The Kentucky Derby prep races are over as the line-up is basically set for this year’s 20 horse field, barring any late defections that could happen. The favorite looks to be California Chrome who has demolished his competition on the West Coast but has never been out of California.
Next week, we’ll have a horse-by-horse analysis of the 20 entered and my reasons why not to put your money on the Chrome. I will also give my four top horses for the exacta, trifecta and superfecta, so make sure you get to your favorite book early next Tuesday morning and pick up GamingToday.
The NBA and NHL playoffs started last week with some interesting results. In the NBA the dogs went 6-2 ATS and 5-3 SU, so if you were a dog player you got the cash.
We had a different story in the NHL as the favorites got the money for the most part. Home teams ruled with the new format so we will see if these trends continue.
Now a look at baseball and what has transpired so far.
East: The Red Sox have not played up to standards but are right there in a bunched up group, though in last place. They could shoot up to the top spot with one good winning streak as they are just two games back. The surprising Yankees have been playing good and sit on top at 10-8 with the Blue Jays right behind at 10-9. The Rays and Orioles, who gave one away on Sunday to the Red Sox, are right behind in what looks to be a real wild division so far.
Central: All five teams are still right there with the last place Indians just two games back. The Tigers and Royals are tied for the top spot two games over .500 with the Twins and the White Sox right behind. This division looks like the East and will also come down to the wire in what looks to be a real good betting baseball season.
West: It’s all about Sabermetrics as the A’s have streaked out to a 12-5 record. GM Billy Beane of “Moneyball” fame looks to again have a solid competitive team that will be right there till the end. The Rangers, as usual, will be the team to hold off along with the Angels if they ever get their egos out of the way and get a closer. The Mariners have been a disappointment so far as many picked them to be in the running. I think they should make a late run. The bottom dweller is Houston, who will stay there throughout the season. It’s just a matter of how many games they lose. In this corner we love Sabermetrics!
East: The Braves, as expected, lead and will most likely win the division. Atlanta has played great on the road and will be hard to overtake. If any team can, it will be the Nationals, who are second. The Mets, Marlins and Phillies will be playing for third.
Central: If the Brewers could play the Pirates 50 times they would run away with this division. Milwaukee has already beaten Pittsburgh six times as the Bucs just can’t win a one-run or extra-inning game. The Cardinals will fight the Brewers to the end and will take this division. As for the Pirates, they have good solid pitching but can’t get enough key run production to win the close ones. The Reds should make a little run and the Cubs will be a bottom dweller again. Someone said to me, it don’t matter as the Cubs fill the stands almost every game with the best fans in baseball.
West: Even though the Dodgers are just one game in front of the Giants, the thinking here is they will draw away as the season progresses. San Francisco will fight it out for second with the Rockies and the improved Padres. The Diamondbacks, who have been putrid, should make some kind of run eventually. They just can’t be this bad.
It’s all about the horses next week as GT will give out my Kentucky Derby winner. That is said with some confidence unless the horse gets a bad draw. Maybe there’s some Sabermetrics going on in the Derby.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].