Even though I had my doubts when the Rangers drew the Rays in the first round, they still came through. For some reason I like the Rangers chances even more against the all mighty Yankees than I did against the Rays. Back in September when the Rangers swept the Yankees, I started to believe in them, and wrote a little about why. In that series they were without Josh Hamilton, and the Yankees were without A-Rod, so I figure those two injuries evened each other out lineup wise. What they got from that series more than anything was some extra confidence that they belong with the best. The Rangers have a swagger to them, there’s no way around it, and they’ve been that way all year. I know I brought this up in an older post, but I remember one game back in June when Ian Kinsler was yelling at the Angels players after the game in Arlington to get off their field. I thought it was kind of stupid since they played each other the next day, but it speaks volumes about this team’s mentality, and how together they are. I mean, how many teams would do a separate ginger ale celebration because one of their players is an addict? How many teams survive a manager’s dirty drug test? How many teams would have survived a bankruptcy during a season seeing guys that played in Texas eight years ago, still not being paid what was owed to them? Not many can go through that much turmoil in the workplace, but I think all those outside distractions just made them closer. They don’t roll over like the Twins did when things went wrong, they just move on to the next pitch. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Prediction
WARNING A BOLD PREDICTION IS IN PROGRESS! The Raiders will make it to the AFC Championship game in 2010. No, I’m not delusional like Al Davis, but this prediction comes because of fate and history. I’m happy to let you know that my fate, is to become a billionaire, and the Raiders fate this year, is to make it to the AFC Championship game. The Raiders are the team of the decades, and one reason they took to this name was because of their success at the beginning of each decade. The Raiders have made it to the AFC Championship game every year that ended in a zero since 1960. It means nothing what I predict or what the shortcomings of the team are, it’s just destiny. Continue reading
My outlook heading into the sweet 16; Two brackets gone miserably wrong, and one with plenty of hope. I never expect to win in the pick’ems, so I usually just root more for entertaining action. In the midst of all these games I realized I hadn’t done a preview for the Vegas lines in awhile, and what better time than during the always entertaining March Madness. Anyways, here’s how I see the eight games playing out.
Cornell (+10) Over Kentucky
Kentucky has cruised through the tourney so far beating both teams they played to a pulp by 29 and 30 points. They have the most “NBA” talent of any team left, and have shown why they are a #1 seed. They destroyed a sixteen seed, and a slumping nine seed. Their reward is to play the Cinderella Cornell squad who has one less tourney win (6) than Kentucky has championships (7). I could see Cornell covering the spread if they keep raining threes like they have, but their main concern will be to not let Kentucky run wild. This is much easier said than done. If their zone somehow slows the cats down, then we could see this Cinderella make some noise. I can’t believe some of the “experts” are picking them to win. I wouldn’t go that far, but maybe a single digit win for Kentucky.
Ohio State (-4.5) Over Tennessee
I’ve been repping the Buckeyes pretty hard since I have them winning it all in my one bracket of hope. I probably just jinxed them, but watching Evan Turner nearly put up a triple double in their last game has me thinking there’s a chance he could single handedly get them to the final four. The Buckeyes will need to avoid making the silly turnovers like they did against Georgia Tech which was the sole reason the game even close. The Vols don’t boast a high powered offense, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can create some easy hoops with Ohio States’ mistake prone lapses during games. If this game is close, it will be because Turner was held in check, and that should be priority number one for the Vols.
West Virginia (-3.5) Over Washington
Although I’ll be rooting for an upset in this game, it’s pretty tough banking on that to happen. West Virginia is a MUCH more physical team than the Huskies first two opponents. I think the physical play will give their shooters a rough time. If Washington has any chance they will need Isiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter to play flawlessly. West Virginia is somewhat offensively challenged, but there’s good news for the Mountaineers, the Huskies are ranked 295th in free throws conceded. I see the Mountaineers being too much for the Huskies to handle.
Syracuse (-6) Over Butler
New Orleans (+5) Over Indianapolis
By now we’ve heard about all there is to say about the match up through every media outlet possible. The Super Bowl always wears on me a little leading up to it, but having the two number one seeds has me a little excited. I feel like I’m tired of the game before the game is even played, but when it finally goes on you can count on me watching. Media day is probably the most pointless sound bite day of all time. At one point it was cool and fun, but nowadays I could care less about what people think the outcome of an arm wrestling match between Brees and Manning. I mean seriously, is this the top story!?! Anyways, I’m declaring the Saints the home team in this one, since numerous people in New Orleans are being given the whole week off to travel to Miami, and support the team. It’s a scenario I’ve never heard of before, as the whole city seems to be closed down just to root for a sports team, and even schools are closing down for this big game! Are they more than a team to this city? Probably, and that’s why this will have the feel of a Saints home game. Not that there won’t be Colts fans there, I’m sure there will, but you can bet they will be in the minority. We all know about how good these QB’s are, so I’m going to try and breakdown the other things in this game that I see being the biggest factors.
I’m not going to pretend that there’s a lot of new information to enlighten you readers on since you’ve probably been following along on the daily coverage, unless of course you somehow missed that Freeney was injured, and the big fallout of the ankle injury, was that the Vegas line shifted a half point. It’s been pretty much the huge story of the Super Bowl this year, and although it looks like he might play the question now becomes will he be healthy enough to be effective. There really isn’t anyone on the Colts D that you gameplan for more than Freeney. If there is, let me know, because I’m unaware of that player at the moment. I’m wondering if this is karma kicking in, as the Colts should still be going for the perfect season, but instead opted to rest their starters at the end of the year. Now that they aren’t at full strength, I wonder if any of them are regretting not going for the perfect season and could have avoided playing the Jets in the AFC Championship game where Freeney got hurt. I’m also surprised how many people are picking the Colts to blow out the Saints. Sure they blew out Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez, but can they blow out Drew Brees? I don’t think I need to say this, but I will anyways. Drew Brees is in another league compared to the guys the Colts have beat in the playoffs so far! I have no doubt that the Colts can keep up on the scoreboard with them, but will their defense be able to stop the Saints like they did with the Ravens and Jets? The Saints are actually a balanced offense with an underrated running game, so it will be a lot tougher for the Colts to figure out what they are doing opposed to run, run, run like their last two opponents. I also think the Freeney injury will give Brees a ton of time in the pocket, and will make Mathis much less effective, since they will be able to double him every play. I think if the Saints get a good running game going that could be their best defense (keeping Peyton Manning off the field). The Colts are the more experienced team, and while I’m sure that will help them, I think the Saints are the team of destiny.
The Saints are the inexperienced team, and only have four guys that have ever played in a Super Bowl. For some reason I don’t think they will be nervous or fall victim to the bright lights of the big stage. I don’t see them falling behind by a couple TD’s early in the game like many seem to think will happen. They’ve had luck on their side all season, and seem to catch the big break every time you start to doubt them. The Saints have been putting pressure on QB’s all postseason. I think beating down Favre and Warner was much more impressive than the QB’s that the Colts D has stopped. Not that I’m overly confident in the Saints D stopping Peyton, I just think their playoff resume shows they are capable of slowing down big name QB’s. One thing do they have working for them is the fact that the Colts don’t run the ball. The Saints have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, 21st in the regular season, and have given up over 125 yards on the ground per game. They weren’t exactly good at stopping the passing game either, but they did have the third most turnovers forced in the league. I see a couple turnovers happening in this game, and think whoever ends up winning that battle will most likely win the game. I don’t see Peyton turning the ball over, but he does have some rookies out there that could easily lay the ball down like Garcon, Collie, and Brown. One last note, remember how the Colts seem to always have a tough time against the Chargers in the playoffs? This Saints team reminds me A LOT of the Chargers teams that knocked the Colts out of the playoffs in years past. Great QB, check. Solid receiving core, check. Solid running game to keep Peyton off the field, check. A defense that puts pressure on QB’s, check. A swarming defense that creates turnovers, check. Here’s to hoping for a shootout, and going waaay over the 56.5 point over under, Saints 49, Colts 42.
Somehow the Tigers have found themselves in a tie atop the AL Central after a mild implosion coupled with a red hot Twins team. This marks the third straight year that we will have a pre-playoff playoff game. This will be the Twins second consecutive year that they are playing in a tiebreaker game as they lost last season to the White Sox. The game will be held Tuesday in the Metrodome in it’s second farewell to the regular season. As today was supposed to be the last game played there, and 51,000 showed up to show their support of a great longtime stadium. Now they have one more game with the winner advancing to the ALDS ti face the Yankees. The Twins own the regular season head to head tie breaker between the two clubs, and have the right to home field advantage. The starters for the game will be rookie Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.04) for the Tigers, and Scott Baker (15-9 4.36) will be tossing for the Twins. I think this is the first time I’ve been even mildly excited about the MLB playoffs so far, mainly because whoever comes out of this game as the winner, I’ll likely be forced into rooting for them take the AL Championship.
It’s been quite an amazing run for the Twins since former MVP, Justin Morneau, went down for the season. They’ve picked up their game and have gone 16-4 in their last twenty games to give themselves one final chance to get in.
They’ve been getting contributions from everyone including decent pitching (not the middle relief) but overall effective, and some very timely hitting. Delmon Young hasn’t been a stranger to receiving standing ovations at the Metrodome lately. He has been coming up with clutch RBI’s in a lot of games, which is very reminiscent of the way BJ Upton heated up for Tampa Bay in their playoff run last season. Joe Mauer has been quiet for his standards, but it’s mainly due to getting pitched around and walked more often. With this type of playoff push I hope this convinces MVP voters that Mauer is the obvious choice over Derek (I get way too much media hype) Jeter. When you look at the playoff matchups on paper, I think the Tigers would have a better chance of taking down the Yankees lineup wise, but the Twins are white label hot right now so it seems like you can never count a team on a roll out. As Billy Beane once said “It’s a crapshoot once you get in the playoffs, you just have to get there first!”
I’m predicting the Twins to win 5-4, and advance to play the Yankees.
One week of the NFL season is in the books, and I could have sworn going into Monday Nights games with an 8-6 record vs. the spread I would come out with a winning week. Low and behold neither were blowouts, and I’m 8-8. I’ve always believed that the NFL is nearly impossible to win bets on a consistent basis. I guess it’s that way for pretty much any other sport too, unless you count the NBA in a Donaghy officiated game. As our blog mate (cali4dre) eloquently put on his post “Even the biggest underdog can rise up and play inspired football on any given week”. I felt good come out of the week going 5-2 on my confidence picks of 4 or 5. I’m glad to see the NFL back, and hopefully this is a good season! Anyways, here are my picks for week 2. It’s the same rules from last week as I will pick the winner, the home teams are in CAPS, and I will also give a confidence rating from 1-5 on how I feel about the pick.
Oakland (+3) Over KANSAS CITY
4, we live blogged the Raiders Monday Night game, and as a fan of the Raiders I have to say I was extremely satisfied with their efforts. There were so many question marks coming into the game, and unlike last year they showed up! Jamarcus will need to get past the, I hope this pass goes close to that wide open receiver, phase if they are going to ever get better. Kansas City played Baltimore tough, but if McGahee ran all over them, and I think McFadden and Bush will surely break off some big runs. Hopefully this can give Russell fewer opportunities to make mistakes aka wild throws. Oakland won in KC Week 2 last year, so I’m taking the points!
TENNESSEE Over (-6.5) Houston
2, this is a tough one for me, as I have a very hard time believing in Kerry Collins. I remember watching the post game interview after they lost Thursday, and he looked more dazed that Chong. He continually kept saying uhhh over and over in the interview. Pretty classic Collins. On the same notion I’ve always liked Jeff Fischer. Houston was disappointing at home against the Jets, and their offense will probably struggle more as they face a defense that brings even more pressure than New York. I’ll take my chances with the Titans at home!
New England (-3.5) Over NEW YORK JETS
5, Brady looked really rusty in the first half, but found a way to shake it off. I think this might be the game he breaks out in putting up the numbers that made him an MVP. Even last week in true lame Patriot form the ball rolled their way with a fumble, and all of a sudden they turned into 2007 Patriot mode. Is there any luckier franchise over the last decade getting those breaks?
The Jets, Mark Sanchez, looked very good in his debut. It had to have helped that Thomas Jones had a big day on the ground keeping some of that rookie QB pressure off Sanchez’s shoulders. I think Sanchez is going to need more than a running game and his Mexican Flag mouthpiece to take this one.
GREEN BAY Over (-9) Cincinnati
3, I don’t have much on this one, except I’m pretty confident that this will be won by the Packers in a major way at Lambeau Field. I’m always a believer that a team that is supposed to be a dynamic offense won’t struggle two weeks in a row, buy you can always count on the Bengals for the unexpected! If the Bengals can’t put up points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL (Denver) then how are they going to do against a pretty good looking defense? That’s what I thought…
Minnesota Over (-9.5) Over DETROIT
5, As much as I hate to take a road team at over two scores I have to do it. Detroit is the worst franchise in professional sports, and even a divisional rivalry game isn’t enough to sway me on this one. The way the Saints marched all over the Lions should show signs that the Vikings should be doing the same. I would go back to the Monday Night games to re-think this one, but Detroit doesn’t have nearly enough talented players in this underdog story. On a side note, AP is on pace for 2,880 yards rushing with 48 TDs! I think he might even increase those projected numbers this weekend.
New Orleans (+1.5) Over PHILADELPHIA
3, With McNabb’s injury sounding like he’s probably going to be out, I’m forced to take New Orleans at this point in the week, even if it is in Philly. I actually think I might have picked the Saints either way with or without McNabb. The Saints weren’t all that consistent last year, but I think having a healthy roster is already making a difference. And seriously if you had to pick between Kolb vs. Brees you have to put your money on Drew!
Carolina (+6.5) Over ATLANTA
2, I really don’t know what to expect with this one. Carolina played about as bad as you can last weekend, but they are a pretty good team. Atlanta on the other hand played okay, but showed some weak spots as they only had one drive longer than 50 yards. I think this one will be tight, so I’ll take the points.
WASHINGTON Over (-9.5) St. Louis
3, I was watching the Skins and Giants game when the Santanna Moss and Corey Webster scuffle broke out, and it made me smile. I think that was the moment I really felt like football was back! I can’t say I really liked the way the Redskins played, but they are going to play a terrible team in the Rams. The Rams seem to go backwards on offense, as they’ve racked up more penalties than the Raiders lately. Ten points is a lot to ask from the Redskins, especially since I think they might not take the Rams seriously enough, but in the end probably their second squad could probably cover ten…
JACKSONVILLE (-3) Over Arizona.
1, This game feels like a trap. I think Arizona might be pissed after their loss to SF, but do Jesus freaks like Kurt Warner even get pissed? I didn’t think so either, so I’ll have to take the Jaguars at home in this one. As you can see this is the first 1 confidence rating I’ve ever given, so to sum it up I really don’t care about this game.
SAN FRANCISCO (-1.5) Over Seattle
5, I really like this game. Seattle turned it over three times in the first quarter against the RAMS, with no consequence. They were at home, and failed to put up 50 which they could have against their horrendous D. I don’t think they can turn the ball over that much against anyone as good as the 49ers or a team at home. I’m not sold on everyone liking Seattle, because beating up the Rams is like giving up your spot in the drink line at the bar to a dude, it just doesn’t happen. I still wonder how much Crabtree could have helped SF out…
Tampa Bay (+4.5) Over BUFFALO
3, Can a team survive when their teammates house is being vandalized for losing the game? Can a team that blew a double digit lead on a short week come in fired up? My prognosis is, doubtful. They need a healthy Marshawn to soften up those coverages to get Evans and Owens some more looks. Tampa played decent against a good Cowboys squad. I think they could take this one from a flat Buffalo team. It’s my bold pick of the week.
DENVER (-3) Over Cleveland
2, This game has boring written all over it, and I don’t like to bet on bad teams. Even though the Broncos squeaked out a win, I feel like Josh McDaniels is coaching for his job already, and we’re only in week 2! I think he will deliver a win in their friendly confides of Mile High. Cleveland can’t even decide who they should have at QB as it took them until just before the season to pick between Anderson and Quinn. I almost thought they were going to change at the end of their game last week.
SAN DIEGO (-3) Over Baltimore
2, Not that I thought SD looked good last weekend against the Raiders. They seemed to sleep walk the same way the Patriots did through most of their game. I think their home opener will be a win especially with the Ravens not taking it to Kansas City more. With Rivers temper is hotter than Derrick Jeter’s press coverage in New York, I hope we see Ray Lewis get into his head in this one!
Pittsburgh (-3) Over CHICAGO
1, Giving Da Bears three points in a home game. If there’s one thing we saw in their game against the Packers is that they still have a good defense. Another thing we saw was that Cutler might be missing something, like his receivers! One plus is Cutler won’t be having to scan the field with Polomalu roaming. I wouldn’t pick this game if I didn’t have to!
New York Giants (+3) Over DALLAS
3, New York wasn’t flashy last weekend, but they did show they could be very efficient. Their defense looks great with Osi in there again. I didn’t see any of Dallas and Tampa game, so that’s all I’ll say…
Indianapolis (-3) Over MIAMI
4, I don’t mind that Indy’s not the home team. They usually don’t let bettors down two weeks in a row. They will correct those drive ending problems they ran into last week, and put Flipper into submission. Has anyone else noticed there aren’t as many Peyton Manning commercials lately? I’m so happy that the networks got the hint! I mean he had a couple good ones, but how much does anyone want to see his face that much.