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March 27, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: PECOTA vs. Vegas

11

Zachary Levine

Don't bet on baseball. But if you must...

One year later, I couldn’t bring myself to take PECOTA back to Las Vegas with me. It wasn’t that we did badly last year. We did OK. We nailed a couple of the big unders, betting on the White Sox and Phillies not reaching their above-.500 Over/Under figures in what would turn out to be terrible seasons. We lost on some others, as PECOTA was too high on the beat-up Yankees, too low on the Orioles (like the rest of us) and missed the Braves party completely. We also collected on the Dodgers winning the NL West, which they did easily after a slow start.

So we’re still solvent; it’s just that I can’t take PECOTA back to Las Vegas with me. I can’t really explain why, but it was something in between the Riviera and the Rhino, and while the details are sort of fuzzy, when we got the request to revive PECOTA’s best gambling bets, I thought it was best to do it from the comforts of home through the magic of offshore wagering.

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February 5, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: The Best Ways to Bet at the Ballpark

12

Zachary Levine

Four low-stakes games you can play while watching games this season.

Hey, remember that idiot who told you a couple months back that you should never bet on baseball? Well, don’t listen to that guy. He’s kind of an idiot. Actually, I heard he picked the Tigers to win the World Series last year, so he’s probably just really bitter.

Anyway, that’s a stupid take. You should absolutely bet on baseball, because betting on baseball is a lot of fun. Face it. There are 2,430 regular season games, which is a lot. The NFL has 256 of roughly the same length. With 2,430 games, you can’t be expected to have a rooting interest in every one. That’s why chicken magnate/LHP Kenny Rogers invented Rotisserie baseball, which evolved into the fantasy game we know today.

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Betting on baseball is a bad idea, but some bets are slightly better than others.

A list of people who should never bet on baseball in descending order of importance that they never bet on baseball:

1. Allan H. (Bud) Selig
2. Professional baseball players
3. People who work in college athletic departments (This is actually true, they can't bet on any level of a sport in which the NCAA has a championship, so they can bet boxing but not the World Series or even fantasy football)
4. People who don't have any money
5. Baseball writers who make terrible predictions every year
6. You






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