I don’t get to watch much NASCAR. That’s not by choice, as I enjoy the action. But the racing is usually up against one of the sports that I’m more focused on for “work” purposes, and I have a habit of forgetting to set the DVR.
Due to weather issues, the Sunday race at Daytona got delayed for a very lengthy period, and lo and behold, I ended up with sensational late evening viewing. The race itself wound down to a riveting finish, and just as Dale Earnhardt Jr. crossed the finish line, there was a massive crash.
I would guess that most of you have already seen what happened, and to call this accident harrowing would be an epic understatement. I didn’t think there was any chance Austin Dillon would simply walk away apparently unscathed physically after seeing his car get launched airborne into the catch fence.
It appears as though the only injuries were minor scrapes to a few fans hit by flying debris. That’s really a miracle, and it’s testimony to the safety measures this sport has continuously added over the years. If this crash had occurred just a handful of years ago, maybe even more recently that that, we’re probably looking at serious injuries and perhaps worse.
I’ll probably never be more than a casual observer when it comes to auto racing. But you have to hand it to NASCAR. Helluva product and it seems as though when I do manage to watch a race, the excitement gets delivered every time.
I had a bad Sunday on the diamond, dropping all three plays, and that took care of the profits from the prior few days. The task is to bounce right back, and I can see a couple of decent opportunities to do so tonight.
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I was actually going to feature the White Sox as my Monday commentary, but I’ll hold off on that for a night. The Pale Hose failed as the Sunday free play, and their modest winning streak certainly ended with a thud in the process. I’ll try to get a better result with another AL Central host tonight.
ORIOLES (Chen) @ TWINS (Hughes)
Take: TWINS -102 (Don Best Consensus line at publication time)
The Orioles salvaged the finale of their weekend set in Chicago by blowing up the White Sox bullpen on Sunday. They also played some solid defense early in the game to preserve a narrow lead. Good win for the Orioles to be sure, but I can see them having a more difficult time this evening.
The Twins have been at their best from a production standpoint when facing lefties at home. They’ll have a chance to cool off Wei-Yin Chen this evening. Chen is definitely no cinch. He’s not a guy who will ever post those blow away numbers that jump off the page. But he’s a steady southpaw who generally gives his team a decent chance to get a win.
Phil Hughes is actually the more volatile pitcher here. Hughes has gotten closer to his 2014 form recently, although he remains vulnerable to the home run. The whole key to backing Hughes is being able to accept going in that he’s probably going to get taken deep at some point. The hope is that it’s a solo job.
From a metrics standpoint, this is a close pitching matchup, with Chen owning a very slim advantage. So I’m keying more on the offensive data that I do think provides a bit of an edge. The Orioles haven’t been a great offensive team on the road against righties. The Twins best situation is vs. lefties at home. Then there’s the simplest numbers of all. Baltimore has been a subpar road team this season. Minnesota is average overall, but that 25-15 home ledger is nothing to sneeze at. I';; run with the team elements tonight and will tab the Twins as the free play.
FanDuel Value Play, Monday 7/6
Some spectacular hits and misses here recently, and the Sunday choice was a big bust. Here’s one for Monday.
ANDRE ETHIER, OF, $2400
Lots of aces on the mound tonight, and they all cost big bucks. But it’s likely that without spending those dollars, getting the pitching points necessary to get in the win column won’t be easy. That means finding some cheap offense, and I can see Andre Ethier as a good choice on that count.
Ethier will be up against one of the weaker pitchers on tonight’s board as the Phillies are starting Sean O’Sullivan. I’m probably going to look to have at least a couple Dodgers, maybe more, rostered tonight and at $2400 Ethier will definitely in my outfield.