Price Per Head Betting - AL Wild Card Race

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Price Per Head Betting - AL Wild Card Race

As of the conclusion of baseball action on Monday, Price Per Head bettors at saw all the intrigue they could possibly handle. The contenders who will participate in the one-off, winner-take-all wild card game in the American League had yet to be determined. 

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians (+700 and +800 to win the AL pennant, respectively, at were knotted up at the top, and if the season ended right now, those two would be playing each other in the extra game. The Texas Rangers (+900 in the baseball odds for AL pennant glory) are chasing them, but they are not very far behind; in fact, the whole thing could change in one day, as Texas is just a game behind. The Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have little more than a ghost of a chance. 

Ken Rosenthal, the well-known columnist and commentator for Fox Sports, has recently suggested that there is something inherently unfair in the way the wild card race is playing out. He singles out the Indians as a team whose "road to October is all but free of impediment." 

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Rosenthal cites as the basis of his critique the unbalanced schedule that is in place in Major League Baseball. What he is talking about is essentially this: the teams in each of the divisions play the other

teams in their own division more times than they play the teams in the other divisions. Therefore, the Indians would play weak teams like the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins more times, while the AL East teams play more games against strong opponents, since they are in a much better divisions. 

Price per head bettors at who are even vaguely familiar with the NFL knows that this is the same way it works in pro football. But Rosenthal sees it as a problem with baseball. 

Is it really? Things runs in cycles. Clearly from year to year things change with certain teams. Some teams - and divisions - may be up one year and down the next. If that isn't the case, MLB can realign the teams. But you simply can't change things around every year according to which teams are expected to be stronger than others. 

The Rangers (+1700 to win the World Series for those using WagerHome's sportsbook software) don't escape Rosenthal's complaint either. After all, they play in the AL West, and that is where the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners - teams who are collectively 74 games under .500 - are situated. Texas has won 14 out of 17 games against the Astros, who moved to the American League this season. And they have three home games left with Houston. This is another inherent "advantage." 

But Rosenthal also beefs about Cleveland playing Houston down the stretch, as the Indians swept four games to solidify their position. Why? These aren't "unfair advantages," they are simply happenstance. 

It is kind of shameful to talk about something that "isn't close to fair" when one considers something that is REALLY inherent, which is the inability of some teams to pay nearly as much for players as others. And yes, it is in bad taste to complain about a race where you've got teams with almost no payroll, like Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Kansas City, outshining a club like the Yankees, who have unlimited bankroll to buy

players, and have not hesitated to flex those financial muscles in the past. 

All customers should applaud the job Joe Girardi has done in the Bronx with the injuries the Yankees have suffered. But the idea that the "have-nots" are in it right until the end is something that

needs to be celebrated, not tainted. 

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