As I'm sure you have heard by now, Alex Rodriguez will play the final game of his great but complicated career on Friday at Yankee Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rays. Let's take a look at some prop betting that Bovada is offering.
Will Yankees Fans Cheer Or Boo?
Many baseball fans despise Rodriguez because he was caught lying about performance-enhancing drugs not once but twice. So who knows how long he actually has been using steroids. It's a shame because Rodriguez had prodigious talent and likely would have been one of the greatest players in MLB history without using the juice. Rodriguez will fall just shy of joining Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in the 700-homer club. A-Rod had 696 entering Thursday's series finale in Boston. A-Rod also is one shy of the record of home runs by a shortstop, which is 345 by Orioles legend and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. Needless to say, if Rodriguez hadn't been traded to the Yankees and been shifted to third base, he would have shattered Ripken's mark.
Because of his drug past, not to mention the fact he threatened to sue Major League Baseball and the Yankees, Rodriguez has a very complicated relationship with baseball fans, so I'll be curious how the Yankees faithful greet him on Friday. A-Rod always was compared to Derek Jeter, and Rodriguez was always going to lose that battle even though he was a better player because Jeter was one of the most popular Yankees ever, the team captain and never had any controversy surrounding him. While Jeter will be a lock-first ballot Hall of Famer, Rodriguez isn't going to get in anytime soon because most voters have shown they won't vote for steroid cheats. That's why Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, etc., aren't in Cooperstown.
We are all assuming Friday is Rodriguez's final game. There are two reasons it might not be. The first is the weather. There's a 50 percent chance of rain in New York, which is in the middle if a major heat wave. Wouldn't it almost be fitting if Rodriguez's final game is rained out? Would he then want to play Saturday? Manager Joe Girardi has said he plans to start Rodriguez on Friday. At what position? Most likely DH, but might A-Rod ask to play the field one last time? The way Girardi has treated Rodriguez since last weekend's announcement, I doubt that the manager lets A-Rod in the field.
The second reason this might not be Rodriguez's final game is the dude is really vain. So after the Yankees release him and he clears waivers, A-Rod might get an itch to play again and get to 700 homers. Perhaps his hometown Miami Marlins might want to sell some tickets by signing A-Rod? The other Florida team, the Rays, draw flies at home and could use Rodriguez as a DH to help lure fans. I do think Rodriguez is done for 2016 but I'm not ruling out 2017.
Rodriguez Prop Options
Bovada has listed some MLB props on A-Rod's finale so let's take a look.The scheduled starting pitcher for Tampa Bay on Friday is ace Chris Archer. The 2014 All-Star is having a disappointing season at 6-15 (MLB high for losses) with a 4.26 ERA. But Archer is pitching to expectations of late with four straight quality starts. He has faced the Yankees once this year, losing on May 27 in St. Petersburg and allowing four runs (one earned) and four hits over eight innings.
Rodriguez was still playing every day as the DH back on May 27 and hit a sixth-inning homer off Archer. In his career, Rodriguez is 2-for-15 off Archer with two homers, three RBIs, three walks and five strikeouts. This year at Yankee Stadium, Rodriguez is hitting just .168 in 119 at-bats with two homers, 13 RBIs and 35 strikeouts.
Bovada's MLB odds ask what will happen in A-Rod's final plate appearance. A strikeout is the +200 favorite, followed by a groundout and flyout, both at +250. A single is +600. A double or triple is a +1200 long shot. A home run is +1000. A walk is also +1000. That Rodriguez gets a hit of any kind during the game is -190, with no at +155. That Rodriguez has an RBI (that doesn't necessarily mean he gets a hit) is +175, with no at -215.
That A-Rod strikes out at any point is -150, with no at +120 on MLB picks. And on a yes/no home run prop, no is a -650 favorite with yes at +450. Entering Thursday, Rodriguez had nine homers and 29 RBIs in 217 at-bats this year. His last dinger was July 18 at home vs. Baltimore.
For what it's worth, in Jeter's final game on Sept. 28, 2014, at Fenway Park, he was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Free MLB Picks: Again, this is assuming A-Rod does start and plays the entire game. I believe he does get a hit -- a single -- and definitely a strikeout but no home run or RBI. Go with flyout as the final at-bat because I know A-Rod will be trying to hit one out.