Last Night's Winner: Officially Sanctioned Baseball Betting

In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like Major League Baseball, which introduced a devious new scheme to rob optimistic fans. And, damn it, it's just so brilliant, you'll probably give them your cash too.

Announced on the eve of LeBronukah, which may not be coincidental because they really should be catching more shit for this than they are, MLB is giving fans the opportunity to reserve postseason tickets RIGHT NOW. For a fee, of course.

Two examples to show how this is not a good thing:

Imagine you're a Rangers fan. Your team has the largest divisional lead in baseball. Just fill out a form, and send them ten bucks (plus $1 processing), and you'll be guaranteed the chance to buy ALDS tickets at the face value when they go on sale. Sounds awesome, right? We'll come back to this one.

Now, imagine you're a Reds fan. You're feeling good about your team, even though every metric says the Reds are overachieving. So you reserve your NLDS seats. Then the Reds predictably crash and burn, and finish 10 games out of first. They will, and you're out of luck. That $10 that you and all the other Reds fans, and fans of the 22 teams that don't play on through October, that $10 is gone. Poof.

Now, back to our Rangers fan. Not only did you buy ALDS tickets, but you reserved ALCS tickets (for $15) and World Series tickets (for $20). When your team is inevitably ousted in the first round (it's what Texas does), that's $35 you just donated to MLB.

Oh, and reserving seats doesn't necessarily mean you'll get ones you can afford. What if, when you finally get through Ticketmaster's system, the only seats left are in a box, for the playoff-inflated price of $350 apiece. Well, too bad. Either buy them, or forfeit your reservation fee.

This one will probably sell like gangbusters (as I look now, there are Pirates fans who have wagered that their team will make the playoffs.) When it comes down to it, $10 isn't a lot for the chance to go to a playoff game. But in the end, most people will be getting screwed. Right now, no division leader is up by more than 3½ games. It's the perfect season for MLB to introduce this, and rest assured they wouldn't be doing it if they weren't sure they were going to make money.

Oh, and fans of the Yankees, who everyone's picking to make the playoffs in some form? You're shit out of luck. The postseason ticket reservation option only exists for 29 teams; not the Yankees.