50/1 Bonds no blast from past

May 15, 2007 2:51 AM

At the start of the season, you could have had Barry Bonds at 100/1 to win the home run title. That’s like making Tiger Woods 100/1 to win a major.

Of course, the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook had a legitimate out. After all, with the steroids situation, Bonds overall health, his age, motivation and playing time were all unknowns. Except for the steroids, Bonds have answered all other questions with more shots into McCovey Cove and leads the NL in taters.

Now Bonds is available for 50/1, not as good as 100 but a heck of a lot better than Alex Rodriguez sitting at 4/5 thanks to his major league record 14 in April. A-Rod has slowed down since, now with 15 and has allowed Bonds and a few others back into the mix.

Homers are the glamour category in baseball, much as the heavyweight division is to boxing. Or, at least used to be.

No sport lends itself to statistic mavens more than baseball. Batting averages, most pitching wins, saves, hits, RBIs, stolen bases. You name it and there’s an available. New stats such WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) and OBP (on-base percentage) are child stats of the 21st century. And in Vegas, you can bet on all of them.

So here’s a review of the preview. A look back to see how preseason projections look and where they may be headed. As usual there are surprises both on the plus and minus side. Who would have thought Milwaukee shortstop J.J. Hardy would have 11 homers in mid May? Maybe he is the second coming of Robin Yount.

Another shocker is Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler with nine homers, despite a lowly 239 batting average. Hardy and Kinsler missed the Hilton’s preseason list, as did San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (10) and Phils shortstop Jimmy Rollins (9).

Others omitted from the Hilton’s preseason prices include a quintet with 8 homers, including the ”˜comeback kid’ Sammy Sosa. The other four are Miguel Cabrera, Cincy’s young stud Josh Hamilton and Milwaukee free-swinger Jeff Jenkins and Colorado’s favorite ”˜Holliday’ Matt.

Then, there’s Prince Albert in the can — St. Louis MVP first baseman Albert Pujols — with just 4. Compare Hardy with Pujols this season and perhaps that’s why the Brewers are first in the NL Central and not the Cardinals.

As for us, we’re going straight to the book and place $20 on Bonds before his value is lost.

MOST HOMERS, odds c/o LV Hilton

Player

projected

now

ov

un

ML

A. Rodriguez

37.5

15

-110

-110

4/5

B. Bonds

NL

11

NL

NL

50/1

P. Fielder

29.5

11

-110

-110

25/1

A. Dunn

37.5

11

-110

-110

30/1

J.J. Hardy

not listed

11

NL

NL

NL

C. Jones

not listed

10

NL

NL

25/1

A. Gonzalez

not listed

10

NL

NL

NL

D. Ortiz

41.5

9

-110

-110

7/1

V. Guerrero

33.5

9

-110

-110

25/1

J. Morneau

32.5

9

-110

-110

60/1

A. Ramirez

34.5

8

-110

-110

40/1

C. Beltran

34.5

8

-110

-110

50/1

T. Hafner

36.5

7

-110

-110

25/1

C. Lee

not listed

7

-110

-110

35/1

R. Howard

42.5

6

-110

-110

10/1

A. Jones

36.5

6

-110

-110

75/1