Dave’s Free Plays, Thursday 6/25/15

  • June 25, 2015

If the Toronto Blue Jays are going to start winning 1-0 games, everyone else is in trouble.

It has become commonplace to see this offensive juggernaut put up some ridiculous hitting stats. The Blue Jays are by far the highest scoring team in the game and there just aren’t many holes in that lineup. Even the guys who would previously have been considered easier outs are contributing regularly.

The Toronto pitching has not been especially good, and that’s an area team management probably needs to address if they want to make a true run at making something magical happen this October.

The extra inning 1-0 victory on Wednesday at Tampa Bay was big as for once it was the Toronto pitching that won the game. Along with some amazing defense, that is, with 3B Josh Donaldson paving the way. He helped keep Marco Estrada perfect into the eighth inning, with one incredible catch diving into the stands to get a foul ball the highlight of the day.

Donaldson is having a phenomenal year. It’s so insanely good that if Commissioner Manfred simply decided to award Donaldson the starting third base spot for the AL All Star team, who could possibly object?

By the way, props to Donaldson for his post-game tweet, in which he sent a shoutout to the Jays fan who “saved my face”, adding “he’s tough.” Donaldson can be followed on Twitter @BringerOfRain20.

As for the Jays, they’re sure in a much better place than they were about one month ago when it seemed as though manager John Gibbons was close to getting fired with the team mired in last place. Things certainly can change rapidly in big league baseball.

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Finally tossed in a clunker on Wednesday with my two sides combining to score one total run, and that’s going to generally result in a down evening. The task today is get right back to winning.

I’ve done that pretty well throughout this baseball season, and if you’d like to get the goods on how my program works, it’s simple enough. Just shoot an email my way at cokin@cox.net and I’ll provide all the pertinent info.

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The Wednesday free play was a scratch with the Angels opting to change pitchers. Andrew Heaney got called up, and Matt Shoemaker was bumped to Friday when the Mariners come to Anaheim. A reminder that I recommend listing pitchers for all baseball wagers, so if one of the starters gets scratched, there’s simply no action. Here’s the Thursday comp.

DIAMONDBACKS (de la Rosa)  @  ROCKIES (de la Rosa)

Take: DIAMONDBACKS +120 (Don Best Consensus Line at publication time)

Here it is, de la Rosa vs. de la Rosa as the Diamondbacks and Rockies close out their series at Coors. Rubby will be throwing for the road team, while Jorge gets the call for Colorado.

This is a great debate type of game from a handicapping vantage point. Data vs. trends is very much in play here and this is one game where the number crunchers will be firing on one side while the trend players will be going the other way.

The trends are crystal clear as Jorge de la Rosa has some of the most dominant ledgers one will ever see at Coors, in terms of the team wins and losses when he pitches. It’s really kind of amazing to note that the Rockies are 51-13 when JDLR takes the mound at Coors, and that includes 10-1 against the Diamondbacks.

But the flip side here is the current data, both for the Diamondbacks and for their de la Rosa. RDLR is putting together some pretty impressive under the radar numbers, and it’s really starting to look like the Red Sox mad a big mistake deeming him excess baggage.

The present team stats also indicate the Diamondbacks to be the side here. I won’t get into the specifics as to how I come up with my lines for each game. But my methodology produced a line of Rockies -106 for this game. Compare that with the line that was showing as I posted this piece and you’ll see there’s value to be had on the visitors.

Believe me, there’s no such thing as comfortable when it comes to going against Jorge de la Rosa at Coors. But for me this comes down to my being more of a believer in data than trends, even when said trends are mighty daunting. Barring lineup absences of note for the road team, I’ll be looking to take the price with the Diamondbacks here.

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FanDuel Value Play, Thursday 6/25

KOLTEN WONG, 2B, $2900

I decided to try and find a homer prone pitcher and grab someone at below average market price who’s hitting well for today’s value play. That led me to Kolten Wong, who continues to do some really goos work for the amazing Cardinals. Wong has been steady with the stick, and he went deep in the Wednesday night St. Louis win. I like the idea of padding my lineup with leadoff guys, as they simply get the most plate appearances and therefore more chances to rack up points. Haren has been having long ball issues lately and I’m hoping Wong can do some damage today. At only $2900, he’s a worthwhile add for me.