On Thursday, Deadspin received a tip that a professional gambler with a sports betting service could win $300,000 on a bet he made in January.
Interested, we inquired and spoke to Daniel Chiang about why he picked the Rays to win the AL pennant, long before the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season.
Chiang spoke to Deadspin before game 5, when the Rays held a 3-1 lead. Chiang was confident in his bet but, in the back of his mind, he knew there was still time for the wheels to come off.
No series lead is safe, as Chiang and every sports bettor knows.
“I would say there’s always a little bit of nerves or a little bit of stress that everything could fall apart,” he said on Thursday.
That was just 48 hours removed from the lifetime it probably seemed to him as he actually watched the wheels come off.
Today, the series is tied 3-3, and heading into a decisive seventh game tonight. We caught up with Chiang again to see much he’s sweating.
“As you can imagine sitting up 3-0 in the series I felt pretty good about [it, but] as the games have ticked by, the nerves have certainly ticked up,” Chiang told Deadspin via email.
Chiang had options to hedge his bet throughout the series, but he’s refused to play it safe. “So far the single most frequent question that I’ve been asked by people is: you surely hedged earlier in the series when the Rays were up 3-0, 3-1 and potentially even 3-2? The quick and direct answer to that question has been a resounding NO.” Chiang has not hedged a single dollar in the series. He still trusts his instincts and analytics from January.
“I always try to have the math, data and analytics guide our decision making to the best of our abilities with the knowledge that ultimately good analytical decisions is the path to long-term success,” he writes. “Hindsight in sports betting is always 20/20 and saying that you had a crystal ball that ‘knew’ the Astros would come back in the fashion they did would be disingenuous.”
For someone who could win (or lose) thousands of dollars tonight, Chiang sounds relatively calm, if not … excited? That’s betting baseball, Suzyn.
Also for the first time ever he’ll be live tweeting his thoughts and his in game thoughts and analysis @linesniperhq.
“Heading in to tonight, I plan to have maintain the same routine as usual, watching the game in solitude,” as if that will help the Rays. “Fingers crossed for tonight and hopefully those Tampa Bay Rays bats heat up.”