MLBits: MLB Buying the Baseball Business, Prop Bet Problems, Delaware Governor Bets Against the Cubs, More

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MLBits: MLB Buying the Baseball Business, Prop Bet Problems, Delaware Governor Bets Against the Cubs, More

Chicago Cubs

I’ve been taking my time in picking up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in my fantasy baseball league, partly because my team is pretty full-up, but also because I wasn’t sure when – if ever – the Blue Jays were going to finally promote him to the big leagues.

But maybe it’s finally starting to come around:

Guess who’s getting stashed on my bench now?

  • I should point out that Guerrero, Jr exited Saturday’s game with an apparent injury after stepping awkwardly on first base and didn’t appear in the game on Sunday. His team had an off-day yesterday, so he will get two days off in a row, and I’m hoping that’s it. He’s had one hell of a season, so far, and I can’t  wait to see what’s next:

  • The balls are either about to get way more juiced or way less juiced … I’m not sure yet:

  • Note that MLB recently conceded that something was off about the baseball, helping yield the home run spike over the past few years.
  • At The Athletic, Katie Strang discusses one very specific area impacted after the Supreme Court ruling on legalized sports gambling: prop bets. A prop bet, if you’re unaware, is “a wager that can be placed on a game that is not necessarily germane to the outcome. It functions essentially as a side bet — how many hits a certain player will get, whether a run will be scored in the first inning — separate from any wagers on which team will win or lose, and it’s viewed as a bit of a novelty.” The issue, it seems, is that prop bets based on one specific player are expected to be a big part of the soon-to-be massive amounts of gambling performed around MLB and that could present a potential publicity rights issue. Not everyone seems to believe it’ll be much of an issue, of course, but right now every interested is making arguments one way or another in effort to grab leverage just before some seriously lucrative negotiations begin.
  • Speaking of legalized gambling, the first bet in Delaware is against the Cubs tonight:

  • Since this is 2018 and this is today’s iteration of the MLBits, you know we basically have to have a Brewers-related bullet, and once again, it’s annoying: According to FiveThirtyEight, “the 2018 Brewers sure look a lot like the 2015 Royals.” If you recall, the Royals won the World Series in 2015, so, yeah, like I said: annoying. The long and short of the comparison boils down to excellent numbers in the running, defense, and relief game, with mediocre overall offensive numbers and middling starting pitching. With a broader stroke, FiveThirtyEight is trying to explain how success in certain areas can lead to being overlooked, like the “small-ball Royals” were in 2015. Shrug. Maybe.
  • MLB, the MLBPA, and ESPN are still fighting about the Yankees three-games in 24 hours in two cities debacle, and now the Yankees are threatening to boycott ESPN reporters for the rest of the season. Given that 97.4% of ESPN’s baseball coverage is of the New York Yankees, that’ll probably work. You can read more on the fight with some unlikable participants at USA Today.
  • The Twins designated pitcher Phil Hughes for assignment over the weekend and the Padres wound up trading for him. Hughes, 31, has a 6.75 ERA this season and is owed $22M over the remaining life of his contract (1.5 years). The Padres have agreed to pay $7.25M of his 2019 salary in the deal and in exchange they got the 74th pick in the 2018 draft. That’s an awfully steep price to pay for the 74th pick, if you ask me. For what it’s worth, the Padres selected college left fielder Grant Little with the pick. They seem very excited about it, though, so … congrats?
  • At FanGraphs, Stephen Loftus wonders (and explores, statistically) if young teams – not old teams – are more likely to fade after hot starts. Logically, you can conjure up the exact opposite narrative if you tried (older players are more worn down, have less energy, heal more slowly), but perhaps experience preparing for a long season and a longer track record of success means something.
  • Aaron Judge struck out … EIGHT TIMES in his team’s double-header yesterday, beating the previous record of seven, held by six guys (most recently Shea Hillenbrand of the Blue Jays in 2005). There goes Judge, breaking new records every day.
  • This is some Javy-Baez level mindfulness *and* execution. Blown away:

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami