 . . . Kluber and Bauer or Kershaw and Greinke
Back Story: My buddy Kevin loves Kershaw. He always overpays for Kershaw in our fantasy baseball auction drafts and then complains that the rest of us bumped the price up. Yep. This year Trout went for $51 and good ‘ole Kevin paid $57 for Kershaw. Good times.
So I'm texting one night with Kevin and he's going on and on about how Kershaw is not even at his peak yet. He mentioned some stats, many very impressive, and then claimed that no other pitcher could even hold Kershaw's jock (his exact words). While Kershaw is amazing, there's some other fantastic pitchers around baseball, including our own Corey Kluber. After some back and forth (mainly insults) we hashed out this strikeout battle.
I've Got: Kluber and Bauer
Who's the Favorite: Last year the Dodgers duo had 446 punchouts, while Kluber and Bauer had 412. That's a little misleading as Bauer only pitched 153 innings. I'm betting on Bauer staying effective and in the rotation, and so far, so good. He's got 26 strikeouts in just 19 innings this April.
While all pitchers are an injury waiting to happen, I'm thinking Kershaw and Greinke are more likely to miss substantial time than either Kluber or Bauer (fingers crossed). All in all, this one is going to be close.
Over/Under MLB Games Played (2015): Lindor 85.5
Back Story: While it's easy enough to understand why Francisco Lindor is in AAA at the moment, it's much more difficult to figure out exactly when he'll be called up. How well will Jose Ramirez be playing? Will Lindor put up strong numbers early in Columbus? When will the super two deadline be?
While on the golf course a few weeks ago, my buddy Ryan and I figured out a fun Lindor-watch type wager.
I've Got: Under 85.5
Odds of Winning: I sure like my chances. First, I'm buying on Ramirez and think he does plenty to warrant sending him out there everyday at shortstop for awhile. Next, while Lindor likely will do fine at AAA, he's not going to go all Kris Bryant down there and slug .600 or something crazy like that. His bat is good (especially for his age), but it's his defense and makeup that are exceptional.
Finally, I'm thinking the Tribe will be very careful in regards to starting his service time clock. The super two stuff can be tricky to figure out and there's no set day for when he's safe to bring up, so look for caution from the Tribe. The midway point of the season is about June 20th, so he'd have to be up by early June, play just about everyday, and not get injured. I'm buying the under.
Francona Ejections in 2015
Back Story: We were bored.
I've Got: 1
Odds of Winning: Who knows? Francona did not get tossed once last year and has a surprisingly low total of 35 ejections over 17 years of managing. That's roughly two a year. I'm thinking in his older age he's mellowed a bit, but another goose egg seems unlikely. Three other guys are in on this one: one has two ejections, one has three, and the last guy went with five. I guess he's looking for an angry Tito this year.
Which pair of pitchers do you think will come out on top, and is there a different pair somewhere in baseball you think will do better than both? Would you go over or under on the Lindor wager? How many times do you think Tito will get himself tossed this season?
Most importantly, what's a good prop my buddies and I missed, as we always need some new action.