You have to forgive me if I am a lot less optimistic about cashing a MLB futures ticket this year versus last September when I was holding tickets on both eventual winners the St Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. It appears I may be giving back some of the 3700 unit profit from the 2013 season but when you refuse to wager on any team at under 5 to 1 odds you don’t have to win every year to make a profit. To bring everyone up to date I am already down 400 units this season having lost my pennant and World Series wagers on the Braves and Brewers. I am still holding a 100 unit ticket on the Tigers at 7 to 1 odds to win the World Series and two 100 unit tickets on the Athletics one at 5 ½ to 1 to win the American League pennant and one at 12 to 1for them to be World Champions. Two months ago I was looking pretty with the A’s sitting atop the AL West with the best record in baseball. I remember feeling pretty smug when I got news of the Angels losing their ace pitcher Garrett Richards in August and even more so when the A’s acquired Red Sox ace John Lester right before the trade deadline. Living less than 20 minutes from Anaheim Stadium made me less than popular at my local gym but little did I know they still had the last laugh. The A’s still own a championship caliber run differential of 1.27 but quite frankly I have found them very hard to watch over the last two months and they have several negatives going into their wild card game against the Royals. The A’s enter the playoffs as the only team with a losing September record and only 1 of the last 12 World Champions have been able to overcome such late season futility. Their regular season losing road record and their .243 (.250 minimum) team batting average also eliminates them on paper as REAL title contenders. The Tigers on the other hand had a winning September (16-10) and are MLB’s best hitting team. Whether their sometimes shaky pitching staff can match up with the Orioles or Angels is definitely a question mark and their closer Joe Nathan is as tough to watch as the Athletics. All in all it doesn’t look good but that’s why they play the games. No matter what though playing the futures is still an overall profitable activity.