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:
Detroit Tigers 13/2
St. Louis Cardinals 7/1
Atlanta Braves 8/1
Boston Red Sox 9/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 9/1
Oakland Athletics 10/1
Texas Rangers 12/1
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:
The Braves beat the Dodgers 4-3 today at Turner Field. For a full recap and boxscore click here.
THE BARE ESSENTIALS:
Randy Wolf turned in his seventh consecutive quality start but took the loss again, falling to 5-6 after allowing nine hits in his five innings of work.
The Dodgers had two leads early on, 2-1 in the fourth and 3-2 in the sixth, but failed to hold on to both.
Former Dodger Derek Lowe essentially matched Wolf, allowing three runs in six innings as well. The Braves’ bullpen shut the Blue down. Rafael Soriano blew Casey Blake, James Loney, Matt Kemp away in the ninth to get his 16th save.
The Dodgers had only six hits as Manny Ramirez continued to struggle, going 0-for-3 to lower his average to .310 and .182 since the pinch-hit grand slam.
Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo threw a scoreless inning. He hasn’t given up a hit in 3 2/3 innings since returning.
Reliever Ronald Belisario threw a simulated game today, and looks to be on pace to return sometime in mid-August.
Chad Billingsley (10-6, 3.96) and Jair Jurrjens (9-7, 2.69) start tomorrow at 5:15 P.M. PST.