Yankees at 3-to-1 lead World Series odds

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One of the few things I like more than gambling is baseball, so the “futures” odds on teams winning the World Series are always interesting. Here’s what Bodog is offering right now (for entertainment purposes only, of course):

AMERICAN LEAGUE         ODDS        NATIONAL LEAGUE         ODDS
New York Yankees         3-1        Philadelphia Phillies    6-1
Boston Red Sox           6-1        St. Louis Cardinals     12-1
Seattle Mariners        16-1        Los Angeles Dodgers     16-1
Tampa Bay Rays          18-1        Chicago Cubs            18-1
Minnesota Twins         18-1        Atlanta Braves          20-1
Los Angeles Angels      18-1        Colorado Rockies        20-1
Chicago White Sox       18-1        San Francisco Giants    22-1
Texas Rangers           25-1        New York Mets           28-1
Detroit Tigers          30-1        Arizona Diamondbacks    35-1
Oakland Athletics       60-1        Florida Marlins         38-1
Cleveland Indians       75-1        Milwaukee Brewers       45-1
Baltimore Orioles      100-1        Cincinnati Reds         50-1
Kansas City Royals     100-1        Houston Astros          75-1
Toronto Blue Jays      150-1        San Diego Padres       100-1
Pittsburgh Pirates     150-1
Washington Nationals   150-1



Perhaps the media hype surrounding Seattle’s new management really has gotten out of control, because there’s no way the Mariners should have the fifth-highest odds in all of baseball to win the World Series at 16-to-1. General manager Jack Zduriencik and company have made tremendous strides and it wouldn’t surprise me if they made the playoffs, but 16-to-1 seems crazy
I actually picked the Rangers to narrowly beat the Mariners (plus the Angels and A’s) in the AL West, so I like them at 25-to-1 quite a bit more. The Tigers at 30-to-1 also seems like a decent bet, if only because their offseason losses have generally been overstated and winning the AL Central almost never requires more than 90 victories.
Over in the NL, the Cardinals at 12-to-1 seems decent as far as heavy favorites go. I think they’re neck and neck with the Phillies as the best team in the league and the NL Central may not offer much of a challenge. With that said, the Brewers are certainly a solid enough team that 45-to-1 seems pretty good as a flier. I’d take Milwaukee over at least 3-4 teams with lower odds.
Incidentally, the one thing I’m sure of is that you’ll get an equal return on your investment and probably more enjoyment literally flushing money down the toilet or lighting money on fire than you will betting it on the Pirates, Nationals, or Blue Jays at 150-to-1. Bodog could offer 150-to-1 odds on the Pirates winning the World Series this decade and I’d have to really think about it.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.