Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 8/24/16

I don't think anyone will ever dispute the assessment that I'm a huge baseball fan. I absolutely love the game, always have, always will. I'm the nitwit who stays up till ridiculous hours in March to watch tape delayed exhibition games on MLB Network. I track prospects that are at the lower minor league levels for no particular reason other than curiosity. It's probably borderline obsessive, but it's also quite harmless, so I guess I'm not going to be changing this routine anytime soon. I bring this up because I also root for almost all the players to do well. I want to see each player reach his potential, pretty much regardless of the team that's involved. That's even more the case when it's a player with great entertainment value, and that brings me to Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton. Hamilton made an absolutely astonishing diving catch on Tuesday evening as the Reds got a 3-0 win over Texas. Hamilton covered an extraordinary amount of ground before diving on the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 8/23/16

It appears as though the longstanding feud between former Mets teammates Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry is on once again. The latest volley started when Gooden  was a no-show for a scheduled joint appearance with Strawberry. Evidently piqued by this, Strawberry decided to tell a New York Daily News reporter that Gooden was a "complete junkie-addict" and that he's been trying to talk to him to "get him to go for help, but he won't listen." Gooden responded during an interview on "The Joe Piscopo Show" that while he's admittedly an addict, "that don't mean I'm an active addict." Gooden added that he has never thrown Strawberry "under the bus" and that he now feels he has to "draw the line somewhere and I guess do a better choice of picking friends." I obviously have no knowledge of whether Gooden has relapsed. If I had to make a wager on the "yes" or "no", I'd probably lean to the affirmative. His son issued a statement on Sunday that said his father has been "under ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 8/22/16

No commentary today, just a quick Sunday recap and the Monday free play. Actually, there's not much to recap as far as Sunday was concerned. I got involved with only one game and stated simply, ran into Jhoulys Chacin on the wrong day. The Angels righty had been nothing short of horrendous for a very lengthy period, but he commanded his breaking ball really well against the Yankees and that paved the way to a 2-0 Halos win. So 0-1 for me on Sunday, but I'm still pretty happy with the way the baseball has run lately. The Monday card is very thin and honestly not very appealing from a value standpoint. But I'll go ahead with one play in what certainly has a chance to be the day's most lopsided result. CUBS (Lester)  at  PADRES (Jackson) Take: CUBS -1.5 -125 Generally speaking, laying juice while also trying to beat the runs line with the favorite is not what I'd term a winning strategy. But that doesn't mean there aren't occasions where it's an unacceptable process, and I ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 8/21/16

Wow, what a fight! Conor McGregor found a way to survive in an absolute war with Nate Diaz on Saturday night. McGregor earned a majority decision (48-47 twice, 47-47) in a true thriller that took place here in Las Vegas. I certainly don't claim to be any kind of expert when it comes to MMA. I would fall into the casual fan category, and I don't even attempt to try and handicap these events. But I can guarantee that I'll be hoping for a McGregor-Diaz rubber match, as this fight was simply tremendous to watch. I scored the fight 48-47 McGregor, giving Conor the critical second round thanks to the advantage I thought he maintained for the majority of that frame. I thought the other four rounds were easy to score, so it really did come down to how round two got scored. In this instance, all three ringside judges gave the nod to McGregor and that proved to be vital as Diaz was the better guy in two of the final three segments. These are the type of fights that have put UFC where ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 8/20/16

The Dallas Cowboys enjoyed quite a coming out party in their first exhibition home game on Friday night. Tony Romo and Dak Prescott did pretty much whatever they wanted as the 'Boys romped to a lopsided 41-14 win over a badly overmatched Miami squad. It might not have counted in the standings, but Dallas fans have to be euphoric at what they witnessed. The same cannot possibly said for anyone sporting Dolphins colors. The Dolphins were playing their second straight road game, and they ran headlong into a Cowboys team that appeared to be pretty focused on putting together a good performance. But that doesn't excuse some really poor play by the Dolphins on both sides of the ball. The offense moved the ball well while Ryan Tannehill was under center. Tannehill was betrayed by his receivers, who had five drops, including a couple that cost the team some points. Arian Foster gets a pass as this was was his first live action since getting hurt while still with the Texans, but he ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 8/19/16

I made a case a couple of days ago as to why I think the Boston Red Sox should make a bold move. My suggestion is that they dig all the way down to Hi-A Salem, the current residence of hot prospect Michael Kopech, and call up the rocket launching righty for work in short relief helping to set up closer Craig Kimbrel. If you want to read the full text, scroll back a couple days and you'll find it. Meanwhile, here's an update. The Boston bullpen blew another game on Thursday. Junichi Tazawa, who has been pretty horrible in high leverage spots this year, was awful again. He failed to retire any of the three Tigers he faced, they all eventually scored, and a 3-1 lead became a 4-3 deficit. The Red Sox made a run at retaking the lead in the ninth, but a bases loaded line drive was snared by Ian Kinsler, and what should have been a win turned into a potentially critical loss. As for Kopech, he pitched on Thursday night for Salem. Six innings, three hits, one run, zero walks, 11 ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 7/18/16

Week Two of the NFL pre-season kicks off tonight, and as is now always the case, there's loads of material to sift through regarding each and every team. Much of what's written or talked about on videos and podcasts is extraneous and of little value other than entertainment. But if you're willing to sift through what's available, some occasional gems are uncovered. That doesn't mean you can simply bet the info and then wait to cash the ticket, or watch the dollars get added to your online or mobile account. But there are what I feel are edges available, and I'd at least offer there's a good chance to profit from those advantages. I know I beat this same drum repetitively every season at this time, but it also generally pays off more often than not in these August football games. So read, watch, listen, learn and you'll logically increase your chances of deriving a nice profit from these otherwise meaningless games. Just one play for me on Wednesday, but it worked out well ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 8/17/16

It's not exactly a secret that the Red Sox have some serious bullpen issues. The Bosox did manage to hold the Orioles off the scoreboard late on Tuesday evening as they pulled out a critical 5-3 decision. But that was after the Boston arson squad had failed to protect a 3-0 lead. Maybe, just maybe, it's time for Red Sox management to make a bold move that could pay great dividends down the stretch. Casual baseball fans have very likely never heard of Michael Kopech. Prior to this season, the news on Kopech had been almost exclusively regarding off the field problems. First, there was a suspension for a drug test that came up positive for a banned stimulant. Then, a clubhouse fight with a teammate that resulted in Kopech suffering a broken bone in his pitching hand. But the 2014 first-round draft choice is now garnering headlines for what he's doing on the field. Kopech is tearing it up at Hi-A Salem. In eight starts covering 38.1 innings, Kopech is 2-1 with a glittering 1.41 ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 8/16/16

There's questionable judgment, and then there's just downright dopey. File this one in the latter category. An employee of the Chicago Cubs is now an ex-employee of the Chicago Cubs. I'm not big on canning people for a gaffe, but this was kind of a beauty. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth inning of Sunday evening's game against the Cardinals. This was not a save situation for the flame throwing southpaw, as the Cubs were trailing 6-4. So upon the conclusion of the top of the ninth inning, there was the usual musical interlude as filler until the bottom of the frame got underway. The choice of the music was, uh, less than enthusiastically received. The employee selected a Prodigy number called.... "Smack My Bitch Up". I can't say for sure, but I'll guess the employee thought this was somehow funny in light of Chapman's well publicized domestic incident this past off season. It wasn't even chuckle material, which once again suggests that comedy should be left to comedians ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 8/15/16

I know I preach this all the time, but with the start of another college football season now just around the bend, I'll do it again. If you haven't yet bookmarked the sites that offer the best local coverage for as many FBS teams as possible, you're simply missing the boat. It really doesn't matter what your methodology for 'capping the games happens to be, information from those who have the most knowledge on the teams has to be of paramount importance. It's even more important when dealing with lower profile programs that fly under the national radar, at least that's the way I see it. That's it for today's commentary. I've got a pretty lengthy writeup on my first free college play for the 2016 campaign, so let's get right to it! I split Sunday, losing a little juice with two baseball games. The free play on this page is my fifth college bet made to date, and while there might be one or two more, I'm now pretty close to set for the first week of the season. For info ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 8/14/16

I'm passing on the commentary today, but there's never passing when it comes to the daily free plays. Those did nicely on Saturday, with the Reds getting the job done on the diamond, while the Rams -3.5 was pretty much a miracle NFLx winner. On the one hand, that was obviously a very fortunate winner as the Rams pulled off a huge comeback. But at the same time, it proved the value of getting on plays in advance of the market potentially getting involved. That's something that's of paramount importance to me as far as my personal service is concerned. For info on that, email me at cokin@cox.net. Here's the Sunday free play, and I'll again recommend that the F5 be played here, as it's the better option in my estimation. TIGERS (Fulmer) at RANGERS (Griffin) Take: TIGERS F5 (likely in the -110 to -120 range) Michael Fulmer has been a revelation for the Tigers. He's the leader in the clubhouse for AL Rookie of the Year, and hasn't shown any sign of wearing down even though the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 8/13/16

I'm not particularly into the Olympic Games, and I think anyone who has heard me over the years knows I'm not a soccer fan. But I know enough about the sport to understand that the US Women's team losing to Sweden and getting kayoed from the event in the process was a big surprise. Evidently the Americans dominated the game but ended up on the short end of the final score. I'm sure this was therefore really frustrating to the team and most of its fans as well. But rather than exit with grace, one American player decided she simply had to make a complete ass of herself. Guess who? Yep, Hope Solo just had to take a verbal shot at the team that won the game. Here's some of what she had to say. "Sweden dropped off, didn't want to open play. They didn't want to pass the ball around. They didn't want to play great soccer, entertaining soccer. It was a combative game, a physical game. Exactly what they wanted and exactly what their game plan was....I don't think they're going to ... More