Before we dive into the final baseball column of the year, let me first say thanks for being with us for an exciting and thrilling season. I’ll admit there is a part of me “rooting” for the Royals tonight, thanks in large part to a 35:1 flyer in the season preview column on the Royals to win the World Series. However, I promise sentimentality and emotion will remain completely out of this column (and every column) as cold, objective logic tends to be the most favorable way to wager on sports.
Instead, today’s pick is pragmatic from a wagering perspective and enthusiastic from a fan’s perspective. I’ll go on a limb and venture than anyone reading along LOVES sports – let’s face it, wagering on sports if you don’t enjoy the games is a pretty odd endeavor. And assuming you LOVE sports, there are few more magical words in our lexicon than “Game Seven.” So enjoy the magic tonight, and I hope we’ll see you again next baseball season!
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Today’s Free Pick:
World Series GAME SEVEN – @ Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
San Francisco Giants +131 at Kansas City Royals -140 (Total: 7)
Tim Hudson vs. Jeremy Guthrie
Let’s start off with the obvious. This Royals team will NOT be intimidated by the stage tonight. Despite all the pressure in the world facing elimination last night they remained the loosest team I can remember at this point in a series. They are having a blast and just “playin’ ball” and it’s working. They hung a ten-spot on the Giants last night while their rookie fireballer hurled seven scoreless innings in route to a commanding 10-0 win. And while none of those runs carry over to tonight, the confidence very well might. In non-Baumgarner games, the Royals have flat out dominated this series.
Now let’s deal with the vague; YES Baumgarner is available tonight, but does it even matter? Here’s my point. If they NEED to go to him early in the game, they have already allowed runs and are in the bullpen. If they need to go to him late, how much of an edge is it really? Yes, he has been historically awesome but you will be asking him to do something he is unfamiliar with, pitching out of the bullpen, and having him do it on two days rest. Could he give an inning or two? Sure. Could he shut the door for two innings even? Sure. But has the Giants pen really been the problem? The losses this series have been hung on their starters. Over the last three World Series the Giants pen has been a strength. I’m not sure Baumgarner is the massive difference maker tonight the media is making him out to be…
That leaves us with the Royals lineup versus the Giants. I’ll take the red-hot Royals. From one to nine, they are creating more opportunities with timely hitting, great speed, and an ability to put the ball in play. They are the better defensive team and they have that raucous crowd going bananas behind them.
As odd as this sentence is to type if thinking back to April 1st – I’ll take the Royals to win the World Series tonight. Time to party like it’s 1985 Kansas City.