We’re entering the third season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.
Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won the 2015-2016 season, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-2015. Bern stepped away in the middle of the 2016-2017 season with a 16-12 record and $13,317 bankroll, with Mike Grimala taking his place.
Pittsburgh Pirates minus-115 vs. Philadelphia Phillies: $690 to win $600 : I’ve written this before in this column space: The Pirates are my favorite team — in all sports, not just baseball — so my judgement on handicapping their games could be clouded. Then again, my familiarity with the lineup could provide an edge.
Pittsburgh has won four of its last five games, including convincing victories against the Washington Nationals — arguably the National League’s best team. While the Pirates don’t have Starling Marte (suspension) or Gregory Polanco (disabled list), and Andrew McCutchen is a shell of his former self, the replacements have been more than formidable. Adam Frazier is batting over .300 in the leadoff spot, Jose Osuna is hitting everything, and Josh Harrison leads the team in hits and is having a nice bounce-back year.
Philadelphia is already 10 games under .500 and has dropped seven of its last eight games. Always bet the home team on Friday and Saturday nights when more fans flock to stadiums, and more important, always bet a team on a losing skid.
Granger (16-19-1, $9,167), Grimala (9-13, $8,753), Brewer (31-31-1, $7,425), Keefer (43-39-3, $7,180)