Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 9/20/16
I already know I’m probably backing the wrong horse here. But I feel very comfortable in making this case for one of the major awards in baseball, and I’ll sum up my reasoning in a couple of paragraphs. Feel free to argue the point, but know in advance I won’t budge off my opinion.
I don’t have a vote that counts, but my choice for American League Most Valuable Player will yet again be Mike Trout.
Here’s my case in a nutshell. One, Trout remains the best player in the game. That opinion can be backed up easily enough, as he’s once again the leader by a substantial margin in WAR (wins above replacement). He’s also just better than everyone else. That’s not a slap in the face to Mookie Betts or Josh Donaldson or Jose Altuve or Manny Machado, who are each enjoying sensational campaigns. But go ahead and try to convince me that if you were handed a new franchise and had your choice of any active player to start your team with, you’d pick anyone other than Mike Trout.
So that leaves the, in my opinion, ridiculous argument that Trout can’t win the award because he’s playing on a bad team that has been out off the playoff chase for what amounts to the entire season. I honestly have never grasped this concept as anything but illogical. I just can’t comprehend why Trout gets penalized because his team sucks. That’s sure as hell not his fault.
Maybe my beef is with how the award is named. I’m not sure how one can accurately define “most valuable”, as there’s no real criteria to determine this. Oh wait, maybe there is. That would be the aforementioned WAR rating. But for me the bottom line is that the player who put together the best season is the rightful winner. That’s all I’ve got. Mike Trout for MVP.
I played the Bears for a half unit on Monday night, and was very simply all wet with that selection. I’m just happy that I didn’t play the full unit on the game. The Eagles were clearly the right side, and I was dead wrong in my analysis. Carson Wentz is two games into his NFL career, so yeah, this is an opinion based on a ridiculously small sample. If this guy stays healthy, he’s going to be one of the best QB’s in the game. Maybe not right away as even the most talented rookies have learning curves and beating the Browns and Bears isn’t exactly cream of the crop opposition. But I’m tremendously impressed with what I’ve seen and if anyone was selling stock in Wentz, I would definitely be buying.
No adds yet to the three college plays already sent out, but I likely will be adding today at some point. For details on how my personal service works, feel free to shoot me an email anytime at email@example.com.
My Tuesday free play will be on one of this weekend’s Week Three NFL matchups. I haven’t played this game yet, but I certainly would make it a favorite to be on my card this Sunday. Update as far as that goes will be on Twitter, where I can be followed @davecokin.
479 RAMS at 480 BUCCANEERS
Take: BUCCANEERS -4.5
I occasionally will make a play based almost solely on the situation, and this looks like one of those spots. I don’t like this scenario for the visiting Rams, and I very much like it for the Tampa Bay side.
First off, I’ll just say that I couldn’t care less about the travel factor. The west to east deal that used to work very well really hasn’t for some time now, and I basically ignored that completely when sizing up this particular game.
What does matter to me is that the 1-1 Rams are incompetent on offense and I believe they’re in the wrong place on the wrong week here.
Los Angeles is off a huge emotional win. They just won the first game in their new home and did so against a true rival as the Seahawks are divisional opponents. That was a gigantic victory for Jeff Fisher’s team. But were they impressive in getting past Seattle? I sure didn’t think so. I thought the win was more an indication of just how awful the Seattle offense is right now. The Seahawks offensive line is pathetic, and QB Russell Wilson was clearly not his usual self thanks to that balky ankle. The Rams were good enough to get the win, but I certainly didn’t upgrade them off getting that decision.
Meanwhile, the Bucs had to head to the desert to face a superior Cardinals squad that was smarting from a disappointing Week One defeat at the hands of the Patriots. Arizona was more than ready to play on Sunday, and the Cardinals were also catching the Bucs in a second straight road game off a divisional win against Atlanta. From a scheduling dynamics standpoint, that was one tough spot for Tampa Bay.
Had the Bucs put forth a big effort and just come up a little short, I might not feel as I do about this game. But they got absolutely humiliated by the Cardinals for the entire 60 minutes. I like this team to be improved this season, so my take here is that I’m going to get a fired up host eager to make immediate amends for a terrible showing.
Better team at home in what looks to be a favorable situational spot is more than palatable to me and I’m making the Buccaneers minus the points my Tuesday free play for this weekend’s NFL slate.