Las Vegas Ballpark a winner

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Las Vegas is my home. I love this town and am an advocate for anything that benefits the city and those who live here.

In my 30 years as a Las Vegan, I have been to countless sporting events, including hundreds of minor league baseball games. On May 6th, I took in my first Las Vegas Aviators game.

Las Vegas Ballpark is one of the prettiest parks anywhere, rivaling some Major League parks. It is located just a few minutes from the 215 beltway and getting in and out is a breeze. The stadium offers free parking, just a stone’s throw away. Some people choose to park on the mall side, also just a short walk.

The park seats approximately 10,000 and offers such amenities as party zones and decks, picnic tables, kid-friendly areas, and even a pool just beyond the right-center field wall that accommodates 50 swimmers. There are plenty of concession stands and a gorgeous bar located just next to the pool overlooking the field. The seats are mesh and tailor-made for the Vegas heat. The field itself is gorgeous.

There are tons of fun activities on the field, between innings for the entire family to enjoy. The team has several mascots that walk around the stands taking photo-ops with the fans. But the biggest fan favorite has to be “Finn,” the team’s bat-dog. That’s right, a dog that acts as a batboy throughout the game. It’s a sight you must see in person to truly appreciate.

I found the concessions to be a bit pricey. A friend mentioned that is reasonable for any Major League team. I replied, “This isn’t the Majors.”

Still, whether you are a baseball fan or not, a day at Las Vegas Ballpark watching the Aviators is a big hit.

As for handicapping this week’s slate, I said it before and I will say it again, “Baseball is about value.” Having said that, I can predict a football line days in advance with all the variables and never be off by even a half-point.

Baseball is a different story. Some of the most reputable oddsmakers can be off as much as 20 cents or more from an MLB opening line. Once the bettors get going, that line can now move 20, 30, 40 cents or more.

As a general rule, I try not to bet a game that is above -$1.40. If the game moves a few pennies, I am still hitting it. But if it is way off and offers me no value, I stay away. There are times, games can go off significantly higher than what I predict days in advance in my column here in the GT. If this is the case, tread lightly and most of all be smart.

I don’t say never to lay some wood in baseball. I say to not lay big wood and certainly don’t make a habit of it. Remember, for every $2.00 favorite you lose, you now need at least three consecutive wins to get back in the plus column.

Here are this week’s Best Bets (all records, stats, and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers):

Wednesday

Angels at Twins: Minnesota entered the week sporting the best record in baseball at 25-14. The Twins had a four-game lead over the Indians in the Central and the fact that they are playing equally strong on the road (12-7) as they are at home (13-7), makes them a dangerous contender.

The lineup is crushing the ball with 71 HR’s and a .263 Team BA, resulting in 5.28 RPG. 

Although these two teams have split the last 10 overall matchups, Minny has taken seven of the last 10 at Target Field.

Jake Odorizzi gets the nod at home. The right-hander is off to a great start at 5-2 with an ERA of 2.32, with 43 K’s in 42.2 IP.

Despite being in second place in the AL West, Los Angeles is only 19-21 overall. This is a very inconsistent squad. The one thing that is consistent, is the Angels’ problems on the road, where they are 8-12 and account for just 4.20 RPG.

Trevor Cahill takes the hill here. I have never been a big fan of Cahill, who owns a 2-3, 6.35 mark on the season. 

What I am a fan of is going against him here as the Angels are 17-37 the last 54 games played vs. teams with a winning record. The Twins are 43-19 the last 62 games played at home. TWINS

Orioles at Yankees: New York’s injury list is as long as your grocery list. However, they continue to win as they began the week just a half a game behind division-leading Tampa Bay in the AL East at 24-16. 

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s record (14-26, 10.5 GB) is as ugly as Randy Johnson’s baseball card (LOL).

The Yankees are expected to see the return of a few key players, including CF Aaron Hicks. Even with their makeshift lineup, the Bronx Bombers are lighting up scoreboards for over 5.00 RPG.

Regardless, team ERA and wins leader Domnigo German takes the mound here. After a 2-6, 5.57 campaign a season ago, the righty is 7-1 with an ERA of 2.70 this season, fanning 44 batters in 43.1 IP.

The O’s send Dan Straily to the bump. He owns a dismal 1-3 record with an 8.23 ERA and just 15 K’s in 27.1 IP. 

New York has taken four of the six meetings over Baltimore this season and 10 of the last 13 overall matchups. The four Yankees’ victories over the Orioles in 2019 have come by an average of 5.75 runs per game. YANKEES RUN LINE

Last Week: 1-1

Season: 8-7

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