Exhibition baseball may be meaningless, but you can bet on it


Nothing about Gerrit Cole will come cheap, beginning with the $324-million contract the right-hander commanded to be the Yankees ace.

Cole is expected to make his first regular-season start for the Yankees, who could be the highest-priced opening-ay favorites in baseball history, next month in Baltimore. Even when Cole makes a start in spring training, the price is high.

And, yes, betting lines are attached to spring training games and the sportsbooks see business on a daily basis, whether MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred likes it or not. A year ago, Manfred objected to it and lost the argument.

“The action is relatively minor,” said Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sportsbook director. “It’s small, but it’s better than nothing. On a Monday morning when there’s nothing going on, it’s good. On Saturday, when there’s college basketball, you don’t even know baseball is there.”

Cole will be one of the primary curiosities of the spring as he leads the rotation for the World Series favorites. The Houston Astros, Cole’s former team, have become public enemy No. 1 after a sign-stealing scandal that rocked the sport and rattled the commissioner.

“I pretty much follow…

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