Dave’s Free Play, Friday 6/28/13
Thursday turned out to be an exciting day for UNLV Runnin’ Rebel hoops fans as Anthony Bennett was the first selection in the NBA draft. So much for all those rumors about Bennett sliding as the draft neared. Congrats to Bennett and to Rebels head coach Dave Rice. The Bennett pick is a huge benefit in terms of recruiting the most high-end high school players.
On the diamond, the Twins were it for me on Thursday and they came through with the 3-1 victory over the Royals. The packed Friday night card will offer more opportunities, and hopefully some great results as well. Purchase tonight’s card by clicking the “buy now” tab. For monthly or seasonal rates, drop me an email at email@example.com.
06/28 07:05 PM MLB (927) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (928) OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Take: (928) OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Identify what this athlete does based on the following information. 40 years old. Listed at 5-11, 265. Considered done after the 2009 season, and also drew a 2012 suspension for a failed drug test. Throws fastball 85% of the time, mixing in the slider or changeup as little as possible.
If you were to provide me with that information about Player X and ask me what he does for a living, I would immediately reply that he’s a situational relief pitcher. What else could he be? Overwhelming one-pitch dominance, old guy, not in great shape. This has to be one of those rubber arm vets with enough savvy to hang on earning a living in the show.
I would be incorrect with my supposedly educated guess, of course. The pitcher in question is Bartolo Colon, who continues to defy logic as he churns out innings and wins for the Oakland A’s.
Colon has been a machine for Oakland this season. The A’s have won all but three of his starts, and that includes each of the last seven outings. There is nothing on his chart that stands out, but he almost always gives his team a legit chance to win. I expect more of the same tonight, even though he draws a tough lineup with the Cardinals coming to town.
Shelby Miller has been outstanding for the Redbirds, although he hasn’t been quite as razor sharp lately. It looks as though the Cardinals are tightening the leash on his innings and pitch counts just a little, which makes plenty of sense. This team wants Miller as fresh as possible for October baseball (which is what the Nationals should have done with Strasburg last season, incidentally).
Miller is entirely capable of shutting down any big league lineup and I won’t be shocked if he does exactly that tonight in Oakland. But if there’s going to be a lull for the rookie sensation, it might be right about now.
No doubt about it, this is a tough call. But the A’s have a big win streak going with Colon on the mound, and for whatever reason, Oakland just continues to be underrated by the bettors. I’ll side with the A’s to sneak out the home win tonight.