Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 2/20/18

Eric Hosmer is heading west to join the San Diego Padres. It was no secret the Padres were hot for Hosmer, and they decided to take the plunge and offer the first basemen the big dollar, long term contract he was looking to garner as a free agent. Here's what I like about the Hosmer signing from San Diego's perspective. This is a young team looking to build and they can certainly use a quality veteran with established leadership skills. I don't think there's any question Hosmer qualifies on that count. He was one of the mainstays on a Kansas City team that recently won two pennants and one World Series and he's going to immediately be the face of the franchise with the Padres. They're a better team with Hosmer, it's as simple as that. But then there's the other side of the coin. I just mentioned what would qualify as the positive intangibles. The statistical tangibles paint a somewhat different picture. Hosmer was one of the best offensive players in baseball during 2017. But ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 2/19/18

The Las Vegas Sportsline is dark on Monday as we're off for the holiday. The show returns Tuesday 2-3PST ESPN Las Vegas, online at lvsportsnetwork.com. That means a day off for me as well, although there really aren't any days off in this biz. But I'll take a writing vacation and just post the Monday free play, which as of now is also the only personal play I've got for Monday. The NHL won't be finalized till morning skate and goalie confirmations are in, so nothing there as of now. Sunday was difficult, because of what was a really rough beat on the Daytona 500. Let's just the race was as good as it could get for me...until the overtime. I certainly got my money's worth out of the two drivers I backed at +2500 and +1000, but they don't pay off on close. Back with the regular blog late Monday evening, and I'll take a look at the Padres big free agent signing of Eric Hosmer. Meanwhile, here's the Monday free play and a reminder to contact me at cokin@cox.net if you're got ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 2/18/18

Full disclosure. I was on West Virginia plus the points at Kansas on Saturday. So yeah, I'm a little ticked about the result and if you want to suggest I'm being biased, so be it. I think I'll also mention that with the score 66-58 in favor of the Mountaineers, I tweeted something along the lines of hoping WVU wasn't going to collapse again. This team is not s sure bet with the lead. The Mountaineers have loads of talent but let's call it straight, they've got tight collar issues. I had a feeling they might melt, and they surely did that. BUT.... Kansas 35 free throw attempts, West Virginia 2 free throw attempts for the game is beyond absurd. The most egregious atrocity from the officiating crew came very late. Obvious foul on Kansas, no whistle, and WVU head coach Bob Huggins lost it. Double technical, ball game. I'm sorry, but the officiating in this game was unacceptable. It's one thing to enjoy a little home cooking, but 35-2 is insane. The West Virginia loser ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 2/17/18

The usual quickie blog on a late Friday evening as the Saturday college basketball grind continues. My Friday worked out very nicely with underdogs Niagara snd IUPUI each registering outright wins. Always nice to head into the weekend off a little 2-0 sweep. Get all plays through March Madness, and that also includes NBA/NHL and even MLBX action, by utilizing the offer available at Cokin's Picks to the right of the page. For info on the early signup rates for baseball, email me at cokin@cox.net. IUPUI was the successful Friday free play, and I'll once again go the mid-major route for the Saturday comp. 683 SIU EDWARDSVILLE at 684 SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE Take: SIUE +7.5 I'm coming right back with SIUE after scoring a nice with them on Thursday at UT Martin. That was a huge win for the Cougars. Only eight teams qualify for the OVC Tournament, and that win moved SIUE into a tie for the final spot. SEMO is now in great shape to get a tourney spot thanks to a three-game ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 2/16/18

Well, there's something you seldom see. I suppose it's happened previously, but I can't recall having seen a cheerleader tossed from a guy by an official. That's what took place last night in the rivalry duel between Arizona and Arizona State. An Arizona cheerleader was booted from the premises the he apparently refused to stop heckling, despite having been warned to do so by at least one of game officials. According to ESPN, the ejection was for repeated "heckling" and "saying inappropriate things" near the court. I obviously have no idea what the Wildcats cheerleader was yelling. But I've got to think it was pretty over the top to warrant a game official ordering him to take his megaphone and depart the area. Needless to say, this delighted the ASU faithful. The game sire didn't, as the home team lost to the rival Wildcats by a 77-70 score. I'm pretty consistent in not liking it when officials try to become the stars of the show. But I don't think that was the case here, ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 2/15/18

Quick blog tonight, as I'm pretty immersed in the Thursday hoops schedule, so I'll skip the editorializing tonight. My Wednesday was okay, 3-2 on five college plays, no action in either the NBA or NHL. Here's the free play for Thursday on one of the WCC hookups. 555 PACIFIC at 556 SAN DIEGO Take: SAN DIEGO -4 First game between San Diego and Pacific was a four point Tigers win. The standout stat from that game is crystal clear. San Diego was 11/15 from the foul line. Pacific went 33/35. That's an almost unbelievable disparity in a four point game. Granted, the Toreros were fouling late in an attempt to catch up, but this was still a game with some pretty lopsided officiating. This rematch looks competitive as Damon Stoudamire has done a nice job with the Tigers and so has Lamont Smith with the Toreros. I think the number is about where it should be, as I only made USD one point higher. So it's not a value play to any extent. But I put this one in what can best be ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 2/14/18

A little baseball chatter tonight, with a quick observation that might qualify as a minority opinion based on what appears to be a general consensus on social media platforms. The Chicago Cubs made a big splash with the free agent signing of Yu Darvish. The last time we saw Darvish, he was getting absolutely destroyed in the World Series by the Houston Astros. Darvish did not exactly tear it up in 2017 pitching for the Rangers and Dodgers. By no means was Darvish a below average pitcher in spite of a so-so 10-12, 3.86 campaign. The metrics were okay, but this clearly was not a vintage Darvish season. So it's understandable that lots of observers feel the Cubs overspent for Darvish by inking him to a six-year deal for big bucks. Long term, that might well be the case as Darvish is already 31 years old. But as far as the immediate future is concerned, I like Darvish to enjoy a big 2018 in the Windy City. Two big reasons I am taking this stance. One is that his stuff is still ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 2/13/18

The Utah Jazz have now won ten straight NBA games, and have finally clawed their way to a winning record for the season. The Jazz now stand 29-28, and there's no question they're a hot squad right now. I mention this because as I was surfing some various sports sites this evening, I arrived at one popular location that was featuring its updated NBA power ratings. And that's when the head shaking began. This website has the Golden State Warriors third in its NBA power ratings. That's a bit absurd. But the real nonsense wear still to come. Listed as the fourth best team in the NBA, right behind the Warriors? The Utah Jazz. I'm not making this up. I did the obligatory double and even triple take, rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things and looked again. Still there. The Jazz as the number four power rated team in the NBA. Here's a word of advice to this website and whomever is compiling its power ratings. Stop. Just stop. I played just one game on Monday and ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 2/12/18

The Philadelphia Eagles are now at the top of the football world. It's a great opportunity for virtually every member of the team to let their personalities shine, and in the process perhaps set themselves up for the next career once the football playing days are done. Check off Lane Johnson as a guy who has constructed his own personal soapbox and is letting the opinions fly. Johnson already has a reputation for being outspoken. If he might have still been somewhat anonymous outside of Philly, he sure won't be for long. Johnson let it rip in an interview with Barstool Sports on Friday. He fired with both fists, blasting away at how the New England Patriots run their organization. Here's what Johnson had to say. https://www.barstoolsports.com/chicago/pmt-2-9-trade-deadline-with-ryen-russillo-and-sb-52-champ-lane-johnson My thoughts? I'm not from the same generation as today's players. I grew up around a professional hockey team and the first rule was to not rock the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 2/11/18

#LETTHEMPLAY I wasn't involved in either the Mississippi State-Missouri or Xavier-Creighton games that took place on the Saturday college baskets slate. I have no allegiance to any of those schools. I was simply a spectator and it mattered zero to me which teams came out on top. But the endings of both games left me plenty aggravated as a merely impartial observer. In each case, the officiating might well have determined the winner. Mississippi State and Creighton were the victims of what I'll kindly label as over-officiating. Whistles were blown when they should have been swallowed and I don't think there's any question they impacted the final result. I know it's a tough job. The action is fast, there's lots of pressure to get it right and I know the stripes are doing their best to make the proper calls. But if there's one beef I've got on a consistent basis with college officials it's whistling borderline stuff with the game on the line. Win or lose, I can guarantee ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 2/10/18

My usual Friday night grind for the enormous Saturday college basketball slate is in progress. So I'll make the usual short and sweet Saturday blog with the free play and that's about it. As for my Friday plays, I went with three games, all in the NBA, and they're all in progress as I'm writing this piece. Nothing in college on the short Friday slate, but that obviously won't be the case on Saturday. To get all my plays across the board, sign up today for the March Madness Special and you'll be set through all the tournament action. Here's the Saturday free play, and this time it's on one of the legit marquee games on the schedule. 679 GONZAGA at 680 SAINT MARY'S TAKE: GONZAGA +2.5 I'm going to make this short and sweet. Fully acknowledge I'm going to be on the square side of what looms as a Pros vs. Joes matchup. But it's as simple as this. Gonzaga has had only 18 WCC same season revenge games going all the way back to 2002. They're 17-1 straight up in those games. The ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 2/9/18

Time will tell whether the NBA trade deadline frenzy initiated by the Cleveland Cavaliers pays off. One thing that's sure is that management recognized the team as it was had become almost totally dysfunctional. From that standpoint, at the very least, the Cavs appear to have improved the clubhouse atmosphere in a big way. I don't think there's any question this was a combination of weeding out players who were fracturing the team's psyche. At the same time, it certainly would seem that Cleveland also improved itself in terms of personnel. The new look Cavaliers will look to get things rolling tonight as they visit Atlanta. Keep an eye on how they play together. A good performance tonight could well be a short term buy sign on the Cavaliers. I went 5-2 with the Thursday college plays but missed with the one NHL play. I've hit a bit of a rut on the ice, but expect a return to the good results shortly, hopefully tonight. As for the hoops, they're good right now and I'm ... More