Eldorado’s ageless race and sports book director Wayne Braddock is a lifelong baseball junkee.
"I love it and this past week the bettors were smiling a lot," Braddock said. "The betting here was pretty strong. We’re a small casino so there aren’t a lot of wiseguys. The locals like to play parlays and they were hitting pretty good. A lot of our people like to play the run line.
Last Monday, in particular, would have been a great day if you bet against Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux. All pitched as heavy favorites and lost. The biggest loser was Johnson at -280 against Hideo Nomo and the Dodgers.
"I think it’s great to see small market teams with less payroll than Alex Rodriguez makes by himself, get off to such nice starts," Braddock said. "Seeing Kansas City and Pittsburgh win is good. The Pirates have made some good acquisitions, adding Reggie Sanders, Randall Simon and Kenny Lofton. There is speed and defense in the outfield, and I like their young pitching with Fogg, Wells and Benson."
Braddock also expected pitching to be ahead of hitting, but there were a number of double-digit games. "I think expansion has created spots for 40 pitchers who would not be in the majors. Bullpen depth is lacking."
Seeing Detroit, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay struggle came as no shock to Braddock, who sympathizes with D’ Rays skipper Lou Piniella. "Lou just has little to work with." Mark Mayer