Dark till late Friday evening for the break. Enjoy the time off if you've got it!
Happy All-Star break to all! I'll be returning late Friday night with the daily free play for next Saturday. Action resumes on Friday, but that will be a travel day for me, so I won't have any plays.
Meanwhile, here's one more comp for Sunday's action.
RAYS (Stanek) at TWINS (Romero)
No early line for this game. But i like the idea of backing Fernando Romero, who is back with the big club following a few really outstanding AAA starts. The Rays will open with Stanek and he's been very good in this role. But I think the Rays are going to be shorthanded for this game. Wilson Ramos got hurt on Saturday and he's now unlikely for the All-Star game, so its a safe bet he's not playing here. I would not be surprised to see a couple other Rays get the day off as well. Matt Duffy stayed in the game after rolling his ankle on a swing. But I suspect he could sit here. Bottom line is I'll check the lineups and the price before getting involved, but Romero and the Twins look ...
Two days of baseball remain before the All-Star break. Thus it's time for my mid-season vacation. I'll post the daily free plays for today and tomorrow, and will return on Saturday, July 21. Note the baseball resumes on the 20th, but I'll be in transit that day and won't be blogging, betting or anything else.
Saturday's free play is not lined at the present time, but I'll be looking to play the Rockies at home with Jon Gray to get the best of the Mariners and Wade LeBlanc. Back Sunday with one more comp before going dark for a handful of days.
This year's edition of Home Run Derby will take place on Monday at Nationals Park. Bryce Harper, in spite of having a rough season at the plate, is still hitting his share of long balls. He's the big name in this contest, he's got the home field edge and I can't therefore disagree with Bryce being installed as the favorite.
But I'm going to go in another direction for my pick in the 2018 Home Run Derby. Note this won't be a standard wager for me as it's really little more than a guess. But since I am going to toss something on the event, I'll share it here and will also make it the daily free play, even though it doesn't take place till Monday.
2018 HOME RUN DERBY
TAKE: MAX MUNCY, DODGERS
Max Muncy is having one the more unlikely breakout seasons you'll ever see. Suggesting he's come from nowhere to have what is becoming a remarkable season would be a massive understatement.
Here's the thing on Muncy. If you look at his Statcast profile, he's legitimately killing the ...
The All-Star break is nearly here with just four more days of baseball until what is a welcome respite for many everyday handicappers. I definitely qualify on that count. As much as I love the game, it's a long grind and I'll freely admit I cannot wait for the break.
With that in mind, a few notes. There will be no radio shows next week. The Las Vegas Sportsline (weekdays 2-3 PDT, ESPN Las Vegas and online lvsportsnetwork.com) will be dark all of next week. The games resume on Friday but we're off the entire week.
The blogging will also be on hold for the week. I'll post through Sunday of this week, and then will be blank until late Friday, July 20.
From a service standpoint, I'm not putting the early football package on the Cokin's Picks menu to the right of the page until I get back into action on Saturday, July 21. The reason is that I'd rather not have someone purchase something and then wonder why I haven't acknowledged. But if you're interested in signing up, there are ...
Absolute craziness on the MLB diamonds on Tuesday night. The finish of the wild game between the Athletics and Astros was truly unique. But the weirdest event of the evening took place at Cleveland. The Indians gave up seven runs with two outs in the ninth inning and what appeared to be another dominating win for Trevor Bauer turned into a miracle comeback by the Reds.
But it was the aftermath of that Reds-Indians game that provided the evening's absolute shocker. Cleveland manager Terry Francona admitted there was a huge communications screwup between himself and his pitching coach. As a result, Dan Otero got warm and came into the game instead of Oliver Perez. Otero ended up working for the fourth time in five games and the foulup proved to be a train wreck for the Indians.
The good news for the Tribe is one loss won't make much of a difference in the AL Central, which is a complete Cleveland runaway. But you can be sure that mistake won't get made again!
I played only ...
Rather than concoct some feeble excuse for not providing any commentary in this edition, I'll just call it straight. I don't feel like writing anything tonight. So I won't. Just a quick recap of Monday and the Tuesday free play.
I got the Giants home in extras against the Cubs and also got paid on a last minute parlay add on the Yankees and Phillies in Game Two of each team's doubleheader. That angle of backing the Game One loser in doubleheader nightcaps continues to win at a ridiculous rate. The fact that this time it meant backing the two clearly superior teams was, for all intents and purposes, an auto-play.
The Monday free play on the Marlins also won. Alas, that one never made my card as the price dropped in the morning and I don't like getting the worst of it from an odds perspective. Nevertheless, I'm glad it won. Here's one for Tuesday and this again will be a wait and see game for me, so for now it's just a lean.
TIGERS (Boyd) at RAYS (Stanek)
I don't really follow MLB All-Star selections to much of an extent. Generally, my only interest is finding guys who might feel as though they got snubbed. If they're pitchers, there's certainly a consideration to backing them at the betting window in the next start following the snub. Either way, no big deal.
But this year there;s an exception. Again, I don't keep track of these to any extent from one year to the next. Nevertheless, it will take some major convincing to alter my opinion that the absence of Blake Snell isn't one of the all-time snubs.
Snell is having a phenomenal season for the Tampa Bay Rays. Not only is he clearly an All-Star, he's going to get some Cy Young consideration if he maintains his pace. I'm not saying he rates the top spot on the ballot. But top five votes for Snell should be ample.
I understand Snell got boxed out by the rules, which mandate one player minimum for every team on the roster. But this guy is an All-Star. The only hope at this point ...
The usual brief weekend blog. My Saturday was a massively frustrating split. I lost a bad come from way ahead result with the Reds. Got out even thanks to the CFL Argonauts, but this sapid have been a 2-0 day. On to Sunday. I'm not playing anything early, as I prefer waiting on the lineups for these Sunday getaway day games. Here's one I'm certainly going to consider in the morning.
RAYS at METS (Eovaldi-Flexen)
Take: RAYS -135
Short and sweet. Chris Flexen has not shown the ability to get big league hitters out in the 50 or so innings he's worked at the Major League level. Bad pitcher on a bad team is potentially fadeworthy material.
As for the Rays, they will send out the very average Nathan Eovaldi. But average beats mediocre and the Rays are the team that shows up with enthusiasm on a virtually everyday basis. I think it's safe to say thats a trait the Mets are lacking.
Just a lean at this point, but the Rays are the team that has my attention in this series ...
Weekend blog mode. That means no lengthy writeup on the incredible finish that took place in the Freeway Series opener between the Dodgers and Angels. i had no stake in the game so it didn't impact me, but that was an absolutely amazing steal of a win by the Halos.
As for my Friday, it went very well. I split four leans for a negligible profit. But the two main plays both got there as the Tigers and Rockies emerged with victories, so I was able to procure a nice profit for the day. One play so far for Saturday, and will look for some value adds in the morning.
The Friday free play was a bummer as the Orioles were easy defeated by the Twins. That might well be the last time you'll see the Orioles published as a play on in this blog. They are just absolutely horrible and they figure to get worse once Manny Machado gets dealt. Here's the Saturday comp.
CARDINALS (Martinez) at GIANTS (Samardzija)
Take: CARDINALS -110
Carlos Martinez seems to finally be healthy both physic...
For at least one night in what has been a truly horrible stretch of baseball, the Washington Nationals can do a little celebrating. The reeling Nats appeared on their way to yet another really terrible loss. An under the weather Jeremy Hellickson got absolutely torched early and the Miami Marlins found themselves en route to an easy win with a 9-0 lead.
The rest is history as the Nats bats went nuts and put up 14 consecutive runs before the Marlins made things interesting near the finish line. Final score, Nats 14, Marlins 12 in one of the craziest games you'll see this or any season.
The fact this was the first game for Washington following a rather well publicized players only meeting should offer some encouragement. But I'm not sure it really does. The Nats exploded for one night and I guess there are some who will consider this a buy sign for what has been the sport's most underachieving 2018 entry.
Let's just say I'll need mots more convincing.
Just 1-2 here on ...
Another quick blog as the holiday winds down. Here's hoping everyone enjoyed their 4th of July. Mine was fine, other than on the diamond where I played two games and came up one run short in each of them. One of the beats was the ultra-rare 1-0 Coors game, which literally almost never happens. But it did here and unfortunately I was on the side that put up the xero.
Here's the Thursday free play. No line on this game currently but it's at least a lean for me and might make my card if it's inexpensively priced.
ANGELS (Barria) at MARINERS (Gonzales)
Jaime Barria has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels, but Marco Gonzales has been an even better add for the Mariners. Gonzales was once a pretty highly regarded prospect in the Cardinals organization. But a succession of injuries halted his progress and he'd become pretty much an afterthought. Not any more. Gonzales has done some excellent work for Seattle. The Mariners are 11-6 when he starts and aside from ...