Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 5/22/18
The big buzz tis last weekend in baseball took place in the Rays-Angels series. That’s because Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash utilized some outside the box strategy in starting career reliever Sergio Romo in consecutive games. The ploy worked as Romo did a very good job and speculation immediately began as to this been a regular occurrence for the Rays. Lots of talk about whether other teams might be trying the same thing moving forward.
I’m not in that camp. I think the Romo ploy was done specifically with the opponent in mind. In this case, it was the Angels and they’re a team with a righty-heavy lineup that is really top loaded with that Mike Trout guy in the mix. Romo was therefore a really nice finesse fit for an inning or two before giving way to the lefty “starter” on Friday and as the lead in a Johnny Wholestaff type of game on Saturday.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a good gimmick stab and under the right circumstances I can see it being tried by other teams as well. But for those thinking that this is the dawn of a new age, think again. This is only going to get done when the matchup might favor such a move and a team has its #5 starter slated. That’s the only time it really makes any sense to me and I would be shocked to see this become anything more than a novelty act moving forward.
A harmless split for me on Monday, winning with the Phillies and missing with a F5 play on the Marlins. I ran into Jason Vargas on the night he finally located what had been his AWOL changeup and lost a 1-0 decision in the Marlins-Mets. No change in the season to date ledger as it was a right down the middle split.
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The Capitals came through as the Monday free opinion. Today’s choice is a game that will be a play for my subscribers.
TIGERS at TWINS (Boyd-Lynn)
Take: TIGERS F5 +130 or better
I never foresaw Detroit lefty Matt Boyd as anything more than a back end starting pitcher on a weak team. He’s still on a weak team, but Boyd has shed the rotation filler label and I would now classify him as a league average starter.
That’s a whole lot better than the year to date version of Lance Lynn. To say it’s been a struggle for the Twins veteran righty would be quite an understatement. Lynn is having all kinds of control issues. His hard hit rate is vastly higher than it ever was previously. There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong physically, but the Lance Lynn who was a really solid starting pitcher for four years with the Cardinals prior to getting injured has simply not been the same guy ever since returning.
Tonight’s play is virtually 100% on the starting pitching matchup. The Twins have the superior bullpen and offense and by significant margins. So there’s not much interest here in having the Tigers side once the relievers take over. But early on, I make Boyd a favorite over Lynn, which makes the first half option with Detroit very enticing. I’m going the F5 route with the Tigers tonight.