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March 28, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: The Future Cost of Present Improvement

4

Zachary Levine

The future price that each team that improved over the offseason paid.

Are you better off than you were four months ago?

According to the arbiters of all that is correct in Las Vegas, er, offshore, most of you are not. Bovada.lv released its odds for the 2013 World Series in the immediate aftermath of the 2012 World Series, and only eight teams have shorter prices now than they did then. Part of that was a noticeable drop in the house edge, as the bookmakers had to be conservative at the start, lest bettors guess right on who was going to make the big moves. (More on that phenomenon at the end of this piece from November.) Some of it is accurate, though, as accounting for the drop in house edge makes only one other team a gainer (the Cubs, whose odds stayed flat at 75/1).

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Seven bets where PECOTA could beat the oddsmakers.

In retrospect, it was actually pretty easy to take PECOTA with me to Las Vegas over the weekend. When I heard that its guardian, our own Colin Wyers, seemed to have acute grade III avian sniffles on the Cubs season preview podcast Friday, I figured he’d be an easy target for burglary. And when I went to lift PECOTA, he’d already passed out, presumably from fake and/or real outrage over Tony Campana and/or Luis Valbuena. You can’t be sure.

Anyway, once the not-so-brazen heist was complete, PECOTA and I were off to Vegas, and let me tell you: best travel companion in the history of ever. It—actually “he” if it’s named after Bill Pecota, right?—doesn’t hog the armrest on the flight, quietly whirrs instead of snoring across the hotel room, and doubles as a tip calculator. Really, you couldn’t ask for much more.

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