I know I haven’t posted in a long time. It was the dog days of summer, middle of baseball season the last time I updated this blog. But that’s not really what I mean. I mean that I’m back as a University of Louisville sports fan.
My long sports nightmare is over. Pitino is coaching in Greece. (The current rumor is that he may end up at UCLA. Which sounds about right.) Bobby Petrino has been fired. His house in Louisville is on the market, and he and his collection of neck braces have yet to surface publicly.
The new head coach for the basketball team is Chris Mack, formerly of Xavier. As I’ve said before, my first preference would have been to hire an up-and-coming coach from a smaller program, but the Mack hire is fine with me. He’s almost a Louisville guy, with strong ties to the area, and, most importantly, has a pristine reputation.
The football program hired Scott Satterfield, former head coach of Appalachian State. Based on what I’ve read, he has no Louisville ties and he was obviously the school’s second choice behind Jeff Brohm. But, again, he has a reputation for winning the right way.
Also, it’s finally time for baseball again since Virginia ended the NCAA season with their first championship against Texas Tech I didn’t have any strong feelings about the game, but it was nice to see Indianapolis’ Kyle Guy get the win. As usual, I picked UVA one year too early, betting them to win LAST year’s championship at 7-1. If you’re already thinking 2020 futures, you might consider Gonzaga, since I bet them at 7-1 to win this year.
Speaking of wagers…..we bet several MLB futures while we were in Vegas for March Madness. We’re only a week or so in to the regular season, and my Dad taught me that only a sucker looks at baseball standings before Mother’s Day. But in case you want to follow along, my wagers are below:
Philadelphia to win the NL East +225…..I would have made this bet even before the Phillies signed Harper. I think they have a great mix of young players and veterans, and they signed one of the best catchers in baseball.
Milwaukee to win the NL Central +275…….I think (hope?) the Cubs’ window is starting to close and St. Louis didn’t do enough to close the gap. But I wouldn’t have bet this at much lower odds, so for me it’s a value play.
Pirates over 78 wins…..hoping Uncle Ray Searage can work some magic with Chris Archer. Also, they get to play Cincinnati a bunch of times. But mostly a sentimental bet.
Boston over 93.5 wins…..they won 108 last year and have almost everybody back. Some people (looking at you, Jacquito) think not signing Craig Kimbrel is a big concern. But I think teams and fans over-value closers. I don’t think getting the last three outs is an especially uncommon skill set and that almost every team has somebody in the bullpen who can close games. I know 94 is a big number, but I don’t see a 14-game regression here. Plus Baltimore is in their division.
White Sox over 73.5 wins…..at some point all this young talent has to come together, and they’re sort of where Houston was right before they became really good.
San Francisco under 74.5 wins……really tough Division, and they seem to be punting this year to rebuild.
Mets under 86 wins…… I don’t see them ahead of Philadelphia. Maybe not even ahead of Atlanta or Washington, which could mean a fire sale in July.
All of the win totals bets were -110. (That is, bet $110 to win $100. Not that I bet that much.)
Like any baseball fan, I love this time of year. Weather starts to improve, the Indianapolis Indians open soon, and the Pirates and Dbacks haven’t been eliminated yet.