by Mike Hayes - 11/07/2005
The champagne has barely stopped flowing on the South Side of Chicago since the White Sox ended an 88-year drought by winning the 2005 World Series but that doesn't mean you have to wait until next season to get some baseball action.
A number of books have already posted odds to win the 2006 World Series and a few interesting and oddball props can be found as well.
With the Red Sox and White Sox ending two of the longest droughts in all of sports with championships the past two seasons, BetCRIS is taking action on which team will be the next to end its string of non-championship seasons.
If you don't mind waiting what could be a couple more decades to collect you can get the Astros, fresh off being swept by the White Sox in their first and only World Series appearance since joining the league in 1962 at +180. The Indians, who haven't won a championship since 1948 are second choice at +250, the long suffering Cubs, who haven't won in nearly a century are +320, the Giants, whose last championship came in 1954 are +400 and the Texas Rangers, who have never won a championship since joining the League as the Senators in 1961 are +500.
Bodog was offering 4/5 that Lou Pinella would work for Fox Sports in the broadcast booth next season and 8/5 that he would be back in the dugout managing a team in either league. The odds on Sweet Lou broadcasting for any other network, 3-1 and 5-1 that he sits out the season all together.
Bodog is also taking action on the final selling price of the Chicago Cubs, offering 3-1 in separate props that the price is under $400 million; between $476-$500 million or over $550 million. The longest price on the board here is 11/2 that the final price falls between $501-$525 million.
Think the White Sox will repeat as World Champs? Not likely according to the books, who have made the Pale Hose fifth or sixth choice with a low of 12-1 at Canbet and nearly 16-1 at Pinnacle.
Although they haven't won a Series since defeating their cross-town rival Mets in 2000, the Yankees are the favorite at every site surveyed to win it all in 2006 at odds of 5-1 or less.
Jimmy Mason, spokesman for Nine Sportsbook, said the Yanks as favorites has more to do with reputation than their current lineup or recent playoff history.
"Even the casual fans know that the Yankees will spend their way into the playoffs next year," Mason said. "Who they pick up is still a mystery but with Steinbrenner in the owner's box you can be sure they will put a star studded lineup on the field at any cost."
Mason said Nine doesn't write much action on baseball futures this early and won't until teams start making moves but that books like to get a line out as quickly as possible. "We write virtually no business on them as recreational players don't like to tie up their money for 11 months," Mason said. "It's mostly for bragging rights, being able to say 'We have that up already' is the main reason," Mason said.
If you can anticipate some of the upcoming off-season moves you might be able to find some value in these early postings.
This seems particularly true in the National League, where Canbet has the Mets, Phillies and Giants each at 33-1 and the Dodgers at 50-1.
The Mets in particular are an intriguing proposition at such long odds as they are poised to spend big again this off season with their eyes on closer Billy Wanger and shortstop Rafael Furcal who, if signed, would move to second base. The Mets are also likely to add a bat with Manny Ramirez again being mentioned prominently. If the Mets make any of these moves they figure to be much lower than 33-1 come Opening Day.
Considering the Phils just missed making the playoffs this season, 33-1 seems to be pretty generous and because the NL West cannot possibly be as bad as it was this year 33-1 for the Giants, who should have a relatively healthy Barry Bonds, might also be a value pick and 50-1 for the Dodgers is a why not pick considering the Dodgers are only one season removed from winning the Division and are likely to improve over this season's abysmal performance.
There seems to be less value in the American League because the Yankees and Red Sox, who are about 8-1, make the playoffs every year. At 15-1 you can get on the Indians right now and the White Sox are at 15-1 or 16-1. If they resign Paul Konerko and keep their pitching intact they should be headed for the playoffs once again.
"Perhaps the odd wise guy sees some value here and there but the real movement in those lines starts with spring training," Mason added.