Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10:23 AM
Could make the case that all of the best series this last weekend in June come from the American League what with Boston at Texas, Houston at Kansas City and Cleveland at Detroit and what interests us most here is - you can chuck Baltimore into the mix - these may well be the seven teams vying for the five playoff spots in the junior circuit this year ... think anyone's starting rotation is better than the Indians?
Cleveland sends RHP Carlos Carrasco (1.21 WHIP) and RHP Josh Tomlin (8-1, 53-to-7 K-to-BB ratio) to the hill for its Saturday/Sunday starts against the hard-hitting Tigers - note the Tribe leads the league in team ERA (3.57) - and this could be separation time should Cleveland win this series in Motown with the enigmatic Tigers having entered the weekend some four games back.
Meanwhile, who's been better than the Texas Rangers the past month-plus? Not only do the Rangers now sport a 10-game lead over Seattle in the AL West - it was deadlocked a couple of weeks back before Texas swept 'em - but check out the stats and the Lone Star State team is 26-11 at home and there's a plethora of all-stars on hand including key offseason pick-up Ian Desmond (team-leading .316 batting average, 47 RBI and 52 runs scored).
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of Major-League Baseball daily winners these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners. Plus, the Football Season isn't that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August - can't wait!
NBA DRAFT NOTES & MORE
Okay, so we love how the hoop "experts" hand out the team-by-team grades for the NBA Draft but here's two teams that most certainly deserve an "A" if you ask us:
DETROIT - The Pistons got a bit lucky when Marquette's F/C Henry Ellenson dropped into their laps with pick #18 (again, we mentioned in a recent Jim Sez the dude was a sure-shot top 10-to-12 pick) and we liked the second-round choice (pick #49) of Syracuse G Michael Gbinije who isn't afraid to take the big shots and has plenty of big-game experience.
Don't look now but we believe the Pistons will be one of the top four teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference next season and remember just how tough they played eventual champion Cleveland in the opening round.
PHOENIX - The Suns were major movers-and-shakers on draft night but when the dust finally settled they landed the following: F/C Dragen Bender at #4, Washington's Marquese Chriss with pick #8 and Kentucky PG Tyler Ulis with pick #34. Phoenix was able to combined picks #13 and #28 and bit player Bogan Bogdanovic to that eighth slot to get Chriss and we liked Ulis all along despite his "height issues". If the Suns are not in the post-season next year, than they will be for years to come beginning in 2017-18.
Finally, with all the buzz surrounding NBA Free Agency that kicks off July 1st, we must say we'll be surprised if LeBron James (Cleveland) and/or Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) leave their little nests but here's a few names that figure to land up in different locales:
Mike Conley, PG - The word is the Los Angeles Lakers are hot after this now-former Memphis star but a dark horse to land Conley is the Miami Heat. Conley must prove he's healthy after playing in just 56 games last year.
Hassan Whiteside, C - This seven-footer averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds and 3.5 blocks a game last year and no doubt Pat Riley and the Heat would like 'em to sign on the dotted line but expected major offers from Dallas and Golden State could jet 'em out of town.
Dwight Howard, C - No question he'd be on our "do not touch" list but the diva-like veteran is drumming up interest in a batch of cities including New York, Chicago and Toronto, so stay tuned.
NOTE: More MLB, NBA Draft and NFL News & Notes all next week right here at Jim Sez.