I'm in the mood to talk about the Tampa Bay Rays. Since I'm also going to be involved in their Saturday game with the Mariners, I'll merge some thoughts on the Rays into the free play for the day.
Meanwhile, a nice little gain with a 2-1 Friday result. That's five straight plus days, so things are trending in the right direction.
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The Angels blew it in the bottom of ninth on a walkoff grand slam in their loss to the Orioles. Let's move on to the Saturday free play.
MARINERS (Miranda) at RAYS (Odorizzi)
Take: RAYS -111
The Tampa Bay Rays have fallen upon hard times. The offense, or lack ...
It's official. Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has opened the door for Chad Henne to wrest the QB1 spot on the depth chart away from beleaguered Blake Bortles.
Ir's unofficial, but it sure sounds to me like that means Henne is now the starter under center for the Jaguars.
It's not like Henne is the answer to the issues at this position for Jacksonville. He's a fringe starter at best, and I would doubt that this news is going to create unbridled optimism among the long suffering Jags fan base.
But it's pretty clear that Bortles has to hit the pines at this point. He just hasn't gotten the job done, and he's actually getting worse. If you watched last night's game between the Bucs and Jags, the Bortles performance can be summed in one word. Ugly. His mechanics were not good, and he misfired badly on some relatively easy throws.
Moreover, it's very clear that the players have lost faith in Bortles. I don't think there's any question about that view. Once that ...
This will be the usual abbreviated Thursday blog. That's going to change shortly with the onset of the football season, but for now this remains what amounts to my day off from any writing tasks.
Actually, Wednesday was a day off as well, as it was one of those rare days where I had absolutely no action. That allowed me to just sit back and relax in fan mode, and I got treated to some really exciting finishes in baseball, none of which I had to sweat one way or the other.
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Here's the Thursday free play, and this one is on the diamond.
DIAMONDBACKS (Corbin) at ASTROS (Fiers)
Take: DIAMONDDBACKS +125
Some decent variables in play here that suggest value on the visiting Diamondbacks.
First off, Patrick Corbin is in considerably better form than Mike Fiers as far as the two starting pitchers are concerned. The ...
The past few days have been among the ugliest I can ever recall. What took place in Charlottesville, Virginia was utterly disgraceful. I don't think any decent human being can argue with that assessment, regardless of political preference.
So maybe it's a good time to share a really nice story. This was brought to my attention by one of my longtime friends, Donn Wagner. I've known Donn and his family for decades, and you won't ever meet better people.
Anyway, this story involves Donn's grandson and a guy who had a real chance to become a great big league baseball player, Ryan Westmoreland. As a fellow Rhode Islander, I'd followed Ryan's burgeoning career very closely.
Read the story. After all the crap that's come down over the last few days, I thunk you'll really enjoy this.
I had a very good Tuesday, winning all three of ...
We're just about at the 3/4 mark of the baseball season, so time to check in on the Over/Under win props I made.
Marlins Under 77.5: This one looks like it's going to the wire. Miami is on pace to win 79 right now. Their next 12 games are against the Giants, Mets, Phillies and Padres. I would have to make myself a dog to win this wager as it stands now.
Twins Over 74.5: Minnesota is now 59-57, so they'd have to fall apart for me to miss this one.
Angels Over 79.5: This looked beyond shaky when Mike Trout went down. But the Halos are almost a .500 team during his absence, and now they've gotten hot. The fact they're in the playoff chase is amazing, but also means less likelihood of patchwork lineups down the stretch.
Mariners Under 85.5: Seattle got very unlucky early with all the pitching injuries. They've been right about .500 for some time now, and I don't see things changing much. The Under is a decent favorite at this point.
Reds Under 70.5: The Reds would have to ...
Here's a follow-up on yesterday's blog. That one was a rant directed at the fiasco that took place in the rain at Washington on Saturday evening. Bryce Harper was injured trying to beat out a ground ball when he foot slipped on a very wet first base. The injury was somewhat gruesome and the initial thought was that Harper had suffered a serious injury.
It turns out Bryce got sort of lucky. He's got a bone bruise and will miss some time. But the impression is that he'll be okay in a couple weeks and will be just fine for the October playoffs.
Nevertheless, this situation should never have happened. The Saturday game between the Giants and Nationals should have been postponed, regardless of the inconvenience to the teams with no way to quickly make up the game. At the very least, some kind of measure needs to be taken to make as austere as possible that something like this doesn't happen again.
Decent Sunday here with 3-1 on the bases. I'll be involved in two ...
Look, I get it. The idea of playing an extra game at the end of the regular season was not a desirable option. The Giants and Nationals might have had to go that route if there was something on the line as far as playoff seeding was concerned. The idea of San Francisco having to travel cross country, if that's what had to be done to play that 162nd game was absolutely not a great thing.
But the chances of that game meaning anything and therefore needing to get played are pretty remote. Just look at the standings. And that should have been factored into any decision as to whether or not to play Saturday night's game.
Call the above Monday morning quarterbacking if you like. But the fact is the Giants and Nationals went ahead and took the field after a lengthy rain delay and the other fact is it hadn't even stopped raining.
You know the rest of this story. Bryce Harper slipped on a wet first base while running out a ground ball in the bottom of the first inning. He hurt himself ...
Geno Smith reminds me of me, as a golfer. Just so we're clear, I'm not comparing our abilities. Smith was a fabulous college quarterback and was a first round draft NFL draft choice. I think it's fair to say my golf game was never even remotely close to that level.
But Geno Smith and I have something in common. And I'll bet there are plenty of you readers who will know exactly what I mean when I explain.
When I played golf regularly, I could be dooming pretty well, and then it would happen. I'd hit a really bad shot, and I'd unravel. As much as I would try to put the errant shot out of my mind, it would almost invariably stay with me for at least a few holes, which I would mostly butcher.
That's the essence of Geno Smith. If you were watching Smith play football for the very first time, you'd absolutely be impressed with the raw skills. There's not a thing wrong with Smith physically, and he can make all the throws. He'll look terrific for a short stint, clearly a guy with ...
Quick takeaways from Thursday night's NFL preseason action:
The Vikings simply cannot be faded in the preseason. Bettors backed the Vikings heavily on Thursday night and were handsomely rewarded.
Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld were very disappointing for the Redskins in an ugly loss at Baltimore. Note that Ryan Mallett was also mostly unimpressive for the Ravens. If Joe Flacco is compromised due to his physical issues, Baltimore is in a world of trouble.
Chad Henne outplayed the much maligned Blake Bortles by a wide margin as the Jaguars won at New England. Bortles is still atop the depth chart at QB, but for how much longer?
Mitch Trubisky engineered three scoring drives in his debut for the Bears. Sean Glennon was not good and I would imagine the QB controversy in Chitown is already underway.
Carson Wentz could not have looked much better in his quick stint with the Eagles first team offense. I like this Eagles team and Wentz is the primary reason why.
Browns win! ...
Seven games on tap on the first busy night of the NFL preseason. I've got a small handful of notes I can share for those of you interested.
The Dolphins will not use Jay Cutler tonight. Matt Moore will start at QB for Miami, and one has to think he's a bit motivated after the team showed no faith at all in him to replace the injured Ryan Tannehill. Brandon Doughty will see action under center as well, and I'm hearing that he has not had a good camp.
The Vikings have a QB2 battle taking place between Case Keenum and Taylor Heinecke. I generally like playing on teams with backup QB battles.
But generally doesn't mean automatically, and in this case there's a quote from new Bills coach Greg McDermott that I found interesting. He said "any time you compete, you want to win", and I think that's at least worth noting.
The Redskins want to see what Nate Sudfeld can do calling the signals. Dome good reports out of camp, and while Sudfeld is QB3 for now behind Kirk Cousins and ...
I'm probably going to be putting the editorializing on hold for a few days. Most of my time is being spent dissecting each college football team, and to be honest, trying to come up with subject matter on anything else and then writing about it is kind of counterproductive. But I'll still have the daily recaps and free plays for everyone to peruse.
My Tuesday was enjoyable, with winners on the Padres and Diamondbacks. So the week is off to a very nice start. I'm in action on tonight's NFLx game, I've made one CFL play for this week and I already chose one baseball side for Wednesday.
My football season is off to a great start thanks to the action north of the border in the CFL. Those plays are included aloha with everything I've got from now through the Super Bowl, college and NFL, when you subscribe to my personal service. The early signup rate is still available, just head to the right of the page and choose that option where it says Cokin's Picks. If you'd like more detailed ...
This will be a very abbreviated blog, as I'm spending the bulk of the evening putting together college football numbers.
My Monday was quiet with just one play, which worked out as the Reds blew out the Padres. My first two NFLx plays have been sent out with a couple more possible selections to be determined.
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The Monday free play was a system play on the Reds. If you'd like to know what that angle is, just scroll down to the Monday blog where it's explained. I'm going right back to that same well this evening, and will also be playing this for a half unit as I did with the Monday play.
DODGERS (Maeda) at DIAMONDBACKS (Godley)
Take: DIAMONDBACKS +104
Okay, back to the college homework. Hopefully, more time to do ...