Greg Gamble is a Chicago-based freelance writer who also writes a daily betting blog.
Following the Wrigleyville chaos and the surprise on the Southside as a fan, scribe, and investor, what a way to roll through the few summer days in Chi-Town.
On the Northside, I knew things were askew early when the lazy corner infielder, Aramis Ramirez, arrived to Spring training like Alyssa Milano arrived to the Poison Ivy 2 set - trim and committed to show us some newfound passion.
As for the Camaro, smokes-in-the-sleeves Sox, even Ozzie is shocked he’s only needed one profanity-laced tirade to keep things sailing smoothly.
Even though both the White Sox and Cubs each lead MLB’s Central Divisions, just ask Ronny Mexico how quickly things can change.
Will the Cubs continue to dominate at home and will giving-up 1 1/2 runs still seem like a gift? Can the Sox unassuming staff continue to baffle the opposition if Jim Thome and Paul Konerko continue to strike out more than Paul Pfeiffer?
And will the Wrigley girls continue to wear short-shorts that would be illegal in most states?
While I know some of the answers, I also hit-up some of the media giants in the
The John Danks (6-4, 2.67) and Gavin Floyd (10-5, 3.63) collapse
Dude, where’s my car and a time machine so I can drive to Vegas and invest on these two every game of the first half?
After combining for a 7-18 record with an ERA over 5.40 last year, the former castoffs are in the top 35 in ATS money won for starters after going 24-13. As a result, I say we roll with the darkside the second half and foresee their failure.
To tell you the truth, I actually think the All-Star break hurts the youngsters as they’ll overanalyze how ridiculous they’ve been thus far, not to mention neither has pitched more than 140 innings in a major league season.
Especially with the hedging they’ll be getting from Vegas, hard not to take the other side religiously. And I’m not religious.
Cubs Dominance Hits the Road
Sweet and Salty Lou’s magic and the 100-year drought phenomena have parlayed with a ridiculous lineup to make the Cubbies the NL favorite.
Most diamond gurus don’t expect Ryan Theriot (.317), Geovany Soto (.287 16 homers) and Mark DeRosa (.373 on-base percentage) to continue to play like All-Stars. Not with veterans like Aramis, D-Lee, and the return of Soriano. However, the role players are blanketed with boppers to ensure they continue to see nothing but fastballs.
"The Cubs should run away and hide in their division following the All Star break,” says Schuster. “With the addition of Rich Harden, they are now extremely deep and strong in their starting rotation and this will key the blowout.
“The bullpen has some flaws (especially if Carlos Marmol continues to struggle) but the lineup is solid and the best thing the Cubs have going for them is that the Cardinals and Brewers have many more flaws."
Taking it a step further - just like Jesse Spano’s maturity during the second half of Showgirls - I expect the Cubs to handle life on the road much better (20-26). That is, especially after last season’s horrid experience in
As a result, and because Vegas has witnessed a remarkable home-field trend thus far, the road plays will be much more reasonable than normal this year.
It’s tough to pitch at 56
After a solid start, Jose “I’m lying or I age in dog-years” Contreras has lost control of his split-finger and been forced to use his batting practice fastball will more regularity.
He posted a 6.83 ERA in June and looked just as bad in July and I expect the Cuban to get smoked in the second half. While he seems ideal to play against when the Sox are on a roll and the numbers are in your favor, I’ll tell what I’m going to do. I’m taking his counterpart every single time he toes the rubber and singing “We going Sizzler, We going Sizzler” after Oz pulls him in the fourth.
Who doesn’t love to play the over?
When 22 year-old females are wearing boxers that read: “Cub fans are easy!” life is good and investing in the over is a foregone conclusion. Especially with the return of Soriano’s big stick (and abysmal defense).
With hurlers like Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood, whose arms haven’t seen innings like this in years, we’re going to see football scores throughout the second half.
“(Alfonso) will be the same as he always is, great at hitting home runs and nothing else,” the Daily Herald’s lead scribe Barry Rozner told me this week. “There's nothing else the man can do on a baseball field, though he is exceptional at cashing a very big paycheck.”
Rozner says you can expect some struggles for the Cubbies on the mound in the second half, though.
“It's hard to imagine Dempster and Wood duplicating their surprising first-half performances, so if you're looking for a drop-off, that'd be the place to start. Carlos Marmol has also thrown a lot of games and innings, and the Cubs will need him fresh in October.”
As a lifelong
So to recap, here’s what the ATS guru has so you can finally buy that White Tiger for your lady:
1. Any time Ozzie pencils in Danks or Floyd, pencil in the opponent in your little yellow notepad that your girl thinks is a poetry book.
2. Considering they’re the best squad in the NL, the Cubs’ abysmal record on the road simply means you’ll get a decent number on them away from Wrigley.
3. If Jose Contreras pitches past the fifth inning more than five times in the second half, someone might need to pay for my kid's first half of college.
4. CUBS OVA. Have you ever had fun at the bar when you take the under and you’ve already lost by the fourth inning? As my grandma always said, “at least with the over, you’re never out of it!”
5. Brett Favre: Put the Vicodin down and play some Sudoku with your wife - unless you want to replace Sexy Rexy and the over-served Orton.
While all the information I’ve presented before you is for entertainment purposes only, my only hope is you’ll be entertaining with caviar and
Take it easy my friends, see you soon, and make sure to tip your dancers.