Lakers Head For Playoffs As Shaky 9-4 Favorites To Make It Three Straight

Lakers Head For Playoffs As Shaky 9-4 Favorites To Make It Three Straight NBA Championships 100-Unit Game Kicks Off Playoffs Saturday

Red Sox Whistling By Grave Yard When They Say 2-9 Start Means Absolutely Nothing To Them - Yes, I Rated Them Worst Team In American League For Now

Best Bets Baseball Club Hits Another Parlay And Stands 9-3 With Last 12 Plays
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By Kelso Sturgeon

If I might be so bold, please let me go on the record as saying the Los Angeles Lakers who are the 9-4 favorites to win the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship head into the post-season the most over-rated, over-bet team in recent memory and in fact have but a slim chance to win their third straight NBA title.

Before you suggest I have lost my mind, please let me remind you I said last Sunday night the highly-rated, high-priced Boston Red Sox were currently the worst team in the American League. They will improve but right now-in this moment-they are the worst team in baseball , standing 2-9 and having just lost back-to-back games at home to Tampa Bay, another dreadful team.

Maybe, against that background, you can give me a little respect for going all in on the Chicago Bulls-the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs-to win it all. The Bulls are 9-2 to win it all, in third-place behind the over-hyped Miami Heat at 5-2, and, for the record, if you believe in miracles, you can get the Indiana Pacers at 1000-1.

In the world of high finance, my Best Bets Baseball Club just keeps getting it done and after winning last night's 2-team parlay stands 9-3 with its last 12 best bets. Last night the winning parlay was made up of two underdogs-the Oakland Athletics and the Colorado Rockies-and both won, giving my clients three 5-unit winners on the sides and the parlay.

The baseball winning continues tonight with two-standout plays for Best Bets Club members-a 10-unit play and an additional 3-unit bet. You can get both winners on this site or toll free at 1-800-755-2255 for just $15. You can get the entire baseball season and play right through the World Series in October for just $179, charged to your major credit card.

My Personal Best Club for highrollers will be back in action Friday night with my 25-unit American League Game of the Week. For my Best Bets Club Friday, it will be another two-team parlay.

Red Sox Whistling By Grave Yard

Boston Red Sox team members say they are not concerned with their amazingly awful 2-9 start and that they are confident they will turn things around. They may do just that-sooner or later-but right now the second oldest team in baseball, with the average age of its players at 30.6 years (same as New York Yankees) is whistling by the grave yard.

This is a team with a $161 million payroll-third highest in baseball-that was projected before the season began as the winner of the American League pennant, the World Series and, most of all, a team that had the talent to win no less than 100 games and maybe as many as 120.

Well, here we are with the Red Sox power bats hitting a mere .230 (24th of 30 teams) through 11 games and with the pitching staff a major league worst with an earned run average of 6.77.

The statistics for the starting pitcher rotation says a lot. Here is the rotation with each starter's current ERA.

  1. John Lester (3.72)
  2. John Lackey (15.58)
  3. Clay Buchholz (7.20
  4. Josh Beckett (2.08)
  5. Daisuke Matsuzaka (12.86

It's not a pretty picture for a team hitting .230.

Current Form Is Everything In Baseball

It would be intellectually dishonest to predict two and one-half weeks into the season dooms day has arrived for the Red Sox. It is a long way until October and that means there is plenty of time to recover and get with it.

With that said teams must be bet on their current form and not what they were last season or projected to be this season. A baseball team is what it is right now.

I have devised a rather unsophisticated chart that reveals the current form of each team. It is based on a team's batting average and where it ranks against all other teams in its league, ditto for a team's collective ERA and with my bullpen rating thrown into the mix. From this comes each team's current performance profile-and the lower the number, the better the team.

For instance, Texas ranks 4th in hitting, 3rd in pitching and has a bullpen rated quite well at 2. Add those numbers together-the 4, 3 and 2 and you get an 8. By the same token, the Houston Astros have the worst rating of all-a 36-based on being the 16th and last-ranked hitting and pitching team in the National League, and with a bullpen rating of 4.

I will be charting the progress/lack of progress for each team with an update that will be posted online each Monday. It will permit baseball bettors to keep up with the changing worth of each team and hopefully use the figures to find a winning edge or two as we try to outrun the bookmakers and those making their betting lines.

Current form is a major element in handicapping baseball. Pay attention.
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