Yeah, I know, I'm biased as hell. But this Red Sox team is off the charts right now. There are multiple reasons for the red hot start. Obviously, getting terrific hitting and pitching has been huge. But I really feel as though the catalyst has been the clubhouse. There were times last season where it almost looked like the team was simply dragging. Just my view perhaps, but it was as if the players knew the handwriting was on the wall for John Farrell as the manager.
Enter Alex Cora and what certainly appears to be a happier and more focused team. No question getting out of the gate on fire has helped. But I'd been told by some old friends who are regulars at Jet Blue for spring training that the atmosphere was vastly improved from the start of camp.
There's no way the Red Sox can maintain this incredible pace, that's not possible. But for those of us who are part of Red Sox Nation, the optimism for what could be in store this season is absolutely legit!
I missed by a ...
The second round of the NHL playoffs are set, at least as far as the local heroes are concerned. The Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks will hook up in a best-of-seven series with the Golden Knights owning home ice advantage.
I have not seen series odds posted yet, though they should be posted in the morning. The expectation is that the Knights will be priced around -155, possibly a shade higher. Those might not be the true odds, but the books have no choice at this point. They're going to have to inflate the number to some extent to try and get some offset money. There are some pretty good sized liabilities around town should the Knights win the Stanley Cup. But in the meantime, the shops are getting hit with loads of action on the local team and there's simply no doubt at all that will be the case again for the upcoming series, as well as on the individual games.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!
Just a small profit here on Wednesday, but thanks to ...
The sports story of the year just keeps getting better. The Vegas Golden Knights continued their assault on the NHL history books on Tuesday night by closing out a spectacular sweep against the Los Angeles Kings.
All four of the games were tightly contested, as there were a grand total of only ten goals scored in the entire series. But thanks to more brilliant goaltending by Marc-Andre Fleury (127/130 saves) and awesome defensive discipline, the Knights won 'em all.
Next up, in all likelihood, the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are up 3-0 vs, Anaheim and are substantial favorites to close the series out on Wednesday night.
I already know that I'll be looking at the Knights-Sharks series and logically will be making a case for the Sharks. But I can also say with 100% certainty I won't be betting on San Jose to capture the best of seven. The Knights have been doing what they're aren't supposed to be able to do all season. I'm nit betting against that continuing.
My Kings ...
The playoffs in the NBA and the NHL are the best views available right now. The regular seasons here finally done and now it's all about the games that matter.
But there's something really worth watching tonight on the diamond. The Red Sox are off to a phenomenal start at 13-2, and they're actually really close to being 15-0. Tonight, Boston opens a series at Anaheim against the surging Angels, and that's a good watch on it own.
But add in the presence of Shohei Ohtani as the starting pitcher for the Angels and this gets even more exciting. Ohtani is the best individual story of the new season, and nothing else is really sold. The Red Sox have been the best team in the early going. Something's gotta give tonight.
I know I'll be catching my share of playoff action this evening, especially with the Golden Knights trying to close out the Kings. But my main event for the evening will be Bosox-Halos and I can't wait to see what happens!
Another good result on Monday. There ...
I can't think of anything I can write on coherently at this point. I've watched games since this morning, running the gamut from baseball to baskets to pucks and even watched a little golf. I'm toast. I've slammed into the proverbial wall.
Okay Sunday here with the results. 1-1 baseball, and an extremely fortunate 1-0 NBA. If you'd like to receive all my plays (by the way, two MLB for Monday as of now) email me at email@example.com for the details and I'll get back to you sometime during the day.
I'm skipping the analysis on the Monday free play. Note this is one of the perks of being my own boss.
BRUINS at LEAFS
Take: BRUINS +100
Expect a return to the normal free play format tomorrow. Good night and have a nice Monday.
If you like end to end action and loads of scoring opportunities, make sure you're catching what's taking place in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The series between the Golden Knights and Kings is the outlier right now as the goalies have dominated the first two games, with just three goals scored in nearly eight periods of action. The bottom line is that these playoffs have barely gotten started and the excitement level is already just about off the charts.
I finally had an off day with the baseball on Saturday, dropping three of four. The killer was a F5 loss on the big dog Rangers, as they ended up putting together a stunning rally to upset the Astros in extra innings. I guess I kind of outthought myself on that one. Good week regardless and I'll try to wind it up on a winning note today.
For info on getting all my plays with a tremendous guarantee included, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, simply purchase the +10 guaranteed special on the Cokin's Picks menu to the ...
2-0 Golden Knights following a thrilling 2-1 double OT win on Friday night. This series is far from over as the scene shifts to Los Angeles for the next two games. But the pressure is now all on the Kings and they are going to have to find a way to slow down the Knights if they're to get this series back to Las Vegas.
The difference between these teams was really apparent in Game Two. The Knights are so much quicker than the Kings. This game was only as close as it was due to the inspired play of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
The thought here going into the series was that playoff hockey would create closer checking and would favor the more physical team. Through two games, the only reason the Kings even appear to be more physical is that they've been forced to try and separate the Knights from the puck, because the Knights seemingly always have the puck. So take those "hits" stats with not a just a grain, but an entire container of salt.
That's what is comes down to for me. ...
The preliminaries have finally concluded and it's time for the real NBA season to get underway. The playoffs are upon us, and the Nevada sports books are anticipating big volume for what should be an entertaining postseason.
I'm going to focus on one series in today's blog as the free play. If you're looking for an expanded overview on each of the eight opening round series, be sure to tune in Friday to The Las Vegas Sportsline. Ralph Michaels will be on hand to provide insight on all the matchups. Air time for the show is 2-3PDT on ESPN Las Vegas, and you can catch the podcast at lvsportnetwork.com.
I've also got Mike Lambourne from Cleardata Sports as a Friday guest, and if you're into MLB modeling, this will be right up your alley.
I had only one play on a quiet Thursday, but the result was a good one as the Devils and Lightning got their NHL playoff series out of the starting gate by going Over the number.
To get all my plays, emailed with analysis as I play them ...
The Vegas Golden Knights were the big story of the NHL regular season. The Knights are now off and running with an exciting 1-0 Game One win over the Los Angeles Kings to start their first playoff venture the right way.
This was a really well executed defensive effort by VGK. They were absolutely outstanding in the neutral zone. The Knights did a tremendous job of clogging the passing lanes and forced the Kings to play dump and chase virtually all night long.
The Kings are going to have to find a way to generate more offense, it's as simple as that. Don't be misled by the shots on goal for LA. They had very few dominant shifts in this game and while LA won the hits stat, they didn't overwhelm the Knights from a physical standpoint.
This has the look of a lengthy series with lots of close games. But suffice to say that any thoughts the stage might be a bit too grand for the expansion team are now out the window. The pressure is now squarely on the Kings and I'll be eager to ...
I'll dispense with the commentary tonight and get right to the task at hand, which are mini-capsules on each of the first round series as the Stanley Cup playoffs get started tonight.
Quick Tuesday recap, 4-1 overall on the diamond, highlighted by a very nice win by the underdog Padres. For info on getting all my personal plays along with a monster guarantee, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
WILD vs. JETS: Winnipeg rates the heavy chalk role here and it seems more than justified to me. Minnesota took a very big hit with the injury to Suter. That's particularly damaging to the Wild power play and special teams are a huge key in the postseason. Playoff inexperience is always a concern, but I see the Jets winning this set with relative ease. Jets in five.
FLYERS vs. PENGUINS: 2018 has been a dream for Philadelphia sports teams. First the Eagles, then Villanova, can the Flyers keep the run going? Probably not, though I have no desire to lay more than -200 with Pittsbur...
Here's an illustration of Murphy's Law as it applied to one MLB team on Monday night.
First inning, leadoff single, runner out trying to stretch it to a double.
Second inning, leadoff double, runner out staying to stretch it to a triple.
Manager decides to pitch the #8 hitter with first base open and the pitcher on deck. #8 hitter doubles in a run.
Pitcher gets called for a balk, runner advances and eventually scores.
Error on a routine single to the right fielder eventually leads to another run.
Manager decides to bring in the closer top of the tenth. First appearance for the closer since last season. He walks four guys and only gets one out thanks to a sacrifice.
I watch lots of baseball, and I've had Mike Matheny right at the bottom of the managerial lust when it comes to making the wrong decisions. It happens constantly. Add in the Cardinals being a team that makes far too many mental mistakes and it's the perfect recipe for a team that ...
I know, it's very early. Way too soon to begin beating any MVP drums in MLB with the season barely underway. Screw it, I'll do it anyway.
Shohei Ohtani is setting the baseball world on fire. He's not just living up to the hype, he's obliterating it. He's about to become a sellout machine, not only at home but on the road as well. The turnstiles will be clicking in rapid fire fashion this week in Arlington and Kansas City as the Halos come to town.
Small samples are supposed to be taken with a big grain of salt. But I know good stuff when I see it, and this guy has a wicked arsenal. Ohtani can hit triple digits with what appears to be relative ease and his secondary pitches look terrific as well. When he's at the plate, Ohtani possesses a sweet swing with plenty of power. The guy doesn't even have a book on opposing pitchers yet, but he looks like a polished veteran.
I was enthralled a generation ago by Fernandomania. Ohtanimania looks like it might be just as much fun.