Our MLB Handicapper sees a long shot line that probably shouldn't be so steep, considering a host of factors including some, uh... questionable personal experience.
I’m about to head to a 3-day college reunion/poker party that we refer with affection to as ‘The Bender’ in my circle of friends. Held outside on a patio under the leaves of a massive maple tree, we play all kinds of messed up games that have absolutely no strategy at all and depend completely on luck. It’s awesome.
One of the recent additions to these games is a version of poker in which you play with a card on your forehead that you can’t see. You wager against your opponents and try to get them to drop their card and fold – even if they know you have crap and you don’t. Of course, sports handicappers, math and finance majors and lawyers, we have taken this game to another level with a horrible name that would get us fired from our jobs in the real world. In this version of the game you start with a predetermined amount of cards called by the dealer, have a betting round, and then discard another number of cards without seeing what you are doing to your own hand. You could imagine what happens when you get someone to drop their pair of aces that they don’t know that they have. It’s absolutely ridiculous and wonderful at the same time.
We also play a type of high-low poker called “Challenge”, and oh what a game it is. The most favorite variant of this game is “Doublay Hotseat Turnaround Challenge”, in which there are two rounds of hands dealt where the person in the small blind seat has to call high or low and go against any willing opponent for the minimum bet. This version was originally invented to get the pot big enough to make the game interesting, as each high or low call is for the entire pot. But in about half of the time in those early “Mandy” rounds, the person on the hot seat gets dealt a gift and cleans house as all of the other participants fly at him as he makes his ‘mandatory’ high or low call. It’s absolutely ridiculous and wonderful at the same time; this time drunker.
What does this have to do with Kansas City visiting the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday? Absolutely nothing. But when I look at the lines available for this game at time of writing, lines that include the Mariners +192 on the run line at -1.5, I think back to how we set up our Challenge game to screw over the player in the hot seat. It just doesn’t matter most of the time, and that player will end up even over the long haul. So when I see a line where I can get a home team, off of a win, going against a pitcher making his first start coming off the DL, and almost have 2 to 1 odds I’m going to nibble at it. The true MLB odds for the home team in this case are definitely more favorable than that. Wish me good luck on the hot seat this weekend.
MLB Picks: Mariners -1.5 +190 at BookMaker