If you have $5,000 and faith in the Astros, you could be a millionaire

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Nick Mathews of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Astros have the odds stacked against them to win the World Series in 2014 — 200-to-1 odds, in fact. Saving us from having to do the math ($1,000,000/200), he adds that if you wager $5,000 on the Astros to win it all and they do, you’ll end up a millionaire.

Snicker all you want, but longer odds have paid off in recent history. On September 12, 2011, the Cardinals were 500-to-1 to win the National League pennant, and 999-to-1 to win the World Series. A fan in Las Vegas put $250 on both at the MGM grand. As the Cardinals vanquished the Phillies in five games in the NLDS, cut through the Brewers in six in the NLCS, and toppled the Rangers in seven in the World Series, that fan walked away with $125,000 for the pennant wager and $249,750 on the World Series wager for a total of $374,750.

If you have fifty $100 bills  laying around that you were going to throw in the shredder or use to line the bird cage, why not bet on the Astros instead? You may end up looking like a genius.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.