Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 8/31/16

Abbreviated edition today, as I've got an early shoot on Wednesday and would rather not be yawning throughout. Tough gettin' old, huh? I'll only be on one baseball game today, but I put in four plays for Thursday on the NFLx Week 4 curtain closer. One of those is here as the daily free play. BRONCOS at CARDINALS Take: BRONCOS +4 Paxton Lynch will be playing the entire game for Denver. While they're not implementing a complex game plan, I don't think there's any question the staff wants the kid to come out of this game feeling good about himself. He might be the backup for now, but the leash for the QB1 in Denver is not a long one, and the Broncos want Lynch to be ready to take over the reigns if necessary. A good game here therefore becomes at least a little meaningful. The Cardinals have not looked good this pre-season, and it really now appears as though Arians is just not caring much about these results and simply wants to keep bodies healthy. I think we saw evidence ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 8/30/16

Don't chisel this in granite, as I've been known to change my mind from time to time. But I think this is likely going to be the schedule for what will be appearing in this space now that the college football season is underway. The tentative weekly schedule should look like this. Monday: Review of the previous week's misleading final scores. I've always found this to be of some value as reality often trumps perception when it comes to scores and how a game was actually unfolding. Tuesday and Wednesday: editorial pieces, whatever happens to be deemed worthwhile to write something about. Thursday: Weekly Wise Guy Report. This will be a rundown of which college teams are drawing sharp money, usually a good tipoff as to games that might have already moved, but also those that are likely to move as game day approaches. Friday: College Football Free Play. I'll be offering up opinions on a daily basis as always, but the Friday free play will always be a game that's on my card. ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 8/29/16

Once again, the Red Sox bullpen was a dumpster fire on Sunday night. If this team misses the playoffs, one needs to look no further than the front office's failure to properly address what has been the most obvious deficiency on this roster. I've been beating the drum for a few weeks now about an in-house move that I honestly believe would go a long way toward at least somewhat eradicating this issue. So I'll do it again today. Michael Kopech is a triple digit throwing starting pitcher for Hi-A Salem. His numbers there are absolutely ridiculous. He is simply wasting innings throwing the baseball past hitters he clearly overmatches. Go check out his game log at milb.com and see for yourself. Kopech would not start for the Red Sox. He's probably not experienced enough to do so, and that's not really the problem area anyway. But with that monster heater and the fact there's no real book on him at this point, Kopech is a great potential fit for short bullpen stints, and I would ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 8/28/16

And that pretty much settles that. Trevor Siemian likely closed the competition for the QB1 role with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos on Saturday evening. It's not like Siemian is ready to be mentioned among the league's elite signal callers, but he done enough to win the job over veteran Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch. The next question is now regarding what happens with Sanchez. My guess is that he'll be let go by the Broncos if they can't swing a deal in which they get perhaps a conditional final round draft pick. That's what they gave up to get Sanchez from the Eagles, and if they could land something similar in return at this point, that would seem to be the move. The fact that Sanchez never left the sidelines in the "dress rehearsal" Week Three NFLx game pretty much says all we probably need to know about his status on the Broncos QB depth chart. That brings me to the Dallas Cowboys. The latest injury to Tony Romo means rookie Dak Prescott is now the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 8/27/16

Short and sweet tonight, as it was a long, but highly enjoyable day and night at the Westgate LV, home of the world famous LV Superbook. This is Supercontest weekend, with a huge football seminar taking place on Friday evening that I was again thrilled to be a part of. The annual golf tournament is this afternoon at the legendary LVCC. Jay Kornegay and his talented staff do a phenomenal job of putting this together each year, and it just keeps growing, as does the contest itself. There's a real possibility there could be close to 2000 entries this season, which would mean a top prize that could actually be seven figures. I'll review the three major contests at some point over the next few days. For those who don't live in Nevada, but want to participate, there are some very reliable and legit proxy services involved. Anyway, more on that later. I eked out a profit on Friday, although the route to a little black ink was more than a little circuitous. The baseball was not ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 8/26/16

Let the debating begin! No, I'm not referring to Clinton/Trump, this is about the proposed new stadium that would serve as the future home for the NFL franchise that would be known as the Las Vegas Raiders. The naysayers are rolling out the expected objections. Let the billionaires build it, why should "we" foot the bill for any dollars at all when "they" will be the beneficiaries? Why can't we put this money toward education, roads, whatever, rather than a stadium that will only be used a handful of times annually? It'll attract the wrong element. The traffic is already bad enough. In other words, the same old hackneyed complaints. Those of us heartily endorsing the project should have no problem overwhelming what are mostly baseless and, in my view, seriously uninformed opinions. First off, the public funding will come from a bump in the hotel room tax that would still leave our rate way below the national average. According to those who appear to have done their homework ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 8/25/16

The lead story at espn.com as I'm writing today's blog centers on daily fantasy sports industry, which has apparently fallen upon some very hard times. This is great reading for anyone who has found the DFS topic to be even remotely interesting, so I've included the links here. http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/17374929/otl-investigates-implosion-daily-fantasy-sports-leaders-draftkings-fanduel http://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/14791813/daily-fantasy-origin-hatred-daily-fantasy-sports My two cents? For what it's worth, I kind of called this. First off, the stance of those running the show that it wasn't gambling was always patently absurd. Obviously, there's skill involved and participants with more talent have a far greater chance of winning on a regular basis. In other words, it's just like many other forms of gambling, including sports betting, poker, blackjack, etc. No one ever suggested DFS was akin to keno. But the assertion it wasn't gambling was, quite ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 8/24/16

I don't think anyone will ever dispute the assessment that I'm a huge baseball fan. I absolutely love the game, always have, always will. I'm the nitwit who stays up till ridiculous hours in March to watch tape delayed exhibition games on MLB Network. I track prospects that are at the lower minor league levels for no particular reason other than curiosity. It's probably borderline obsessive, but it's also quite harmless, so I guess I'm not going to be changing this routine anytime soon. I bring this up because I also root for almost all the players to do well. I want to see each player reach his potential, pretty much regardless of the team that's involved. That's even more the case when it's a player with great entertainment value, and that brings me to Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton. Hamilton made an absolutely astonishing diving catch on Tuesday evening as the Reds got a 3-0 win over Texas. Hamilton covered an extraordinary amount of ground before diving on the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 8/23/16

It appears as though the longstanding feud between former Mets teammates Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry is on once again. The latest volley started when Gooden  was a no-show for a scheduled joint appearance with Strawberry. Evidently piqued by this, Strawberry decided to tell a New York Daily News reporter that Gooden was a "complete junkie-addict" and that he's been trying to talk to him to "get him to go for help, but he won't listen." Gooden responded during an interview on "The Joe Piscopo Show" that while he's admittedly an addict, "that don't mean I'm an active addict." Gooden added that he has never thrown Strawberry "under the bus" and that he now feels he has to "draw the line somewhere and I guess do a better choice of picking friends." I obviously have no knowledge of whether Gooden has relapsed. If I had to make a wager on the "yes" or "no", I'd probably lean to the affirmative. His son issued a statement on Sunday that said his father has been "under ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 8/22/16

No commentary today, just a quick Sunday recap and the Monday free play. Actually, there's not much to recap as far as Sunday was concerned. I got involved with only one game and stated simply, ran into Jhoulys Chacin on the wrong day. The Angels righty had been nothing short of horrendous for a very lengthy period, but he commanded his breaking ball really well against the Yankees and that paved the way to a 2-0 Halos win. So 0-1 for me on Sunday, but I'm still pretty happy with the way the baseball has run lately. The Monday card is very thin and honestly not very appealing from a value standpoint. But I'll go ahead with one play in what certainly has a chance to be the day's most lopsided result. CUBS (Lester)  at  PADRES (Jackson) Take: CUBS -1.5 -125 Generally speaking, laying juice while also trying to beat the runs line with the favorite is not what I'd term a winning strategy. But that doesn't mean there aren't occasions where it's an unacceptable process, and I ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 8/21/16

Wow, what a fight! Conor McGregor found a way to survive in an absolute war with Nate Diaz on Saturday night. McGregor earned a majority decision (48-47 twice, 47-47) in a true thriller that took place here in Las Vegas. I certainly don't claim to be any kind of expert when it comes to MMA. I would fall into the casual fan category, and I don't even attempt to try and handicap these events. But I can guarantee that I'll be hoping for a McGregor-Diaz rubber match, as this fight was simply tremendous to watch. I scored the fight 48-47 McGregor, giving Conor the critical second round thanks to the advantage I thought he maintained for the majority of that frame. I thought the other four rounds were easy to score, so it really did come down to how round two got scored. In this instance, all three ringside judges gave the nod to McGregor and that proved to be vital as Diaz was the better guy in two of the final three segments. These are the type of fights that have put UFC where ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 8/20/16

The Dallas Cowboys enjoyed quite a coming out party in their first exhibition home game on Friday night. Tony Romo and Dak Prescott did pretty much whatever they wanted as the 'Boys romped to a lopsided 41-14 win over a badly overmatched Miami squad. It might not have counted in the standings, but Dallas fans have to be euphoric at what they witnessed. The same cannot possibly said for anyone sporting Dolphins colors. The Dolphins were playing their second straight road game, and they ran headlong into a Cowboys team that appeared to be pretty focused on putting together a good performance. But that doesn't excuse some really poor play by the Dolphins on both sides of the ball. The offense moved the ball well while Ryan Tannehill was under center. Tannehill was betrayed by his receivers, who had five drops, including a couple that cost the team some points. Arian Foster gets a pass as this was was his first live action since getting hurt while still with the Texans, but he ... More