Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 7/22/14

  • July 22, 2014

I’m a great believer in getting the work done early. That doesn’t mean I’m always in action early, but the idea is to be prepped and ready to fire when what figures to be the best number is available. It really doesn’t matter what sport is involved, the bottom line is still the same. In football or hoops, it’s all about getting the best spread. On the diamond, well, if you don’t think saving nickels and dimes and sometimes more doesn’t add up over the course of a long season, then you probably shouldn’t be wagering.

Obviously, it’s really important to be able to assess the betting lines and make sound determinations as to where the number is going to go. Without meaning to sound boastful, I don’t think many do this better than  I do. That’s not to say there’s not an occasional incorrect assessment, but those don’t happen very often.

I would have to attribute this strength to having received my baptismal fire on the other side of the counter many moons ago. It really didn’t take me long to start figuring out public betting patterns, while at the same time spotting numbers the sharper guys were going to attack. The methodology might have changed over the decades thanks to the information stream now available, but I think the patterns are very much the same now as they were 30 plus years ago.

The reason I bring this up is that I’m frequently asked about the best way to go about becoming a handicapper. I don’t know that there’s a real answer for that in terms of analysis, as it’s largely different strokes for different folks. But the starting point is always the same in my estimation. Learn the line. Master that aspect of the overall equation and you’re one giant step ahead of the game.

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Split on Monday, with the Red Sox a snap and the Mets, which was also the free play, a clear loser. Good situational spot to fade the Mariners, but the Mets aren’t hitting a lick right now, so it wasn’t a particularly smart play. I also should have played the Orioles on the same theory as I did the Mets, and naturally, that was a winner. Nevertheless, no damage done and I jumped all over a pair for Tuesday already (and one of those at a much better price than will be available during the day).

Two months for the price of one is the current offer. Results have been quite solid for some time now, and diving in at the present time means not only MLB, but football as well as training camps have opened and pre-season NFL action is just around the bend. Use the “buy now” feature on this page if that’s visible to you. Otherwise, just send an email to me at cokin@cox.net for further info and instruction.

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No good with the Mets on Monday, let’s see about a return to the win column with a little road chalk tonight.

07/22 04:05 PM  MLB  (953) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS  at  (954) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Take: (953) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS -120

I’m not going to spend much time breaking down the two starting pitchers tonight. If you’re looking for consistency, neither Yusmeiro Petit nor Roberto Hernandez offers any. Each guy can be very good at times, each guy can look like a misplaced minor leaguer on the wrong night. Off the data, I prefer Petit. But I can’t really say that he’s a pitcher who inspires great confidence.

My take here is far more on the teams than the pitchers. The Giants seem to have gotten over what was a pretty ugly stretch of baseball. I don’t see this team as a powerhouse, and I also don’t know that they’re built for the post-season this year. But I do expect the Giants to still be playing in October. It’s a veteran outfit with a strong skipper in Bruce Bochy, and even minus a couple of key components they’re sticking right with the Dodgers in the NL West.

The Phillies are just plain lousy, and it’s going to only be shocking if this team doesn’t unload a few veterans between now and the end of the month with the trade deadline looming. Therefore, it’s also not surprising that the Phillies are playing what I’d have to term as uninspired baseball right now. This is pretty much the standard atmosphere for a team with too many older guys and no hope of doing anything but playing out the string. There’s still going to be the occasional good game, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

The Phillies are 9-18 in their last 27 games, and that’s with a five-game winning streak mixed in. So in the other 22 games, we’re looking at 4-18. There’s not a doubt in my mind the Phillies would be best served to start calling up whatever prospects they deem as 2015 roster possibilities. Get them some big league innings now and see what they’ve got. To me, it’s pointless to keep trooping out players who are not going to be around much longer. The results might not be any different with new blood on the diamond, but the energy will be greatly enhanced, and I have no doubt at all about that.

As for tonight, my only real concern is if the bad Petit shows up and the good Hernandez makes a surprise appearance for Philly. With erratic pitchers such as this duo, that’s always a possibility. But aside from that, I’d much rather consider the contender vs. the team playing out the string, so the Giants are the choice this evening.