Dave’s Free Play, Monday 5/20/13

#umpshow. You can actually find that trending, especially among baseball fans residing at Twitter. That's not a really good thing. But anyone who watches the game on a regular basis is well aware about how substandard the game is being officiated these days. There are too many umps who just aren't very good, and even worse, are downright arrogant.  I'll bring one arbiter in particular up in this mini-rant. John Hirschbeck has been around for quite some time. Before they started featuring that box on the screen that indicates where the ball really went, Hirschbeck was lauded as an umpire that had a big zone, but who was also very consistent. Let's speak the truth on Hirschbeck. Is he consistent? Yes, absolutely. Consistently wrong, that is. Hirschbeck basically never calls high strikes. Note I'm not talking about borderline calls, I'm strictly referring to strikes where the entire baseball is in that box, but he calls it a ball almost every time. Meanwhile, Hirschbeck also has a ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Sunday 5/19/13

The 2013 baseball season is now 25% complete. So here's a quick rundown of my award winners in each league for the first quarter of the campaign. My NL MVP goes to Justin Upton. The Braves OF has lit it up right from the starting gate, and the early returns on the blockbuster trade with the Diamondbacks are pretty lopsided on the Braves side. Upton is leading the league in several key categories, and that gets him to the top of my list. Ironically, it's a former teammate of Upton that is trailing by just a whisker, as Paul Goldschmidt is having a phenomenal season for Arizona. Despite the fact the Brewers have been terrible, no one in Milwaukee is complaining about the play of Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura, each of whom certainly rates an honorable mention. My NL Cy Young first quarter winner is Mets sensation Matt Harvey. One might argue that Adam Wainwright has slightly better metrics, but considering the horrendous supporting cast he's stuck with on the Mets, I have Harvey in ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 5/18/13

We're roughly 1/4 of the way through the 2013 MLB season.  Who are your early award winners in each league? MVP, Cy Young, Rookie and Manager, offer up your opinion on my Twitter page (@davecokin). I'll be curious to see how many agree with my choices, and I'll post those here tomorrow. Short card looms for me on Saturday, as I'm currently on just two plays. Both are underdogs, although I haven't eliminated a couple of other possible adds. You can buy the entire day for $50 by clicking on the tab to the right, or try one week for $250. Monthly/seasonal inquiries, email me at cokin@cox.net. Nice job by the Rays as the Friday free play. Three in a row the right way and I'll hope to extend that modest streak today. ----------------------- 05/18 01:05 PM  MLB   (953) CINCINNATI REDS VS (954) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES Take: (954) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES The Reds got victimized by some tough luck in the eighth inning last night. Walk, what should have been an error by the ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Friday 5/17/13

It's very easy to tear apart coaches and managers after the fact. Almost all of us do so on a regular basis, media and fans alike. Most of the time it's just meaningless ranting, and more often than not the criticism is mostly unwarranted. But there are times when a blunder is so ridiculously awful that it has to be talked about, and that's what I'm about to do right here. Mike Redmond is the rookie manager of the Miami Marlins. Redmond's task isn't just daunting, it's basically impossible. The team is very young, not especially talented and let's just say their home field "advantage" is negligible at best. You could select the three best managers in the history of baseball, have them gather in the Miami dugout for each game to advise Redmond, and this team would still lose way more than they win. That said, I'm  not letting Redmond slide on what was some of the dumbest strategy I've ever witnessed. Here's the situation. 2-1 Reds, Marlins hitting in the bottom of the seventh. ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 5/16/13

Solid profit on the Wednesday card, and the free play on the Royals was an easy winner as well. Despite the more limited than usual Thursday agenda, it looks like a big card for me as there are numerous advantage situations and I'm not going to be shy about playing them. You can receive the entire card for $50 or score a week of plays for $250 by clicking on the tab to the right. Or, if you're interested in something longer term with a guarantee, drop me a line at cokin@cox.net for all the info. I'm not one to tell others how to handicap games. Everyone has their own methodology and the last time I checked, I am not immune from making mistakes myself. But there is one little tip I'll share and it involves relying on a pitcher's W/L record against the opponent he's facing. I'm not saying I ignore these stats, but they carry less weight for me than just about any variable. First off, when did these wins or losses occur? Were they against a similar lineup to the one the pitcher in ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Wednesday 5/15/13

Back to back red ink nights for me. Nothing disastrous, as there haven't been a load of plays. but the results have not been positive. Tuesday night was more than a little frustrating as the losses fell into the blown multi-run lead category, while the winner was a blowout. That's the way it rolls sometimes, and the only thing to do is get right back to work and wait for the inevitable turn. I like my chances it the Wednesday card. All three of the plays I'm currently on are sides, and they're available for $50 complete. You can also purchase a full week, getting all my plays in the process. Just click on the tab to the right of the page to get started. Longer term packages are available as well, and there's a guarantee included with these subscriptions. Email me at cokin@cox.net for all the details. The free play got there on Tuesday night as the White Sox managed to get past the Twins. I'm heading to Anaheim for this evening's comp. ----------------- 05/15 07:05 PM  MLB ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 5/14/13

No fun starting a new week in the red, but I landed on the wrong side of a couple of baseball plays and will have to dig out tonight. The Tuesday night slate appears to offer some strong opportunities to do exactly that, and I've already played a pair of sides plus one O/U.  More than likely, I'll be adding at least a couple more to that lineup, but I'm waiting on lineup info or a better price before jumping in on those. Regardless, all my plays are yours if you purchase the daily or weekly package. For info on a lengthier term, contact me directly at cokin@cox.net. One game I likely won't  be playing is the Mariners-Yankees clash. But that's the marquee tilt on tonight's big league ticket. The Yankees are playing some outstanding ball, and even if big CC Sabathia isn't overpowering the opposition, he's still very capable. Seattle will turn to Felix Hernandez, and I'm not sure there's anyone I enjoy watching more than the King. One little note of interest is that as great as ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Monday 5/13/13

I ended up with just one play on Sunday, but the Giants worked out just fine, closing out a nice weekend.  I'm already on a pair for Monday night on the diamond, and those are available for purchase by clicking on the tab on the right side of the page. Note that when you buy either a day or by the week, you get ALL the plays for that time frame, not just one per day. If I'm on it, you get it as well. If you're looking for something longer term (at what works out to a significantly better price), drop me a line at cokin@cox.net. A quick thought on the Chicago Cubs. They're obviously not contenders right now, but I really like the game plan they have in motion moving forward. The long term contract agreement reached with Anthony Rizzo is a terrific move. Based on the market, they didn't overpay and locked up a true power bat for years to come. The formerly barren system now has some legit high end prospects in Javier Baez, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. They still have to find some ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Sunday 5/12/13

Normally one just shrugs off a 2-2 day and moves on to what's next. But my split on Saturday fell into the realm of utter aggravation. The Padres overcame a four-run deficit to take the lead at Tampa Bay. The Friars were about to walk off the field with a great win, but Nick Hundley could not hold on to a game ending foul tip. Ben Zobrist eventually worked a walk off closer Huston Street.  That meant a chance for Evan Longoria to hit and just like that I went from an apparent winner to a walk off HR 8-7 loser. Then the Mariners managed to leave seven men on in just the last three innings to keep their game Under the number. The good news is my other two plays won so it's a no damage done .500 day. But if it's true that the breaks even out, I guess I've got a couple of good ones heading my way. I'll have a short card on Sunday as I don't like the schedule, and unlike some in this business who have no choice but to fill out a card every day, I don't have to go that route. As I'm ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 5/11/13

Okay night for me on Friday. Missed by a bunch with the Cubs, but got there comfortably with the Angels/White Sox Over and the Yankees. New feature on this website available starting today, which is the ability to purchase my personal card online for the day or by the week. The online rates are $50 daily or $250 weekly, and will include all my plays, not just one. Pick the package you want, click on the Paypal link and once the purchase is made, I'll email you the plays. Simple as can be and a good way to check things out. Today's card will include three baseball plays and one in the NBA. Of course, you can still contact me directly if you're looking for more information or the better rates that are for monthly and seasonal players. Just shoot me an email at cokin@cox.net to get the pertinent data. Daily free plays have been spotty for the last few weeks, and the Braves were certainly not the right side last night. Today's comp is on the clash between the Orioles and Twins.... More

Dave’s Free Play, Friday 5/10/13

So Bud Selig wants to protect the "human element" in baseball. That seems to be his argument for limiting the expanded use of replay.  Bud apparently doesn't realize it, but he's stuck in the 2oth century and as a result, he damages the true growth of the game with the younger demographic. There's an entire generation of sports fans who are growing up with the wide use of replay to correct officiating errors in the NFL. Other sports have followed suit, and in each case the results have been resoundingly positive. No, replay doesn't fix all the errors. Yes, there are still bad calls. But there are far fewer of them than in the past, and that's what utilizing replay is all about. So while there will still be colossal blunders such as the Angel Hernandez fiasco in Cleveland on Wednesday night, the bottom line is that most of the obvious mistakes would be corrected with expanded replay. While I'm on one of my Bash Bud rants, here's one more. Fix the damn blackout situation. Las Vegas ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 5/9/13

The unlikely Reds rally against Craig Kimbrel on Tuesday night appears to have triggered a nice little hot streak for me. Solid profits on the Wednesday card with all but one of my personal plays getting home, and whatever was ailing me over the weekend as far as my plays are concerned seems to have been cured. A quick note for those who might be new to the site. The daily free opinions posted here are not necessarily personal plays. I'll never go opposite one of these, but whether or not they make my final card is unknown when I do these write-ups. If I decide to add the comp to the actual daily card, I will so note on my Twitter page. If you're looking to get my actual wagers each day, rates and complete details are yours simply by emailing me at cokin@cox.net. ------------------ 05/09 04:05 PM  MLB   (909) KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS (910) BALTIMORE ORIOLES Take: (909) KANSAS CITY ROYALS Freddy Garcia made his return to the majors over the weekend, and it couldn't have ... More