Cokin’s Corner, Monday 4/25/16

  • April 25, 2016

The Sunday sports scene couldn’t have been much more exciting. The late games on the baseball slate were absolutely nuts, there was an NHL series clinch in a tremendous double overtime duel, and even the NBA chipped in with a pair of exciting games.

But the big news coming out of Sunday’s action came in a game that ended up being a blowout. Golden State ended up demolishing Houston to take a 3-1 lead in that series, and the Warriors will likely wrap up the session on Wednesday. But they will have to do so without superstar Stephen Curry.

As everyone who follows the NBA already knows, Curry injured a knee yesterday. It certainly didn’t look good, and it’s going to be nail biting time for every Warriors fan, and for that matter most every basketball fan, as the wait for MRI results begins.

This is an utter disaster for Curry and the Warriors if he’s out for an extended period. After breaking the all-time regular season wins record and heading into the playoffs as a clear favorite to capture a second straight title, Golden State could now be in trouble. It’s not impossible for them to win without Curry, but they won’t be the chalk if this is a serious injury.

If this is potentially awful news for the Warriors, it’s just as terrible for the league. Curry is the league’s showcase player and Golden State is presently the most popular team in the NBA. From a business standpoint, no Curry will unquestionably mean lower ratings and therefore less revenue. So let’s just say it’s not the Warriors who’ve got their fingers crossed on this one.

I won’t say I’m the typical NBA fan, as the fact is, I prefer MLB and NHL for my own viewing. But when Curry is in action, I’m watching. I’m sure I’ll tune in if he’s out just to see how the team performs without him, but it’s sure not going to be must-see TV in my home, and I don’t think I’m the exception rather than the rule here.

So I’ll keep my fingers crossed as well. Get well soon, Steph. Real soon.

Things are going quite well right now and Sunday was a bonanza. 4-1 on the diamond, a series NHL win with the Islanders and a cover by the Pistons in the NBA. That’s a big day and April has a chance to end up as a very big month with a strong final week.

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The Marlins hung on to defeat the Giants as the Sunday free play. This looked to be in dire straits in the eighth inning when the Giants, down just 5-4, loaded the bases with none out. But David Phelps somehow got out of the mess unscathed, and Miami escaped with the victory. Heres’s the Monday comp.

905 CARDINALS (Garcia) @ 906 DIAMONDBACKS (Greinke)

Take: CARDINALS +115

There’s a dynamite duel on the board tonight, with Jaime Garcia and Zack Greinke locking up as the Cardinals open a series against the Diamondbacks.

Garcia is a terrific pitcher who’s biggest problem over the years has been staying healthy. But when he’s able to go, the southpaw is tough as nails. As for Greinke, he’s the spotlight guy for the Diamondbacks and following a shaky start to the season, the veteran righty is starting to get it together.

This one is all about the check marks for me, and most of those are on the St. Louis side. First off, for whatever reason, the Snakes are simply not winning at home. Arizona has won only three of ten when wearing the whites, while the Redbirds have managed to forge a winning record on the road in the early going.

The Diamondbacks have put up some big numbers against lefties in this ballpark. But the Cardinals have been even more productive against righties on the road so far. Note that these are all obviously small samples as the season is only a few weeks old, but the current data does indeed indicate the Cardinals.

One are where I’m not as comfortable is with the bullpen. There’s no question at all that St. Louis has the better relief corps. I don’t think it’s particularly close on that count. But that advantage might not be as defined tonight. I know that sounds strange considering that it was Arizona that ended up using the entire pen in that Sunday marathon with the Pirates. But the key guys for Arizona actually weren’t particularly extended and should be available tonight. I’m not sure Trevor Rosenthal will be given the green light after a very lengthy 34-pitch save yesterday at San Diego.

The bottom line here is that my starting pitcher ratings here are very close. I have Greinke a few digits ahead of Garcia overall, but current form favors Garcia and it doesn’t hurt that he’s lived facing the Diamondbacks in the past. For that matter, this series has been extremely lopsided for some time, with the Redbirds in command. Even with the aforementioned minor bullpen concern, I have the Cardinals as the small chalk on my scorecard. With Arizona the small favorite on the betting line, I’ll be looking at the Cardinals as the side tonight.