87 and counting: prognostication yes, gambling no
i foresaw 87 wins from my plucky twins this year, and i'm happy to report i got 'em. of course, that means i'll be dead wrong if they happen to win any of their remaining fourteen games.
i feel better about my prediction for justin morneau. a year ago, i saw a big papi-like future for the young slugger. feeling the ball jump from his bat the past few years, it was easy to see: mr. morneau's got some monster numbers in him and they just gotta get out.
i have many vices, but gambling is not among them. i just get zero kick from the possibility of gaining or losing money on a sporting event. nevertheless, i sometimes check the latest lines and think about betting. for example, when i learned this week that johan santana (18-5, 2.75 ERA) was squaring off against tribe rookie fausto carmona (1-9, 6.24), i figgered it was a sure-thing lock. the line was -252. if i understand this correctly, that means i could have bet $252 on the twins to win $100. so, i imagined ponying up a hypothetical $2,520 to take that easy thousand.
well, johizzle pitched valiantly but my twins lost 5-4 in 10 innings. dang. this gambling thing is tougher than it looks. and i bet the clever folks setting the line have stats ph.d.s and know exactly what they're doing. but then i noticed that my gophers were 41 1/2 point favorites in today's game against temple. after last week's mauling by the cal bears (who were themselves mauled the previous week), i couldn't imagine my favorite college team beating the mounds view high school sophomores by 41 points. were i a gambler, i might have tried to make good on my $2,520 (hypothetical) loss by betting against the ferocious rodents in this game. good thing i'm not a gambler -- the gophers won 62-0.
so, it looks as though a gambling chris would have taken a five thousand dollar bath last week. that settles it. i'll keep rooting for the high schoolers and leave the recreational gaming to the professionals (and the criminals, i suppose). as for my twins, 87 wins and a september pennant race ain't bad at all.