Baseball Notebook and Super Bowl Odds

Go ahead ...Tell us that this doesn't "feel" like it's the Los Angeles Dodgers' year?

The National League West leaders are fresh off back-to-back-to-back ninth-inning walk-off wins against Colorado - and with three different rookies delivering the game-winning home runs - and so Davey Roberts' crew comes into tonight's game in Arizona with a resounding 54-25 record (a .684 winning percentage).

Now, go ahead and think about it: The Dodgers were projected to win 92.5 games this year and note that 93 wins equates to a .574 winning rate ... in other words, these Dodgers are playing .110 better than projections just about right at the halfway point of this 2019 season. Folks, that's somethin' special!

Note that the Dodgers are plus $817 on their every-day plays this year - far and away the best profit / loss mark in the senior circuit (okay, there's a pair of American League teams that have won more moolah and we'll touch on one of 'em in just a moment) but the $64,000 question is can the Dodgers keep on "cashing" on a regular basis or should we expect a "regression to the norm" in the days / weeks ahead?

Well, when you consider the Dodgers rank first in the major leagues in team ERA (3.16) and fourth overall in home runs (128) and that they send a high-quality starter to the hill every day of the week as LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1.27 ERA), LHP Clayton Kershaw (2.85 ERA) and RHP Walker Buehler (2.96 ERA) all should be on this year's All-Star Game roster and there's more depth on this Dodgers' team than ever before in this era but "buying high" could be risky the rest of the way.

Consider that the Dodgers were priced at - 186, - 260 and - 250 in those three aforementioned weekend games versus the Rockies - rich prices, no matter how you slice it - and odds are it's gonna be tough for LA to sport a four-digit profit ($1,000 or more) when all's said and done this '19 season.

Meanwhile, take a quickie peek at the Texas Rangers who were projected to win 71.5 games this year and instead have elevated their game to be 42-36 after snapping up two-of-three wins this past weekend against the gritty Chicago White Sox. The Rangers are playing .97 better than the projections - Texas currently is playing .538 ball while projections had 'em playing .441 ball this year - and note this AL West squad is plus $1,372 (only Minnesota at plus $1,456 is better this season).

The question then is will the Rangers keep it up ... can they ring up a profit better than $1,372 by year's end? Tough call because the Rangers could swing a trade deadline deal to upgrade this pitching staff. Folks, otherwise you can't ignore the fact that the Rangers rank a lowly 22nd in MLB play with a 4.87 ERA and even the team's home runs totals (109 overall - 14th in the bigs) ain't too special and can someone tell us when 2B Rougned Odor (see .249 on-base percentage) is gonna get his hitting shoes on?

The proverbial bottom line is the Dodgers are more apt to crank out an even bigger profit by year's end but it's not likely you're gonna get us to "endorse" the Dodgers and the Rangers on a regular basis as LA's prices simply will be too high while the Rangers' below-average pitching staff will cost you when laying prices.

 

NFL ODDS TO WIN IT ALL

News flash: The New England Patriots - the Super Bowl champions in 2001, '03, '04, 2014, '16 and '18 - already are the betting favorites to cop Super Bowl LIV but there's more than a few interesting Las Vegas lines posted for the next "big game" ... so let's start the new week and the first full week of summer with a look at a batch of the SB favorites (note all lines below are based on $100 per-play wagers):

TEAM ODDS  COMMENT
New England +600The Patriots have designs on a fourth consecutive SB showing and note NE's 38-17-2 spreadwise the last 3 years
Kansas City +700Gotta tell you that Chiefs are 2-5 against the spread in playoff games under head coach Andy Reid. Yikes!
LA Rams +750Last year's 13-3 Super Bowl loss to the Pats was a truly sorry offensive show; lesson learned?
New Orleans +800Can the Saints have emotional energy to get all the way back to the NFC title game (and beyond)?
LA Chargers +1100The roster is stocked but why do we feel the Bolts need to win the AFC West and #1 conference seed to make it to SB 54?
Cleveland +1200Count us among the folks that believe the Browns have been over-hyped with a too-much/too-soon feel
Indianapolis +1200No question the Colts stepped up their O-line and defense last year - now can QB Andrew Luck stay healthy?
Chicago +1400The Bears should be "over" last year's playoff loss and super season by QB Mitch Trubisky could be the trick
Philadelphia +1400The Super Bowl 52 champs can't rely on QB Nick Foles saving their bacon anymore