Tito And The Time-bomb

Posted on June 30, 2011

Tito and the time-bombLast nights Red Sox game between the fifth and eight and innings was a little glimpse into crazy. Not crazy in that Francona left him in, but the reason behind why he had to leave him in. Terry Francona the manger of the Boston Red Sox in genuinely afraid of his pitcher John Lackey’s mental state right now. Lets take a look at this closely so as not to miss any sense of how crazy John Lackey is right now.

5th Inning Top, 2 outs – John Lackey steps up the plate with Reddick on base. Reddick got his second single of the game but only the third hit given up by the Mofrock wonder-boy Worley. Lackey proceeds to smash the ball to the deepest part of the field. A sheer anger swing from the heals. He wielded that bat like a revolting migrant worker swings a sickle in protest. “If these ass-whole teammates of mine won’t do their jobs then I will” kind of swing. The result is run scoring double that ties that game at one a piece. He is pitching better then he has in over a month, and he is already steaming, a slow simmer for John, but the bubbles are coming. His teammates are jovial in the dugout in the hope that maybe this will put ole John into a good mood and maybe, just maybe, he will brood a little less. A step in the right direction, something good is actually happening to him. Francona knows at this moment that he may have to let John go a little extra in this one even if he thinks better of it, he can’t risk the Johnsplosion.

6th Inning Bottom, 1 out – Lackey walks Chase Utley, who proceeds to steal second on the worst play by a catcher in recent memory. Salty does not even realize that Utley is running until he has the ball in his hand and is about to make the casual throw back to Lackey. A total lapse by a catcher, very alarming, and not unnoticed by the mercury rising hurler. Lackey is known for his physical displays of disappoint when one of his fielders muffs a play or just can’t reach one of the many tattooed grounders into the hole. Nothing is his fault, there is always a finger to point. He gets out of the inning unscathed and this even buoys him up a little more as getting out of jams has been the exception and not the rule this year.

7th Inning Top, 2 outs – Salty has gotten a walk and is now on second base after a fielders choice. He remains there after a Scutaro fly out to right. During this at bat we are shown Lackey in the on-deck circle? This is a tie ball game, in the seventh inning, a man on second and two outs and Tito decides to stick with his Pitcher to bat? A Pitcher with rumored elbow trouble, a pitcher who took cortisone shots during his recent DL stint, a pitcher with a 7.36 ERA? Why Terry? Why would he do this? Fear. “He will absolutely meltdown right here and now if I take him out of this game with a pinch hitter. He might even take a swing at me”. What else could it have been. So Lackey grounds out, inning over, and onto the bottom of the seventh we go, all tied at one run each.

7th Inning Bottom, 0 outs – Further evidence of the trembling Terry is that the first batter for the Phillies is Raul Ibanez. Now stepping up to the plate with a career 21 for 57 record against Lackey and two of those hits earlier in this game. Why is this happening, any manger would stop this right now, saber-metrics or not, this is just plain….yes, their it is again…. crazy. “Do I want John straddling me in my hotel bed tonight, his big chubby fingers wrapped around my throat? Or I could just let him pitch to this guy and lets see what happens…yup that sound good”. Dinger, Phillies lead 2-1. Lackey meanwhile makes a whip around motion and glares at Salty saying “nice call, you shit”, even though Lackey had shaken him off on the fateful pitch. Home Run right out of the gate in the seventh. “I can’t go out there right now, I gotta let him cool down or my face might meet his knee as he hands me the ball”. Tito lets him stay in.

8th Inning Bottom 0 outs – Still 2-1 and Terry is trying really hard to get John the win. After another anemic offensive turn by the Red Sox hitters the smoke is starting to show. First hitter for the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins, singles to right field. At this point Terry is pounding the Maalox, but stays put. Shaking, while starting to think of what to say when the inevitable walk to the mound begins. Morales, gets up in the pen to start warming up…Lackey does not even notice. His insane brain packed with narcissistic visions of grandeur does not allow him to even think that anyone would have the balls to cross him and disrespect him like that. Not now, not in this game. Lackey gets a double play grounder to feed again his insatiable ego’s appetite. Then Chase Utley causes Terry to cough a little throw up into his mouth as he Triple’s off the top of the wall sending the Gonzalez experiment gingerly against it, in a “God I hope I don’t get injured” effort that clearly shows that Adrian either does not care about Lackey’s loose screws, or he has a lack of intelligent fear of him. Terry sucks in a deep breath, puffs up his chest like armor and heads out of the dugout, like a man heading to the gallows. At this moment Lackey see’s Terry coming and immediately whips his head around again. This time his fireball eyes are directed to the bullpen where he now notices that a pitcher has been getting ready. The f-bombs begin before Terry is even half way out there. Terry now has his hands performing the international symbol for “calm down”, with his classic puppy dog look as he chokes out “Aw cheez big guy, you were great tonight”. All the while the commentators are saying little more then “I don’t think he wants to come out”. Ya think? He drop a few more “bullshits” and slams the ball into Terry’s frail hand and perform’s his well patented and masterful storm walk across the diamond and down the steps.

Wrap-up – Lackey proceeds to stay and watch so he can witness the inferior player that has taken his place. He is watching and waiting for the run explosion so he can glare at Francona some more. He sidles up next to some rookie player I can’t even name and starts ranting his case. The veterans are well aware of this move and clearly start fake conversations with anyone they can so as not to have to engage with pure crazy. Leave it to the rookie, it’s part of the hazing ritual. Spend five minutes with John after just being yanked. I think it’s number 6 on the list right next to – try and tell a joke to J.D. Drew. The Sox pitching holds up, but the bats remain silent and they go on to lose 2-1. The only run knocked in by Lackey himself. Who wants first question at the press conference?

Terry clearly can’t manage this way. The Johnsplosion just has to happen so this team team can stop the eggshell walking and get on with this season. This was just a glimpse remember, a small and somewhat subtle hint of things to come…bad things.

News & Notes

- I lost the bet below as Gonzalez did not score. As just about everything I said about the Beckett game was right, I got just about everything wrong in this one. Worley was awesome, Papi was a no show, and runs were not produced at all.

- Sox won in the day game today 5-2 to salvage something in Philly. Tek and Elsbury played well but is Josh Reddick starting to give you that tingly feeling as well?

Stats:

50/50Bets:Record Overall = 62-60-2
Win Percentage = 50.81%

Best Bets = 15-7
Best Best Win Percentage = 68.18%

Kitty Total = $610.00

Sportsbook
Profit/Loss = – ($531.43)

Long Odds Bets:
Record = 1-24
Money Invested = $510.00
Winnings = $300.00


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Who Cares Where He Plays… Just Score.

Posted on June 29, 2011

just scorePretty much nailed that game (below) yesterday. Site work and obligations warrent a quick pick today. Kitty starting to look healthy again. Lets see if I can keep it going tonight.

Adrian Gonzalez (Boston Red Sox) To Score A Run vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($100 to win $100)

You can’t keep a good man down to long. Inexperienced righty on the mound for Philly, and with Lackey starting for the Sox, the players know they have to score some runs. Ortiz most likely in as well, and the even money odds make this a winner bet.

Stats:

50/50Bets:Record Overall = 62-59-2
Win Percentage = 51.23%

Best Bets = 15-7
Best Best Win Percentage = 68.18%

Kitty Total = $710.00

Sportsbook
Profit/Loss = – ($431.43)

Long Odds Bets:
Record = 1-24
Money Invested = $510.00
Winnings = $300.00


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October Preview?

Posted on June 28, 2011

October PreviewRed Sox, Phillies, Beckett, Lee, Game 1. Sounds like a World Series doesn’t it? Or the late June classic that is; inter-league play. I have no issue with these match-ups at all. They are a fun interesting way to break up the summer months, shake it up a little, and generate some extra revenue of course. But for those saying that this match up between Boston and Philadelphia will be repeated in four months to decide who is the 2011 king of the diamond are sorely mistaken. As it stands now the Phillies have the best record in the National League at 49 wins and 30 loses, including a 30-13 record when playing in front of their ridiculous neon liberty bell. They have a solid offense and play good defense as well, but the real reason they are tops right now is the pitching staff. No matter what team you are a fan of, can you imagine having your starting staff be these guys?:

Roy Halladay = 10-3 era 2.40
Cliff Lee = 8-5 era 2.87
Cole Hamels = 9-4 era 2.49

It just took me about ten minutes to decide what order to place these guys! Now imagine your team facing them in a seven game series! Oh, and by the way, on the DL right now is Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton, not a bad four and five to have I would say. Throw in Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Raul Ibanez behind you and I would say that these guys can start thinking about a long season and a walk into the final series if all stay healthy.

The other side of this much talked about “given” World Series match-up is the Boston Red Sox. This is where I say hold your horses. We all know the story of the Red Sox epic horrible start. If you have been paying attention they have followed it up with an epic comeback in a short period of time. Most predicted that it would take a good chunk of the season for the Sox to even sniff first place in the division, let along all of the American League. But here we stand on June 28th, the Red Sox only a half game back of the New York shitheads, and only after choking up some horrible games to doormat National League teams like the Padres and the Pirates. But in these recent games we see the problem with even thinking for one second that Boston will be in the World Series. I know it sounds simple and somewhat obvious, but they have no pitching, and pitching wins World Series. The Red Sox have one of the best and hottest hitting line-ups in the game and may score more runs then any team in history, but in a seven game series against the best the game can offer in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt, the Red Sox are dead meat. Step back and face it all you die hard Sox fans, its over. Taint gonna happen. Here is a look at the Red Sox Pitching staff:

Josh Beckett = 6-2 era 1.86
Jon Lester = 9-4 ers 3.66
John Lackey = 5-6 era 7.36

The four and fives here are Buchholz and Wakefield. Beckett has the league lead in ERA somehow but you would not know by watching him pitch. The domination and intimidation factor is gone with Josh. This starts with the velocity, which is down. Once teams get a 2nd look at him this year and in the playoffs, get use to his new cutter that he is relying on entirely too much, then his ERA will balloon to well above three. Then he will have to resort to his next best pitch: the beanball. As for the rest of the staff there is no comparison to the boys of Philly at all. You can say that Buchholz will be great someday, but that day seems to never come. Lackey is a basket case and is not long for Boston or maybe even the game, and good old Wake will have the biggest one Boston has ever seen in a few years from now. Lines out the door and around the block. Although the reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated before.

In the end this article is pretty boring. It’s all about the pitching….yadda, yadda, yadda… we have heard it before. I know, your right, but a truism is a truism for a reason, and when it come to betting on an outcome, truism’s are the goal.

News & Notes:

- Site work continues, making progress.

- Game of Thrones finale was balls, get it on DVD, Netflix, stolen on the internet, whatever, good stuff. Again, another world, and fantasy fiction, but still great.

- Played in my club’s big team event recently and we won again for the 2nd year in a row. This was part of the reason for lack of entries these days. Also, it being summer and travel coming, it will continue to be light, but keep checking in.

- Not sure if I mentioned this already, but alas I have relented and will be opening Facebook and Twitter accounts shortly in conjunction with the new site release so stay tuned for that as well.

- Also played live Texas Hold’em with some friends and won three of three games and that was after winning 7 of 9 skins from the same guys earlier in they day. Nice run, not sure I am getting the call for the next one.

Here’s the bet I like for today:

Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 runs vs. Boston Red Sox ($100 to win $175)

No Ortiz or Crawford, in this one. I think Lee stymies the Sox hitters a bit, and the Phillies have done their homework on Beckett who has not pitched since June 15 when he came down with a bad flu. We may see a limited pitch count and reduced innings from Josh as well. The fans will be pumped for this with Terry and J.D. to boo at, so the energy will be good. Not a bad take on a Tuesday night in the summer.

Stats:

50/50Bets:Record Overall = 61-59-2
Win Percentage = 50.83%

Best Bets = 15-7
Best Best Win Percentage = 68.18%

Kitty Total = $535.00

Sportsbook
Profit/Loss = – ($606.43)

Long Odds Bets:
Record = 1-24
Money Invested = $510.00
Winnings = $300.00


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Stay Classy Bruins.

Posted on June 25, 2011

Stay classy BruinsWatching the Bruins this playoffs and coming to appreciate Hockey in a whole new light has been a blast. This time of year would have typically been the dog days of the sports calendar year. The Bruins would have been long eliminated. Hoops are done, football is in a tumultuous offseason, and baseball is in its infancy. So to have what Boston has had just about every other day for the last two months has been the bonus of all bonuses. But once the play stops and the ability to watch, and deconstruct, and make a little wager come to an end, I am done and ready to move on.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this hockey run was getting to know the players. It is so refreshing to see interviews with honest, straightforward, and well thought out comments, that actually mean something beyond the “just take it one game at a time” pat answers. These guys can actually speak english, even though most are not US citizens! The Bruins even have a player from a third world country called Flint Michigan, who gave great interviews. But as the cup has been paraded around town and brought to club after club, and more and more seedy pictures have appeared on the net, I am starting to get annoyed. Maybe I am just getting old? Does the cup lose a little luster when girl X from club Y gets to sip $100,000 bottle of champagne out of it? Who’s to say, I guess there has been some pretty crazy stories of things the cup has been through and maybe that is what makes it the coolest trophy in sports, bar none.

But, after seeing how these guys presented and carried themselves during this magical playoff run I expected bigger things. What, I am not sure, but I guess it would be just a little more class. Party all day long, get wasted, drink from the cup, all good. Just know where the line is, stay on-sides, and stay classy.

News and Notes:

- Site improvement progress continues behind the scenes.

- As you may have noticed the daily updates/bets have slowed during this dog day stretch. Continue to check in and forward along the link when its updated and worthy. The more the merrier, and the more I write.

- I have been asked by someone: “What is the difference between you and Bill Simmons?” The answer: First, I put my money where my mouth is and make predictions on sports and back them with a bet. Second, I would never lead you to think that watching “The Killing” on AMC would be worthwhile. How so? Here is a quote from my News and Notes section on the Archive page article dated 5/6/11: – I tried out the first two hour episode of “The Killing” a new AMC series about the murder of teenage girl in which this one investigation last the whole season. While there were some good parts, that were so chilling I know my wife could never watch it, there was also too much flashy CSI type stuff that made it seem hokey, stupid, and unrealistic. Not going to continue to waste time on what will surely be a disappointment by seasons end.” Now, Mr. Simmons decided to waste 13 nights of his time and yours (if you read him) and came to this conclusion in his article http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6680958/hackery-first-degree
You can thank me later. Third, I could beat him up with one hand tied behind my back.

- Speaking of television, I have yet to watch the season finale of “Game of Thrones” on HBO. Now this one I recommended in the same article I said to stay away from “The Killing”, and I have to pat myself on the back and say this was well done and worthy. Season two can’t come fast enough. Thrones on DVR tonight.

Bets for tonight, I like two:

Boston Red Sox Vs. San Diego Padres Over 9 Runs Total ($105 to win $100)

Mat Latsos gets the start for the Padres and has never faced the Red Sox before and has a current ERA at 4.08. Any right hander has their work cut out for them against this line-up even if he does have the “you don’t know my stuff” advantage the first time through the line-up. Beckett was a scratch so the sweat man Aceves get the start making this over bet all the more attractive.

Jacoby Elsbury to Score a Run Vs. San Diego Padres ($100 to win $120)

These two bets kind of go hand in hand. The Sox whack it around the park and Elsbury gallops across the plate for an easy 120 on a risk of only100. I like it.

Stats:

50/50Bets:Record Overall = 61-58-1
Win Percentage = 51.26%

Best Bets = 15-7
Best Best Win Percentage = 68.18%

Kitty Total = $635.00

Sportsbook
Profit/Loss = – ($506.43)

Long Odds Bets:
Record = 1-24
Money Invested = $510.00
Winnings = $300.00


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Nice View

Posted on June 16, 2011

nice viewIn six years the city of Boston has had all four major sports teams climb to the mountaintop and prevail. The long suffering tag is officially dead for all Boston sports fans for the rest of our lives. Hey, Buffalo you can have that title for hockey and football. Chicago, baseball is all you, and lets give basketball (we really never had any claim to this one) to Cleveland since they are still so bitter about Lebron. But for Boston the complaining stops here, this morning, today, and for many years to come. After a few days of the talk radio love fest that will occur is there really any reason to listen anymore? Let’s face it, for a Boston fan to have zero to complain about is just plain boring. But in the end we will listen, as the Red Sox head down the summer stretch neck and neck with “team to be named later”. We will get “jacked and pumped” and the old juices will flow and the always present passion will rise, and Fenway will fill with chants and fingernails in October. But as I think about, it will never be the same. We can breath now, we are there, where no town has ever been, a decade for the ages. It’s kind of sad really, you get there and you realize that the fun, the love, the journey, is the wanting.

Now to the important stuff. I won my bet for the Bruins to win the cup and now have $550 bones in the Kitty to play with. I am back baby!! Is there a better way to start this off then lay some wood (no pun intended) on the U.S. Open golf tourney being played at Congressional Golf Club in Bethesda Maryland? I think not. This truly is a great one. A total different feel then the Masters with its rebirth of spring and pomp crap. This is where the player who hits the best, most pure and true golf shots over the course of four days wins. No slouch ever wins this one, no one and done-er’s in the U.S. Open. Par, can and does win and that is the way it should be. For the average fan who shoots 105′s (me) it is great to see pro’s hit shots out of the rough that squib out low and ugly across to the other side of the fairway. There will even be some whiff’s in this one with a wedge sliding right under the ball as it moves nowhere. It is glorious to see these golf gods look human, and the USGA knows how to do this better than anyone. The new head of the USGA, Mike Davis, made his bones by setting up brutal courses for years in this tournament, and was very hands on for this one despite his new position.

The cream certainly rises here. You cannot just be a bomber wedge guy and expect to win. You have to have it all working for you, the accuracy first, followed by great iron placement, solid wedge play from the rough around the greens, and putting that lags to the top of the crown shaped greens without rolling back down the other side, or even worse settling back at your feet. This is the truest test without question. And I will be camping in the woods with my son for about 85% of it, so try not to be jealous.

So I have put my new found dollars to work on three bets for this Open to start, here they are:

Nick Watney To Win vs. Hunter Mahan ($115 to win $100) 1st Round Only

Nick the quick gets off to a fast start as usual. You will not see me betting this guy anywhere near Sunday as his crumbles are becoming somewhat of a nervous tick. But, for rounds 1 or 2 he is a solid player with accuracy and flat out skill. I was excited to see nearly normal vig on this bet especially against Mr. cry baby Mahan. By the way, tell me Mahan does not have a little Geico cave man look to him sometimes?

Rory McIlroy To Win vs. Dustin Johnson ($120 to win $100) 1st Round Only

Talk about quick starters in majors! Rory is the man. Again, Sunday questions abound for this young one, but you cannot question how he comes into these bigs one’s loose as a goose and ready to go. A 63 in the first round at the British Open last year and a 65 at the Masters this spring. He will not be shooting that here on day one, this I know. But he will beat Johnson as he try’s to fly his crushed drives over all the trouble which just does not work with the set up provided. Best Bet

Rory McIlroy To Win vs. Phil Mickelson ($110 to win $100) Tournament Bet

Phil the thrill will have to take a chill pill as he pukes all over this course and misses the cut by a mile. Nothing like winning a Tournament bet with out even having to sweat the weekend. Rory has his own Sunday blues in big ones for sure lately, just check out the Hindenburg article from the Masters on the archive page for that disaster story. But Phil still has to be there on Saturday morning for me to lose this bet and I think he will be hitting snooze and eating a big cheesy omelet in his rented house before flying home.

News and Notes:

- I will be away with no access to my site on Friday or Saturday. I may be able to make a bet and post a short article for the final round on Sunday.

- Sunday is Father’s Day (although I like to call the whole weekend “Father’s Day Weekend” much to my wife’s chagrin) so milk it for all its worth and contribute to the economy. Play some golf, grab a beer and a bite somewhere new, and enjoy the day. I will be catching up on sleep in a real bed and then watching the final round to see which player/dad story will have the sappy tear jerker music.

- Pass the link along www.rossvstheloss.com and thanks for reading. Marchand is a God.

Stats:

50/50Bets:Record Overall = 59-57-1
Best Bets = 14-7
Win Percentage = 50.86%

Kitty Total = $550.00

Sportsbook
Profit/Loss = – ($591.43)

Long Odds Bets:
Record = 1-24
Money Invested = $510.00
Winnings = $300.00


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No Doubting Thomas

Posted on June 16, 2011

No doubting ThomasTo all the Bruins fans who did not need to see it with their own eyes to believe. Who did not need to see the nail holes or shove their hands into his side to prove it to themselves. This ones for you.


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This Is It!

Posted on June 15, 2011

Bruins did itScary thought. Will the star players shine in this one? Or will they Lebron it and cower under the pressure? Braun and role players versus speed and stars. Sharpen your skates for this one. $550 in my pocket or zero Kitty and time to re-up.

U.S. Open starts tomorrow and NBC keeps pumping Phil in the promo’s. He has no shot at all. More on the U.S. Open tomorrow.

Go B’s


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Big Doing’s For Ross

Posted on June 14, 2011

big doingsFirst I would like to say hello again after a long and much need break from daily writing. Next I would ask that you scroll down to the first bolded section below the photo of George Constanza, and re-read my bet and prediction for the Boston Bruins versus the Vancouver Canuckleheads (as my children have become fond of saying). While the outcome of the bet and the fate of the Kitty will be determined Wednesday night, it is safe to say that before the first puck dropped in game one I called this series to a tee. Do you hear that….. That’s some loud tooting of the horn for sure. But, I deserve it. This series has been beyond strange from a stats point of view. The home team has won every game. The first team to score has won every game. The Bruin’s wins have been blowouts in the Garden, while the Vancouver wins up north have been tight low scoring nail bitters. As the faithful reader of these pages will know I had once written that as far as Hockey was concerned there was no need to call me into the room until the Bruins were in a game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. That was where my head was at then, and this is now, and they have made it to game seven. Now I am a true hockey convert, a bandwagon jumper and a johnny come lately, for sure, but a convert nonetheless.

Now for the big announcement. Wednesday’s game seven will be history, but regardless of the outcome this site will not be. As I wrote just over two weeks ago, this site has met it’s limitations. But I will be forging ahead. No, not with another site that has come along and snapped up my talents. Why give them the cow when I am the cow. I instead will be making a capital investment in this site. The improvements will be numerous and the look, feel, functionality, and flow will be new and improved. All of the suggestions I have received over the past 4 months will be taken under advisement as I meet with web design professionals who will give me what I want and what you, the faithful readers, deserve. You give me your loyalty and I give you content that is unique, enjoyable, and not full of fluff and crap that most sites are these days. This will take a bit of time to get there, but I hope it will be worth the wait. I will also be opening up the site to any and all comers. What I mean by that is I have never unloaded this link to my entire contact list, family, friends from my town, etc. In telling everyone I expose myself. But I am committed to not let that censor me or what I write in any way. I write what I write to be entertaining take it or leave it. Not your cup of tea? Move on, and no hard feelings.

News and Notes:

- There have been many interesting nicknames bandied about for the Sedin twins of the Vancouver Canucks. The Sedin sisters, of course, but here are some others:

Thema and Louise
The Pointless Sisters
Lucy and Ethel
Thing 1 and Thing 2
Cam and Mitchell
Flopsy and Mopsy

- With a Bruins win the Kitty will be at $550 bucks. A loss and we have finally hit the golden goose egg. If that happens I will re-up with more funny money and continue to make picks. I am still looking forward to football season with baited breath.

- Game seven prediction: Seguin gets one in despite limited minutes, Go Kid.

- Has there been a quieter Red Sox sweep of the Yankee’s to over take first place in the history of Boston sports media?

- Still amazes me that if I lose this Bruins bet, I will be 58 wins and 58 losses….

Stats:
50/50Bets:Record Overall = 58-57-1
Best Bets = 14-7
Win Percentage = 50.43%

Kitty Total = $200.00

Sportsbook
Profit/Loss = – ($941.43)

Long Odds Bets:
Record = 1-24
Money Invested = $510.00
Winnings = $300.00


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