Happy holiday to all, hope everyone has a great time celebrating the 4th!
Regular readers here know I’m very much anti-bunt, for reasons I’ve elaborated on more times than I can count. That doesn’t mean my preferred strategy, which in most cases is to swing away, will always pay off.
The Rockies got the leadoff man on the top of the tenth inning on Friday night in their game with the Diamondbacks. They then bunted and it worked like a charm as Nick Hundley not only moved Wilin Rosario along, he reached first base safely himself.
Okay, two on, none out, Michael McKenry hitting against lefty Andrew Chafin. I’m expecting Walt Weiss to put the bunt sign on, but lo and behold, he lets McKenry swing away. Unfortunately, McKenry hit a line drive that was caught by the shortstop and Rosario got doubled off second base.
The natural reaction by many was to criticize Weiss for not having McKenry bunt. I thought he made the right move. The on deck hitter was Drew Stubbs, who has been an epic disaster all season. Stubbs rarely plays these days, and when he does, it’s usually a strikeout. That’s not an exaggeration. Stubbs has 59 plate appearances this year, and he’s K’d an impossible 33 times. After that, leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon was due, and he has struggled mightily against lefties this season.
So my line of thought was that rather than rely on the apparently shot Stubbs and then having to hope Blackmon delivers with two outs, take the shot with McKenry and see if he can drive in the go ahead run. That’s what Weiss thought as well evidently. The fact it blew up doesn’t change anything. I’m 100% after the play is already done. The idea is to make your decision beforehand and see how it works out.
And that’s the beauty of watching sports and having an opinion. I’ve never had much patience with those who wait till the games are over and then offer their critiques. I’d rather watch with someone who’s going to “manage” the game like I’m doing.
Just one play on Friday and that worked out nicely as the Brewers beat up the Reds. Wish they were all that easy! Anyway, nice start to July and the baseball bottom line is back in the +20’s neighborhood. Still have a ways to go to get back near +30, which was where things were prior to that nasty eight-day slide, but things do appear to back in order, thankfully.
The current package being offered is for one full month of my plays, and that’s all the plays, along with a guaranteed profit of at least ten net units. If you want complete info on how everything works, just shoot an email my way at email@example.com.
Cake with the Brewers as the Friday free play, which also turned out to be my only play. A bit more action on the Saturday slate. Here’s the free play and I’ll take a chance trying to get past a hot team with a hot pitcher.
INDIANS (Anderson) @ PIRATES (Locke)
Take: PIRATES -114 (Don Best consensus line at publication time)
Okay, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way right off the bat. I’m backing Jeff Locke and I’m trying to get the best of rookie Cody Anderson and a surging Indians team.
I can’t really make a compelling case for Locke. There’s just not any way to do so without appearing ridiculous. Locke is at best a six inning keep the team in the game type. At worst, Locke is a blowup who can be forced out of the game far earlier than his teammates would like.
The crux of this play is against Cody Anderson. The rookie has been quite a story since being promoted. Two very strong results, both against the Rays, and Anderson actually was flirting with a no-hitter last time out.
But Anderson has also been getting a wee bit fortunate in his major league infancy. He’s not one who has missed many bats, and right now everything that’s hit is being done so directly at someone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been impressed with the less than spectacular contact being made off his pitches. Nevertheless, a .149 BABIP is a correction waiting to happen.
As for the team elements, Cleveland is on its best roll of the season, but the Pirates have also been playing well of late. The Indians are a little less potent against lefties, so perhaps Locke can have one of his respectable outings tonight. The Pirates are considerably better against righties than southpaws, so that should be a plus for them tonight.
Anderson might well be on one of those rookie rolls that get really hard to explain. But I think he’s stepping up in class tonight at Pittsburgh, and it’s my assessment that the Pirates are a decent option as cheap home chalk tonight.
FanDuel Value Play, Saturday 7/4
I’m pretty sure my entry last night was the single worst I’ve had since I started trying my luck at daily fantasy sports. So no place to go but back up after that disaster. Here’s my choice for today action.
KELLY JOHNSON, OF, $2200
I normally try to avoid the obvious with these plays for several reasons. One is the usual cost to get the big names, they don’t usually come cheap. Another is that if you’re playing in a tournament with lots of entries, there’s a need to play guys that aren’t widely popular choices.
I think this choice will be very popular, as it’s a bargain basement price on a guy with a dynamite history against his opponent. That means Kelly Johnson will definitely NOT be a secret tonight.
But the fact remains Johnson has some big numbers in his dealings with Kevin Correia. The Phillies righty is a pitcher who should be a good go against as far as fantasy is concerned and Johnson is dirt sharp at $2200. Count me in.