Gambling odds don’t necessarily show which team is better than another team, since the goal is to align half the bettors one side and half the bettors on the other side rather than predict the actual outcome.
With that said, Bodog has the Rangers as -165 favorites over the Cardinals in the World Series. Or, put another way: To win $100 on the Rangers you’d have to bet $165 and a $100 bet on the Cardinals would pay $145.
Texas as the favorites probably won’t surprise anyone, although it’s interesting given that Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals are actually slight favorites for Game 1 at -125, compared to C.J. Wilson and the Rangers at +105.
And speaking of betting lines, back in December the Rangers and Cardinals both had identical odds to win the World Series: 20-to-1.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.