Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 6/30/16

It looks there's a new buzz trade candidate now garnering lots of attention as we head into July. Matt Moore has gotten it together for the Tampa Bay Rays. Following his brilliant performance on Wednesday against the Red Sox, Moore is now looking like a hot commodity. It's not so long ago that Moore burst upon the scene with an electrifying playoff showing that had the lefty pegged as the next big thing. But between injury issues and very inconsistent command, Moore's stock had tumbled considerably. It appears the talented southpaw might be all the way back. Moore has been outstanding of late, and his effort against the Red Sox was more than impressive. The question now is whether the Rays will opt to hang onto him in hopes he can anchor what could be a very dynamic rotation, or whether they'll sell to the highest bidder. There doesn't appear to be much question about the team that's very hot for Moore, and also in a great position to put together a strong offer. That would ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 6/29/16

The New York Yankees are just 3.5 games out of the wild card in the American League. With the season only about half complete, the standings say it's way too soon to write the team off as a playoff contender. But reality suggests the Yankees are not one of the favorites to be playing past game #162. There are just too many holes on the team. The pitching is okay, but that's about it, and even that might be a glass half full observation. The offense is spotty with a couple of really weak spots and some of the older players on this roster are really looking their age. That means it's about to get very interesting in the Bronx. The Yankees could always be buyers at the deadline, as they're the Yankees and playing the role of deadline seller just isn't their way. But this the one season where they ought to be exactly that. The Yankees need to rebuild their farm system. Truth is, they've gotten by for what now seems like an eternity with very little in the way of homegrown talent. ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 6/28/16

These are not the happiest of days for Red Sox Nation. The euphoric atmosphere the team's fans were soaking up have dissipated in alarming fashion. Boston got smashed on Monday night by a Rays entry that had lost eleven consecutive games, and judging by the reaction on social media, panic is starting to set in with the fan base. There's no argument that any team's followers are prone to wild mood swings, based on just a very small sampling of games. Most of the time it's easy enough to dismiss as typical overreaction. But in the case of the Red Sox, I think the fans might have it right this time. Let's face it, the back of the Boston rotation is about as awful as it gets. Right now, the #4 and #5 slots are being manned by Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz. That is one ugly combo. ERod has not looked good coming back from his injury, and Buchholz has been terrible all season. That #5 slot has been downright pathetic, with a variety of pitchers aside from Buchholz all failing ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 6/27/16

Cleveland sports fans have to be in state of bliss these days. The Cavaliers are champions of the basketball world, and the decades long streak of coming up short when it mattered most has finally ended. Now it looks like the city has another legitimate contender on a roll. The Indians have not lost a single game since the Cavs captured their crown, and there is some real reason to believe this team is going to be playing baseball come October. The Indians don't have a lineup that will strike fear into the hearts of many opponents. But the fact is that as we approach the halfway mark of the 2016 campaign, the Tribe is major league average or better in most offensive categories, so they're finding ways to get runners across the plate. Truth is, with this team's pitching, that's all they need to continue to do to be likely playoff participants. That starting pitching is the key for this team. The Indians have a quintet of hurlers that is more than delivering on its potential ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 6/26/16

Okay, I'm shocked. Well, sort of. Jose Reyes is about to become a member of the New York Mets once again. Stated simply, the Mets have a pressing need to add a big league caliber infielder, Reyes was strictly excess baggage with the Rockies following his lengthy suspension, and I guess this is just a case of one plus one equaling two. The shock is that I never anticipated even a remote possibility that Reyes would end back with the Mets. His skills have declined from where they used to be, and let's just say Reyes probably wasn't on anyone wish list right now because of the off field stuff. But with the Mets injury situation being what it is, and trying to find a way to maintain or perhaps improve on their current positioning in the NL East as well as the wild card, a move had to be made. Reyes was as available as it gets, and following a rehab stint that is starting with the Brooklyn Cyclones, it looks like he'll be back with the Mets before too long. I'm not really ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 6/25/16

Just a quick recap of Friday's action plus the Saturday free play in this edition. I managed a profit on Friday night. The Royals were dead in the water right from the outset. The Indians jumped out to a big lead and coasted home to their seventh straight win. I split my Rays plays, winning the 1H play but losing the full game. So a minimal profit on the diamond, but Montreal came through nicely in the CFL, so an okay day altogether. Here's the Saturday comp. ATHLETICS (Overton)  at  ANGELS (Chacin) Take: ATHLETICS +134 I don't really have much of a problem going against Angels righty Jhoulys Chacin, who's is pretty lousy form right now. Chacin has had some control problems recently, walking 13 batters in his last 17.1 innings. His stuff just isn't good enough to survive issuing free passes at that rate. Chacin will occasionally light it up for a night, but the reality is he's just a back of the rotation guy, and with his current form, I feel okay about trying to beat ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 6/24/16

Well, that ended up being kind of a letdown. I was hoping and actually expecting lots of wheeling and dealing at the NBA draft. The pre-draft action looked like a harbinger of things to come, with Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague getting moved in deals. I was convinced that with the Celtics seemingly intent on trading the third overall pick for a veteran presence, the domino effect would take place and there might be a frenzy of activity. Instead, the only deal that proved interesting, at least for me, was the swap between Oklahoma City and Orlando. Serge Ibaka heading to sunny Florida while the Thunder latch onto Victor Oladipo, Ehsan Ilyasova and the rights to Domantis Sabonis. As for the draft, I don't know much of anything about the non-college guys who got drafted, so I won't offer any opinion on those players. Instead, I'll just focus on the players I'm familiar with. Here are my two favorite picks in terms of value moving forward. Kris Dunn ended up going to the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 6/22/16

It's official! Las Vegas is now home to its first ever major league franchise, as the National Hockey League will be in action here starting with the 2017-18 season. So to use a little Las Vegas parlance, we've finally hit the jackpot here in the desert! As of now, there's no team name or logo. The frontrunner was Black Knights, but from what I can gather, there's been some pushback on that name, and apparently the decision has been made to go with something else. I have no suggestions, because I honestly don't care what the team is called, I'm just thrilled they're going to be calling this city home. There is still plenty of skepticism among local and national analysts as to whether this can work long term. I'm very optimistic, but with a couple of caveats. One is the specter of the NFL Raiders possibly moving here. Right now, the NHL franchise will have the city to itself aside from UNLV basketball, and I think that's an apples and oranges situation. But should the Raiders ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 6/22/16

So much for the suspense. Ben Simmons says he's been informed by the Philadelphia 76ers that he will be the first pick at this year's NBA draft. Simmons was projected early in the college basketball campaign as the likely top overall pick. But as the season progressed, the LSU freshman became less of a sure thing. His outside shooting was causing a bit of concern, and Simmons was also becoming a victim of circumstances as the Tigers stumbled badly and didn't even even make an appearance in any post-season tournament. Meanwhile, Duke freshman Brandon Ingram became the rising star on most mock draft boards. Ingram was tremendous for the Blue Devils, and the idea of a 6'9" kid with the ability to score with regularity from beyond the arc made him very appealing. Ingram will now almost certainly land in Los Angeles with the Lakers, and for what my opinion is worth, I think they're getting the surer thing in terms of becoming an All-Star down the road. Not that I have any problem ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 6/21/16

It wasn't a game that I was involved in, but what might have been one of the most insane bad beats I've ever witnessed took place on Monday evening. Or maybe one of the luckiest wins of all time, if one happened to be on the other side. The Rockies were wrapping up a four-game series at Miami, with the Marlins looking to complete the sweep. Colorado managed to avoid that fate by pulling out a 5-3 victory. The O/U in this game was 8.5, so the game stayed Under, but it's how it happened that makes this a really unusual story. Mark Reynolds hit two home runs for Colorado. The Rockies also got long balls from Trevor Story, Nick Hundley and Charlie Blackmon. Five runs on five solo homers. The Marlins countered with a pair of taters from Marcel Ozuna, plus a homer off the booming bat of Giancarlo Stanton. Three runs on three solo homers. I really can't ever recall this happening previously. It's not something I keep track of as it's merely sports trivia, but I can at least ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 6/20/16

The old adage goes, live by the jumper, die by the jumper. That basketball axiom turned out to be dead on for the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. The team regarded as the best jump shooting team in hoop history couldn't get the ball to drop when it mattered most, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are now the new world champs. This title game will be dissected from every angle, as history was made by the Cavaliers while the team that broke the regular season win record couldn't close things out with a 3-1 lead. But in the end, it was more about one awful stretch of shooting that reared its ugly head at the worst possible time. The Warriors made a basket to take a four-point lead with 5:37 remaining. They made one bucket the rest of the way, a Klay Thompson deuce that tied things up with 4:39 still to play. Little did anyone know that would be the last points the Warriors would score this season. Golden State missed its last nine shots. The last couple probably didn't matter, as ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 6/19/16

Welcome back, Tim Lincecum! The two-time Cy Young winner made his Angels debut on Saturday afternoon, and the popular righty picked up the win as the Halos enjoyed a comfortable 7-1 win over the Athletics. Everything worked out well for Lincecum in this game. He wasn't pitching in his old San Francisco stomping grounds, but taking the mound in Oakland was probably the next best thing. There were lots of Lincecum jerseys visible in the crowd, and it sure sounded like much of the audience on hand was pulling for the long-time Bay Area icon. The Lincecum we used to see in his heyday with the Giants is gone. Tim is now a finesse guy who's going to need to induce soft contact on a regular basis. The swings and misses from Oakland hitters were few and far between in this outing. I think it's safe to say Lincecum's K rate will probably be a little better than it was in this game, but he won't be blowing away many batters moving forward. I would say the ceiling for Lincecum at this ... More