Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 9/26/13

  • September 26, 2013

The Wednesday free play winner on the Mariners was also my only personal play for the entire day. Great job by red hot Hisashi Iwakuma, who doesn’t figure to be the same well kept secret come 2014.

Things get a little busier tonight as the football week gets underway, and I’ll definitely be on one of the two college hookups. The weekend card is starting to take shape, with about eight games looking as though they could all make my final cut.

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I have one of my pre-season Over/Under MLB win totals still to be decided, and that’s the Under 82.5 on the Diamondbacks. They’re sitting at 80 with four games remaining, so I need them to accomplish no more than a split on that quartet.

As for the futures already decided, I lost my Under on the Orioles. But the Under Brewers, Under Blue Jays and Over Rockies are all good, so the worst I can do is 3-2. Note that my 2012 MLB futures went 5-0, so it looks like putting in the time to come up with good options is paying off.

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There was no future action on whether Josh Freeman would last the season as the starting QB. I wish there had been, as taking the “won’t go” would have been a snap. Freeman has been horrendous ever since the start of the exhibition season, and he’s done himself no favors with what sure appears to be a poor attitude. Some of this has probably been brought on by his head coach, as it seems like Greg Schiano might have lost this team sometime down the 2012 stretch and has never gotten them back.  Schiano’s status as the Bucs head coach has to qualify as dicey at this point.

As for new starter Mike Glennon, I think he’s a prospect but also a project. In other words, the Bucs are not  a team I’ll be looking to play on, and they could be a great fade until the numbers adjust.

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The daily free play run is now 13-3 over the last 16 days. Here’s one for Thursday.

09/26 04:05 PM  MLB   (911) TAMPA BAY RAYS (912) NEW YORK YANKEES

Take: (911) TAMPA BAY RAYS

The Yankees are now officially eliminated from playoff contention. That explained the very somber mood in evidence following yet another loss to the Rays on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay took another big step toward notching one of the wild card slots as they continued their recent surge with another key win.

I don’t think it’s all that difficult to create a case where the Yankees make a huge effort tonight. It’s the home finale for the Yanks, and that of course means the final curtain for Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and perhaps a few other members of this team as well.

But it seems to me as though the Yankees are emotionally and physically drained, so I’m finding it much easier to envision another flat performance tonight for the home team. That shouldn’t be the situation for the Rays, who have lots to play for along with some serious positive momentum in place.

As for the pitchers, I’ve got to side with Alex Cobb over Ivan Nova. Cobb owns the superior current and season metrics edge, and I’d price him a little higher than where the line is right now. Plus, Nova is off a complete game shutout. Small sample to be sure, but Nova’s one prior start following a nine inning whitewash didn’t go well at all.

If this were the home finale against another eliminated opponent, I would likely be looking to give the Yankees a roll. But there are just too many indicators that say the Rays are the right side tonight. At the very reasonable price, Tampa Bay is the play.