Dave’s Free Play, Friday 5/31/13

  • May 31, 2013

My Thursday started off badly with an ugly loser on the White Sox. Fortunately, the evening was far more enjoyable with the Red Sox winning easily and the Mets coming through as a big dog. So a good day overall, and I’ll have a bigger than usual card for Friday to wrap up the month of May.

I’m already on four games today, three sides and one total. Get all four by clicking on the tab to the right of the page, where you can also try one full week of plays. Or better yet, find out about a dynamite special offer I’ve got for the month of June. This includes a solid guarantee, and all the info is yours when you email me directly at cokin@cox.net.

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I’m in pretty good shape with my pre-season win total futures. The Rockies are on pace to go well Over their number. I was very anti-Milwaukee and that one looks like a snap right now. So does what I thought was a relatively easy call on the Blue Jays to stay Under what was an egregiously inflated number based on public perception.

But one that looks to be heading down the tubes is the Orioles Under prop. I was convinced that the Birds had to decline. After all, they were ridiculously successful in one-run and extra inning games last season, plus they appeared to have done nothing to improve themselves over the winter. My mistake was not realizing that while this team might have gotten a little lucky last season, the truth is they’re a damn good baseball team. Manny Machado is a superstar in the making, Chris Davis is turning out to be even better than almost anyone could have imagined, and you’re not going to find many teams more fundamentally sound than Baltimore. The starting pitching is still a major concern and the bullpen is well down from last season. But while I’m not convinced this team can do enough to get to the post-season, I would now be surprised of they don’t win at least half their games. And if the Orioles decide to become buyers at the trade deadline, a second straight playoff berth could definitely become a reality.

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05/31 04:10 PM  MLB   (907) NEW YORK METS VS (908) MIAMI MARLINS

Take: (907) NEW YORK METS

Break up those amazin’ Mets! A sweep of the rival Yankees has this team flying high as they journey to Miami for a series with the pathetic Marlins. Two big streaks in play here, with the Mets on a 5-0 roll while Miami has now dropped nine straight.

The visitors will send Shaun Marcum to the mound still searching for his first win of the season. But Marcum has been rock solid over his last three starts and he’s suddenly getting loads of swings and misses. That has to bode well for the veteran righty as he squares off against what is baseball’s worst offense by a wide margin.

Jacob Turner has been recalled from AAA to take the hill for the Marlins. After failing to make the parent team out of spring training, Turner really struggled down on the farm. He has been considerably better lately, and I would think he’s going to be given an opportunity to earn a regular rotation spot. Turner has not lived up to billing as a former first round pick by the Tigers. He really doesn’t have top of the rotation stuff, so I don’t see Turner ever becoming a star. But he could be decent enough to be an okay mid to back of the rotation guy as he develops.

The pitchers vs. batter comparison is a bit surprising as Marcum has had some issues with the lineup he’ll likely see here, while the probable Mets starters are just 4/29 against Turner. Also, the Mets have to guard against a letdown following the stunning sweep against the Yankees.

But Marcum in his present form still has to rate an edge over Turner. I’d sure rather have a team that’s won five straight rather than the alternative entry that’s on a nine-game slide. Plus, the Mets are a substantial +52 net runs better than the Marlins, and the Fish have little or no home field advantage. Add it all up and it’s easy enough to justify looking at the Mets tonight.