Dave’s Free Play, Friday 7/25/14

  • July 25, 2014

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is now less than one week away, and it looks as though there could be a flurry of activity. It doesn’t appear as though any blockbusters are looming, but there are some good players on the market. With so many teams still involved in the playoff chase, I think it’s fair to assume we should see plenty of action.

The biggest name on the possible move is Cole Hamels, but the team that might have the most interest is not one of the contenders. The Red Sox are pretty much dead in the water as far as this season is concerned. But with Jon Lester apparently determined to test the free agent waters, the Red Sox are being proactive here. Boston has a very deep organization and is therefore a perfect trade partner for the Phillies, who desperately need to restock their system.

The Yankees have already added Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, but they’re not done dealing. The recent surge almost guarantees the Yankees will swing another deal or two. They reportedly are hot for Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa.

It sure sounds like Jake Peavy is going to be on the move, and the Cardinals are still the rumored destination. St. Louis needs another starting pitcher and reports are that the Red Sox have had their top scouts taking in lower level Cardinals minor league games.

Aaron Hill’s name keeps popping up as the most likely member of the Diamondbacks to be wearing a new uniform shortly. Hill should be on the wish list for several teams, and if that’s the case, the Snakes could be well positioned to score a really good prospect from one of the prospective trade partners.

The Mets have apparently let the Rockies know they’d be interested in either Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, but it doesn’t sound like the Rockies are ready to deal either star. But outfielder Drew Stubbs has a good chance to be changing addresses.

Justin Masterson is currently rehabbing and wasn’t pitching at all well prior to getting hurt, but he’s still a high potential pickup who will attract offers. I have no idea what the Indians asking price might be, but I’ll assume that it has to be a righty bat, as that’s a pressing need for the team presently.

The Tigers are not done shopping yet and are still on the prowl for a southpaw reliever. The Dodgers are also looking to upgrade their staff, but they reportedly covet a starting pitcher. Considering the form of Dan Haren, that makes sense, as does the team getting at least one of their outfielders out of LA.

Finally, I saw tonight where the Cubs are entertaining offers for Edwin Jackson. Good luck with that, Theo. Jackson still has two years remaining on a very bloated contract, so it’s difficult to envision Jackson getting moved unless the Cubs pick up a good percentage of the money still owed the mediocre righty.

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A nice sweep for me on the Thursday personal plays, so while I haven’t had what I’d call a hot streak at any point this month, it’s nevertheless shaping up as a very positive July with a steady black ink grind.

I’m already on three games for Friday, plus a pair of CFL games this weekend. All my plays are included with the purchase of my monthly package. But that’s not just one month of selections, it’s two months for the price of one. Subscribe now by utilizing the “buy now” tab on this page, or simply get in touch with me via email at cokin@cox.net.

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Corey Kluber certainly did his job on Thursday night, but the Indians ended up on the short end of a 2-1 tally as the Royals walked off with a 14-inning win. Tonight’s free play is already on my personal card for Friday, along with two other games.

07/25  05:40 PM   MLB  (911) PITTSBURGH PIRATES  at  (912) COLORADO ROCKIES

Take: (912) COLORADO ROCKIES +110

I can’t recall the last time I bet on the Rockies to win a baseball game. I can state with certainly it’s been at least two months, although I’ve definitely made a number of anti-Rockies wagers in that time span. But I’m going to take my chances with this last place entry tonight in a game that I believe sets up well for them.

The key here is Brett Anderson, and the impression he left with me on the eye test in his most recent start. I pay quite a bit of attention to dips in velocity and normally want to go against those pitchers seeing a substantial decline. That’s the case with Anderson presently, and in fact I’ve made two successful plays against the lefty since he came off the disabled list.

But off what I’ve seen of Anderson, I was fortunate to get those two winners. He got bombed by the Twins in the opening inning of his first start off the DL, but settled down after that and actually pitched much better than his line might have indicated. Anderson was even better last time out in a stellar seven inning effort against the Pirates. The Bucs eventually won that game, but they did very little against Anderson. If he’s locating his arsenal like he was in that most recent start, I would expect this to be a tough night for the Pirates hitters, even in the hitter’s haven known as Coors Field.

Charlie Morton will throw for the Bucs tonight. Morton has been very tough, but is still prone to the occasional big inning. I also don’t like the way his stuff figures to play out at Coors. Morton has made two career starts here, and while his overall lines weren’t terrible, one thing really caught my eye. Morton is a pitcher who thrives and survives getting ground balls. But in those two starts at Coors, his ground ball percentage was way below its norm. That’s a red flag for me, as when Morton doesn’t get grounders, he also doesn’t get wins as a rule.

The downside here is that the Rockies are a bad baseball team with an awful bullpen. Plus, the Pirates have demolished losing teams all season. But I really liked what I saw from Anderson and want to try him here. I also don’t mind the fact that it’s a lock that the Pirates will be a very popular public side tonight, while I’m of the belief the pro dough is going to show on the home dog. You won’t see me on this bad baseball team often, but tonight I’ll be taking my chances with the Rockies in the role of home dog.