Internet bookmaker lines almost always favor the Chicago Cubs when Carlos Zambrano is on the mound.
The Cubs are a team that many people like to take in offshore betting and that happens even more when Zambrano is pitching.
Internet bookmaker numbers list the Cubs at 16-1 to win the World Series. If the Cubs are to win this season they will need a lot more out of Zambrano than they got last year. Zambrano was just 9-7 last year with an ERA of almost four. He was on the disabled list twice and was also suspended once for an altercation with an umpire. The Cubs are paying him a lot of money so they need to get some production. Zambrano is in the midst of a five-year contract worth over $91 million dollars. Another issue for Zambrano is that he has worried too much about his hitting and not enough about his pitching. "People think I worry too much about my hitting," Zambrano said. "This year, I want to concentrate more on my pitching and that’s the main thing for me. They pay me to pitch and not to hit."
Zambrano pitched well in his last Spring Training outing as he went five innings without allowing a run against Kansas City. He will need to do more than just face a poor Kansas City lineup though. He is trying to get ready for Opening Day. He will be facing the Atlanta Braves in the Cubs season opener on April 5th and the Internet bookmaker might favor the Cubs in that game.
Zambrano is in better shape than he was a year ago but that may not be saying much considering how out of shape he was a year ago. "I’m taking care of my business and my body, and that’s the way you’re supposed to be," he said.
Zambrano believes new players like Marlon Byrd and Xavier Nady can help him and the team. “I like Marlon Byrd a lot and the way he goes about his business," Zambrano said. "He just cares about playing baseball. He came here on a mission.”
Last season in offshore betting was disappointing for Zambrano and the Cubs. "We don’t care about last year," Zambrano said. "That’s in the past. We’re focused on this team and we’re just focused on this year and what we have to do and the people who are here. We’re getting ready for 2010, not 2009."
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