Baseball has been crazy so far in the early going with many surprises, like the Red Sox off to such a lousy start and the Indians starting like they are possessed.
The Cleveland organization showed its class on opening day. Most opening days the home plate umpire at the start of the game places a ball on the rubber of the pitcher’s mound. This time at Jacobs Field all the players were introduced wearing 19 in honor of the recently deceased “Bullet” Bob Feller.
His widow Mrs. Feller walked to the mound and placed the baseball on which she had written “Bobby keep on pitching,” and the crowd erupted. And Indians fans have been going crazy ever since.
The Indian pitching staff has been doing a terrific job. Maybe the ghost of “Bullet Bob” is lurking around the mound for his beloved tribe. The Indians lead the American League Central by a game over the upstart Royals, having gone 7-2 at home and 4-2 on the road.
In the AL East the Yanks have a 2½ game lead over the Jays who have a 7-8 record. The Red Sox, who have gone 0-6 on the road, are last. The Yanks have been in a cake walk through 11 home games with a record of 8-3. On the road, New York is just 1-2. The Yanks go on a week long road trip. Look for the O’s to win a few in Baltimore.
The Angels and Rangers are looking to make the AL West a two-team race. Both sit 10-5, but the Halos have gone 6-3 on the road. Texas is 6-0 at home and just 4-5 on the road. The Rangers are in Arlington all week.
The Phillies look to rule the National League East and have been as good on the road as at home. In the NL Central, the Reds cling to a slim lead in what will be a tight race. Even the surprising Pirates are sitting just two games behind Cincinnati.
In the NL West, the Rockies have looked best with a record of 12-3 and a super 7-1 road mark. After Colorado, it remains a log jam.
As far as favorites vs. dogs and over vs. under, they have evened up. The books are having a good baseball year so far. Also, closers keep giving games away so don’t forget those first five inning bets.
We did have one play with the +1½ runs plus money this past week and it was a winner. But, they have become few and far between.
We had two major Kentucky Derby preps this past week with Blue Grass Stakes and the Arkansas Derby. Both had an impact.
Early in the week after Uncle Mo suffered his first loss, Churchill Downs morning line oddsmaker Mike Battaglia posted a preliminary morning line for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby making the Bob Baffert trained The Factor the early 7-2 chalk.
Mike will need to do a re-do this week as The Factor was no factor in the Arkansas Derby. Two closers came storming down the stretch noses apart with long shot Archarcharch trained by William Fires getting up to beat the Asmussen trained Nehro a horse Eileen D (my boss) gave me a few weeks ago to bet in the KD future book.
With this second place finish we have enough graded earnings to get in the field of 20. I don’t believe trainer Bob Baffert will send the seventh place finisher, The Factor, to the Derby.
As for the winner of the Blue Grass, Brilliant Speed ridden by the top West Coast jockey Joel Rosario and trained by Thomas Albertrani, last time I looked he wasn’t even listed on the Wynn Future book.
This year’s Derby just may produce the usual big payoffs so don’t forget Thursday, May 5 and our BIG Kentucky Derby seminar at Palace Station. Vic Vivio, Ralph Siraco and I again will try to get to the bottom of the 137th edition of the Run For The Roses.
The seminar is free; expect pizza, soft drinks and hard facts. A complete fun experience.