Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 8/1/18

  • July 31, 2018

For those who’ve read this blog on even an occasional basis over the years, get set for a surprise. I’m about to heap praise on the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

I lost count long ago of the number of columns I’d written displaying my disdain for the small market mentality of the Pirates organization. And make no mistake, I was chomping at the bit waiting to unload on them again when they either stood pat or sold at this year’s deadline.

But lo and behold, the Pittsburgh Pirates actually went into buy mode this time around. The Bucs obtained the services of two valuable pitchers. Chris Archer could well immediately establish himself as the new staff ace, Keone Kela adds significant depth to the Pittsburgh bullpen and the Pirates late inning relief corps now shapes up as one of the better crews in the game.

Better yet, the two pitchers acquired are not rentals. Archer and Kela are under team control for the immediate and down the road future.

The Pirates did have to part with a couple of name prospects to land Archer. Austin Meadowis a highly regard outfielder and Tyler Glasnow has all kinds of upside. Glasnow is a really good get for the Rays. He’s still got mechanical issues, not unusual for a pitcher of his size. But Glasnow has a tremendous arsenal and if he harnesses his command, he could legitimately be a top of the rotation hurler. Even if he doesn’t, Glasnow has the capability of becoming a bullpen stud. I’m not as high as most on Meadows, to be honest. That puts me in the minority, but I don’t see more than a league average type as far as Meadows goes. That doesn’t mean I’m right, but I’m pretty good with my prospect projections and I’m not particularly bullish on Meadows.

Bottom line to all this is it’s nice to see the Pirates acting like contenders. Even if they fall short this season, they’ve improved themselves for 2019 and 2020 already.

Nice 2-0 on Tuesday with the Giants and Rockies. One Over/Under already played for Wednesday and I’ll likely add a side or two in the morning.

The NFL exhibition season kicks off tomorrow night! For those interested in getting all my plays for the upcoming college and pro campaign, just choose one of the available options at the Cokin’s Picks menu to the right of the page. For more elaborate info, email me directly at

The Giants pulled one out in extras on Tuesday as the free play winner. Just a lean on one of the Wednesday matchups.

BLUE JAYS (Stroman) at ATHLETICS (Manaea)

Take: A’S -135

Marcus Stroman takes on Sean Manaea in the finale of the Toronto-Oakland series. The A’s had a rough weekend at Colorado as their bats went silent. But a little home cookin’ was the remedy for the ailments and Oakland is back to bashing the ball.

I don’t see a great deal of difference between the two starting pitchers. The metrics crowd will give an edge to Stroman here based on his owning better numbers than Manaea in the FIP category. That’s become an almost automatic line move precursor. Money consistency shows on pitchers who have a positive differential in ERA/FIP as the analytics crowd loves to fire on pitcher with what they believe are misleading ERA’s. I don’t disagree with that philosophy, which is why I’ve got this pitching matchup very even.

But the rest favors Oakland and by a good sized margin. The Athletics have the far better bullpen and the A’s can also hit the daylights of of righty opponents. No bargain to be had here. If you’re searching for value, look elsewhere because this game is priced about right on the projections. But one team is gearing up for a playoff run while the other is pretty much just playing out the schedule. Oakland has won the first two in the series and I expect the A’s to close out the sweep.