The online gambling website Bovada released its midseason list of World Series favorites, ranking the Dodgers – drumroll please – fifth, at 9-to-1.
Here are Bovada’s top 10:
St. Louis Cardinals 7/1
Boston Red Sox 9/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 9/1
Oakland Athletics 10/1
Cincinnati Reds 15/1
Washington Nationals 15/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 16/1
At a glance, this is a case of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other. The Tigers, Cardinals, Braves and Red Sox are all in first place in their division, comfortably above .500. So are the A’s. The Rangers, Reds and Pirates are all in playoff position.
And then we have the Dodgers at 47-47, with plenty of flaws, 2 ½ games out of first place but only 6 games out of last place in the National League West. Bovada gives the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks a 20-to-1 chance of winning it all.
In spite of their slow start, in spite of the 25-year drought since they last won the World Series, don’t call the Dodgers underdogs. Apparently having a $230 million roster and a Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award runner-up speaks volumes.
And who’s ready for that 2006 and 1968 Tigers-Cardinals World Series rematch?
Some bullet points for a Nelson Mandela Day:
• Carlos Marmol didn’t travel with the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes to their road series in Stockton. That means Marmol is probably headed somewhere else in the organization. The educated guess is Albuquerque, where Marmol was assigned July 4 after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs. Marmol made three appearances with the Quakes, pitching a scoreless inning in his last outing.
• Some more Dodgers-related odds from Bovada:
• For the kids: MiLB.com is currently holding its annual mascot contest. You can vote here.
• I just learned that William Pulliam, AKA Darondo, died last month in Sacramento. While most of his work from the 1960s and 1970s remains buried, famous U.K. DJ Gilles Peterson unearthed the single “Didn’t I” and it got some decent exposure the last 10 years. Fortunately Darondo was still alive to experience the late-career renaissance that every musician covets. L.A. Record interviewed him not too long ago. Sounds like he enjoyed his time as a musician, both times around.