By a relatively slim margin Boston is favored over St. Louis to win the World Series and the difference between the two teams according to the Game 1 betting line is even smaller.
Las Vegas has Jon Lester and the Red Sox as -120 favorites tonight, which means you’d have to risk $120 to win $100 on Boston winning at Fenway Park. That carries a break-even win rate of 54 percent, so basically it’s a coin flip that leans toward homefield advantage.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are +110 underdogs, so a $100 bet would win $110. None of which is shocking, of course, although with Adam Wainwright on the mound I might lean ever so slightly toward St. Louis in Game 1.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.