Archive for the ‘hockey’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 27, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

To say that Week 3 in the NFL was not good to us and your picks would be an understatement. I guess you can say that myself, Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy tied for the win in Week 3. Sadly we where all 7-9 while Dan the Man finished at 6-10. Overall Schaumburg Stu is leading at 29-18. Dan the Man and I are one game behind at 28-19 while Mr. Fantasy is at the bottom of the pile at 27-20.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you’ve heard us joke about us jinxing a team when the four of us agree that they’ll win. We last Sunday we agreed on 11 games. Seven of those 11 teams that we all agreed would win lost. Now through a couple of weeks it can be tough to tell what a teams identity is, but some of the teams that lost where clearly upsets. I’d say if you’re a fan of a certain team the worst thing that could happen to them is for the four of us to agree that they’re going to win a game.

Well Week 4 will get rolling Thursday night with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears. Hopefully will have a better week of picks than we did last week.

I always flip around to the different sports networks to see what their talking about. Now yesterday when I was bouncing around from channel to channel there where a couple of them that had breaking news on their crawler and I was waiting for it. When I final got to see what these couple of networks where trying to pass off as breaking news made me chuckle. Their big huge breaking news was that Dwayne Wade was planning to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers after he clears waivers. How is that breaking news? Now I understand that one of the networks playing this off as breaking news paid way too much money to televise the NBA and they have to play any basketball story up as bigger than it is to justify their own stupidity, but anyone else calling it breaking news just hasn’t been paying attention.

On Sunday Wade agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls after playing just one season with them. Wade played in 60 games last season averaging 18.3 points per game while playing an average of 29.9 minutes per game. Wade shoot 43.4% from the field, but just 31% from behind the 3-point line.

Once Wade was bought out it was pretty clear where he would end up signing and even though there where some other teams mentioned I think everyone knew that Wade would end up in Cleveland with LeBron James. While playing together for the Miami Heat Wade and James won back to back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. Wade also won an NBA title with Miami in 2006. Wade was the series M.V.P. in 2006.

Wade will be entering his 15 seasons and he didn’t play in back to back games last season. Now there are reports that guard Isaiah Thomas is going to be out until January with a hip injury; so it looks as though the Cavaliers starting back court will be Wade and former M.V.P. Derrick Rose. On their training camp roster the Cavaliers have Jose Calderon, Kay Fedler, J.R. Smith , Iman Shumpert and John Holland to go along with Rose and Wade at the guard position. Even when Thomas returns from injury does this look like a good enough back court to win an NBA title or get into the NBA finals?

When Wade clears waivers and signs with the cavaliers it will be for their veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million dollars. Wade could’ve signed for more money with another team, but it’s clear that he wanted to team back up with James again.

With the NHL season lurking just around the corner it’s time for fantasy players to make sure they’re ready for their upcoming fantasy drafts. There are some quality players that are going to start the season on injured reserve, but should be worth taking a chance in and stashing on your bench until they return.

Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks had hip surgery and looks to be out until the New Year. Kesler played in all 82 games regular season games for the Ducks in 2016-17. He totaled 58 points on 22 goals and 38 assists. Kesler also played in 17 playoffs games last season scoring 8 points on 1 goal and 7 assists. Keep an eye on Kesler’s status as he could be a good add towards the end of your season.

Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils has been an under rated fantasy player and that will really be true this season as it appears he’ll be out four to six more weeks after having pectoral surgery in August. Zajac played in 80 games for New Jersey last season. He totaling 45 points on 14 goals and 31 assists. Depending on your leagues depth Zajac will be a good centerman to bring on when he’s healthy.

Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators is recovering from off season knee surgery and it’s being reported that he’s still about three months away from returning. Ellis played in 71 games last season totaling 38 points on 16 goals and 22 assists while be a +17. In 22 playoff games Ellis scored 13 points, 5 goals and 8 assists while being a +4. The Predators look to be a team on the rise; so you’ll have to analyze the situation very carefully to see if there will be minutes for Ellis when he returns from injury.

Anther defenseman on the mend is Andrej Sekera of the Edmonton Oilers. Sekera torn his ACL in the post season and it looks like he’ll miss a minimum of half the season. Sekera played in 80 games last season. He ended up scoring 35 points on 8 goals and 27 assists while posting a +14. Sekera played in 11 post season games. He scored 1 goal and assisted on 2 others for a total of 3 points, but was a -1 for the playoffs. Sekera did have his second best scoring season in 2016-17 and has put up 30 points or more in both of his seasons with Edmonton half a season is a long time to wait. Maybe the timing will be right and Sekera will return just as you’re looking for a guy, but I don’t think it’s worth holding a roster spot for him.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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How was your week

Posted: June 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We had back to back drafts to end the week as the NBA held their draft on Thursday night followed by the NHL draft on Friday night. In both cases it was a Chicago team that made some moves no one was expecting either during or right before the draft took place.

The NBA draft went pretty much as expected to start. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Markelle Fultz to get the evening started. The Los Angeles Lakers did end up taking Lonzo Ball and the circus that comes along with him at #2. Then will the Boston Celtics where on the clock there was some trade news. Now there had been rumors that the Celtics where considering moving the 3rd pick and I’m sure everyone just thought that had made that move. Well as it turned out the Celtics took Jayson Tatum with the 3rd pick and the trade was between the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves sent the #7 pick in the draft along with guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to the Bulls in return for the 16th pick and Jimmy Butler. Now there has been a lot of talk about the Bulls trading Butler, but after Butler himself had told the Cleveland Cavaliers he wasn’t interested in playing for them it looked like he’d stay with Chicago.

Butler was the 30th pick in the 2011 draft and will be playing for his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. Butler had the best season of his career in 2016-17. He averaged career highs in points (23.9), rebounds (6.2), assists (5.5) and steals (1.9) while also shooting 36.7% from behind the 3-point line. Butler is signed for two more seasons and has a player option for a third in 2019-20.  With the addition of Butler the Timberwolves look like they have a starting five that could compete for a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference.

With the 16th pick the Timberwolves got in the deal they selected Justin Patton a 7″0 foot Center from Creighton. Patton was a redshirt his first year at Creighton; so he only has 35 games of college basketball under his belt. He averaged 12.9 points per game and grabbed 6.2 rebounds per game in that one season. He did have 13 straight double-doubles at one point during the season and was named the Big East Freshman of the Year as well as making the All Big East 2nd team.

As part of the return for Butler the Bulls got LaVine who was the 13th pick in the 2014 draft and was having his best offensive season last year until it was cut short when he torn the ACL in his left knee in February. LaVine has mostly been known for his dunks. He’s a two time dunk contest winner and has even posted some of his dunks on YouTube. Last season in 47 games LaVine posted his best points per game average in his career at 18.9. LaVine also posted his highest minutes per game average at 37.2 per game and shot his best percentage from the floor at 45.9%. LaVine has played both point guard and shooting guard in his career.

The Bulls also received point guard Kris Dunn in the deal. Dunn was someone the Bulls where interested in selecting in the 2016 draft, but the Timberwolves used the #5 pick on him. Dunn played just a little over 17 minutes a game as a rookie, but Tom Thibodeau has never really given rookies lots of minutes, Dunn did appear in 78 games; averaging 3.8 points per game while handing out 2.4 assists per game.

With the 7th pick that Chicago got in the deal they selected Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen is 20 years old from Vantaa Finland, but played last season at the University of Arizona. Markkanen is 7″0 feet tall and shoots the 3 like the new NBA style dictates. He made 42.3% of his 3-point attempts last season. He averaged 15.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game in his one season at Arizona, but he was a first team all Pac-12 selection, as well as first team all Pac-12 Freshman team and first team all Pac-12 team.

Just looking at the trade it appears as though the Timberwolves got the better of it at the start. Butler is a multiple time All-Star and a very good two way NBA player. Of course if LaVine recovers from his injury and Dunn is the type of player who deserved to be draft at #5 things could even out down the line.

Before the NHL draft Friday night the Chicago Blackhawks made a couple of trades that probably surprised their fans a little.

The first deal saw the Blackhawks send defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for two defenseman Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.

Now Hjalmarsson isn’t a high scoring defenseman; he had 5 goals and 13 assists in 73 games last season. What he does do is some of the things that teams need that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Hjalmarsson averaged 21.30 minutes of ice time last season and was 6th in the NHL in blocked shots with 181.

Heading to Chicago in the deal is Connor Murphy who scored 2 goals and had 15 assists in 77 games last season for Arizona. The Blackhawks also get Laurent Dauphin who scored 2 goals and had 1 assist in 24 games last season.

The Blackhawks weren’t done dealing though as they sent Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a 2017 6th round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a 2018 5th round pick.

Panarin had been with the Blackhawks two seasons after spending nine seasons in the KHL. Panarin won the Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) scoring 30 goals and 47 assists his first season in the NHL. Last season Panarin scored 31 goals and had 43 assists; that what made it a bit of a surprise that the Blackhawks dealt him.

Tyler Motte played in 33 games last season scoring 4 goals and picking up 3 assists. Motte was the 121st selection of the 2013 draft.

Saad spent the first three seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks before they traded him to Columbus. Saad scored 53 points each of his season with the Blue Jackets. Last season Saad had 24 goals and 29 assists. Saad also made his first All-Star team while with Columbus.

The Blackhawks seem to be looking for a back up goaltender since Scott Darling was traded at the start of the off season. Will Anton Forsebrg be that guy? Forsberg played just 1 game for the Blue Jackets last season as he spent the season playing for the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL. Forsberg played 51 games and posted a 27-17-6 record with a Goals Against Average of 2.28. Forsberg has just 10 games of NHL experience.

What do you think of these trades the Chicago teams made before or during their drafts? Please let me know in the comments section.

Don’t forget that you can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 21, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA draft is Thursday night and there’s been a lot of trade talk and even a couple of deals as we get close to draft night.

The dealing started officially on Monday when the trade between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers was finalized. Boston sent the #1 overall pick in the draft to Philadelphia for the #3 pick and a conditional 1st round pick in 2018 or 2019.

Then yesterday we had a couple of trades. The first one reported was the Los Angeles Lakers sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the #27 pick in Thursday’s draft. Then a little later in the day the Atlanta Hawks sent Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the draft to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in the draft.

It will be interesting to see if we get anymore trades before the draft as there are a ton of rumors out there. There’s been a lot of talk about the Indiana Pacers trying to find a trading partner for Paul George. It would appear as though the best spot to deal George would be the Lakers since he’s said that he would like to sign there after his contract is up. George is signed through next season. Jimmy Butler’s name seems to have been in trade rumors since the trade deadline last season; so it’s no surprise at all that he’s still being talked about. Reports where that the Cleveland Cavaliers where very interested in acquiring Butler, but this morning he told the Cavaliers that he’d rather stay with the Chicago Bulls than play for Cleveland. I was a little bit surprised to find out that the Los Angeles Clippers have actually looked at the possibility of dealing All-Star center DeAndre Jordan. Now the Clippers are in an interesting spot since both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are free agents. Now imagine if Paul and Griffin where to sign elsewhere it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Clippers to hang onto Jordan; so in a way I guess it makes sense for them to look at the trade value of Jordan. Don’t forget that the New York Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony on the roster, but the name of Kristaps Porzingis has come out in trade rumors as well. There was rumors of a swap between the Knicks and the Phoenix Suns where the Suns would get Porzingis for Devin Booker. There is also talk that the Celtics would like to make a deal for Porzingis, but it appears as though the Knicks would rather find another trade partner. Will any of these players actually get traded? Or was it just pre-draft talk by teams to draw some interest. I guess will find out soon.

Baseball is an ever changing game and you can never really tell what you’re going to get out of team almost from game to game. Now there where a lot of people on the New York Yankees bandwagon and where talking about them being front runners to win the World Series. Then they went on a 7-game west coast road trip. They dropped 2 of 3 games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and where then swept on a 4 game series by the Oakland A’s. It was a 1-6 road trip for the Yankees and they lost the last 6 in a row. They returned home to face the Angels last night and their luck hadn’t changed yet as they where beaten 8-3 by Los Angeles. Of course there’s no reason to stop supporting the Yankees as they are still 8 games over .500 at 38-30 and even after dropping 7 games in a row they are jus 1/2 a game out of 1st place in the A.L. East. They’ll have a chance to end the losing streak tonight against the Angels. Jordan Montgomery makes the start for the Yankees tonight. Montgomery is 4-4 in 12 starts with an E.R.A. of 3.78. The Angels will send Ricky Nolasco to try to extend the Yankees losing streak. Nolasco is 2-8 in 14 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.01. Will see if the media can hold their horses a little bit the next time the Yankees go on a run, but I think we all know they won’t.

In sad news for the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL in general this morning as it was announced that winger Marion Hossa is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season as he receives treatment for a skin disorder. Hossa released a statement earlier saying “Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder,” Hossa said Wednesday morning. “Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.” There was a report Tuesday that Hossa’s career could be over because of a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment.
Hossa scored 26 goals last season, his 19th in the league. He is due to be paid $1 million for each of the four years remaining on the 12-year, $63.3 million deal he signed in 2009. His deal carries a cap hit of $5.275 million, however. If Hossa were to retire, the Blackhawks would be hit with a cap recapture penalty. If Hossa goes on long-term injured reserve; even for the remainder of his contract the Blackhawks, who consistently have cap issues, would get some salary cap relief.

Hossa will almost certainly be elected to the Hall of Fame. He has 525 goals, is a five-time All-Star and helped lead the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. He’s known as one of the best two way forwards of his generation.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 31, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Stanley Cup finals started on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Nashville Predators in game 1. This was the first time in team history that Nashville has been to a Stanley Cup finals and you have to wonder if maybe there was some nerves early on. Pittsburgh jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st period. Evgeni Malkin got the first goal for the Penguins. Connor Sheary scored Pittsburgh’s second goal while Nick Bonino added the third goal. Sidney Crosby assisted on two of the three goals.

With a 3-0 lead heading into the 2nd period it looked as though the Penguins would cruise to an easy victory. The Predators and the game really settled down in the 2nd period. Ryan Ellis scored the only goal of the period for Nashville to make it a 3-1 game. P.K. Subban and Mike Fischer assisted on the goal.

Nashville had been playing as good if not better than every other team in this years playoffs, but you have to wonder if they had out themselves in to big of a whole against a top offensive team like Pittsburgh.

The Predators made it a one goal game when Colton Sissons scored on the power play. Then Nashville evened things up at 3-3 when Fredrick Gaudreau scored. It was a tie game for a little over three minutes before Jake Guentzel score for the Penguins to make it 4-3. Nick Bonino scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to  seal a Game 1 5-3 win for the Penguins.

A game that started off looking like a blow out turn out to be a very close contest. The offensive minded Penguins managed just 12 shots on Pekka Rinne in the game. Even though they picked up the win you have to think that the Penguins will have to find a way to generate more scoring chances as the series moves forward. Now Nashville did get 26 shots on Matt Murray; so they have to be happy with the shot total they had. You look back at the game and you have to wonder if the Predators had just gotten off to a better start things may have been different.

Game 2 is tonight in Pittsburgh. I don’t think you can say this is any type of must win for Nashville. I’m sure they’d love to get a win on the road, but even if they go down 2 games they’re headed back home for Game 3 on Saturday night and then Game 4 on Monday night. To win the Stanley Cup Nashville will have to win a game in Pittsburgh; so maybe Game 2 could be that game. Will find out tonight.

Now the Washington Capitals where the best team during the NHL regular season, but where eliminated from the playoffs by the Penguins in the 2nd round. That of course has brought up some questions about a team that has won the President’s trophy in back to back seasons.

Would the Capitals make changes? Washington’s General Manager Brian MacLellan address what the team would be looking to do this off season on Tuesday. MacLellan explained that he’d look to “tweak and retool on the fly rather than overhauling the roster”.

There have been some rumors that the Capitals may look to trade Alexander Ovechkin or All-Star center Nicholas Backstrom. Neither of those deals look to be happening. The Capitals aren’t even looking to make a coaching change. Barry Trotz will be back behind the Washington bench at the start of next season. 2017-18 is the last year of Trotz’s contract; so maybe we’ll see a coaching change after that.

Now there are some big decisions that Washington will have to make this off season. Wingers T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams along with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner are unrestricted free agents. The Capitals also have four of their young players Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Andre Burakovsky and Nate Schmidt as restricted free agents. The restricted free agents usually take priority and all four of those will be looking for raises. Since the NHL’s salary ca[ isn’t expected to move much from the $73 million dollar figure that it’s at Washington might be making some changes by default. The Capitals will have to figure out who stays and who goes as well as the possibility of losing a player to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.

Will the Capitals bring enough players back to win the President’s trophy for a third season in a row? Or better yet will they find some success in the playoffs for the first time with Alex Ovechkin.

Albert Pujols should make the baseball Hall of Fame the first year his name is on the ballot. Pujols was the best player in baseball when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and while he hasn’t quite been the same player since signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pujols is on the brink of hitting his 600th career home run. Pujols hit home run #599 in the Angels 9-3 win over the Atlanta Braves last night. You have to figure #600 won’t be far behind. Remember just three year ago to get to the 500 home run mark Pujols hit #499 and #500 in the same game in Washington. While that didn’t happen last night; he does just need one more home run to get to that 600 total. When Pujols hits that 600th home run he’ll be the 9th player in baseball history to reach that total. Now remember Pujols is signed through the year 2022 with the Angels; so there’s a chance if he stays healthy that he’ll actually get to the 700 home run plateau. If he did get tp that 700 number Pujols would be just one of four players to reach that number.

While Pujols might not be the player he use to be he still has a resume that should get him easily into Cooperstown. Pujols was Rookie of the Year in 2001. He’s won three M.V.P. awards 2005, 2008 and 2009. He’s also finished 2nd in the M.V.P. voting four times and 3rd once. Pujols is a 10-time All-Star, has won 2 Gold Gloves and 6 Silver Slugger awards. He’s also a .308 career hitter who won the N.L. batting title in 2003.

Do that look Hall of Fame worthy to you?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 27, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the Major League Baseball season not even 50 games old can you really look at the National League East and wonder if there’s another team in the division that’s going to challenge the Washington Nationals for the division title. The Nationals are the only team over .500 in the N.L. East at 29-18 and have a 7 1/2 game lead over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves. Now if I had to guess I’d say that most people picked the Nationals to win the division before the season started, but did anyone think they’d make it look this easy.

Now there where people who liked the New York Mets to challenge the Nationals at the top of the division and even contend for a wild card spot. Well the Mets have had more injuries to their top players than any other team in baseball. They’re without starting pitchers Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard. Add pitchers Seth Lugo, Tommy Milone and closer Jeurys Familia to the injury list. Don’t forget that Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t played since April 27th. Brandon Nimmo is also part of the injury list and David Wright hasn’t played a game this season and may not play one in 2017. Not to mention the Matt Harvey drama a few weeks back where he ended up getting suspended for three games. The Mets are currently 20-26 and in 3rd place in the division, but it doesn’t look like their year.

Now the Braves are in 2nd place at 21-25, but I don’t think anyone sees them as a contender just yet. The plan all along for the Braves was to be ready to contend by the time their new ballpark opened. Atlanta isn’t quite there yet, but they added some veterans in the off season to help them out. Sean Rodriguez was signed as a free agent, but was injured in and automobile accident before the season started and may miss all of 2017. The Braves ended up making a trade for Brandon Phillips to play 2nd base. The Braves also have some young pitching prospects who aren’t quite ready for the majors. So instead for forcing these young pitchers into the majors they signed Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey as free agent s and the traded for Jaime Garcia to hold down the rotation until their young pitchers are ready. Now while the Braves maybe improved from last season I don’t think they’ll be challenging the Nationals for 1st place.

The Miami Marlins are currently in 4th place in the N.L. East with a record of 17-29, but are 11 1/2 games out of 1st place. I don’t think anyone believed that Miami would contend this season as they had to find a way to replace staff ace Jose Fernandez. The Marlins brought in veteran starters Dan Straily and Edison Volquez to help out. Straily has been solid in his 10 starts so far going 3-3 with an E.R.A. of 3.83. Volquez however has really struggled going 0-7 in his 9 starts with an E.R.A. of 4.85. Wei-Yin Chen who was brought in a couple of seasons ago as a free agent to help the rotation has battled injuries all season and has made just 5 starts. Chen is 2-1 with a 4.33 E.R.A over 27 innings in 2017. I don’t think the Marlins will be making a run at the Nationals.

Now there where some people who thought that the Philadelphia Phillies could be the surprise team of the N.L. East, but they’re off to a 16-30 start and our in last place 12 1/2 games out of 1st place. Now the Phillies are still in rebuild mode, but the fact that Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco are off to terrible starts. Herrera is hitting .227 while Franco is hitting .215.Jeremy Hellickson was brought back to help anchor a young staff and while he has a good record at 5-2 his E.R.A. is high at 4.28. Hellickson actually has the lowest E.R.A. of all the Phillies starters; so giving up runs is an issue for this young staff. While some people thought that Philadelphia could play .500 baseball this season, they’re going to have their work cut out for them to get back to that point and they won’t be pushing Washington at the top of the division.

Now the Houston Astros actually have a bigger division lead in the American League West at 9 games than the Nationals do, but it looks as though there are teams in the A.L. West that could get back into the division race and even though they might not end up challenging the Astros for 1st place they’ll at least have a winning record. After looking at the teams in the N.L. East do one of them look like they’ll get on a run and get themselves back into the pennant race?

The Stanley Cup finals starts on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Nashville Predators in Game 1. While Nashville was the 2nd wild card in the Western Conference and the last team to qualify for the playoffs they’ve been playing better than any other team in the playoffs. The Penguins scored 111 regular season points; second only to the Washington Capitals who the Penguins beat in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Now Nashville is looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in the teams history. The Penguins are looking to be the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

These two teams split their two games against each other this season, with each one winning game. The Predators beat the Penguins 5-1 on October 22nd and the Penguins evened things up with a 4-2 victory on January 31st.

Now both teams are battling injuries coming into this series. Nashville is hoping that center Mike Fischer will be able to be ready for the start of the Cup finals. Fischer has been out since Game 4 of the Western Conference finals when he went took a knee to the head from Anaheim’s Josh Manson. The Predators will also be without forward Kevin Fiala who broke his femur in the 2nd round and is done for the playoffs. It appears as though the Penguins will have to play another series without their best defenseman Kris Letang. Letang has a neck injury and hasn’t played a playoff series for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz is playing through an upper-body injury and should be good to go for Game 1, but it’s uncertain if defenseman Chad Ruhwedel who is recovering from a concussion will be available.

Heading into the finals you have to think that the Predators hold the advantage in goal even against a strong Pittsburgh offense. Pekka Rinne has played all 16 games and is leading all goalies who have started more than five games this postseason with a .941 save percentage. The Penguins have used a combination of Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in goal. Fleury stepped in for Murray after the latter was injured in warm ups before the first game of the playoffs and carried the Penguins at times; especially against the Capitals in the conference semifinals. Since regaining his starting job in Game 4 of the conference finals, Murray has been outstanding for the Penguins, posting a .946 save percentage in four starts.

On the Friday edition of Sports Time Radio Dan the Man picked the Predators to win this series. Now him and I have a bet; so I have the Penguins to win. The loser of the bet has to buy the winner a t-shirt with the players names listed on the back if there team wins. Dan went with the Penguins last season and as you know won that bet. Can Dan go back to back?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Matt Harvey of the New York Mets made his first start at home since his suspension last night. Harvey worked a clean 1st inning getting a strikeout, a pop to shortstop and a fly out to leftfield. Then Harvey’s Mets teammates went out and put up seven runs in the bottom of the 1st inning which hopefully helped him relax. Harvey pitched 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 4 and striking out 6. Harvey did pick up the win to even his 2017 record at 3-3. Harvey threw 103 pitches in this his 9th start of the season. The win was Harvey’s first since April 11th, but he hasn’t pitched more than 5 1/3rd innings in his last 5 starts.

Now this is Harvey’s 5th major league season. He’s made 91 career starts and has a record of 32-31 with an E.R.A. of 3.16. Now remember just a couple of seasons ago Harvey was going to lead the Mets pitching staff to regular playoff appearance. The Mets did make it to the World Series losing to the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Now the talk has turned to is it time for the Mets to try and trade Harvey.

Harvey is just 28 years old and you have to wonder what the market would be for a pitcher who has been injured and struggled like Harvey has the last two seasons. Harvey made just 17 starts in 2016 and was 4-10 with an E.R.A. of 4.86. Would a contender be interested in maybe adding a pitcher like Harvey to the back of their rotation? and would a change of scenery do him good? It’s still a little too early for teams to jump into the trade market; so the Mets should have some more starts to evaluate Harvey and decide if he could be a trade candidate. Of course with the injuries the Mets are dealing with in their starting rotation they might need to hang on to Harvey just for the innings.

Jacob DeGrom and Harvey have made 9 starts for the Mets while Zack Wheeler who missed two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery has made 8 starts. Robert Gsellman has made 7 starts, Noah Syndergaard has made 5 starts while Tommy Milone has made 3 starts. The Mets also got single starts from Adam Wilk and Rafael Montero. Steven Matz has not made a start this season for the Mets do to injury. Matz was schedule to make a rehab start yesterday and if all things went well could be activated from the disabled list to make a start this weekend. Syndergaard is on the 60-day disabled list and isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break.

Could these injuries to the starting staff lessen the chance that the Mets would trade Harvey or do you think there’s a chance that Harvey is wearing a different uniform this season?

Now everyone likes to talk about prospects in baseball and it can be integral to your fantasy baseball success. So in case you didn’t hear the Boston Red Sox are calling up their top prospects 1st baseman Sam Travis. Travis is 23 years old, but was having a great start to his Triple-A season at Pawtucket. Travis is coming back from a knee injury that limited him to just 47 games in 2016. In 33 games at Pawtucket Travis is hitting. 286 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI’s Travis’ OPS is .805 and he has 9 doubles. Travis recently was rated as the Red Sox’s 4th best prospect and the #98 prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law.

It will be interesting to see how the Red Sox handle Travis’ playing time. Travis has been exclusively a first baseman throughout his minor league career, but the Red Sox have gotten good production out of their current 1st baseman Mitch Moreland. Moreland is leading the American League in doubles with 16 and has hit 5 home runs while driving in 23 runs. Moreland was signed to a 1 year $5 million dollar deal this past off season. Now the original plan for Moreland was for him to play 1st base against right handed pitching and then move Hanley Ramirez to 1st base against left handed pitching, but Ramirez has played only three innings at first base because of soreness in his right shoulder.

With Travis being called up you’d have to think that the Red Sox would want him to get regular at bats, but who loses the at bats Moreland or Ramirez? Moreland can play the corner outfield spots; so he might be able to get some at bats there, but Ramirez is limited to just 1st base or DH. If Ramirez’s shoulder is still an issue maybe he’s headed for the disabled list, but will have to wait and see how the Red Sox handle who gets the at bats.

The Ottawa Senators picked up a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to force a Game 7 on Thursday night.

After a scoreless 1st period the Penguins got the first goal of the game at 4:51 of the 2nd period when Ian Cole and Scott Wilson assisted on Evgeni Malkin’s goal. At 13:15 of the 2nd period the Senators got even on a 5 on 3 power play as Bobby Ryan scored to tie the game at 1-1. Ryan was assisted by Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris. The Senators went to the lead early in the 3rd period when Mike Hoffman scored at 1:34 of the period to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Fredrik Claesson and Clarke MacArthur assisted on what turned out to be Hoffman’s game winning goal.

Craig Anderson had struggled in goal the last couple of games for the Senators including being pulled from the net after giving up 4 1st period goals in Game 5. Anderson looked like a completely different goaltender in Game 6 as he stopped 45 of the 46 Pittsburgh shots he faced. Matt Murray got the start in goal for the Penguins again and played well. Murray stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.

Pittsburgh will host Game 7 tomorrow night as the Nashville Predators sit and wait for the winner of this series. The Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in six games in the Western Conference finals. Nashville won Game 6 by a 6-3 score and took the series four games to two.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 20, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, horse racing, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While the NBA Conference finals are turning into a complete joke over in the NHL the two Conference finals series they have going on are turning into very good series. Both series are tied at 2-2 with a Game 5 between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators tonight and Game 5 of the Pittsburgh Penguins/Ottawa Senators series tomorrow there’s still time for you to jump in and watch some good hockey.

Now both the Penguins and the Senators where down a game coming into their Game 4 match ups and they both picked up big wins to avoid being in an elimination scenario for now. On Thursday night Ottawa picked up a big 3-2 win in overtime to even their series at 2-2. Corey Perry scored the game winner for the Ducks 10:25 into overtime to give Anaheim the win. The Penguins also picked up a 3-2 win in Game 4 of there series, but they got their win in regulation. After a terrible start in Game 3 Marc-Andre Fleury was replaced in the Pittsburgh goal by Matt Murray. Murray stopped 24 of the 26 shots he saw in the game. Pittsburgh actually jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 4 and had to hold on as Ottawa scored late in both the 2nd and 3rd period to make it a one goal game. A penalty on Ottawa for too many men on the ice 19:23 into the 3rd period killed any man advantage the Senators would have the Penguins took a 3-2 win and the series was tied.

Tonight the Western Conference finals has moved back to Anaheim for the Game 5 match up between the Ducks and the Predators. Then on Sunday the Eastern Conference finals are back in Pittsburgh for their Game 5 match up as the Penguins will host the Senators. Each team has won on the others ice; so I’m not sure if there’s a home ice advantage for either team hosting Game 5. Of course the winner of these Game 5 match ups sets up a chance at eliminating their opponent in Game 6 and moving on to the Stanley Cup finals.

The NBA announced the finalist for there 2017 season awards. There are six awards with three finalist for each award. Here are the nominees.

Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors. Lou Williams of the Houston Rockets. Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets.

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. Dario Saric of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat.

Most Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.

You’ll find out the winners of these awards on June 26th when the NBA has it’s first ever awards show hosted by Drake.

I’m going with Antetokounmpo as most improved, Gordon as sixth man, Leonard as defensive player, Embiid to win best rookie, D’Antoni as best coach and Westbrook as M.V.P. Feel free to leave your picks in the comment section and we’ll see how we do at the end of next month.

Of course as soon as the final three for M.V.P. where announced the media went nuts that LeBron James wasn’t one of the final three. If you where to out James into the final three; who would you take out? Westbrook and Harden where locks as M.V.P. finalist; so it would have to be Leonard. Now you have to remember that this is a regular season award; so the playoffs have nothing to do with who wins this. Let’s take a look at the stats and then you can decide.

Both James and Leonard played in 74 games during the 2016-17 regular season. James averaged 26.4 points per game while Leonard was at 25.5. James grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game while Leonard was at 5.8. James handed out 8.7 assists per game while Leonard handed out 3.5 per game. James averaged 1.2 steals per game while Leonard had 1.8 per game. James blocked 0.59 shots per game while Leonard blocked 0.7. James shot 54.8% from the field, 36.3% from behind the 3-point line and 67% from the free throw line. Leonard shot 48.5% from the field, 38.1% from behind the 3-point line and 88% from the free throw line. So looking at the stats it appears that James was a little better offensive player, but Leonard may be the better shooter. Leonard looks to be the better defender and is considered one of the top defensive players in the NBA. Now the James led Cavaliers where 51-31 during the regular season while Leonard’s San Antonio team went 61-21 for the regular season. So the decision might come down to how the team did during the regular season. Leonard’s team was 10 wins better than James team was and they play in the much tougher Western Conference. While it’s a difficult call to make and I could’ve seen the NBA just going with four players I think if you look at the stats and how the teams performed led by these two players they made the right choice. You have to understand that Leonard doesn’t carry the name value that James does and this is where the controversy will come from.

The second leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing, the Preakness Stakes, will be run on Saturday at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is the Preakness favorite at 4 to 5. Classic Empire is at 3 to 1 odds while Lookin at Lee is 10 to 1. There are only 10 horses scheduled to run in the Preakness and I’m sure the odds will change quite a bit before the horse run out of the starting gate. Here are the rest of the horses. Cloud Computing 12 to 1, Gunnevera 15 to 1, Conquest Mo Money 15 to 1, Hence 20 to 1, Multiplier 30 to 1, Term of Art 30 to 1 and Senior Investment 30 to 1.

Now I didn’t do so well with my Kentucky Derby pick, but I’ll give it another shot for the Preakness. I’m going to go with Hence to win the Preakness Stakes.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 13, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to understand this one or if anyone will ever be able to explain it to me, but I guess it’s just how sports goes some time. Maybe you’ll be able to enlighten me in the comments.

After warming up in pre-game the San Antonio Spurs decided to hold Kawhi Leonard out of their Game 6 match up against the Houston Rockets, Remember Leonard twisted an ankle in the Spurs Game 5 win and was considered a game time decision coming into Game 6. Now the Spurs did have a game in hand as they where up three games to two coming into Game 6 and they would play a Game 7 on their home court. Now with everything looking to be lined up for the Rockets to go out and get a win and force a Game 7; what happens. San Antonio goes out and not only wins the game, but blows Houston out by 39 points 114-75. Now remember the Spurs did this without what many experts believe is the best two-way player in the NBA in Leonard, but they’re also missing starting point guard Tony Parker.

Now as I’m wondering how this happened I started looking into the box score for answers. Of course what jumps right out is the terrible night James Harden had. Harden was 2 for 11 shooting on the night; added into that was the 2 for 9 from behind the 3-point line. Not only did Harden have an off night shooting the basketball he also had 6 turnovers in the game and ended up fouling out. Harden is the Rockets best player and an M.V.P. candidate so we’re going to look at him first in a loss like this, but he wasn’t the only reason Houston lost. The Rockets went 22 for 77 (28.6%) from the field in the game and actually shot a better percentage (32.5%) from behind the 3-point line going 13 for 40. Houston even had an off night from the free throw line going 18 for 25 or hitting 72% of their free throws.

Now the Rockets are the model of the new style of NBA play where a team will actually pass up and open 2-point shot to get a good look at a 3-pointer. I’m sure if you watched any of this series you heard someone use the term trading two’s for three’s; which is what the Rockets are willing to do with their offense. Now when they’re making their 3-point shots Houston is one of the toughest team in the NBA to beat. Just look at Game 1 a 126-99 win and Game 4 a 125-104 win. Of course when you’re not hitting your 3’s you get beat by 39 points and knocked out of the playoffs.

The Rockets are obviously building their team in the style of the Golden State Warriors who the Spurs will face in the Western Conference finals starting Sunday. What do you think the Rockets have to do to take the next step and be an NBA title contender?

Now we are going to get a Game 7 in this round of the playoffs, but it’s the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics who are going to give us that Game 7.

Now it took six games, but there was finally a close game in this series. John Wall hit a Game 6 winning 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left to give Washington a 92-91 win and send this series to a Game 7. Wall jumped up on the scorers table, popped his jersey and yelled at his home fans as the game ended. Believe it or not this is the first game in this series that has been decided by less than 10 points.

In another bit of odd NBA scheduling these two teams will meet in Game 7 on Monday night. That means the Western Conference finals will already be underway before we know which one of these teams will move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. The home team has won every game in this series; so you’d think the Celtics would have an advantage going into Game 7, but you never know.

The Western Conference finals in the NHL got started last night. It took overtime, but the Nashville Predators got a 3-2 win on the road over the Anaheim Ducks.

Jakob Silfverberg got the first goal of the series and gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead unassisted 5:15 into the 1st period. Nashville was able to tie the game at 1-1 at 12:34 of the period. Filip Forsberg scored the Predators goal with assists from Matthew Irvin and Ryan Johansen. Just 2:42 into the 2nd period the Predators took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Austin Watson. Watson was assisted by Johansen and Mattias Ekholm. That turned out to be the only goal of the 2nd period. Now there was only one goal scored in the 3rd period, but this time it was Anaheim who scored the goal to tie the game at 2-2. Hampus Lindholm scored with an assist from Nate Thompson with 7:21 gone in the 3rd period. John Gibson (Anaheim) and Pekka Rinne (Predators) didn’t let anything else into the net and we where headed to overtime. The game went 9:24 into overtime before P.K. Subban and Ekholm assisted on James Neal game winning goal to give Nashville a 3-2 Game 1 win and a one game to none lead in the series.

The series will stay in Anaheim for Game 2 on Sunday night while Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals starts tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Ottawa Senators.

If your a UFC fan it looks as though there will finally be a rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Officials announced on Friday that a light heavyweight title fight between Cormier and Jones to UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, California.

Jones (22-1) defeated Cormier (19-1) in a light heavyweight title defense in January 2015. He never defended the belt again, however, as the UFC stripped him of the title later that year for legal reasons. Jones plead guilty to a hit-and-run in 2015. A rematch was originally scheduled in April 2016, but Cormier was forced to pull out with an injury. The matchup was rebooked to headline UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, but Jones was pulled from the event three days before due to a failed drug test. Cormier, who won the vacant title in 2015 and has defended it twice, admitted he is anxious Jones won’t make it to the fight again. He specifically brought up Jones’ history of cocaine use. Jones tested positive for cocaine prior to defeating Cormier in 2015.

UFC president Dana White, who did not attend the news conference, later said the 205-pound title fight will headline the pay-per-view event, which will take place at Honda Center. According to White, the UFC intends to book Jimi Manuwa on the card in case something happens with Jones. Manuwa’s opponent is to be determined.

Are you excited to see this rematch?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget I’m on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 10, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Interestingly we’re about 30 games into the baseball season and I heard people talking about their fantasy football draft. Now I also got my invite to renew our two leagues already. I think this is the earliest I’ve ever received a notice to renew our leagues. Of course this got me thinking. Who could be the impact rookies to look for in this years draft. Now we still have to get through training camp and of course the wonderful pre-season games, but let’s have some fun and rank the rookies who could have a big fantasy impact this coming season.

While there are a few players you could put at the top of this list I think I’m going with Christian McCaffery of the Carolina Panthers. Carolina used the 8th pick in the draft to select McCaffery; so you have to think he’ll be a big part of their offense. McCaffery should not only get carries he should also be a big factor in the passing game. Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaquars should also get enough carries to have some fantasy impact. Fournette should be the #1 running back right fro  the start of training camo and as long as he gets the carries he’ll be a positive fantasy player. I seem to be running back heavy at the top here, but I also like Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota doesn’t have a #1 running back; so Cook should be able to step right in and fill that role. Cook could be a good fantasy player this season. It looks like wide receiver Mike Williams landed in the right spot with the Los Angeles Chargers. Keenan Allen just can’t seem to stay healthy and Phillip Rivers like to go downfield; so Williams has a chance to be the top fantasy receiver. The Cincinnati Bengals need someone to help A.J. Green; so with the 9th pick the Bengals selected John Ross. Ross was the guy at the combined with the lighting fast 40 time and should be able to run some of the coverage off for Green. Don’t be surprised if Samaje Perine wins the job as the Washington Redskins #1 running back in training camp. Washington doesn’t have a top back and if he’s given a chance Perine could take that job. O.J. Howard has a chance to get a lot of targets around the goal line and that could really help his fantasy numbers. If Howard can work well with Jameis Winston will be the key to his fantasy success. David Njoku is another tight end who has a shot at putting up some good fantasy numbers. Of course he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, but pretty much as soon as they selected him they cut their starting tight end. Njoku is young and might need a little time to learn at the NFL level, but if he gets it quick there could be some fantasy positives there. Juju Smith-Schuster is another wide receiver who went to a good spot. Obviously Antonio Brown is the clear #1 receiver on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but there’s no true #2. While there are getting Martavis Bryant back from suspension he’s just one violation away from a lifetime ban. Plus Bryant is purely a deep threat; so there’s room for another underneath receiver. This could be a good spot for Smith-Schuster to fit in. I’m going to round out the Top 10 with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis. Marcus Mariota needs a true #1 receiver and Davis could be that player. Davis was considered the best route runner in the draft and if he can get a good working relationship with Mariota there could be some fantasy positives there.

There’s 10 rookies for you to start looking at and I’m sure there are some that you like that I didn’t mention. Feel free to leave your favorite rookie headed in this fantasy season in the comments and as this list expands I’ll take a look at them.

On Sunday afternoon the Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 to in that series 4 games to 2 and advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in team history. Then last night the Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers 4-2 to win that series 4 games to 2 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Tonight the Predators and the Senators will find out who they’ll be facing in the Conference Finals as we have two Game 7’s on the schedule. Now the marquee match up this round has been the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Washington Capitals and it just seems right that it should take seven games to decide who wins it. Of course the series didn’t look like it would be going seven games when the Penguins won the first two games and three of the first four games in this series. Washington has responded with back to back wins in Game 5 and Game 6 to get us to this point. Can the Capitals make it three wins in a row to take the series or will Pittsburgh find a way to get a win on the road to advance to the Conference Finals and continue to defend the Stanley Cup. The other Game 7 tonight features the Edmonton Oilers at the Anaheim Ducks. Edmonton jumped out and took the first two games of this series before Anaheim came back and won three straight games. The Oilers where able to hold off elimination with a big 7-1 win in Game 6. There has been a lot of offense in this series as the teams have combined to score 42 goals in six games. Can Edmonton put up another 7 goals and advance or will it be the Ducks who put the puck in the net enough to advance to the Conference Finals.

On a side note: at the start of the season Dan the Man picked Washington to win the Stanley Cup while my choice was Anaheim. It looks like we’re going to need big Game 7 wins out of our picks to continue in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget; you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

So we’re a month into the 2017 baseball season. Are you concerned with the way your favorite team started off? Neither World Series team from 2016; the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are both just over .500 at 14-12 while the Houston Astros are off to the best start at 18-9. Now I’m a big advocate of panicking after the first month of the season, but there are people out there who do. Of course everyone wants their favorite team to get off to a good start, but not every team in baseball can get off to that good start. It’s kind of the same thing with players stats. Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals is off to a good start this season, but I don’t think he’ll hit .419 all season long. On the other side Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets is hitting just .122 after the first month of the season. Maybe it will end up being a down year for Granderson, but do you really think he’ll hit .122 all season long? Or will we see him end up right around his career batting average of .253. I know it’s fun to talk about it, but when it comes to rooting for a team or a player you have to be able to handle the highs with the lows. I get that’s easier said than done and it does take some time to be able to do that, but it’s a long, long season and things always seem to even out.

What I am finding interesting to watch is can the players who had down years in 2016, but have had good starts to the 2017 season keep it up. Jason Heyward go a big free agent deal with the Chicago Cubs before the 2016 season and then went out and hit .230 with 7 home runs and 49 RBI’s. Heyward has started off 2017 hitting .261 through 25 games with 3 homers and 16 RBI’s. How about Zack Greinke. He also got a big free agent deal from the Arizona Diamondbacks and while he did have a winning record at 13-7 his E.R.A. was 4.37. That’s the highest it’s been since his second year in baseball. Greinke had one complete game shutout in 2016, but was limited to 26 starts due to injury. Greinke has made 6 starts in 2017; he’s 2-2 with an E.R.A. of 3.19 and he already has one complete game. Jordan Zimmerman is another pitcher who signed a big time free agent deal before the 2016 season. Zimmerman switched leagues signing with the Detroit Tigers, but was limited to 19 games (18 starts) in 2016 due to injury. Zimmerman was 9-7 with a 4.87 E.R.A. Now in five 2017 starts Zimmerman’s E.R.A. is still quite high at 6.18, but he’s 3-1 on the season. I mentioned Ryan Zimmerman in the paragraph above, but you might not remember that Zimmerman hit .218 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI’s in 115 games in 2016. In 25 games this season Zimmerman is hitting .419 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI’s.

What do you think will we see these players continue to play well this season or will they have a relapse or revert to what happened to them in 2016? Better yet; did you take a chance on one of these players in your fantasy league this season? If you happened to they might be paying some big dividends early in the 2017 season.

I’m sure by now you’ve know about the death of Boston Celtics superstar Isaiah Thomas’ sister Chyna back on April 15th. Well last night the Celtics played Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Washington Wizards on what would’ve been Chyna’s 23rd birthday. Now the Celtics did go on to win the game 129-119 in overtime to go up 2 games to none in the series. Now Thomas who was dealing not only with the recent loss of his sister also had oral surgery on Monday to fix the tooth he lost in Sunday’s Game 1 win. With all of this going on in Thomas personal life he still went out and scored 53 points in the Boston victory. Thomas played 45 minutes in the Game 2 win. He shot 18 of 33 from the field including 5 of 12 from behind the 3-point line. Thomas made 12 of the 13 free throws he shot as well. Thomas also had 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals with just 2 turnovers in Game 2. When Thomas was on the floor the Celtics where a +10 in the game. Unlike their first round series the Celtics won both of their home games to start round 2. The series will now move to Washington for game 3 & 4 with Game 3 being played on Thursday night.

With the draft over teams have to start looking at free agents to fill the needs they still have. The Denver Broncos hope they filled one of their holes yesterday when they signed running back Jamal Charles for one year. The deal could be worth up to $3.75 million dollars. Charles has spent his entire nine year NFL career with the Broncos AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs. Charles has played in just 8 games total the last two seasons due to injury, but for his career he has gained 7260 yards with 43 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Charles has played in 103 career games and has five 100 yard seasons to his credit. His best season was 2012 when he gained 1509 yards. Charles is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. In his career he has 285 receptions and 20 receiving touchdowns. In 2013 Charles caught a career high 70 passes.

Charles will join a Broncos backfield where Devin Booker was the leading rusher with 612 yards in 2016. The Broncos would also like to see C.J. Anderson return from injury. Denver also used a 6th round draft pick on De’Angelo Henderson a running back out of Coastal Carolina.

We spent quite a bit of time on the Tuesday edition of Sports Time Radio talking about Sidney Crosby and the hit that gave him a concussion; so I don’t want to go into that again. You can find that podcast on TuneIn.com if you’d like to get Dan the Man and mines take on the situation. It seems as though the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals is the marquee NHL playoff match up, but sooner or later people may need to start paying attention to the Nashville Predators. The Predators swept the #1 seeded Chicago Blackhawks out of the 1st round of the playoffs and last night they beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 to take a 3 games to 1 lead in that series. The Predators/Blues series is the only one that has played four games and all of the other series are at 2 games to 1 with to Game 4 being played tonight. The Capitals are at the Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks are at the Edmonton Oilers. Pittsburgh and Edmonton have the lead in those series. The other Game 4 is Thursday night as the New York Rangers hosting the Ottawa Senators with the Senators ahead in that series.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com or listen to the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

I’m on Twitter @Burketime