If you're a baseball fan, the Tuesday night card was nothing short off sensational. I know its only April and the games don't mean as much as they will in September, at least from a national spotlight perspective. But for those of us who look forward to filling our evening's entertainment with baseball from Opening Day through the World Series, last night was outstanding stuff.
The marquee game was the duel between Ohtani and Morton as the Angels took on the Astros. Neither pitcher was at his best but the game was sensational. There was an extra inning battle between the Red Sox and Blue Jays, and another overtime clash between the Mets and Cardinals, Even the lowly Reds got in on the fun, blowing a big lead and then somehow getting it back together and knocking off the Braves. The Marlins shocked the Dodgers. The Mariners won an unlikely pitching duel against the White Sox. The Yankees and Cubs flexed their muscles and the Diamondbacks slowed down the Phillies express for at least ...
I'm in the mood to take a manager to task. As it turned out, this worked out completely in my favor, so believe me, this is not a complaint.
Here's the scenario. The A's and Rangers are tied 3-3 heading to the top of the ninth on Monday night. It's a game that's only tied because Oakland failed to make much use out of numerous opportunities while the home team had managed three runs on a wild pitch and a Trevor Cahill mistake that resulted in a Robinson Chirinos two-run homer.
I had already assumed the Rangers would be sending closer Keone Kela out to pitch the ninth. Tie game, ninth inning, the closer pitches for the home team. Pretty simple really, and unless there are mitigating circumstances, it's a cut and dried maneuver.
So yeah, I was surprised and perhaps even thrilled when Kevin Jepsen came back out to pitch the ninth for Texas. Kela had already warmed up, so unless there was some problem I'm not aware of, I have no real idea why Kela wasn't inserted into the ...
Following an explosive break from the starting gate, things have gone a bit awry of late for the Angels. This was a rough week for the Halos. They got swept at home in very decisive fashion by the Red Sox. Boston won all three games, and outscored their hosts by an incredible 27-3 margin. Then the Giants arrived at Anaheim and took two out of three.
Every team is going to have bad stretches, so perhaps there's nothing of particular note to read into this slump. On the other hand, there is perhaps a bit of a red flag on the Angels, at least as far as their offense is concerned.
The Angels have been flexing their muscles as a team, mashing homers at a terrific clip. But there's a bit of an offset here. This team is simply not exercising much patience at the plate. The Angels are drawing walks at the worst rate in baseball, just 7% of the time. If you look at the teams drawing free passes at less than an 8% clip, you'll find a common theme. They're mostly bad teams. So it's not the ...
Abbreviated weekend edition again today. My Saturday produced another net profit. Winners with the Tigers and a Mariners -1 play, and a loss with the Cubs. Not a huge net profit, but getting some black ink each day is the make of the game, so certainly no complaints.
I've got a pair of plays for Sunday, with what I believe is a live dog plus the free play I'm posting here.
ROYALS at TIGERS )Skoglund-Liriano)
Take: TIGERS -153/+130 ML/RL SPLIT
I'm sure there will be a regression coming but right now the Tigers are playing good baseball, and taking advantage of opprtunities to beat a pathetic Royals team. Kansas City is about as bad as it gets right now. You name it, they're bad at it. Dead last in offense, next to last in bullpen (the Reds have fallen behind them for the coveted worst pen on the planet ranking) and even the starting pitching is pretty bad.
Eric Skoglund has yet to show he can pitch at this level and at best, he figures to be done by the sixth inning. ...
My usual abbreviated late Friday evening blog, just the day's results, a commercial break and the daily free play.
Friday results were 2-1 in MLB, with the Tigers Game One and underdog Giants winning while the F5 Marlins bit the dust. The Winnipeg Jets series play in the NHL concluded successfully, so another +2.4 on the preferred side of the ledger.
The +10 guarantee will be available until the end of the month. Buy it directly by clicking on that option at Cokin's Picks to the right of the page. If you'd like more detailed info on how it works, shoot an email my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the Saturday free play.
MARINERS at RANGERS (Paxton-Colon)
Take: MARINERS -1 (ML/RL split)
Easiest decision of the season, even at what for me is a really high chalk price. I'm absolutely expecting a bounce from Bartolo Colon off the perfect game flirtation. No denying Colon has pitched very well so far but this is a situational spot worth fading the old guy.
James Paxton has ...
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. ...