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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: MLB and MGM form gambling partnership

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T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With sports gambling now legal, MLB has struck a better deal with MGM Resorts than the NBA by offering Statcast data, which will surely drive betting lines:

Official comments from Rob Manfred, via ESPN:

“We are pleased to partner with MGM Resorts International, a clear industry leader in the sports gaming area, to work together on bringing innovative experiences to baseball fans and MGM customers,” Manfred said in a release announcing the deal. “Our partnership with MGM will help us navigate this evolving space responsibly, and we look forward to the fan engagement opportunities ahead.”

MLB is the third major U.S. professional sports league to partner with MGM, following the NBA in June and NHL in October, and continuing the shift in the American sports landscape.

That article also offers a “why” for the partnering:

“Agreements between sports leagues and the gaming industry enable all sports stakeholders to work together to eliminate the illegal sports betting market,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “With MLB’s announcement today, three major sports leagues now have official sports betting partners -- evidence of our continued commitment to protecting the integrity of both consumers and sporting competitions and that contracts remain preferential to statutes in all sports betting deals.”

MGM seems to have a lock on legal sports betting, so this move was probably inevitable, but it’s nice to see MLB getting a higher payout in these negotiations (although MLB will also have a higher volume of betting opportunities too).

More analysis to come on all things sports betting, I’m sure.

Rays News

  • John Romano writes for the Tampa Bay Times about the looming Dec. 31 deadline for the Rays stadium decision and the unique perspective of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman
  • The Rays are not expected to release any more players from the 40-man roster ahead of the upcoming contract deadline
  • Neil Solondz weighs in on the Rays pitching staff:
  • Scheduling conflicts will postpone the annual Ted Williams Museum dinner until 2020
  • Another former Ray gets a coaching job:
  • Blake Snell’s Top 5 sneakers!
  • Marc Topkin dunked on former MLB executive Tony Blengino for a write up in Forbes disparaging Blake Snell’s Cy Young win

Other News

To some executives, the fact the Rays designated Cron for assignment, then lost him on waivers to the Twins when they could not trade him, bodes ominously for Cruz in free agency.