Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 18, 2016 at 8:58 AM
THE BASEBALL REPORT: HAIL TO THE .600 (PERCENTAGE) CLUB BUT BE CAREFUL HANDIN' OUT TOO MANY BOUQUETS
PLUS THE FIRST OF MANY COLLEGE FOOTBALL SUMMER NOTEBOOKS
Whatta know, whatta say?
When folks woke up this Monday morning in mid-July there were only three Major-League Baseball teams that were playing .600-or-better play ... and all three of 'em hail from the National League.
Indeed, the San Francisco Giants (57-36, .613), the Chicago Cubs (55-36, .604) and the Washington Nationals (56-37, .602) were atop the league's West, Central and East Divisions, respectively, and so the knee-jerk reaction is to claim that one week removed from this year's All-Star Game festivities in San Diego the so-called "senior circuit" had the three-best teams in the land but whoa, hold on for a moment or two!
Critics will point to the fact the Giants - fresh off getting swept three in a row in aforementioned San Diego (including a rare loss for All-Star LHP Madison Bumgarner) - hardly have appeared super the past few days while scoring a grand total of 10 runs in 28 innings of play;
Meanwhile, the Cubbies - who snared two-of-three Interleague wins this past weekend against the Texas Rangers - did start off this current campaign with an electric 39-15 won/loss mark and they're all of 16-21 since then ... oops!;
And then there's the Nats who won the first two games of this past weekend's three-game set against Pittsburgh before falling in an 18-inning marathon on Sunday in which #3-thru-#6 hitters LF Jayson Werth, RF Bryce Harper, C Wilson Ramos and 1B Clint Robinson combined to go 3-for-26. Hey, we don't wish to rain on the Nationals' parade but Dusty Baker's crew has rolled up a 30-14 won/loss mark against fellow NL East competition while going a collective - and quite average -- 26-23 against all other teams.
Guess what we're trying to say here in today's edition of Jim Sez is that we both admire and salute the Giants, Cubs and Nationals here as we turn the corner towards late July but nobody should confuse any of the above with the 1998 New York Yankees or the 1984 Detroit Tigers ... got it?
One more thing:
The SF Giants, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals are all getting a wee bit too expensive when it comes to the Las Vegas wagering odds ... hear us out for a moment: This past weekend the Giants lost three in a row while laying the following road prices: - 210, - 158 and -260 with the latter with All-Star Game starter RHP Johnny Cueto getting the start and the loss in a 5-3 setback at the Padres. Yow, if you played Bruce Bochy's crew this past weekend, you got your shorts torched!
Note the Cubs have been overpriced for weeks now - remember that four-game sweep at the hands of the New York Mets in late June/early July where Joe Maddon's club was laying - 134, -220 and -112 in three of those four games?
And the Nats are far from a bargain these days when righties Stephen Strasburg (13-0) and Max Scherzer (10-6) take to the hill. Hey, you really don't expect Washington to win every start made by Strasburg now, do you? Somewhere along the way in the season's second half, laying heavy juice with Strasburg and Scherzer is gonna put a hole in your pocket.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball 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 and Sunday. Plus, the Football Season isn't far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on Sunday, August 7th with the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Indianapolis Colts versus the Green Bay Packers.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SUMMER NOTEBOOK
Folks, let's start off our bevy of Jim Sez "Notebooks" this summer with the College Football teams that were big hits as investments a year ago ... here's a sampling:
NAVY - Last year's Midshipmen powered up a tidy 9-4 ATS (against the spread) log that featured four consecutive covers right out of the starting gate not to mention eight pointspread "W's" in the team's first 10 games. In case you were wondering, Year One for Navy in the American Athletic Conference produced a solid 6-2 ATS that included an outright underdog 45-20 win against 10-point favorite Memphis.
What to Watch in 2016 - Navy's coming off an 8-3 ATS campaign whenever laying points but the Mids could be real heavy-duty chalk-layers against the likes of Fordham (Sept. 3rd)and then again home to UConn (Sept. 10th).
OKLAHOMA - Just 'cause the 2015 season ended with a not-so-mighty thud (see the 37-17 loss to 3.5-point underdog Clemson in the College Football Playoffs semifinal round) doesn't mean all was lost for Bob Stoops' crew a year ago. The Sooners banged out a 9-4 ATS log that featured the thrilling 31-24 twin-OT win at 1.5-point pup Tennessee and the 44-34 win against 2-point home fav Baylor later in the year.
What to Watch in 2016 - Oklahoma copped 5-of-6 spread road wins last year prior to that disaster versus Clemson in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve but things ain't easy out of this year's starting gate with a road tilt at Houston (Sept. 3rd) and October road games at TCU, Texas and Texas Tech.
STANFORD - Memo to those folks who've made nothing but anti-Cardinal plays since head coach David Shaw took command back in 2011 ... y'all are going broke in a hurry! Stanford is 42-24-1 ATS (a .636 winning rate) in the Shaw Era and last year this Pac-10 team pumped out a spiffy 10-4 vig mark - a pair of cool covers against USC (a 41-31 win while + 10 points and then the 41-22 triumph as 4.5-point home favorites in the Pac-12 Championship Game) and that rollicking 45-16 Rose Bowl win/cover versus 6-point dog Iowa.
NOTE: Lots of NFL, NCAA Football and MLB goodies straight ahead in the next week/month of Jim Sez and don't forget we'll get you College Football Conference-by-Conference Reports plus lots more!