The World Series begins tomorrow night in Houston between the Astros and the Phillies. Each team averages 4.6 runs per game over the course of the regular season; the biggest statistical difference is this one:
- Runs Allowed (Astros) = 518 Run Differential = 219
- Runs Allowed (Phillies) = 685 Run Differential = 62
Not surprisingly, the Astros are the betting favorite to win the World Series. The betting line for the Astros as of this morning ranges from minus-185 to minus-190 while odds on the Phillies range from +170 to +175. However, the oddsmakers do have a somewhat surprising line on the Total Runs Scored in Game 1. As noted above, these teams combined to average 9.2 runs per game in the regular season. The Total Run Line for Game 1 is 6.5 runs.
Yes, both teams are starting quality pitchers in Game 1 but that is a pretty sharp drop in the expected number of runs to be scored in that game.
Around this time every year, I suggest here that MLB ought to play a Saturday World Series game in the daytime. For some folks, that would be a nostalgic moment; it used to be that the World Series played ONLY day games. My suggestion has nothing to do with nostalgia; it has to do with growing baseball. Let me explain:
- The 7 games this year are all scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM ET. Most – if not all – will end between 11:30 and midnight ET.
- Games 3, 4 and 5 will happen on school nights. Kids in school are not likely to be around to see the ends of those games.
- Adding kids to the MLB fanbase makes a lot of sense for the folks who run MLB. So, why not play Game 2 on Saturday afternoon instead of at night?
I have been asking that question for about 20 years now …
The next thing to consider this morning is the recent rash in “field storming” by college football fans this year. When LSU beat Ole Miss, the fans stormed the field; since when did a win over Ole Miss deserve that sort of exuberance? Last year, fans at UMass stormed the field after UMass beat – – hold your breath here – – UConn. In that Titanic struggle:
- UMass was 0-5 and had lost 16 games in a row.
- UConn was 0-6.
And somehow that victory in that meaningless game merited a field storming…??? [Aside: Once college basketball season starts, substitute “court storming” for “field storming” here.]
The SEC fined LSU $250K for the incident after the Ole Miss game as if it were the school that somehow egged on the goofs who felt compelled to come out of the stands. The problem here is that far too much attention is paid to these events and having others pay attention to you is the motivation that drives things like TikTok and Instagram and other social media things. Coverage by media outlets tends to focus in the size of the crowd on the field and the excitement of the fans along with some clucking about dangerousness of the field storming itself. That is nonsensical; college kids do lots of things that are far more dangerous than running onto a football field after a game and jumping up and down like a goof.
What might make more sense is for media outlets to ignore the field storming part of the sporting event and focus on the game and not the goofs. If there has to be a discussion of the event(s) at all, focus on how the currency has been cheapened by so many field stormings that follow games that are simply not that big a deal. Field storming can be justified if it happens:
- When an unranked team beats the #1 or #2 team in the country – – OR – –
- When a team beats a division rival it has not beaten in the last decade or more.
Other than that, pay no attention to the attention-whores storming the field…
One more thing today … I noted above that college basketball season is about to begin and that reminds me that there is a local story here in the DC area that will likely get national attention if things go awry. Patrick Ewing has been the head basketball coach at Georgetown for five years. Ewing helped put Georgetown on the college basketball map back in the 1980s and he brought years of experience as an NBA assistant coach to the job at Georgetown when he replaced John Thompson III. The thinking then was that Ewing would be a top-shelf recruiter and developer of talent and Georgetown would return to its “glory days”.
Well, that simply has not happened. Ewing’s record at Georgetown is a less-than-laudatory 68-84. But it gets worse because if you look only at Big East conference games, Georgetown is only 26-63 against conference opponents. Last year, Georgetown was 0-19 against other Big East teams.
Patrick Ewing has a pedigree and his ties to Georgetown and to Georgetown basketball are solid. But I doubt that he can survive another season that even resembles last year’s debacle. And that will become a national story if it happens.
Finally, let me close with this observation by musician/comedian Oscar Levant:
“I envy people who drink – at least they know what to blame everything on.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………
4 thoughts on “The World Series Begins Tomorrow”
And, Deion Sanders is being considered for head coaching jobs for same reason Ewing was hired at Georgetown.
Ewing had a lot more time as an assistant coach than Sanders ever had…
why fine us (LSU) $250K when we left the goalposts intact… but Tennessee only got hit with $100K when they stormed the field, ripped the goalposts from the ground, paraded them through downtown, and then threw them into the river?🤷♂️ (Which by the way I thought was a completely cool move to do ) Is it because the SEC ivory tower inhabitants think LSU is a richer College & that Tennessee maybe would have to sell a little more moonshine to get to the $100K?😉
The SEC mavens probably realized that a $100K fine was not enough to convince other schools to beef up security a bit so maybe a $25K fine would get more attention???
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