I recently wrote a piece about the art of emotional hedging and its application to Kid Rock’s potential to win the 2020 presidential election. The emotional hedge has four steps.
- Identify something you don’t want to happen.
- Determine how much money you would be willing to pay for it not to occur.
- Force yourself to decide how much money you’d accept for the undesired event to take place.
- Search the marketplace for odds that accommodate both of your monetary thresholds.
Everyone has a price for everything. Find your price, and then find someone to take your action.
Emotional hedging isn’t a sophisticated mode of betting, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s basically insurance.
MLB Spring Training: The Astros Return
I’m writing this on the evening of Sunday, Feb. 18, as the Teams LeBron and Stephen make a mockery of anyone unfortunate enough — myself included — to bet a bevy of overs for the NBA All-Star Game.
Tomorrow (Feb. 19) is the first full-squad spring training workout for 26 of the 30 MLB franchises, including the World Series Champion Houston Astros, who open the season with a four-game series in Arlington against the divisional rival Texas Rangers.
I’m a Rangers fan. I’m definitely not an Astros fan.
I hate that Nolan Ryan pitched for the Astros from 1980 to 1988. I hate that the Astros moved to the American League in 2013. I hate that Ryan is back with the Astros as an advisor to owner Jim Crane — and I hate that the Rangers forced Ryan out in 2013. I hate that the Astros play in a stadium that up until 2016 had a hill and flagpole within the fair territory of deep center field. I hate that last year the Rangers traded away ace pitcher Yu Darvish while the Astros added the studly Justin Verlander (pictured) to their already stacked starting rotation. I hate that the Astros won the World Series in 2017 — and I hate that they won a Series before the Rangers, who blew two chances at a championship in 2010 and 2011.
I’m a nice guy — but when it comes to the Rangers and Astros, I got a lot of rage. To some people, spring training means that the thrill of the regular season is just six weeks away. For me, spring training means it’s almost time for the Astros to show how bad the Rangers are in comparison.
Astros +550 to Win the 2018 World Series
It wouldn’t be the worst event in history, but the thought of the Astros winning back-to-back World Series makes my stomach hurt. I definitely don’t want to see that happen.
How much would I pay for the Astros not to win a second championship in 2018? Probably $20. Maybe more. I know that’s not a lot, but in the big picture I like money more than I dislike the Astros. At the right restaurant $20 can get you some good fajitas and a couple of Texan-brewed beverages. I like food, and I know myself: I’m probably not willing to sacrifice anything more than a decent-yet-cheap-ish dinner to ensure that the Astros won’t win the World Series. I’m not a total hate-filled degenerate.
How much money would I need to be paid to be OK with the Astros winning the World Series? I mean . . . it’s already happened once. My soul can’t be horcruxed any further by a second murder, right? I think $100 would probably be enough.
At a number of sportsbooks the Astros are currently +550 to win the 2018 World Series. If I put $20 down now, by the end of the year either I’ll be $110 richer or a team other than the Astros will be world champs. I can live with either outcome.
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports