Posts Tagged ‘Julio Jones’

Schaumburg Stu won Week 2 in our NFL pick contest with a 10-6 record. Stu has started the season off with back to back wins. Dan the Man took 2nd with a 9-7 record. Dan and Stu where tied going into the Monday Night game, but sadly Dan went with the Chicago Bears while Stu had the Philadelphia Eagles. Mr. Fantasy and I where both 8-8 on the week. Overall Stu has the lead with a 20-12 record. Dan the Man is 2nd at 19-13. I’m holding onto 3rd place at 16-16 while Mr. Fantasy is residing in the cellar at 15-17. Can Stu win a 3rd week in a row? Or will Dan the Man win a week outright. At this point Mr. . Fantasy and I would be happy to break .500.

With the exception of the struggles they had right around the All-Star break the Chicago Cubs have been the best team in baseball. The Cubs have the best record in baseball at 96-55 and are the only team that has clinched their division. With 2 more wins or 2 Washington Nationals losses the Cubs will clinch home field through the National League playoffs. Sadly they can’t have home field advantage for the World Series as the American League won the All-Star game and that’s how home field for the World Series is decided.

When it comes to post season awards the Cubs should do quite well there as they have at least 3 contenders for the Cy Young award and 2 very good contenders for the MVP award. I’m not sure that Kyle Hendricks has the respect of the voters to win the Cy Young, but he has to be right there. Hendricks is 15-8 and has the lowest ERA in baseball at 2.06. Hendricks isn’t putting up huge strikeout numbers (161), but he also doesn’t walk a lot of guys (43); so his WHIP is under one at 0.96. Jon Lester is having a very good year as well and with an 18-4 record; he’ll have a shot at a 20 win season. Lester’s ERA is 2.36 and he’s struck out 184 batters after yesterday’s start; so he should reach the 200 mark for the season. While Jake Arrieta isn’t having as good of a season as he did last year; he’s still pitching well. Arrieta is 17-7 with a 2.96 ERA. While Arrieta should get some votes for the Cy Young I think some of the voters may hold the fact that this season doesn’t compare to last season against him. As good as Hendricks has been do you have Lester ahead of him for the Cy Young? As far as MVP goes you could pretty much put Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo name in a hat and pull one out for the award. Bryant is hitting .296 with 37 home runs and 97 RBI’s. Bryant also has an OPS of .950. Rizzo has very good numbers as well. He’s hitting .293 with 37 home runs and 104 RBI’s with an OPS of .939. Now you couldn’t go wrong with either guy as they are both having MVP type of seasons on a big time winning team. The fear might be that they cancel each other out in the MVP voting and someone else ends up winning the award.

You can look at all the numbers you want and those are the guys who win the awards. That’s the thing you need to do to win one of those, but on every team there’s an MVP that may go under the radar. On the Cubs this season their guy is easily Addison Russell. The 22 year old shortstop has played in 142 games so far this season. He played in 142 games all of last season. While it would be nice to see Russell’s batting average a little higher than the .245 he’s currently at, but is someone said that he’d hit 21 home runs and have 93 RBI’s so far I’m not sure if anyone would’ve believed you. When the Cubs need a clutch hit Russell is the guy they want to see at the plate. When the offense was this week what snapped them out of it on Monday night was a home run by Russell. It’s not just with the bat either; Russell is fielding 97% at shortstop. He has made 14 errors this season, but he is currently #1 in defensive WAR for National League shortstops. Russell was also voted to his first All-Star team this season and he should make many more of them through his career. Russell was a 1st round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2012. He was the 11th overall pick in the draft. The Cubs acquired Russell along with Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and cash considerations for pitchers Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzja. If you talk to any Cubs fan about trades you’re sure to hear about the deal that sent Lou Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz. It’s considered the worst trade in Cubs history. Is the trade that brought Russell to the Cubs the best trade in team history. Now Russell won’t win the National League MVP and I’m not even sure if he’ll receive any votes for the award, but the Cubs wouldn’t be where they are this season without him.

I hope you’ve been scanning the waiver wire in your fantasy football league early this season because there have been quite a few injuries already this season. In Week 1 we saw Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers and Robert Griffin II of the Cleveland Browns go out with injuries that ended their seasons. In Week 2 there where some more big time fantasy names that where injured. The Chargers lost another key piece of their offense for the season when running back Danny Woodhead torn his ACL. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tore his meniscus ligament, but there re actually reports that he could play this Sunday. Sticking with running backs Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers will miss 1-2 weeks with a hamstring injury and Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is going to miss 3 games with a hamstring injury of his own. Jimmy Garoppolo of the New England Patriots was playing well filling in for the suspended Tom Brady, but he sprained the A/C/ joint in his throwing shoulder and will miss a couple for weeks. Josh McCown took over at quarterback for the Browns when RG II got injured. Now Cody Kessler will be the 3rd Browns quarterback to take a snap in a game this season as he takes over for an injured McCown. Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears injured his thumb during the Monday Night game and it looks like he’ll miss a few weeks. It’s being reported that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is questionable for this weeks game, but he’s been dealing with an ankle injury all season; so it’s tough to tell if this is something new or just the injury he’s been playing with. Hopefully you’ve been out on the waiver wire or making trades to replace these guys because there are a lot of quality fantasy names that are injured.

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I’m not sure how you feel about it, but I think that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants just opened a big 3-game series yesterday in Los Angeles. The Dodgers came into Tuesday nights game with a 1 game lead in the NL West. It appeared that the Giants had the advantage in the starting pitching match up last night as San Francisco had their ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound. The Dodgers countered with NL Rookie of the Year candidate Kenta Maeda. Looking at the starting pitching match up you might think that it would be a low scoring pitchers duel to start the series. That’s not what these two teams gave everyone last night. Bumgarner gave up a run in each of the first 3 innings and only lasted 5 innings. In total Bumgarner gave up 5 runs; all earned on 9 hits. He struck out 7 while walking 1 and giving up 1 home run. Bumgarner took the loss. Maeda picked up the win, but only lasted 5 innings himself. Maeda gave up 3 runs; all earned on 6 hits while walking 4 and striking out 4. San Francisco’s bullpen had it’s issues over the final four innings as they gave up 4 runs. Corey Gearin pitched just 1/3rd of an inning, but gave up 3 hits and 2 runs; both earned while striking out 1 batter. Will Smith came in and settled things down for the Giants pitching 1 1/3rd scoreless innings striking out 2 batters. George Kontos came in to pitch a 1/3rd of an inning and while he didn’t give up a hit he did walk a batter and allowed a run to score. Javier Lopez came in to pitch the final inning and gave up 2 hits with one of them being a solo home run. Lopez did strikeout 2 and walked 1 in that inning while giving up the 1 earned run. Jesse Chavez was the first call out of the Dodgers bullpen and he had some issues. Chavez lasted just 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 hits and 1 run. Adam Liberatore (2/3rd) and Joe Blanton (1 2/3rd)didn’t give up any hits and Blanton struck out 2 over their 2 1/3rd innings of relief to get the ball to Kenley Jansen. Jansen did pick up a four out save his 36th of the season, but not without a little trouble. He gave up 1 run on a solo home run before closing the game out. Jansen also recorded a strikeout over his 1 1/3rd innings of work.

The Dodgers took the early lead putting up a run an inning in the first three innings off Bumgarner. The Giants did get 2 back in the top of the 3rd and where able to tie it up with a run in the top of the 5th. The tie didn’t last long as the Dodgers added 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning. San Francisco got 1 run back in the top of the 6th, but Los Angeles turned right around and added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 6th. The Dodgers topped off their scoring by adding 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th and while the Giants did add a run in the top of the 9th all it did was change the number of runs the Dodgers would win by. In this case it was a 9-5 victory for Los Angeles. The win improves the Dodgers record to 70-55 and gives them a 2 game division lead over the Giants who fall to 68-57 with the loss.

Corey Seager and Justin Turner both went 3 for 4 for the Dodgers. Seager scored 3 runs while Turner drove in a run. Adrian Gonzalez went 2 for 4 while driving in 3 runs while Andrew Toles pinch hit and then stayed in the game going 2 for 2 with a home run 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Enrique Hernandez also went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Denard Span and Angel Pagan each had 2 hits for the Giants. Span was 2 for 4 with a home run an RBI and 2 runs scored while Pagan was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. Brandon Belt and Buster Posey both went 1 for 4 and each drove in a run. Joe Panik and Eduardo Nunez where both 1 for 3 and Nunez added a stolen base. Ehire Adrianza picked up a pinch hit and an RBI as well.

Johnny Cueto takes the mound for the Giants tonight. Cueto is 14-4 with an ERA of 2.90 on the season. He is also 2-0 with an ERA of 3.63 against the Dodgers this season. The Dodgers are going wit Rich Hill who was 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA for the Oakland A’s before being traded to the Dodgers. Hill spent the past month on the disabled list with blisters on his middle pitching finger; so this will be his 1st start for the Dodgers. Hill hasn’t faced the Giants since August 22nd of 2007 when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs. Hill didn’t factor in the decision, but he did pitch 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hist while striking out 10. There’s really not much you could learn from that outing, but I knew that Schaumburg Stu would enjoy seeing that.

There are still 37 games left in the season for the Giants; so you can’t really say that these games are must wins, but I’m sure they would like to win 2 of 3 games in this series. Again they seem to have the advantage on the mound, but can they turn that into a win tonight?

While I am still in baseball mode I am slowly trying to start getting things ready for my upcoming fantasy football drafts. I’m noticing more and more that in one order or another Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons are ranked 1, 2 and 3. I’m trying to figure out if I end up with a top 3 pick in my drafts if I would be comfortable taking one of these wide receivers with that pick. Would it be a safer pick to take what would be your top running back on the board or grab one of these receivers. Workhorse running backs are few and far between in today’s NFL and while there is a gap between these three receiver and the next one you could get would it make more sense to grab that running back. As it gets closer and closer these are the things that will have to be figured out. Of course I know exactly what will happen. I’ll decide what more I want to make and then I won;t end up with a pick anywhere near the top 3, but that’s just how things go for me.

Listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com and you can also listen to the podcast any time you want on TuneIn.com

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