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Bookies Err; Bet on Hose

By John G. Short

If you're betting with Las Vegas on the American League pennant race, put your money on the Red Sox (with some more on the Twins). A little eleventh grade math has shown that the bookies underestimated both.

It is assumed that either team on the field has an equal chance to win. This assumption is backed up by the same late-season chaos that lost Boston its last two with Cleveland. The Sox had beaten the Indians in 13 of their first 16.

Given this, raw probability considering all possibilities predicts the following chances to win or tie:   the bookmakers  probability Minn  1 in 2  3 in 4 Det  1 in 4  1 in 4 Bos  1 in 6  less than in 4 Chic  1 in 6  1 in 11

There's little better than 1 in 4 chance that there will be any kind of tie. (There's only 1 chance in 43 for a three-way tie.) But the Twins are exactly 50-50 to win the pennant alone on Sunday.

Detroit was rained out last night, and has four games, all at home, with a really tough California. Chicago has three with Washington. And there can be no joy in Boston unless the Sox beat he Twins twice at Fenway.

There's little better than 1 in 4 chance that there will be any kind of tie. (There's only 1 chance in 43 for a three-way tie.) But the Twins are exactly 50-50 to win the pennant alone on Sunday.

Detroit was rained out last night, and has four games, all at home, with a really tough California. Chicago has three with Washington. And there can be no joy in Boston unless the Sox beat he Twins twice at Fenway.

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