When the baseball ends after the World Series, the next season is called the Hot Stove League. It starts after the World Series and really lasts until Opening Day.
There is no official winner of this league, but there is a place where you can find how the standings turn out…. It used to be that Las Vegas was the only place you could bet, but now with the ‘net, you can find some online sportsbook and bet on MLB, or any other sport, anywhere you want.
In Europe everyone bets and it is all legal. In fact, right now there is a scandal going on in soccer, regarding fixing “friendly” matches. It even includes the team own by Fenway Sports Group called Liverpool.
Here in America nobody talks about betting and baseball. When Eight Men were Out in 1920 (the World Series betting scandal was in 1919 but Judge Landis didn’t kick them out until the next year), that was the end of betting in baseball, at least until Pete Rose came along.
If you go to any site that has future betting you could make a wager on which team will win the 2013 World Series.
The team that won the Hot Stove this year is the Toronto Blue Jays. They started off at 35-1 odds and now stand at 7-1. They went from the 20th best bet to the top pick in Vegas. They added Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes. No other team can top that this time.
The teams that lost the most this Hot Stove season were the Mets and Marlins that both went from 40-1 to 100-1. Other losers were Houston, which was 150-1 in November, and now stands at 200-1. Minnesota went from 66-1 after the World Series to 100-1 today. The Cubs and Rockies both started out at 75-1 and now are looking at 100-1 in 2013.
Even the Yankees saw their odds go the wrong way, as they were first listed at 7-1 and now are at 14-1.
The Red Sox added many new pieces this off-season but not enough for Vegas, as they dropped from 22-1 to 28-1 today.
There still is time to change the odds for one more team, as whichever team signs Kyle Lohse will probably have their odds improved in 2013.
The one team to look out for is the Cleveland Indians. The tribe were listed at 75-1 at the start, but now with Michael Bourn they might have new odds.
If they add Lohse too, they probably will cut their odds from 75 to less than 50 to 1. Anytime a team can add two players in the Hot Stove League, especially in February, and cut their odds, you would have to say they are a Hot Stove winner.
Cleveland is the team making a late charge this off-season, so don’t bet against Tito getting a third ring. If he does, Terry Francona is a sure bet to reach Cooperstown.