Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 4/27/13
The proverbial bump in the road rose up and got me Friday night. On a big roll heading into the evening’s action, I was very disappointed with a 1-4 result. Those nights are going to happen on occasion over the course of any season. The idea is to avoid bunching them together and to have the ability to bounce right back. That’s the intent today, and the bottom line for the month is still solid overall, on the heels of a terrific March.
The one play I’m beating myself up on was the Marlins. Looked right on paper, but that team is just too awful offensively to put any faith in. Add in the fact that it’s a toxic situation from the top down, thanks to what appears to be a team-wide dislike for meddlesome owner Jeffrey Loria and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Then there’s the apparent insistence of manager Mike Redmond to give the most plate appearances available to Juan Pierre, who should be hitting anyplace other than leadoff if he’s going to be starting regularly. Redmond is stuck in that old mindset where because a guy can steal bases, he should be hitting first. Bad idea. Giving a guy with a .226 OBP the most at bats is just plain stupid. What good are stolen bases if the player can’t get to first base to begin with? Placido Polanco is the player who should be leading off for Miami, and I would be hitting Donovan Solano second. Or vice versa, doesn’t matter. But the main thing is to get your two best OBP players more at bats, while also increasing RBI opportunities for Giancarlo Stanton. This isn’t going to turn the miserable Marlins into the 1927 Yankees, but it would at least give them a few more scoring chances.
Here’s today’s free opinon. And for those who want my best stuff each day, get the rates and info by emailing me directly at: email@example.com
04/27 01:05 PM MLB (915) BALTIMORE ORIOLES VS (916) OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Take: (915) BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Not a great deal of focus on the two pitchers here. I basically have Chris Tillman and AJ Griffin right about even. Griffin has slightly better base numbers, some of Tillman’s peripherals would garner him a slight edge. Obviously, Tillman gets a current form advantage as he’s off a solid effort while Griffin was absolutely bombed last time out. But a one-game sample doesn’t mean a whole lot. I know the A’s have a ridiculous record whenever Griffin starts, particularly at home, but scanning across all the columns it’s pretty easy to see there’s been some pretty good fortune along the way. But that’s offset by my never really knowing what to expect out of the erratic Tillman, and he’s not exactly the type to put one in a comfort zone.
So if the pitching is a wash, there’s a little value on the Orioles, but not really enough to get excited about. The impetus for me is more on the offense here. The A’s had been killing the ball, but the attack has ground to a halt the last couple of games.It looks to me like they’re finally really starting to miss Yoenis Cespedes. He’ll be back shortly, but not today. It’s not like Cespedes was killing the ball before he got hurt, as he was only 8/40, although he did have three long balls. But this is clearly not nearly as dangerous a lineup sans Cespedes. He enables the guys around him to see better pitches. Instead, we’re now seeing pitchers really attack this batting order and with increasingly good results.
Sometimes we all complicate what’s really simple. Today, I’ll rely on the most basic of all analysis to hopefully produce a winner. The Orioles just keep on winning and they’re in excellent form right now. Oakland has gone the other way over the last ten games and they’re on an 0-3 skid right now. Add in a plus sign on the price and the Orioles appear worth a play today. (Note today’s comp is currently not a personal play. If that changes, I will note so on my Twitter page.)