Diversified Dodgers MLB Betting Faves to Win NL PennantPosted by: Mike Davis
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the MLB betting favorites to win their 22nd National League pennant and first since 1988, which when they last appeared in and won a World Series. By the way, the fact that the team that wins the World Series considers itself the champion of the world is a subject of mocking and derision by the rest of said world, but the fact remains that the Dodgers’ fandom, as well as their roster, is comprised of a wide variety of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds – many of whom surely enjoy betting on baseball games. As Kevin Baxter writes, The Boys In Blue reflect the Los Angeles melting pot.
Players from eight different countries who speak over six different languages convene in the Dodgers locker room. Manager Dave Roberts alone is a Japanese-African-American. If that wasn’t enough, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is Jewish while general manager Farhan Zaidi is a Muslim. And you thought Felix and Oscar were oddly coupled. It’s, all things considered, a veritable United Nations, except, you know, they actually get, mind you, stuff done. Like setting a new record for most wins in Los Angeles team history with 104.
The Dodgers willingness to take in, as it were, “the wretched refuse of your teeming shore” has paid dividends ever since they broke, as the Brooklyn Dodgers, the baseball color line and signed the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, one Jackie Robinson. You may have heard of him. He would have been an MLB betting fantasy league darling, had such a thing existed at the time. The Dodgers were also the first team to sign Korean and Taiwanese players, and the second to have a Japanese player. “It is very much part of the DNA of this franchise,” Dodger president Stan Kasten said. “It’s always been part of how this franchise operates.”
Even the three Los Angeles-area natives on the Dodgers’ roster see little difference between their locker room and the neighbourhoods they grew up in. “We have guys from all over the world,” infielder Chase Utley, from Pasadena, said. “It makes it fun, it makes it cool in a lot of ways. You get to kind of learn about every culture. See what makes guys tick form different parts of the world. There’s something to be learned.” It’s just like the Major League movies; they had fast-talking Willie Mays Hayes, voodoo-practicing Pedro Cerrano, and hyperactive Japanese outfielder Hiroshi “Kamikaze” Tanaka. And Charlie Sheen too, who may not even be from the planet Earth.
Curiously, though, there is only one black player on the roster, outfielder Curtis Granderson, but even that’s a league-wide issue. The percentage of African Americans on opening day rosters was 7.1% this season. “As a fan you always want to look at something say: ‘This person looks like me. This is the reason I want to cheer for them.’ Or why I want to buy this jersey or why I want to come to this game,” Granderson said. Or, as George Costanza would say, “Look at me! I am man! I am you!” it’s that DNA that Kasten speaks of that has made the Dodgers an MLB betting favorite.