October 22, 2018

It’s Kick Off Time Playa’s!

The college football season kicks off this Thursday so I want to quickly throw out the top five predictions by D2B.

My top five at the end of the season will be:

#1 South Carolina – No LSU and they get Auburn and Florida at home. Tough road stretch of games 7-9 where they go to Mississippi St, Tennessee and Arkansas, but they come through it.

#2 Nebraska – Huskers bring Big 12 swagger to the Big 10 and they don’t play anyone without a dress until @ Wisconsin 10/1. Ohio St, Spartans and Iowa to finish season, but all at home. Good schedule and QB experience will get them into the title game.

#3 Oregon – After opening against LSU with a win the Ducks have a pretty easy schedule considering USC will be at home.  At Stanford November 12th is the game that will make or break their season.

#4 Oklahoma – At Florida State week 2, @ Baylor week 10 and @ Stillwater week 12 along with a neutral clash with Texas makes this year’s Sooners squad a bit vulnerable. If they make it out of the 1st 11 games look for the Oklahoma State game to dictate which BCS bowl they play in.

#5 Virginia Tech – The Hokies have 1 team in the top 25 on their schedule and that team (Miami) is in investigation hell.  Not really much in their way except @ Georgia Tech week 10. Beamer really has a chance this year.

MLB Predictions Middle of August Update

Overall this MLB season has been pretty much what we expected entering the final 45 days of the year. There were a couple of pre-All Star Game surprises like the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians, but overall things have been pretty cut and dry.

Heading into the last few weeks of the year there are still 4 of 6 Divisions with winners still in doubt.  Philly with the best record in MLB is 7 games ahead of Atlanta who is 6 games ahead of 2010 World Series Champs San Fran in the Wild Card race. Today the Arizona Diamondbacks have a 69-53 record and have won their last 7 including beating Roy Halladay in the 9th.  

Back in March my playoffs predictions included Oakland and Colorado which are both done, but the others are still solid contenders. My MVP’s are alive as both Ryan Braun and Robinson Cano are tearing it up.  As we gear up for football don’t forget the chase for the ultimate prize in October.

2011 Pre-Season Predictions

NL East: Atlanta

NL Central: Milwaukee

NL West: Colorado

NL Wild Card: Philadelphia

NL Pennant Winner: Colorado

NL MVP – Ryan Braun, NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

AL East: Boston

AL Central: Detroit

AL West: LA Angels

AL Wild Card: Oakland

AL Pennant Winner: Boston

AL MVP – Robinson Cano, AL Cy Young – Jon Lester

World Series Winner: Boston

It’s Here! It’s Really Here! Well Almost!

Fore score and 6 months and 5 days ago we watched the last televised football game of of any consequence.  That makes this Thursday so stupendous because it brings us the first nationally televised football game since the Super Bowl on February 6th. Take a deep breath though since it is only preseason and we will have to endure 4 weeks of meaningless scrums before the real thing begins in 28 days. Then on September 8th we will get to enjoy a game at Lambeau pitting the last two Super Bowl Champs Saints and Packers against each other.

This year it is more than preseason though because it is the end of a long battle between NFL owners and players. The time has come to study long and hard on who you want to take in the 12th round of your fantasy football draft and to determine if this is the year you upgrade your television for your NFL watching enjoyment. In the last three weeks there has been a whirlwind of free-agent signings and looking forward there is a strong possibility of injuries which should lead to a wild and wacky season. It’s almost time to defrost the frozen potato skins, DiGiorno pizzas and buffalo wings because it’s time for FOOTBALL!

Thursday 8/11
Jax @ NE 7:30 PM EST
Balt @ (Dream Team) aka Philly 7:30 PM EST
Seat @ SD 8:00 PM EST on ESPN
Den @ Dall 8:30 PM EST
Ari @ Oak 10:00 PM EST

Cooperstown Adds Two More Players

Today we celebrate two more inductees into the MLB Hall of Fame. We welcome to the exclusive club the fifth all-time strike-out leader Bert Blyleven and the third all-time in games played at 2B Roberto Alomar.

Rik Aalbert Blyleven was born in the Netherlands raised in California. Blyleven was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1969 draft out of high school by the Minnesota Twins. He was called up in 1970 to the bigs and by 1973 he led the AL with 9 of his career 60 complete games.  Bert was known for his curve ball which even Brooks Robinson said “made your knees buckle.” Blyleven played for several teams like upstart Texas in ’76, Pittsburgh where he won a World Series in ’79, Cleveland in ’85 where he passed the 3000 K mark and finally the Angels.

Roberto Alomar is the son of Sandy Alomar who I watched growing up as an Angel fan. It was almost a given this kid would be a great player especially when San Diego signed him at 17-years old and led the California League with a .346 batting average. In the majors in 1988 and immediately had the respect of not only his hitting but the defensive range he had. Alomar is a twelve-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Silver Slugger winner and ended his seventeen-year career with .300 batting average with over 2700 hits.

Well deserved are these selections.

CFL Wagers from D2B

Take off eh! Might as well dip the toes into the Canadian Football League with a few wagers this weekend.

Saturday’s CFL Selections:

Edmonton is better than their record – Take 3 at Calgary

Winnipeg is good – Give 3.5 with Toronto at home

Sunday’s CFL Selections:

Saskatchewan is horrible – Give 11.5 and take Montreal at home

D2B MLB Predictions Update

We have hit and passed the Major League All Star Game so we are officially into the dog days of summer with 10 days to go until the trade deadline. My preseason predictions are mostly doing as expected with one outside wild card and one division prediction done for the season.

Here were my predictions Opening Day:

NL East: Atlanta

NL Central: Milwaukee

NL West: Colorado

NL Wild Card: Philadelphia

NL Pennant Winner: Colorado

NL MVP – Ryan Braun, NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

AL East: Boston

AL Central: Detroit

AL West: LA Angels

AL Wild Card: Oakland

AL Pennant Winner: Boston

AL MVP – Robinson Cano, AL Cy Young – Jon Lester

World Series Winner: Boston

We Start in the NL West where if Colorado doesn’t go on their usual end of season tear they are in desperate trouble. The World Champ SF Giants are leading the division, but are ripe for the taking because they can’t hit and unless they trade for Carlos Beltran they could be in a battle with upstart Arizona who are only 4 games behind. My beloved Dodgers need more players plus Mark Cuban and the Padres don’t start anyone over a .265 BA.  The Rockies more than likely are out, but stranger things have happened.

In the NL Central I am looking great becuase I have Atlanta winning and Philly as the wild card. Right now it is flip flopped, but they have the best two NL records and while Washington, Florida and the Mets hang around .500 they have an 8-14 game separation.  I also have Roy Halliday as the Cy Young which could happen.

The NL Central is really fun to watch this year. Although I chose Milwaukee to win the division knowing the Reds would cocme back to earth, but who saw Pittsburgh leading the division on Opening Day? Yes, the Pirates are having a winning season this late in the year for the first time since 1992 when they lost the NLCS in 7 to Atlanta and Sid Bream.  Watch young players like the next Barry Bonds sans roids Andrew McCutchen and 2B Neil Walker continue to blossom. The Pirates also have steady arms and use hard nose baseball fundamentals which has kept them competitive this season. Usual suspects St. Louis and Cincy are just 2-4 games back which should make for a very exciting August-Sept race to the finish. My NL MVP selection was Ryan Braun and if he stays healthy and has a big August and September he may get it, but he will have to pry it away from All Star MVP and teammate Prince Fielder who is having a monster year.

My AL East, Pennant and World Series winning selection is the Boston Red Sox. I knew Adrian Gonzales was going to be good (I selected him 1st round of fantasy as the #9 overall pick) but he is even better than advertised with a potential Triple Crown season in the midst. It took until July for the big five of Ellsbury, Pedroia, Gonzo, Ortiz and Youk to mesh, but now they have to the tune of the most runs, RBI, total bases and average in MLB. The Yanks are hanging in, but will need better pitching and A-Rod to get healthy. Tampa gave it a shot early, but like Toronto they just dont have the horses. My Cy Young pick was John Lester, but he has no shot at this point. My MVP selection was Home Run Derby winner Robinson Cano, but unless Gonzo or Bautista break their legs he doesn’t make it.

In the AL Central Minnesota on June 1st was 17-37 and basically given up for dead. Cleveland after their hot start rode into the month with the best overall record in baseball at 33-20 and 16.5 games ahead of the last place Twins.  That being said in true Ron Gardenhire fashion the Twins have gone 29-14 since and are only 5 games behind leaders Detroit and Cleveland.  Look for the Twins and Tigers pitching to carry them at the end while the disappointing White Sox look to unload Adam Dunn ($12.5M .166BA) and Alex Rios ($12M .202BA) and rebuild for next year.

Finally the AL West. I selected the Angels to win the division and until the Rangers won 13 straight in July things looked pretty good. The Angels won’t go away easily though and they took 2 of 3 against the reigning AL Champs and now are only 2 games behind. I had hoped the Oakland pitching and defense could overcome the lacking offense but injuries, average pitching and the most errors in the AL isn’t going to cut it.

I don’t like to brag, but I’m doing pretty well with these predictions!

Remember when Heavyweight Boxing was Cool?

Did anyone know there was a heavyweight boxing title fight yesterday? Wladamir Klitschko is now the undisputed heavyweight champion after a win over WBA belt holder David Haye. It was roughly 10 years ago when we were buying pay-per-view bouts with Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, but now there is almost no interest in the sport. Could it be due to what the UFC has become or is it more related to the lack of characters from previous years. Either way the sport is pretty much dead and it might not ever be revived.

The SEC Isn’t Just a Football Conference

South Carolina just won back-to-back College World Series Championships. The Gamecocks did it by winning two straight games against their conference foe Florida.  It isn’t a stretch to say the SEC dominated the college baseball world by placing three teams in the CWS with Vanderbilt also going to Omaha. Congrats to the Gamecocks on their feat, but do not expect them to compete for a ‘3Peat’ next year because the last team to do so was, of all teams, the west coast USC in 1973 on their way to 4 straight.

I’m Taking My Talents to the NFL?

Those words spoke volumes when Kobe announced his intention to go into the NBA draft in 1996 and then again when LeBron made his ‘Decision’ last summer. Now with the world collapsing around the Ohio State Football program, Pryor’s 5 game suspension, an embattled and loyal coach resigning and a cloud of controversy over his head Terelle has decided to leave the program and seek greener pastures. The #1 recruit in the country back in 2008, where by choosing Ohio State over Michigan solidified the end of Rich Rodriguez, will not take another snap for the Buckeyes.

While not being the only player with ghosts he was also the highest profile on the team and in the wake of Maurice Clarett and now the latest major violations at USC Terelle for better or worse decided that he would be a major detriment to the team and long term to the program. I am shocked that the NCAA has totally hammered USC yet allowing Ohio St. to have all their players for the bowl game last year and not penalizing the school. With the NCAA you never know what the rules to penalties are and I am sick of the games. We still don’t know the extent of the failures, but in the end it can’t be any worse than what Reggie Bush’s parents did.

MLB Predictions Update

We are now officially two months into the 2011 MLB Season and I wanted to provide an update on my preseason predictions.

Here were my predictions:

NL East: Atlanta

NL Central: Milwaukee

NL West: Colorado

NL Wild Card: Philadelphia

NL Pennant Winner: Colorado

NL MVP – Ryan Braun, NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

AL East: Boston

AL Central: Detroit

AL West: LA Angels

AL Wild Card: Oakland

Al Pennant Winner: Boston

AL MVP – Robinson Cano, AL Cy Young – Jon Lester

World Series Winner: Boston

So far not too shabby. My NL selections are looking pretty good and have the potential to be spot on. Atlanta is 5 games above .500 and in 3rd place just 4 games behind the Phillies. Colorado mired in a bit of a slump are 2 games under .500 at home and overall, but just 3 games out of first behind of all teams Arizona.  The Phillies are good and they just got Utley back from the DL.  

The AL is out of control.  My selection to win it all started 0-6 and on April 29 the Red Sox were in last place in the AL East with an 11-14 record. They have since gone 19-8 and are 2 games up on the Yanks and Rays. They are hitting and pitching like I thought they would. After the obvious, we have the AL West where I chose the Angels and A’s as playoff teams.  The ‘Punch and Judy’ Angels are 2nd in AL behind Boston in hits, but 11th in RBI while the A’s are offensively pathetic hovering around in 12th place out of 14 AL teams in most offensive categories. The up side is LAA is only 1 Game out and Oakland is 1.5 games out. Then there is the wacky AL Central. Through May 15 the Cleveland Indians had the best record in baseball and Detroit had just won 7 straight. Now after going 3-8 since they are 6.5 games behind the Indians and other than Verlander have some major pitching woes.

Biggest Disappointments thus far:

Cincinnati Reds – Pitching is killing them, but only 4.5 games out.

Minnesota Twins – Mauer been on DL since first week of April and worst record in MLB.

NY Mets – Aside from Jose Reyes who they will trade soon, Bay, Beltran and Wright cant produce up to their salaries.

There it is as of Memorial Day Sunday so enjoy the weekend and we will check back at the All Star game.