Cokin’s Corner, Monday 8/7/17

There's apparently no end in sight. It's tough for me to put into words how much I dislike the fact that as a society, we have become so overwhelmingly hung up on imagery and words, rather than actual actions. I won't use the precise wording to express my sentiments, so I'll go with messed up as the operative phrase, rather than the one that's more accurate. As it pertains to sports, the latest news comes from the absolute king of imagery, the National Football League. The league has decided to finally relax their rules on celebrations. Personally, these choreographed deals have always struck me as self-serving and kind of stupid. But I also realize I'm an older gent, and my concept of acting like a pro is not the same as what younger generations believe it to be. Either way, no big deal from where I sit. What does bother me is the fact the NFL is evidently going to arbitrarily decide what's acceptable and what is still an offense that warrants a penalty and subsequent ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 8/6/17

The one common theme at the MLB trading deadline involved contenders fortifying their bullpens. All five of the National League present playoff placeholders added relievers, as did those teams looking to work their way into the mix. Same story in the AL, with a strong emphasis on getting added pen help the definite trend. But there was one notable exception, and that might well have been the team in perhaps the best position to go after a shutdown high leverage bullpen piece. I'm referring to the Houston Astros. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why their one move was to bring in Francisco Liriano in a deal with the Blue Jays. I assume the Houston brass believed Liriano would be more effective in short relief stints than he'd been all season as a throughly mediocre starter. I just don't see it. Liriano is just not a very good big league pitcher anymore. His control is frequently horrible. While a move to the pen means he can probably focus on just his strongest ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 8/5/17

Tim Tebow might never play a Major League Baseball game. That remains to be seen. But one thing that's sure is that the New York Mets were very wise to sign Tebow. Regardless of what he does on the field, Tebow is an absolute cash cow at the gate. Tebow has spent the last several weeks playing for the Mets Hi-A squad in Port St. Lucie. Those Mets have now set a single-season attendance record, and that's with about one month still remaining before the season ends for the Florida franchise. Tebow has put up okay numbers at Port St. Lucie. He's cooled off somewhat after a surprisingly hot start following his promotion, and is currently mired in a 4/29 slump. But I don't really think it matters what Tebow does on the field. The fans show up and cheer him on, and the cash register rings all night long. Where this all ends is anyone's guess. But full props to Tebow, who has proven beyond any doubt that he didn't just try baseball as a lark. He's definitely working at the game, ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 8/4/17

I'm not a doctor. So maybe I'm all wet with this opinion. But I'm sure not shocked Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is injured again and could possibly miss the entire 2017 season. Tannehill suffered a partially torn ACL last December in a game against the Cardinals. He decided against surgery, choosing to go the rehab route. I understand the reluctance to go under the knife, as it's a lengthy rehab process and almost surely would have kept Tannehill on the sidelines for a decent portion, if not all of the 2017 season. But as it stands now, the fears many had that Tannehill was going to be at risk to begin with this season now appear to be fully justified. Assuming no Tannehill for the foreseeable future, the Dolphins now must rely on veteran backup Matt Moore to handle the QB1 duties. As backups go, Moore is really good. As a full time starter, not so much. In other words, stay tuned. Jay Cutler's name has already come up, and it might not be a long shot to suggest ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 8/3/17

I generally make the Thursday edition the abbreviated one each week, and that's the case again today. That will change once the football season starts. But for now, I'll stay with Thursday as my mostly day off from writing. With that being the case, let's proceed directly to today's free play. METS (Montero) at ROCKIES (Marquez) Take: ROCKIES -1 (split ML/RL play) I see lots of reasons to back Colorado in this game. First off, it's the first Coors outing for Mets righty Rafael Montero. Pitchers experiencing that ballpark for the first time frequently have problems as it's simply a different environment than what they're used to. I'll put a little caveat into the mix in this instance as Montero has plenty of experience pitching in Las Vegas, which can also be a real pain in the butt for pitchers as the ball absolutely flies In LV. But let's just say I am having a hard time envisioning Montero doing well on this game. The Rockies will be sending German Marquez to the hill. ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 8/2/17

Talk about a crazy night in Major League Baseball! Tuesday evening was insane. Here are a few samples of what took place on a bizarro night of big league baseball. The marquee pitching duel of the night was supposed to be at Fenway Park with Carlos Carrasco throwing tor the Indians and Cy Young frontrunner Chris Sale on the mound for the Red Sox. The game went Over the number in the second inning. Craig Kimbrel had a rare off night and blew the save in the top of the ninth. The Red Sox were on their way to a 10-9 loss as Mitch Moreland struck out to apparently end the game. But the pitch he landed on was wild and got so far away from the Cleveland catcher than Moreland was able to reach first base despite not realizing what had happened with the pitch he whiffed on. Next up, Christian Vazquez, who had three homers in 600 career plate appearances. Make that four homers, as he launched a walkoff bomb that had to be the longest drive he's ever had in the majors. Max Scherzer hit ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 8/1/17

The non-waiver trade deadline has passed, so it's time to size up the prospective winners and losers. The list of teams improving themselves is lengthy. So I decided to just focus on the teams I don't feel did a good job at the deadlines and could ending up paying the price in the process. I'm really surprised the Astros didn't go hard after a couple of pitching pieces. The rotation is frayed right now and I've never been particularly enamored with the Houston bullpen. The 'Stros are built for 162 games, and they're the best regular season entry in the American League. I think they're vulnerable once the playoffs get underway. The Mariners are very much in the wild card chase. But I have them on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned, and I'm a little surprised this team didn't make a push to get a starting pitcher. The Diamondbacks are the lead wild card as of now in the National league. But they're far from locked into that spot. I thought the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 7/31/17

The Chicago Cubs have overtaken the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central Division. There's still plenty of baseball to be played, but make no mistake, the Cubs are making trade deadline deals that are clearly more for what's coming up in October than for the remainder of the regular season. As I'm writing this piece, the trade bringing Justin Wilson and Alex Avila from Detroit to the Windy City is unofficial. But according to the buzz, it's going to happen. That being the case, it's clear to me that this deal is being made with Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy in mind. There's a good chance that the Cubs and Nationals might be meeting in the playoffs. While Wilson is a nice add for the regular season stretch run, this is more about the post-season the way I see it. The Wilson addition means the Cubs will have three lefties in the bullpen. I don't think there's any question this is all about matching up with the Nats and giving Joe Maddon loads of flexibility for ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 7/30/17

It was only a practice session. So we're not supposed to read too much into what took place. But Blake Bortles threw five interceptions in the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday night drills. That might not mean much for most NFL QB's, as it was just practice and it's very early. But when there are five picks by a quarterback with 63 turnovers during the last three seasons, it's a concern. When it's done by a guy who looked absolutely lost with his mechanics in 2016, it's a concern. When it's a brutal start in terms of building confidence for a player who really seems to have lost his way, it's most definitely a concern. And that leads me directly to the Sunday free play. As I don't currently have anything set in stone for Sunday's baseball slate, I'll toss out a Week One NFL regular season play. Note I just sent this out to my clients, so it's an official play. JAGUARS at TEXANS Take: TEXANS -4 Considering the aforementioned issues with Bortles, it's fair to suggest this is ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 7/29/17

Now that all 30 MLB teams have 100+ games under their belts, it seems like a good time to check in on the progress of the seven Over/Under win props I played prior to the season. The last time I ran though these, I was winning the projections on all seven teams. But I noted there were a couple that I thought were very shaky. Sure enough, at least one of the seven now looks like a probable loser. But overall, I'm still in decent shape for the most part. Here's the update. Padres Under 66.5: This one is likely heading to the loss column. Andy Green is doing a really nice job managing this young team and I like the energy this team brings to the field virtually every game. The Padres are now on pace to win 72 games, so while I'm not dead on this bet, I'd say it's close to being on life support. Marlins Under 77.5: This is right on pace to be a coin flip finish with the Marlins hanging in at five games below .500. But with Miami again in sell mode and in particular moving decent ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 7/28/17

I hate the prevent defense. That's a strong word to be sure, but to suggest that I simply don't like the prevent defense would be a considerable understatement. I lost count long ago of the number of times I've seen a team flat out blow a game they should clearly win by utilizing this philosophy. First off, it makes no sense. If your team has played well enough to be winning the game, they why suddenly get away from what was working? I've never understood this concept. Beyond that, it falls into the category of playing not to lose rather than playing to win, and anyone who watches sports knows the difference. The reason I am bringing this up today is thanks to what I watched on Thursday evening as CFL rivals Montreal and Winnipeg headed to the wire. The visiting Alouettes had this game wrapped up, leading by 12 with just a few minutes remaining. They'd gotten the lead by playing aggressive defense. But for reasons only their coach knows, they decided to stop rushing the passer ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 7/27/17

Short schedule in baseball on Thursday, and that makes it a perfect day for one of my brief blogs. Just a quick recap, a bit of promotion and my daily free play in this edition. Not much to recap from Wednesday. Following two very strong days, I split out on Wednesday. The Royals were runaway winners, the Rangers were blowout losers. I went the -1 route with Texas, which reduced liability, so that worked out as far as saving some cash. Altogether, -0.45 on the day. Good week going, and I'm definitely expecting more profits over the weekend. As for the promo, that's regarding the football package. The early signup rate will remain in effect until the first full week of the exhibition season, which is two weeks from today. There's the one game next week but that's a stand alone where I'm 99% sure I'll just be watching. The package is all inclusive, every football play I have in both college and the NFL, along with whatever I come up with in the CFL (where things have been specta... More