A baseball fan doesn’t care what the standings look like in June, or at least they shouldn’t. In a 162 game season, it’s best to keep the eyes set dead ahead on the prize that awaits, which is the September playoff chase. However, the numbers don’t lie and yes, they do get updated often. So, while the St. Louis Cardinals look out of sorts at the moment, carrying a 33-33 record, are they still the favorites to win the National League Central division crown?
The short answer is yes, but let’s look at the entire picture in the eyes of odds makers. Here is the current line on the division for all five teams:
St. Louis Cardinals +105
Milwaukee Brewers +220
Chicago Cubs +250
Cincinnati Reds +1300
Pittsburgh Pirates +50000
Sorry, Pittsburgh fans, but you are just about out of luck this season. And while the Cubs and Reds both pulled off recent sweeps of the Cardinals, the Redbirds still stand the best chance of winning the division.
While Missouri hasn’t yet legalized gambling just yet, there are a few surrounding states who have and Iowa is one of them. They have the smallest population of that group, but have witnessed incredible revenue in the time since legalization, surpassing $100 million in total revenue since the launch.
Those numbers are expected to be on the rise just as the temperature grows here in the Midwest. It just goes to show you that gambling can do wonders for a small state’s revenue stream. Let’s face it. People have been gambling on sports for decades in the shadows, whether that’s online or somewhere else. In St. Louis, the pieces are in motion already with Bally Sports purchasing Fox Sports Midwest before the season began. If I were laying predictions and odds of my own, I would place a juicy bet on the fact that betting will become a part of the atmosphere here very soon.
It sure would be nice if the Cardinals would start playing up to the odds. For gambling newcomers, the +105 odds mean you would win $105 off a $100 bet on St. Louis to win the division. So if a part of Cardinal Nation isn’t feeling too keen on their team, they could go with the Brewers or take a wild chance on Cincinnati to step up and steal it. Anything is possible, but everything isn’t left to chance. Right now, the team stats for the Cardinals show a weak offense and a crumbling pitching staff, at least around Adam Wainwright.
Can the Cardinals climb out of the injury rubble to make a comeback in the Central? They’ll have to climb over a few of the long(er) shots in order to get there, but I still like their chances of making it interesting. If I were a betting man, they’d still be my pick–but I’d keep an eye on the Cubs… just because. You can never trust those pesky Cubs to do what they are supposed to.