As HBT’s resident degenerate I feel it’s my duty to pass along the gambling odds for the World Series.
Boston is a -140 favorite, which means you’d have to risk $140 to win $100 on the Red Sox becoming champions. On the flip side, St. Louis is a +120 underdog, which means risking $100 would win you $120 if the Cardinals win the title.
In terms of break-even win rates, those lines equal 58 percent for the Red Sox and 46 percent for the Cardinals. So, while not quite a coin flip, it’s pretty damn close.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.