Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 9/21/13

  • September 21, 2013

My first negative night since back on 9/8, as I split in baseball but lost with the Under in the Boise/Fresno game. That was not a good decision on my part. Neither was the failure to play the Padres, with the Dodgers is a great fade spot. Bottom line was a -1.1 evening. Hardly the end of the world, but the mere fact I missed such an easy spot as the Friars really bothers me.

I also broke a vow I’d made prior to the start of the games on Twitter. I said I would take the night off from trashing any managers for their stupid sac bunt tries. I was true to my word…until Mike Scioscia got me frothing at the mouth with an outrageously awful decision in the Angels game. Tied at 2 in the 10th. Leadoff guy gets on. Kendrick up, Trout on deck. I’m telling myself, no, even old school Scioscia won’t bunt here and take the bat out of Trout’s hands. So naturally, Kendrick bunts. And with first base open, the best hitter on the Angels and almost any other team, is happily walked by the Mariners. Seattle skipper Eric Wedge then brings in a lefty to face Josh Hamilton. Double play, inning over.

The Angels eventually won the game, but no thanks to the wildly overrated Scioscia. He’s horrible. It galls me how these guys posing as “analysts” on MLB Network and ESPN haven’t got the stones to call out managers who make miserable decisions on a virtually nightly basis and steadfastly refuse to even recognize the existence of statistical studies that speak the truth in black and white.

Oh by the way…least amount of sacrifice bunts this year in the AL: White Sox, A’s, Rays, Red Sox, Indians. Not much the Chisox can do about their lack of talent. But note the next four in fewest sac bunts are good bets to all be playing in October.

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Today’s college card, as of now, features four spread plays, two money lines and one total. My entire card each day is yours with the purchase of any package, be it weekly, monthly, season or net winners. Email me at cokin@cox.net for all the details.

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In addition to being on my final card for Friday, the Halos were also the free play, so good result there. Here’s one for Saturday in college football.
09/21 10:00 AM  CF   (325) BALL STATE (326) EASTERN MICHIGAN

Take: (325) BALL STATE

Ball State let one get away last week at North Texas. The Cardinals, despite some turnover issues, appeared to have the game well in hand. But a slew of defensive injuries did major damage in the second half, and when the dust settled, Ball State was limping out of Denton with a very disappointing loss.

I’ve been tracking the injury situation all week, and while the Cardinals will not be 100% on the stop unit, they should be okay here. They also get a key guy back from a suspension on that side of the ball, plus their star running back is ready to return as well.

Eastern Michigan has been a terrible program for many moons, and following a promising 2011 improvement, the Eagles went right back into the dumpster last year. EMU has little in the way of a running game, and while QB Tyler Benz is emerging, this is still a poor offensive unit. The defense has been a bit of a surprise thus far, but I’m still not convinced they’re much and expect problems on that side of the ball as they head into league play.

The key variable here is that we’re latching onto the better team coming out of a game they absolutely believe they should have won. I’ll admit to some concern about the defense’s health, but the spot is a good one, and I’m going to take my chances with Ball State to notch the win by enough to cover the spread as well.