Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 3/30/16

  • March 30, 2016

As has always been the case since MLB Network arrived on the scene, I’ve been watching as much exhibition baseball as I can. I guess from a business standpoint, this is where I’m supposed to say how scouting the players and the games is going to help me win lots of games once the real actin begins. The truth is, not really. I might pick up something worthwhile here and there, but for the most part, I watch the games because that’s what I like to do.

But I do feel compelled to offer one piece of information that might get you to the window for an MVP wager. Carlos Correa is ridiculous. If you saw him last season as a rookie, you already knew that. If you’ve watched him this spring, take whatever projections you might have made for him in 2016 and just add across the board.

On Monday, I saw Correa rip a ground ball right at the opposing second baseman. The poor guy never had a chance. In fact, the ball was hit so damn hard, it went all the way to the warning track before one of the outfielders got to it. That’s something you just don’t see every day.

Correa tripled in his next at bat and the apt description from one of the broadcasters regarding the sound the ball made off his bat was “like two bricks being smashed together”, which was a really good way of phrasing it.

Mike Trout is the favorite to win the AL MVP, but he’s on what could be a mediocre 2016 Angels squad. Josh Donaldson is cheap as he’s the reigning MVP and he’s a good bet to be in the hunt for a repeat. Manny Machado gets better by the year, but he could also get hamstrung by being on a team that might be an also-ran. Miguel Cabrera is still Miguel Cabrera, but he’s also a bit of an injury risk. There are a handful of other guys who figure to be in the conversation as well.

But in terms of value, I’ll take Correa. There’s a pretty substantial variance as far as prices go, so my best advice is to shop around and find the best number. This kid is the next big thing, and even though he still hasn’t reached triple digits in major league games played, I believe Correa has a real shot to be an MVP this season.

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2-0 Tuesday with Columbia on the college side and a late info play on the Bulls in the NBA also winning. I will almost certainly be on one of tonight’s NHL sides and I’ve already played one of this evening’s college games, which I will use here as the daily free play.

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I made a big deal out of potential fatigue being an obstacle for road weary UC Irvine, and I think that was indeed what did them in last night at Columbia. The Anteaters looked a step slow toward the end of each half, and that was pretty much the difference in the game. I’ll go in-state for tonight’s play as the CBI final series continues.

519 MOREHEAD STATE  at  520 NEVADA

Take: 520 NEVADA -4

The opening game of this best two of three series went to the wire with Morehead State prevailing by three on its home court. The scene shifts to Reno tonight and if there’s a third and final game, that will also be played at Lawlor.

The Wolf Pack fans are really enjoying this ride. This is the best it’s been for Nevada in quite a few years and there’s some real excitement in the northern part of the Silver State with what Eric Musselman has already accomplished.

The fact Nevada lost the first game by only three points has me believing they have a very good chance to win and cover tonight as moderate chalk. Marqueze Coleman had a pretty bad game for the Wolf Pack. Cameron Oliver was able to log only 22 minutes in the loss. Lyonell Gaines had the game of his life for Morehead State. The Eagles had a spectacular 17:5 assist to turnover ratio. All that, and the game just missed going to overtime on a missed Nevada three at the horn.

I have to think there’s some progression/regression to the norm from some of the things I just mentioned. I also see the home court edge being significant with a good crowd anticipated, and I expect them to be pretty raucous.

Let’s also throw the Reno altitude into the mix. People sometime forget that we’re talking right around 4500 feet here, and for those not used to it, that can be a bit taxing considering the energy that’s going to spent.

I don’t anticipate this being a blowout, but I see Nevada doing enough to get this one in the win column and forcing the rubber match on Friday. At -4, I’ll go ahead and make my play on the Wolf Pack.