Get rich quick! A guide to betting on baseball

USA TODAY Sports

How to become financially independent without even trying. (Warning: may cause bankruptcy!)

Entrepreneurialism is a foundational component of the American Spirit. It is also a word that is notoriously hard to spell, and requires at least three spell-checker tools to get it right. The basic goal of entrepreneurialism is to do a little bit of work up front, and then sit back and watch the money roll in while others run with your entrepreneurial idea and pay you for the privilege.

In some ways, betting on baseball is very much in line with this concept. You do a little bit of work up front, in terms of raising some capital, analyzing some stats, crunching some numbers, and consulting a few psychic hot-lines, then you put money on the virtual table and wait for a bunch of professional athletes to do the rest of your work for you while you rake in the profits.

In order to succeed at betting on baseball, one has to be prepared to deal with some risk. But as all of the greatest motivational speakers agree, "Brie cheese tastes like a three-year-old sock." They also agree that, "One has to be prepared to deal with some risk." You have to be able to withstand the "swings" involved in betting, a very technical betting term that is defined by the sentiment, "How is it even possible that the Astros have won three games this week, especially considering they were playing against The Justice League?"

I, personally, have never been afraid of risk. For example, when I was recently contacted by the Governing Board of World Bank in Switzerland to let me know that I had been named "most excellent beneficiary," and would soon be receiving a sum of "forty jillion-trillion francs" as soon as I sent them a $3,000 check and all of my banking information, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

Now, if you are a particularly smart and alert reader, you realize at once what the risk was: how much is forty jillion-trillion dollars really worth once it is converted from francs into U.S. dollars? Is it enough to make up for the $3,000 investment required?

I ran some numbers, and soon discovered that the potential return was worth the investment risk, so I happily sent them my check along with all of my banking account information. Several weeks later, I had forty jillion-trillion francs (approximately six trillion dollars) in my bank account, and so I was able to begin my lucrative baseball betting career.

Betting on baseball is really just an exercise in mathematics. You look at a team's win percentage, multiply that number against the number of remaining games in a season, determine if your expected return is higher than your expected investment, then get double-vision drunk and put all of your money on the pass line at the craps table before blacking out and falling face-first into a tray of artisanal cheese. With any luck, people will feel sorry for you as they walk by, and will stuff your pockets with coins and dollar bills out of pity, and you will walk away a winner.

But if you truly want to make some serious money on baseball, you need to look at a rather large matrix of statistics. What are the ERAs, FIPs, WHIPs, and DVDs of the probable pitchers? What is the home team's record in their own park? What is the win-loss record of these two particular teams when facing each other this season, and does that impact the home field advantage? Are there any key players on the disabled list for this game? Most importantly, do you intend to watch each of these games play out, and if so, how many cartons of Alka-Seltzer do you have on hand?

Once these numbers and probabilities have been thoroughly analyzed, it's time to lay down some money on your top picks. The problem here, of course, is twofold: 1) Vegas has also analyzed these numbers, and they're not about to give you good payouts on obvious favorites, and 2) baseball is a completely and utterly unpredictable game, and tonight might be the night that Chris Davis forgets which end of the bat is the "grabby end," while Justin Verlander can't decide whether he'd rather focus on the strike zone or the fact that he won't be seeing Kate Upton's large, beautiful, incredibly well-rounded CD collection again.

In other words, you can put money on Boston with Roger Clemens on the mound, with every single odd in your favor, and the gawd-awful "New Yawk Mets" might just come back to win it in the 10th inning anyway. This is why the smartest gamblers eventually just go ahead and write books once they win a few bucks, go on the speaker's circuit, and end up working as bookmakers in Vegas.

So, in summary: to get rich quick and win at the baseball betting game, calculate the odds, weigh the risks, determine your chances, and unless your name is Pete Rose, forget about betting on baseball and just send your money directly to the Governing Board of World Bank in Switzerland. Tell them "most excellent beneficiary" sent you.

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