Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 6/25/13

  • June 25, 2013

A disastrous bottom of the ninth inning cost me what looked like a very easy winner with the Phillies/Padres Under on Monday night. On the flip side, I would grade my Dodgers call as a lucky win. The Giants lost one run when Buster Posey basically tripped over third base, and I thought Bumgarner outpitched Ryu. The Rays were a solid right side winner, so an okay profit for the night.

The free plays have been ridiculously unfortunate lately with blow leads galore, but Monday’s call on the underdog Indians worked out well, so hopefully the tide will turn back in the right direction on those daily comps.

Tuesday’s card looks promising, and you can get all my plays by utilizing the “buy now” tab on this page. The weekly rate is also available there. If you want info on monthly or rest of the season rates, just shoot me an email at cokin@cox.net.

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Dead horse time on the commentary. Don Mattingly walked off the field at Chavez Ravine with a win last night. This despite his absolute best effort to lose the game.

Tie game, Dodgers get a leadoff double in the bottom of the eighth inning. I think bunting here is dumb to begin with.  I’ve gone through the why on this scenario several times already. If you don’t get it, you never will. Mattingly is a member of that group.

But in this spot, it was even more stupid than usual. Had the bunt been successful, it’s runner on third and one out, with the spectacularly hot Yasiel Puig at the plate. And there’s a 100% chance that Bruce Bochy will then walk Puig in this spot, thus taking the bat right out of the hands of the hottest hitter on the Dodgers. This is an indefensibly bad decision on Mattingly’s part.

Better to be lucky than good, Donnie Baseball. Madison Bumgarner made a bad throw to first on the bunt, and that meant that with runners now at first and third with no one out, the Giants had to pitch to Puig. Moments later, the Cuban sensation delivered another big hit and the Dodgers were headed to the winner’s circle.

Nevertheless, it was yet another in what amounts to an endless list of poor decisions that continue to be made by the Dodgers brainless trust on what amounts to a seemingly nightly basis.

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06/25 07:10 PM  MLB   (979) PITTSBURGH PIRATES (980) SEATTLE MARINERS

Take: (979) PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Jeff Locke leads the National League in ERA. There are one of two conclusions to reach on what the Pirates southpaw is accomplishing this season. He’s either much better than anyone could have thought he would be. Or, this guy has a horseshoe attached to a particular orifice and is getting phenomenally lucky. Take your pick, and in actuality you’re right either way.

Locke has definitely been fortunate, to put it mildly. His walk rate is too high, he basically has only two effective pitches, and it seems as though everything that’s hit off this guy is right at someone almost every time.

On the other hand, it just keeps happening over and over and at some point, the idea is to either just avoid Locke completely or jump on board and go along for the ride. I kept trying to beat Locke earlier in the season. All I can say is that I’m glad I gave up on that concept.

The numbers are a little absurd. Locke’s analytic numbers are nearly twice his ERA. His strand rate is still at 86%. His BABIP remains very low at .231. He rarely dominates, and his BB/K bears that out. But the correction that’s due just isn’t showing up. Thus, this southpaw with a middling fastball, a good knuckle curve that he’s really spotting well, and not a whole lot else, just keeps winning games.

Joe Saunders throws tonight for Seattle, and he continues to be very tough at Safeco. In fact, Saunders has been solid everywhere lately. The veteran southpaw has strung together five straight quality starts, and like Locke, he’s catching some pretty sweet breaks in terms of stranding runners and BABIP. Saunders is also throwing strikes, which means you’re going to have to beat him, as he won’t likely beat himself.

The Pirates own the edge in the bullpen, and for what it’s worth, the Bucs are also 8-0 this season playing after a day off. But the main deal here is Locke. Regardless of the how and why, he’s given up four runs total in his last seven starts. With the road team also sizzling off the sweep at Anaheim, I can’t fade them here. I’ll side with the Pirates to get the win tonight.