Dave’s Free Play, Friday 9/25/15
Baseball decided to listen to the complaints. The powers that be in MLB made an effort to speed up the games by implementing a couple of subtle rules this season. I never quite understood the beef with having to speed up a game that, on average, runs less than three hours. But that apparently wasn’t the case with the majority, so they did something about it.
So, can we get a chorus of the same complaints regarding college football? I’m not in a hurry to do anything at my age. But even I think these games are going on way too long. It’s getting to be ridiculous, actually. Last night’s Cincinnati/Memphis game started nearly an hour earlier than the NFL clash between Washington and the Giants. Granted, there was a lengthy timeout when Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel was injured, but even subtracting that unfortunate delay, the game ran well over three hours and 30 minutes. It finally ended right about the same time the NFL game was concluding, which is a bit absurd.
If the marathon that was Cincinnati/Memphis was an exception, there wouldn’t be anything to discuss. But the fact is that college games are running extremely long. It might be time to explore some options to speed things up. The irony is that the game itself is being played at a faster pace than ever. But fast break offenses actually seem to be lengthening the games thanks to the rules.
I’d like to propose a couple changes. The first is a cinch. No more stopping the clock on every first down. It’s unnecessary and nothing could be easier to implement. That’s a guaranteed time saver.
I’m also in favor of fewer automatic replay reviews. No problem with doing these on scoring plays or possible changes of possession. But aside from that, it should be strictly coaching challenges.
It’s not like I want these games to start and finish in a blink. But I sure wouldn’t mind if the games don’t regularly approach the four hour mark in terms of duration. That’s too long, and a couple of easy tweaks should solve the problem.
Small gain overall on Thursday. I blew -1.25 in baseball with yet another eighth inning lost lead. The eighth inning has been my nemesis all summer. I picked up +1.5 in the college football game. I had Cincinnati full game and decided to try and cash two tickets by taking a half unit flyer on Memphis in the second half. That one could not have worked out better.
I’ve got eight games already played for Saturday in college, plus one NFL wager pending. I’m likely to add one or two more college games and will also be placing another NFL game or two on the Sunday card. Get the goods on receiving all my plays by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll reply as quickly as I can with all the details on how everything works.
Thursday’s free play was on a Saturday college game. I had intended to post another football game for today’s comp. But circumstances changed thanks to a Thursday result on the diamond, and I’m instead taking one of tonight’s MLB games instead.
INDIANS (Carrasco) @ ROYALS (Volquez)
Take: INDIANS -116 (Southpoint)
Congratulations to the Royals. Kansas City wrapped up the AL Central title last night with a win against the Mariners. That’s the first division title for the Royals in a whopping 30 years. It also means that unlike last season, when the Royals needed a big late rally in the play-in game just to survive, they now get to relax a bit.
The Royals might also need to relax thanks to a little bit of a hangover. The guys deserved to celebrate this accomplishment and they made sure they did. The clubhouse was awash in champagne, and several thousand Royals fans stuck around for an en masse curtain call that lasted for quite some time.
That makes tonight’s game against the Indians a dead spot of sorts. I’ll have to wait to see what the KC lineup looks like, but it would not be surprising to see a regular or two get a night off.
Beyond that, the Royals also have to contend with hard throwing Carlos Carrasco, who has dominated them twice already this season. Carrasco is “only” 13-11, but he’s been better than that. The Indians are still on life support for the playoffs, trailing the Astros by four games for the second wild card spot. So this game still has meaning for the Tribe.
Edinson Volquez is doing a solid job for the hosts, so this is not anything resembling a slam dunk. But the oddsmakers are tipping their hand here with the Indians now sitting in the road chalk role. That’s right, the team with the best record in the league is hosting a sub-.500 visitor and the road team is the favorite. That’s a tell and I’ll be happy to step and try to take advantage. Let’s put this one strictly into the scheduling scenario category and take a shot with the Indians and Carrasco.