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Baseball 101: Covering bets avoids big hurt

Jul 10, 2001 2:09 AM

Playing a conservative $5 two-team parlay with Los Angeles and Oakland on the 11/2 run line for the $26.50 maximum profit was poor strategy. A wiser plan would have been to support the $5 bet with another $5 wager that both teams would win as $1.40 favorites. Well, both won and I didn’t. The Dodgers prevailed by only a run.

Bettors should cover their wagers on parlays. Nothing hurts more than losing a run-line bet when your team wins.

No Bull From Pen:

The New York Yankees are becoming masters of the subtle trade, a craft that would not have been associated with owner George Steinbrenner in past years.

New York has roared to the front of the American League East based in part on a trade to bolster an overworked pitching staff.

The Yanks acquired Jay Witasick from San Diego in an effort to shore up a hole in long relief, which developed when veteran right-hander Jeff Nelson signed with Seattle. Nelson has been a standout for the Mariners, while the Yanks have had to use closer Mariano Rivera in more eighth-inning situations than normal.

Witasick has done the job so far and Rivera is close to 30 saves at the All-Star break. Lefty Mike Stanton has also stepped up in the setup role, once again giving the Yankees a solid 1-2 punch in the late innings.

The Yankees have lowered their team ERA to 3.14 in the seventh through ninth innings, trailing only Cleveland’s 3.10 mark.

Still Their Turf

The Cleveland Indians have ruled the AL Central for nearly a decade, but this season could boil down to a turf war with Minnesota. The vastly improved Twins remain in first place at the All-Star break and show no signs of slowing down. Fortunately for the Indians, they own a 6-1 record on turf. That could prove huge in the second half of the season when Cleveland visits the Metrodome, an artificial surface. Minnesota is very comfortable on the surface, with a 32-14 record through last Saturday.

Favorites in the money

The favorites have posted a stellar 60-35-3 mark this past week, ending a three-week edge underdogs had enjoyed. However, we did bank a beauty last Tuesday when Arizona co-ace Curt Schilling was sent off as a $1.60 road favorite at Houston.

Schilling has surrendered a major-league high 24 homers. In a bandbox like Enron Field (aka Ten Run Field), against a potent Astros lineup, Schilling looked vulnerable. The Astros prevailed for a nice price, 6-5.

Here is the reduced list of losing high-priced favorites.

Sunday, July 1

John Burkett (—175) ”” NY Mets 2, Atlanta 1

Tuesday, July 3

Curt Schilling (—160) ”” Houston 6, Arizona 5

Wednesday, July 4

Jamie Moyer (—160) ”” Texas 6, Seattle 3

Thursday, July 5

Chan Ho Park (—150) ”” San Francisco 3, Los Angeles 2

Friday, July 6

Mike Hampton (—190) ”” Anaheim 6, Colorado 5

Saturday, July 7

Brad Penny (—175) ”” Tampa Bay 4, Florida 3

NL teams rising: LA (up 475), Houston (up 450) and Chicago (up 275). Falling are Cincinnati (down 465), St. Louis (down 320) and Arizona (down 305).

AL teams rising are: New York (up 650), Minnesota (up 615) and Boston (up 470). Falling are Kansas City (down 800), Cleveland (down 620) and Toronto (down 320).

JULY 7

NL Money Line Record

Philadelphia  

+1390

Chicago  

+1330

Arizona  

+960

Los Angeles  

+360

San Diego  

+200

Milwaukee  

+140

San Francisco  

+60

Houston  

+50

Atlanta  

—430

Florida  

—505

St. Louis  

—715

Montreal  

—765

Pittsburgh  

—925

Colorado  

—1040

Cincinnati  

—1385

New York  

—1625

AL Money Line Record

Seattle  

+3440

Minnesota  

+2230

New York  

+705

Boston  

+260

Baltimore  

+255

Anaheim  

+ 80

Cleveland  

—420

Detroit  

—745

Oakland