Archive for the ‘NFL picks’ Category

We’re less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting and besides the top two free agents there are still quite a few players out their looking for work. Let’s see if we can find some of these guys some jobs.

There aren’t a lot of top flight catchers left on the free agent market, but there are a few that should still get some work. Devin Mesoraco has good power and could fit in with any teams platoon at catcher. Martin Maldonado has always been a very good defensive catcher and also handles a pitching staff well. Caleb Joseph is another solid defender behind the plate, but Maldonado may be a little better hitter. Matt Wieters was looked at as one of the top catchers in the game until the injury bug hit him. If he’s healthy you have to wonder if he could get back to that top form.

It may be difficult for a team to sign one of these catchers if they think that they’re in the mix to acquire J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins; so we’ll have to keep an eye out and see if and where these catchers sign at.

1st base is another position where there aren’t any really big names left on the free agent market, but there are some quality veterans who could fill a platoon role at 1st base or possible DH.

Logan Morrison is coming back from injury, but if healthy could add power to a line up. You could add Lucas Dida and Mark Reynolds into that mix to as they both are solid power hitters, but probably aren’t everyday players at this point. Hanley Ramirez is still hanging around since no one picked him up after the Boston Red Sox released him last season.

At 2nd base it looks like Josh Harrison is the biggest name left on the free agent board. There was some talk early in the off season that the New York Mets where interested in Harrison, but that never ended up happening and there really haven’t been any other teams attached to Harrison.

Besides Harrison here are a couple of veterans still out on the free agent market. Neil Walker had a bit of a down year with the New York Yankees last season, but has had a solid career. Logan Forsythe is another veteran still available.

Besides Manny Machado the best shortstop on the free agent market is probably Freddy Galvis. Galvis is just 29; so he still has some quality seasons left in him. Jose Iglesias is also 29 and is a top defender who has hit better as his career went on. Iglesias has battled some injuries the last couple of seasons, but you’d think he’s healthy now. There are some proven guys like Alcides Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria out there. Neither is a big time threat at the plate, but both play excellent defense at shortstop.

Mike Moustakas is clearly the best 3rd baseman left in free agency, but you have to wonder if he’s hurt his chances by saying he was waiting for Machado to sign before he does. The Texas Rangers had a need at 3rd base with the retirement of Adrian Beltre, but it looks like Asdrubal Cabrera will fill that role. The Rangers signed Cabrera yesterday. Remember Moustakas ended up going back to the Kansas City Royals on a low money deal when he couldn’t get a bigger offer anywhere else last off season. Could he be putting himself in that spot again waiting for Machado to sign.

A couple of other options at 3rd base could be Matt Davidson or Chase Headley. Davidson is just 28 and is a legitimate power hitter. There actually has been some talk of teams looking at Davidson as a possible pitcher as well as a 3rd baseman. Maybe someone will sign him as a duel threat. Headley is 35 and may be at the end of his career, but could give a team that veteran off the bench they could use to spell their everyday 3rd baseman.

There are also a couple of utility guys still on the free agent market with the biggest name being Marwin Gonzalez. You do have to wonder if teams are waiting on these utility guys, but Gonzalez was thought to be a notch above the other utility players available, but he’s still unsigned. Sean Rodriguez is also available to fill that utility role for a team. Derek Dietrich cold also be an option as a utility player, but I’m not sure if he could handle playing shortstop regularly. All three of these guys could easily fit into any corner outfield spot as well; so they’re not just limited to being used in the infield.

Now there are quite a few outfielders that we can go through; so I think I’m going to save them for the Saturday blog and we’ll take a look at them then.

As for our football picks. I managed to be the only one to get both games right as I had the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots to meet in the Super Bowl and they will after winning their Conference Championship games. Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and believe it or not Mr. Fantasy went 1-1 with their picks. That win by Mr. Fantasy stopped his eight game playoff losing streak.

Overall our playoff picks heading into the Super Bowl look like this. Dan the Man is 8-2, Schaumburg Stu and I are 6-4 while Mr. Fantasy is 1-9.

Now for our Super Bowl picks we not only pick who we thin will win the game, but also what the final score will be and who will win the MVP. I encourage everyone to not just pick the quarterback of the winning team as their MVP, but that is an obvious choice.

Feel free to make some picks with us. Just leave what you think is going to happen in the comment section.

Remember that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTallkRadio.com. If you miss the podcast live you can head over to TuneIn.com and listen to it any time you want to.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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How was your week

Posted: January 19, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, NFL picks, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the existing roster they had and the additions they’ve ae this off season are the New York Yankees not only the favorite to win the American League East, but also the favorite to win the World Series?

The Yankees everyday line up didn’t need too many adjustments, The two biggest question where who’d be the everyday 1st baseman and how would the fill in for the injured Didi Gregorius. Gregorius is scheduled to return from Tommy John surgery by late July or possibly early August.

Right now it appears that Luke Voit will be given a chance t be the Yankees everyday 1st baseman. Voit has never had the chance to play on a full time basis at the major league level, but he played well for the Yankees after they acquired him from the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29th last season. Voit played in 39 games for the Yankees last season. He hit .333 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI’s. With those numbers it looks like Voit will go into the season as the Yankees 1st baseman.

At first it looked like the Yankees where going to go with oft injured Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop. I didn’t understand why everyone was so excited about Tulowitzki being the everyday shortstop, but I didn’t think that was the route the Yankees where going; so it was no surprise to me when the Yankees added free agent 2nd baseman DJ LeMahieu. Oddly there are people out there that think LeMahieu will become a utility infielder with the Yankees, but I believe that he’ll be the everyday 2nd baseman and Gleyber Torres will move over to shortstop.

LeMahieu is coming off a down year where he hit .276 with 15 home runs and 62 RBI’s in 128 games. While the 15 home runs was a career high for LeMahieu the 128 games is the lowest number of games he’s played since his first season with the Colorado Rockies in 2012. LeMahieu has won three Gold Gloves and was the National League batting champion in 2016 with a .348 average.

Now their will be people out thee who say that LeMahieu’s numbers where inflated by playing 81 games a year in Coors Field, but what about Tulowitzki. Since Tulowitzki was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays he’s hit .250. Don’t forget that Tulowitzki didn’t played a game last season and in 2017 he played in just 66 games. While Tulowitzki has an impressive resume; two Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers and four All-Star appearances. His Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers where won in 2010 and 11 and he hasn’t made an All-Star team since 2015. At one point Tulowtzki was one of the top players in baseball, but right now the Yankees would be better of with LeMahieu playing everyday and Tulowitzki being the utility player.

Could their be some at bats for Tulowitzki as a 1st baseman?

As for Torres; he played 21 games at shortstop as a rookie last season, but through his minor league career he played 321 games at shortstop through 5 minor league seasons. Torres will have to prove that he can played quality defense at shortstop I the big leagues. Last season he committed 5 errors in his 21 games at the position. With some regular playing time at the position he should settle in.

While the Yankees didn’t have too may questions in their everyday line up they had some decisions to make in their starting rotation and bullpen.

The Yankees address the starting rotation by making a trade with the Seattle Mariners for James Paxson. Then the Yankees resigned J.A. Happ who they acquired from the Blue Jays last July. Then to round out the rotation the Yankees brought back veteran C.C. Sabathia for one more season.

Paxson has had some health issues through his career, but last season he made a career high 28 starts. Paxson also pitched a career high 160 1/3rd innings last season. Happ made 11 starts for the Yankees after the acquired him. He went 7-0 with an ERA of 2.69. Sabathia also had a solid 2018 season. He was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts.

Adding Paxson, Happ and Sabathia to Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino should give the Yankees one of the better rotation in baseball.

In the bullpen the Yankees appeared to be in a good position with Aroldis Chapman closing and Dellin Betances as the main set up guy, but they added a couple of quality pitchers to the mix.

The Yankees acquired Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles in July of last season and while Britton hasn’t quite found the form he had in 2016 when he was the best closer in baseball he did post a 2.88 ERA with 3 saves in 25 games for the Yankees last season. The Yankees resigned Britton where he’ll be the main left handed set up man for Chapman and if he’s need can close games as well.

Just bringing Britton back gives the Yankees a big three in the bullpen that most teams covet, but they went a step further and added another big arm to that bullpen.

Earlier this week the Yankees added free agent right hander Adam Ottavino to their bullpen. Ottavino was one of the top free agent relievers on the free agent market and now he’s part of the Yankees bullpen. Ottavino appeared in 75 games for the Colorado Rockies last season. He was 6-4 with a 2.43 ERA, but the stat that stands out for Ottavino is his strikeouts per 9 innings ratio which was 13 last season.

It looks like Chad Green who was 8-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 63 games last season and the hard throwing Tommy Kahnle who was 2-0 with a rough 6.56 ERA in 24 games last season will also be part of the Yankees bullpen.

There is one more bullpen spot to fill and barring a trade it look like Sonny Gray will be the final piece in the Yankees bullpen. If Gray is traded and there are three or four teams interested in him the final spot in the Yankees Bullpen could go to Jonathan Holder. Holder pitched in 60 games last season; he went 1-3 with an ERA of 3.14.

Do you think that these moves make the Yankees the team to beat coming into the 2019 season?

The NFL Conference Championships are tomorrow and I didn’t want to forget to give you are picks. As always I don’t have Mr. Fantasy’s picks as he likes to wait until the last minute to make them.

The NFC kicks off first with the Los Angeles Rams at the New Orleans Saints. Dan the Man and I are taking the Rams while Schaumburg Stu is going with the Saints. In the AFC the New England Patriots are at the Kansas City Chiefs. In this one Schaumburg Stu and I are taking the Patriots while Dan the Man is going with the Chiefs. Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.

Now the Sports Time Radio podcast is going to be off the next two Sunday’s as Mr. Fantasy is in Disney World, but we’re still on Monday through Friday live on BlogTalkRadio.com. The podcast can also be heard on TuneIn.com.

 

 

How was your week

Posted: January 12, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, NFL picks, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Believe it or not we did make picks for the Divisional round NFL playoffs game and here’s what we’re going with.

The AFC starts off today’s playoff action as the Kansas City Chiefs are hosting the Indianapolis Colts. As I’m sure you’ve guessed I don’t have Mr. Fantasy’s game picks as he likes to wait until the last minute to make his, but Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and I have all taken the Chiefs to win this game.

The NFC gets to play in primetime again this weekend as the Dallas Cowboys are visiting the Los Angeles Rams in today’s late game. We do have a difference of opinion in this game as Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu are taking the Rams to win wile I like the Cowboys to get the win here.

Now as for the Sunday games if you want to know who we’re picking tune in to Sports Time Radio tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. to find out. Mr. Fantasy and I will be broadcasting for to hours and we’ll not only let you know who we’re picking to win the Sunday games, but will break down the Saturday games as well as putting together a fantasy line up for the Sunday games as well.

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

I’m sure that Dan the Man is happy about this. Adrian Gonzalez is getting ready to put on a showcase for major league teams as he’s like to continue his baseball career. Gonzalez is 36 years old, but has been reported to be in “excellent shape” coming into his showcase. It hasn’t been reported how many teams might attend his showcase, but you have to think there’s a team out there looking to add a left handed bat to their bench.

For 13 seasons Gonzalez was one of the most consistent hitter in baseball, but after he was limited for just 71 games in 2017 he hasn’t been the same hitter.

Gonzalez hit .242 in his final season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That off season the Dodgers traded him to the Atlanta Braves who released him. The New York Mets decided to bring Gonzalez as it appeared worth the risk as the Braves and the Dodgers where picking up his salary and the Mets where able to sign him for the league minimum.

Gonzalez struggled with the Mets though and after hitting .237 in 54 games with 6 home runs and 26 RBI’s he was released in released in June.

Even with two down years Gonzalez is still a career .287 hitter with 317 career home runs. In his career Gonzalez has won 4 Gold Gloves been to 5 All Star games and has won 2 Silver Slugger Awards. He has also finished in the Top 20 of he MVP voting 8 times with his best finish being in 2010 when he finished 4th as a member of the San Diego Padres.

Do you think that there’s a team out their who’ll sign Gonzalez after his showcase? If you do please let me know in the comments where you think he’ll end up signing.

So is Sonny Gray still going to be with the New York Yankees when the 2019 season opens? Or will they finally find a trade partner and deal him?

After Gray had some struggles last season Yankees General manager Brian Cashman came out and said that he wouldn’t be with the Yankees when the 2019 season came around.

Now the Yankees have added James Paxton to the rotation in a trade with the Seattle Mariners. They also resigned left handers C.C. Sabathia and J.A. Happ. Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino should round out the Yankees starting rotation, but yet Gray is still in Yankee pin strips.

Now in today’s game you almost need 6 or in some cases 7 starting pitchers and you wonder if that’s why the Yankees haven’t moved Gray yet.

Paxton is coming off of a career high 28 starts and 160 1/3rd innings last season. He has had his injury issues throughout his career; so it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra starter hanging around. Sabathia was just cleared to return to baseball activities and he is also 37 years old. Another reason to have another starter handy. Tanaka also seems to miss a start or two as the season moves along; so it would be nice to have a starter with a quality resume to fill in then.

Maybe injury concern is the reason that the Yankees still have Gray on their roster or it could be something as simple as they just haven’t found a deal that they like. Reports are that the Cincinnati reds and the Milwaukee Brewers are the top two teams interested in acquiring Gray; so there’s still a chance that he’ll be pitching somewhere else besides New York when the 2019 season starts.

While we’re talking about the Yankees it’s good to see that the people running the team are much, much smarter than the people reporting on the team.

I didn’t understand all of the excitement when the Yankees sign Troy Tulowitzki, but most if not everyone had him penciled in as the Yankees starting shortstop. Remember Tulowitzki didn’t play a game last season and played in just 66 games in 2017. Tulowitzki has also seen his batting average drop in his final two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2016 Tulowitzki hit .254, but everyone will over look that since he hit 24 home runs, but in 2017 Tulowitzki hit .239, but with just 7 home runs.

After looking at Tulowitzki’s declining numbers and his injury history I couldn’t figure out why everyone thought that he’d be the full time replacement for the Yankees at shortstop until Didi Gregorius came back from injury. Gregorius probably won’t be back until at least July or possibly August. Gregorius is coming back from Tommy John surgery and you have to wonder if it will take him a little time after coming back to be able to make the throw from shortstop to 1st base.

It seems like the Yankees may have agreed with me as hey signed DJ LeMahieu yesterday to a two year $24 million dollar deal. It appears as though LeMahieu will be the Yankees starting 2nd baseman and Gleybar Torres will move over to shortstop; a position he played coming up though the minor leagues.

So now you’re asking; where does that leave Tulowitzki? How about a move to 1st base. It appears that the Yankees are ready to move on from former top prospect Greg Bird; since he can’t stay healthy and while Luke Voit did a nice job for them last season he a bit of a mystery. At 34 years old and with hi injury history a move to 1st base might be just what Tulowitzki needs. He could also spell the other infielder if and when they need days off.

What do you have the Yankees infield looking like when the 2019 season opens?

 

On December 28, 2018, an old friend of the show, Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue wrote “Going to all-digital tickets is a bad idea for the Cubs and here’s why”.  This article details why he is in agreement with Kelsey McKinney from Dead Spin (F^*K Digital Tickets).  Neither is in love with major sports eliminating paper tickets and going digital.  Al, a season ticket holder was informed that they, the season ticket holders will no longer receive hard tickets and if they want them, it could cost up to $150.00.  Both view these tickets as a souvenir that is free, essentially because today the only thing I have personally found below $5 are the team reusable bags in the gift shop, which I by at every game I attended because I generally try to go to a bobblehead game for my “free souvenir.”   

Me personally, I have no issue with it all.  I am all for it.  Sure, I have file cabinet with an overstuffed folder full of old tickets, scorecards and programs but since the evolution of smart phones and apps, having the box score on my phone and being able to upload my pictures from the games I have attended into the Ballpark app, I am as content as can be.  While I have yet to let go of those old tickets, but I have done what all are doing today and Pinned some ideas for a project to display all my tickets in a framed sort of way.  Time will tell when or if I ever get around to it.   

Years ago, I started traveling to see the Cubs play at different ballparks across the country but to be honest the last Hard Copy tickets I have received was back in 2006 for a Cubs/Cards game.  But since then it has been all Print-at-Home tickets.  Sitting 1st row in front of the tarp and being able to interact with Andrew McCutchen in his rookie season before the Cubs beat them was a cool experience or when I stuck my hat out to catch his fly ball during batting practice at Wrigley only to have hit smack my wrist and bounce down to Francisco Liriano are memories that I will always have. 

One complaint that both have are about the scanners that the teams use to check your digital tickets and what if they go down.  What I think they have forgotten is that whether it is a digital ticket, print-at-home or a hard copy, they all get scanned at the gates now.  So, no matter what ticket you have, lets hope those scanners do not go down or lose power.   

Al gives us reasons why the Cubs want to go to an all-digital ticket system which pretty much aligns with why the NFL went to an all-digital ticket.  Basically, it allows the Cubs to track every ticket and who the season ticket holders are selling them to and how many and if they are violating any agreements between the team and season ticket holder.  The Cubs of course package it must nicer 

While Al and Kelsey, which I do encourage you to read their articles, may not be excited about digital tickets, I seriously doubt either will stop attending games because of this.  If they do, it sounds just like my Uncle Bob – he stopped attending Cubs games when they started the presale of bleacher tickets but of course, since they won the World Series, he’s back on the wagon.   

When I used to blow my entire tax returns on Cubs tickets while I was living with my parents, it was never about the hard copy tickets, it was about the game and experience.  I embrace the digital ticket and encourage you to download the Ballpark App.  However, I do not understand why the other major sports leagues have not created this type of app.  

How was your week

Posted: January 5, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, NFL picks, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’ve got two NFL playoff games today to kickoff wild card weekend. Now when we get playoff games on Saturday we get different start times.

The first game is the Indianapolis Colts at the Houston Texans with a scheduled start time of 3:35 p.m. cst. I’m still waiting to see who Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy are picking to win this game, but I can tell you that Schaumburg Stu and I are on opposite sides of this game. Schaumburg Stu is going with the Texans while I have the Colts.

The second game today is scheduled for primetime as it has a 7:15 p.m. cst start time and it features the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Seattle Seahawks. Just like the first game I have no idea who Dan the Man or Mr. Fantasy will end up picking, but Schaumburg Stu and I went the opposite way on this game as well. Schaumburg Stu has the Cowboys winning this game while I have the Seahawks moving into the next round.

The Sunday games have start times closer to what we’re use to for Sunday NFL games. The first game has the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Los Angeles Chargers. This game has a scheduled start time of 12:05 p.m. cst. The second wild card game on Sunday has the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Chicago Bears. this game is scheduled to start at 3:40 p.m. cst.

Now I do have Schaumburg Stu and my picks for these two games, but if you want to know who we’re picking and hopefully find out who Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy not only picked for Saturday’s games, but who they’re picking in Sunday’s two games you’ll have to tune in to the Sunday morning edition of Sports Time Radio.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. cst on Sunday’s through that BlogTalkRadio.com. website. If you miss the podcast live you can head over to TuneIn.com and listen to the podcast any time you’d like.

While the Philadelphia Phillies where one of the teams interested in signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado they had some other issues to address; one of them being their bullpen. the Phillies address the back end of their bullpen when they signed David Robertson to a two year $23 million dollar deal.

Robertson spent last season as a set up man for the New York Yankees, but does have closing experience. Robertson closed for the Yankees in 2014 and recorded 39 saves. He signed with the Chicago White Sox after that season and posted 34 saves in 2015 and 37 saves in 2016. He had 13 saves with the White Sox in 2017 before they dealt him back to the Yankees.

With Robertson holding down the closer role it allows the Phillies to move future closer SerAnthony Dominquez into a set up role. Dominguez will also have the opportunity to learn from the veteran Robertson. Dominguez will also be the guy the Phillies call on if Robertson is unavailable.

Behind Robertson and Dominguez the Phillies have a veteran core of set up men to get them game to their big relievers. Pat Nesek and Tommy Hunter return from last season. The Phillies added Juan Nicasio in a trade with the Seattle Mariners and left-hander Jose Alvarez in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels. It appears as the bullpen will round out with former closer Hector Neris and former starter Adam Morgan.

I know the Phillies came into this off season with the intention of landing Harper, Machado or possibly both, but if neither player ends up wearing a Philadelphia uniform coming into the 2019 season they’ve still had  quality off season.

Besides the additions to the bullpen the Phillies added Andrew McCutchen via free agency. Jean Segura was the main player in that trade with the Mariners that brought Nicasio over.

If the Phillies don’t end up signing Harper or Machado, but say they add a top starting pitcher like Dallas Keuchel would their fans look at it as a good off season or would the disappointment of not landing one of the big two free agent prizes override the signings they made?

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I am incredibly tired of all of the Harper and Machado talk. Even though it was reported that Machado got a formal offer from the Chicago White Sox I doubt that either of these guys will sign a contract until February. You know that both of these guys agents wants to have their guy sign last; so unless a team just blows one of these guys minds with an offer don’t expect either of them to be signing soon. It’s also been reported that Harper’s agent Scott Boras wants to set a record with Harper’s contract. Now I’m not sure if that means he’s looking for a deal bigger than the one Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Miami Marlins or if he wants Harper to have the highest salary per season which Zach Greinke currently s at $34 million a season.

I am interested to see if either guy would be willing to sign with a team that is still rebuilding and isn’t ready to win. The White Sox fit into that mode and it would be interesting to see if he’d take that offer. There are some other teams that are in the same spot as the White Sox who’s names have came up as being interested in signing Harper or Machado.

Could you see Harper or Machado signing with a team like the San Diego Padres or San Francisco Giants? These are two of the teams that have come up with some interest in trying to sign one of these two guys. The address seem like they’ve been rebuilding for a very long period of time and it appears as though the Giants where getting ready t start a rebuild.

I know the New York Mets have been mentioned as interested in Harper, but I’m not sure that I’d call them a rebuilding team with the starting pitching staff they have. Unless the Mets decided that they’re going to deal a starting pitcher or two I don’t think you can call them rebuilding. Just about any of the Mets starters can shut a team out in any given game.

Do you have a landing spot for Harper or Machado? If so let me know where you think they’ll sign in the comment section.

 

Even though we’re taking a holiday break from doing the Sports Time Radio podcast we  still have to make our picks for Week 17 in the NFL. Here’s who we’re going with this we.

We all have:

The STEELERS over the Browns.

The VIKINGS over the Bears.

The PATRIOTS over the Dolphins.

The CHIEFS over the Chargers.

The SEAHAWKS over the 49ers

The FALCONS over the Saints.

Here’s how we have the rest of the games.

Dan the Man likes Cincinnati. Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have Baltimore.

I have Philadelphia. Stu, Dan and Mr. Fantasy have Dallas.

Dan has Carolina. Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have Tampa Bay.

Dan has the Jets. Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have the Bills.

Mr. Fantasy has Jacksonville. Stu, Dan and I have Indianapolis.

Mr. Fantasy has Los Angeles. Stu, Dan and I have Arizona.

Dan has the New York Giants. Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have Washington.

Stu has Detroit. Dan, Mr. Fantasy and I have Green Bay.

Stu and Dan have the Texans. Mr. Fantasy and I have the Titans.

Stu and Dan have the Raiders. Mr. Fantasy and I have the Broncos.

Going into Week 17:

Schaumburg Stu is 158-82

Mr. Fantasy is 148-92

Dan the Man is 147-93

The Big Jack is 142-98

Who had the Chicago Cubs being the first team to lock up a spot in the National League Championship Series (NLCS)? The Cubs wrapped up there series against the St. Louis Cardinals last night with a 6-4 win. What’s interesting in this Cubs series victory is the fact that players like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant didn’t carry the team. They each have 3 hits this post season with 2 of Rizzo’s hits being home runs and 1 of Bryant’s hits being a home run. Jorge Soler is hitting .571 during the post season. Kyle Schwarber is hitting .538 with a team leading 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s. Dexter Fowler is hitting .300 out of the lead off spot for the Cubs. Javier Baez had to enter Game 3 do to an injury to starting shortstop Addison Russell. Baez had a couple issues in the field which might’ve been do to nerves, but he was 4 for 5 at the plate and hit a big 3-run homer last night. Now I’m not sure if the Cubs can continue to advance with Rizzo hitting .167 and Bryant hitting .150, but they’ll have a few days off as they wait for the winner of the other National League Division Series (NLDS) be it the New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The American League will wrap up both if it’s division series today. The first game of the day has the Texas Rangers on the road to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Now no home team has won a game in this series and the Blue Jays will need to change that to advance. The pitching match up for Game 5 is a rematch from Game 2 as Cole Hamels starts for the Rangers and the Blue Jays go to Marcus Stroman. Both pitchers threw 7 innings last game, but neither figured in the decision as the rangers win the game 6-4 in 14 innings. Hamels gave up 4 runs, but only 2 where earned on 6 hits while striking out 6, Stroman gave up 4 runs with 3 being earned on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5.This series has been kind of a surprise as no one thought the Rangers would be this much trouble for the Blue jays let alone take them to a Game 5. Do the Rangers have 1 more surprise in them.

The second Game 5 in the American League has the Houston Astros on the road to take on the defending American League champions the Kansas City Royals. The Astros are going with Colin McHugh as there starting pitcher while Kansas City turns to there trade deadline pick up Johnny Cueto. McHugh got the win for the Astros in Game 1 of this series pitching 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1. Cueto started Game 2 of this series for Kansas City pitching 6 innings giving up 4 runs on 7 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5. Cueto didn’t figure in the decision, but the Astros won Game 2 5-4. This is another series that I don’t think anyone had going 7 games and I don’t remember anyone picking the Astros to win.

If you live in the Chicagoland area you might not know that there was a second National League playoff game last night. Clayton Kershaw went out and did just what he was suppose to do for the Los Angeles Dodgers last night. Over 7 innings Kershaw gave up 1 run on a solo home run to Daniel Murphy. Kershaw struck out 8 walked just 1 and besides the home run only gave up 2 other hits to the Mets. Steven Matz got the Game 4 start for the Mets. Matz pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. The Dodgers got all there runs off of Matz in the top of the 3rd inning. An Adrian Gonzalez single to center with runners on 1st and 3rd got the Dodgers 1st run home. Justin Turner followed Gonzalez with a double down the left field line to drive in the Dodgers other 2 run. That gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead and they scored all of these runs with 2 outs in the inning. The Murphy homer cut the lead to 3-1, but neither bullpen gave up a run and Kenley Jansen worked a 1,2,3 9th inning striking out 2 while picking up the save for the Dodgers. The series heads back to Los Angeles on tied 2-2 with Game 5 being on Thursday. The Mets are going with Game 1 winner Jacob deGroom. deGroom worked 7 shutout innings giving up 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 13. The Dodgers are countering with Game 2 winner Zack Greinke. Greinke went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8. The winner of this game knows they’ll go on to face the Cubs while the loser is done for the season.

Now baseball will always be my first love as far as sports go, but football isn’t far behind. This season I;m having a big problem with the NFL. Where has the defense gone? It seems as if every game I watch the when there’s about 3 minutes left to play neither team can stop the other one. I understand the rules greatly favor the offensive team, but you’ve stopped them time and again the entire game and now that there’s just 3 minutes left you can’t even slow them down. Not only can’t I figure this out, but I’m starting to feel like I’m wasting my time watching the first 3 and 3/4th of the game when all I need to see is the last 3 minutes. If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that my biggest issue with the NBA is the fact that I only really need to see the 4th quarter to know what’s going on with the game. This season in the NFL has pretty much went the same way for me. Besides the Denver Broncos is there another team out there that’s going to play defense?

With baseball in the post season and the football season up and running you might not have noticed that the NHL season has started. The Montréal Canadiens are off to a 4-0 start and there are a few teams behind them at 3-0. Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty has 4 goals and is tied for the league lead with Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings, Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild and Oscar Lindberg of the New York Rangers. While it’s too early for these stats to mean all that much it’s always fun to see who’s putting the puck in the net.

Now I didn’t forget about our pick for Week 5 in the NFL, but I’d like to. Dan the Man won the week with a 10-4. Mr. Fantasy was a game behind him at 9-5. Schaumburg Stu had an 8-6 week while I barely made it to 7-7. Mr. Fantasy still has the overall lead at 49-28 with Dan the Man a game behind at 48-29. I’m a ways back in 3rd at 42-35 and Schaumburg Stu is still in the cellar at 41-36. Maybe I’ll have a good Week 6, but I doubt it.

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