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Lord, I Was Born A Gamblin' Man

Let's set some Over/Unders for minor leaguers for 2013

Jonathan Ferrey

I think I’m going to start gambling. Yeah. Gambling. I’ve never really been into to it, but now that life is beginning to stabilize and there are bills to pay and responsibilities to adhere to, I figure what better time than now to roll the dice with what little disposable income I have. I mean, I really don’t want to turn out like that father/preacher guy (played exquisitely FYI, by John Lithgow) in Footloose do I? Nope I’d rather be Wren, or Ren, or Renn, or whatever. He was good at gymnastics, and I betcha he fixed that bug up himself. Yeah, I’m going to gamble. Plus, it’s like Super Bowl week and stuff. There’s all kinds of wild & crazy bets going off in Vegas this weekend. Bet on who wins the coin toss, bet on the number of the first guy who scores to be odd or even, bet on which dumb dumb at the party you’re at makes the first “Beyonce is lip-syncing” joke. Whatever. It’s time to gamble. I’ve discovered that I enjoy the over/under part of sports gambling, primarily because the other aspects seem to involve math and negative integers. I’m going to set this up by telling you, this piece has perhaps less scout-y-ish information than any you're likely to read all offseason. I’ve watched an obscene amount of Dominican and Venezuelan television commercials over the last several months, so I’m a bit punch drunk. This piece is lighter than a toddler on a tempurpedic, so if you’re desperate for deep, sabr-related convos, you’ll have to wait, at least ‘til pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. (*UPDATE* SINCE I WROTE THIS PIECE, THERE’S BEEN A STORY BREAKING ABOUT SOME GUYS TAKING MEDICINE THEY MAYBE SHOULDN’T HAVE. ALL THE MORE REASON FOR US TO FOCUS ON MY NEW PASSION FOR GAMBLING) Until then, LET’S ROLL SOME BONES!!!

1. Here’s a fun one: How many homers will Joey Gallo hit? He hit 22 in 59 games last season and if he’s healthy, he could play like 120 games or so this season. But it’s a different level, and I think he’ll be working on different stuff throughout the season. Zach Cone led Hickory with 17 in 2012. Nonetheless, opposing pitchers will leave some pitches over the plate and I think Gobbles is going to absolutely crush them deep into the piney woods…24 times. O/U: 24 HR

2. How many strikeouts will Cody Buckel have? 159K in 144.2ip in 2012. Led the entire system in Ks. Played half the year in the pitcher friendly Carolina League. I’m putting the number for 2013 at 141 ‘cause a.) Cody’s gonna be pushed and he’ll pitch in AA, maybe AAA this season, b.) setting the number lower than his 2012 total will probably really piss the hyper-competitive little wolverine off, and c.) maybe that’s all part of my master plan. O/U: 141K

3. Let’s make one for Engel Beltre. This could go a million directions, most of them…pretty funny. But despite the fact that (along with Earl Sweatshirt-errr Roogie Odor) Engel Beltre is one of the only Texas prospects likely to become a member of Odd Future, we’ll keep this gamble on the up-and-up. Engel hit 17 triples last year. That’s righteous. And I’m saying it’s damn near impossible to repeat. O/U: 11 triples.

4. How many games in a row will Hanser Alberto have at least one hit? Doesn’t strike out, doesn’t walk. Makes contact with enough power to hit some gaps or drive the ball on the ground between the infielders. Normally I’m not one to send people I actually like to Arkansas (no offense folks! Love Ya!), but that’s where Frisco will play on opening night and I’d like to see him there, manning SS or 3B. I won’t see him in person that night, of course, because that would mean I’d also be in Arkansas. Sheesh. Anyway, I think Hanser gets in a groove sometime in 2013 and hits in 11 games in a row. That’s a lot, but Profar hit in 29 consecutive games, so there. O/U: 11 games

5. Like I said, these are all in fun, but I hope my new found addiction will provide near endless chatter to guide you through at least a few more of the numbing number of minutes left until baseball begins again. So, howsabout a big league based over/under? Alrighty, Elvis Andrus=Home Runs. Over the fence. The kind that result in a leisurely jog around the bases and home pyrotechnics. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been tweeting video clips of Elvis’ recent power surge, 2 homeruns in 1 week, and I’m ready to drink the kool-aid. Why not. He is strong enough to do it, he pulled one the other day in the top of the 9th with a swing clearly designed to put a charge into the ball, and he’s got a new hitting coach---so here we go. Elvis Andrus will hit 6 homeruns in 2013. He hit 15 in 4 MiLB seasons and he’s hit 14 in 4 MLB seasons. This year, he muscles up. O/U: 6HR

There you have it. My new habit is gambling on baseball events in which I have absolutely no way to exert any type of pressure for a desired outcome. I’m liking the new me. This is dangerous. This is filthy. Maybe I should join Odd Future. Maybe I should drive a rebuilt yellow slugbug. Or maybe I should just get my stopwatch and my notepad and go sit outside the gates in Surprise. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do, that’s more me.

As always, Enjoy Baseball! Love Ya! (sorry Arkansas)