Does baseball betting need saving?

Chad Millman of ESPN The Magazine certainly thinks so, which is why he came up with this idea:

I hereby propose bookmakers adopt what I call the RHiD line, pronounced rid, which considers runs, hits and defense to create a point spread.

First, we need a new system to create power ratings for each team. In football the difference between two teams’ power ratings is the baseline for creating a point spread. I’m suggesting bookmakers build an MLB version based on this formula: Per-game average of a team’s runs and hits minus the hits and runs it allows. The number created is now big enough to build a spread.

As in football, though, that would be just a starting point for bookmakers. This is where their handicapping comes into play, as they adjust the spread for factors such as starting pitcher, location, injuries, slumps, bullpen strength, etc.

And how do you bet on it? Well, you’re looking at the difference in the total number of runs and hits accrued in the game.

His argument is that the +240 and the -285 that we see next to MLB team names is too confusing for squares, so adopting some sort of a point spread like football would increase interest. (Instead of seeing Yankees -275, we might see Yankees -8.5.) He also believes that awarding points for hits would keep bettors interested into the later innings. The game might be lost, but that doesn’t mean that the trailing team can’t rally to cover the spread.

What do you think?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Delaware wants to legalize single-game betting…

…and, of course, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and NCAA are fighting it.

Delaware politicians are ready to battle their new multi-headed opponent on the issue of legalized sports gambling, but it appears a compromise could be made with the sports leagues if the state promises to stick with a parlay betting system.

The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA filed a joint lawsuit last week in an attempt to prevent Delaware’s motion to legally open sports betting within the state.

Delaware is one of four states that are exempt from aspects of this law. The state’s previous foray into sports betting was a disaster in the 1970s because of poor line setting.

The leagues argue that when wagering is allowed, every blown call, missed shot, etc. is seen as something more nefarious. The problem with this argument is that single-game wagering is already legal in Nevada (and happens illegally all over the country and online), so keeping Delaware from allowing this kind of wagering isn’t going to do much to help the perception that the games could be fixed.

Besides, doesn’t NBA commissioner David Stern remember Tim Donaghy? He can’t even keep his officials from gambling, yet he wants to police the entire country.

Like alcohol or smoking, wagering on games is a vice. Some people have it under control and see it purely as entertainment, while others have a problem. Whether or not Delaware makes it legal will have very little bearing; people are already wagering on games, they’re just doing it illegally.

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