Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 8/6/17
The one common theme at the MLB trading deadline involved contenders fortifying their bullpens. All five of the National League present playoff placeholders added relievers, as did those teams looking to work their way into the mix. Same story in the AL, with a strong emphasis on getting added pen help the definite trend.
But there was one notable exception, and that might well have been the team in perhaps the best position to go after a shutdown high leverage bullpen piece.
I’m referring to the Houston Astros. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why their one move was to bring in Francisco Liriano in a deal with the Blue Jays. I assume the Houston brass believed Liriano would be more effective in short relief stints than he’d been all season as a throughly mediocre starter.
I just don’t see it. Liriano is just not a very good big league pitcher anymore. His control is frequently horrible. While a move to the pen means he can probably focus on just his strongest pitches, I don’t know if that will matter much.
The Astros are going to win the AL West and they’re heavy favorites to have home field edge throughout the league playoffs. But with the emphasis and importance of owning those shutdown late inning pieces, I think this team could be in trouble come October. If that’s indeed the way it plays out, the Astros will have only themselves to blame for not pushing harder to strengthen the bullpen at the trade deadline.
I officially went 0-2 in Saturday baseball. But I did suggest to all my clients that they hedge with an in-game wager if the Mets got the jump on the Dodgers. That worked out well for anyone who did so. However, I only grade the full game result, so it’s in the ledger as a loss.
Meanwhile, another winner in the CFL as BC easily dispatched Saskatchewan. That’s a 9-1 current run in that league, with the only loss a somewhat ridiculous late game giveaway by Ottawa on Friday night. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic about the CFL results.
Next up, NFLx action beginning this week. I’m all about gathering as much pertinent info as possible to try and obtain an edge on these games. More often than not, the preseason results have been positive, and I expect more of the same this August.
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The Saturday free play result won’t be know for a handful of days as it was for one of the upcoming exhibition games. Here’s a side for Sunday in baseball.
YANKEES (Severino) at INDIANS (Carrasco)
Take: INDIANS -118
An outstanding pitching duel could be in store on Sunday as the Indians host the Yankees. New York will fire with a very hot Luis Severino while the Tribe counters with Carlos Carrasco.
Severino has really put it together for the Yanks. He’s commanding his high octane stuff like a polished veteran and is emerging as the true ace of the New York staff.
Carrasco is off an uncharacteristically awful start. That came earlier this week in a completely crazy game against Chris Sale and the Red Sox, perhaps the wildest game I’ve witnessed all season.
I’m one who likes backing high level starting pitchers off a really bad start. Legit #1 and #2 starters are very adept at rebounding right away after a game where they got blown up. I’m banking on that here with Carrasco.
It’s not a slam dunk in terms of value by any stretch, but I priced this game at Cleveland -126, so I’m garnering a bit of a savings at the current tab. I expect this to be a tight battle, but my Sunday free play will be on the Indians to come away with the win.