Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 7/16/16

  • July 15, 2016

And the winners are…the Houston Astros. The Yulieski Gourriel sweepstakes was concluded on Friday as the Astros signed the coveted Cuban star to a five year deal for a whole bunch of money.

I really don’t know where Gourriel will end up playing for Houston. His best position is third base, currently the domain of Luis Valbuena. Alex Bregman’s rapid ascension through the farm system further complicates matters, as he looks to be big league ready already. Carlos Correa is currently at shortstop, and he’s obviously staying in the lineup, although there’s some question as to whether it’ll be Bregman or Correa at shortstop long term. One or the other will slide over to third base.

So the question now is what do the Astros do with Valbuena. I guess he’s either going to move across the diamond to first base or get traded. As for Gourriel, once Bregman is with the big club, logic suggests Yulieski heads to a corner outfield spot. AJ Reed would probably end up platooning with Evan Gattis as the DH, with Gattis perhaps continuing to log some time behind the plate as well.

The bottom line is that the Astros are going to have an abundance of offensive talent, and the move that would seem to make the most sense is to dangle Valbuena for a starting pitcher. That’s an area where Houston could certainly benefit from an addition, and Valbuena might just be the right piece in a deal.

One thing sure is that the Astros are positioning themselves to be major contenders for years to come, and that offense is going to be something special moving forward.

Results from Friday evening are incomplete, although as I’m writing this, it sure looks like 1-2 is a likelihood. My Phillies play went down, Hamilton was a comfortable CFL winner, and the White Sox are trailing the Angels presently.

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I’ve played just one game thus far for Saturday’s baseball, so I’ll use that right here as the daily comp selection.

ROYALS (Duffy)  at  TIGERS (Pelfrey)

Take: ROYALS -120

A briefer than usual breakdown here, as this is really a starting pitcher play and not a great deal else.

I’m more than willing to back Danny Duffy here. The Royals have played their best baseball when he takes the mound, and fact is, Duffy is the KC ace right now. He’s been sensational on the road, and while Mike Pelfrey has shown some life lately for Detroit, there’s no question the pitching edge is strong on the Kansas City side.

There really aren’t that many spots where I’m even considering the Royals right now on the road, but Duffy is the one guy where I’ll make the exception. The Tigers will be minus Justin Upton, though the way he’s played, that’s not much of an absence.

This game fits on the -1 method I’ve been playing lately, but with the price where it is, there’s no need to go that route. I’ll bank on the southpaw Duffy to maintain his outstanding recent form and will give the Royals a play here.