MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds

Over the past several years as sports betting has grown from being seen as seedy and illicit to a thriving multi-billion dollar industry with the backing of the country's biggest sports leagues, Major League Baseball has had to reconcile its gambling past with a new avenue of great revenue. That's complicated the dynamic of baseball's relationship with Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose, who continues to double down on the circumstances that have marred his legacy.

Beginning this Thursday, Rose will serve as the host of Pete Rose's Daily Picks, a new sports betting podcast that will talk about gambling and offer tips for sports bettors. In an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Rose defended his involvement in the podcast despite its optics, claiming that his role is as a handicapper for games instead of as a gambler.

"I know how it looks, and people will criticize,'' Rose told USA Today, "but it's not gambling. It's handicapping. I'm a handicapper. ... That goes on everywhere. All I'm doing is lending my expertise to people who want to bet."

Rose has existed largely in the fringes of MLB since being banned for life from baseball in 1989 after he was accused of gambling on games both as a player for the Reds and as the team's manager. Rose admitted to betting on games in 2004, and his ban from the MLB has stood despite his induction into the Reds' Hall of Fame in 2016.

The rise of the sports betting industry has been a curious one as it relates to baseball: While the league has sponsorship deals with companies such as FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings, the game had long sought to escape a sordid history of gambling and game-fixing that plagued it in the early 20th century -- A trend encapsulated by the infamous Black Sox scandal, where eight players on the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate led by mobster Arnold Rothstein.

Although Rose has applied for reinstatement into the MLB multiple times, he has continually been denied and remained on the permanently ineligible list. While Rose remains the MLB's all-time leader in hits, he has never appeared on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame.