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 hard feelings. Yep, it's great, and we've been busy lately.
Let's look at recent wagers we've made and check on some previous bets to see just how many free Taco Bell lunches are in my future . . .
Over/Under on Jose Ramirez's Final Batting Average: .189
Back Story: I've got a friend who hates Ramirez with a passion (like cle.com commenter hate level). He still can't believe J-Ram started at shortstop this season instead of Francisco Lindor and thinks of him as no-talent slap hitter who boots way too many balls defensively. When Ramirez got called back up, I needled this friend a bit and he pounced on a juicy prop bet.
I've Got: Over
Who's the Favorite: I feel confident, even though Ramirez is currently hitting .173. He's sitting on 156 at-bats and I'm thinking that with Jason Kipnis' injury and with August and September turning into "let's see what we've got with these young guys," Ramirez could easily get another 80+ at-bats. He hit .293 this year in Columbus, and .263 last year in Cleveland, so the over should sneak away with a victory here.
Royals Win the AL Pennant
Back Story: I don't like the Royals. At all.
I've Got: No
Who's the Favorite: Kansas City has the best record in the American League and recently traded for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. Sadly, they are really good. I had to give my buddy 2 to 1 odds to take the bet, which still is better for me than what Vegas would give. C'mon, anybody but the Royals.
Updating Previous Prop Bets
Strikeout Battle -- Kluber/Bauer vs Kershaw/Greinke
I've got the Indians. Clayton Kershaw (192 K's, leads MLB) and Zack Greinke (128) have been pretty much all things amazing, and the Dodgers duo have a total of 320 right now, while Corey Kluber (176) and Trevor Bauer (128) are at 304. This is going to be close (which is the sign of a great prop bet).
Jason Kipnis' MVP Finish
I picked Kipnis to finish 2nd or 3rd. He's cooled down some, but it's his recent shoulder injury and subsequent trip to the disabled list that is going to do me in. It sure seems that guys like Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Mark Teixeira are all well ahead of Kip at this point in the MVP race. I've got my wallet ready on this one.