Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 10:12 AM
THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: LOTS OF NEWS/NOTES AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THIS SUMMER WEEKEND
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S NEW FACES/NEW PLACES INCLUDES THE BOSSES AT BYU, GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROLINA & V-TECH
No question there are more stats to shake a stick at when it comes to Major-League Baseball but here's a couple of interesting ditties that we wanted to bounce past you in today's edition of Jim Sez ...
The Cleveland Indians - right now the runaway leader in the American League Central with a 7.5-game lead over the Detroit Tigers - are not exactly a lights-out team in day-time games. In fact, following yesterday's commanding 11-4 win at Kansas City, the Tribe improved to 16-18 in matinee games this year and just compare that sub-.500 mark with the likes of the
Washington Nationals (37-25 in day games), the Chicago Cubs (30-18 in day-time action), the San Francisco Giants (22-10) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (17-8) ... there we go again with more National League teams that have nailed it in one stat category or the other!
In other MLB News & Notes ...
It's starting to look as if Houston Astros RHP Doug Fister might be a missing puzzle piece for this AL West squad. In yesterday's 7-0 win at Oakland, Fister (10-6, 3.42 ERA) was a truly "cheap favorite" while laying only a buck-twenty against an A's team that hasn't been able to get out of its own way all season long (see 42-53). Fister's win gave the visiting Astros some satisfaction after losing the first two games of this three-game set and it elevated the veteran righty to a 3-1 mark with an 0.99 ERA in four starts this year against Oakland ...
Let's face it: The numbers on Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg are out of control. This afternoon - that's at 12:05 p.m. ET to be exact - Strasburg shoots for 14-0 and note he enters this game against the visiting Dodgers with a miniscule 0.99 WHIP with 138 strikeouts and 33 bases on balls. Strasburg is the first NL pitcher since 1912 to start off a season 13-and-oh; the last MLB pitcher to start a year 14-0 was Boston's Roger Clemens way back in 1986 ...
Finally, might one (or more) of the starting pitchers going here on this Thursday night be "auditioning" for a spot with another team? There's rumors galore that San Diego Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (4-7, 5.05 ERA and bloated 1.48 WHIP) could be headed elsewhere this coming weekend - could Baltimore be in the mix here? - while Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (4-8, 5.12 ERA and a Cashner-like 1.48 WHIP) has been rumored to get dealt for weeks now. Gray's tossed four "quality starts" in his last five outings and there remains whispers that the Orioles, Texas Rangers and/or even the New York Mets might have some interest.
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 NOTEBOOK
There's some two-dozen head coaches that are taking over in new places this year and so let's check out the "higher-profile" new jobs here in today's Jim Sez College Football Summer Notebook:
BYU - The name is Kalani Sitake and he was a fullback at this school years ago and more recently a defensive coordinator at Utah, Oregon State and Southern Utah but what's he gonna do after that 11-year stay by Bronco Mendenhall who cranked out a decent 71-62-2 ATS (against the spread) log? One thing about Sitake is he'd like to have better success when the Cougars are in the favorite's role as BYU went just 13-18 vig-wise as chalk-eaters while dating back to early in the 2012 season.
GEORGIA - The Mark Richt Era ended after 15 hot-and-cold seasons that happened to produce a 90-93-2 ATS overall mark and now here's former long-time Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart looking to weave some magic with a Bulldogs' bunch that does own a neat 6-3 ATS mark in their last nine bowl games. But can Smart straighten out a Georgia squad that's just 9-14-1 versus the vig in Southeastern Conference games the past three seasons?
SOUTH CAROLINA - One thing about the hiring of one-time Florida head coach Will Muschamp is that he won't be allowed a long "honeymoon" after last year the Gamecocks had their seven-year bowl run snapped in a 3-9 SU (straight-up) and 6-6 ATS campaign. Okay, so Muschamp registered a sub-par 22-24 ATS in his four years with the Gators but give 'em his due for snagging two bowl covers in three bowl tries - a 24-17 Gator Bowl triumph over 2.5-point underdog Ohio State and a 28-20 victory against 6.5-point pup East Carolina in the 2014 Birmingham Bowl.
VIRGINIA TECH - It sure is gonna feel strange without Frank Beamer on the Hokies' sideline after his star-studded 29-year career that came to a halt with a 176-150-9 ATS mark as the Justin Fuente Era begins with a Sept. 3rd home tilt against Liberty ... but how will Fuente and Company respond in some early-season key games at Tennessee (Sept. 10th) and at North Carolina (Oct. 8th)? Note that "Beamer Ball" actually produced five consecutive losing spread seasons since the start of 2011 with V-Tech going a cumulative 22-38-2 against the odds during this time frame.
NOTE: We check out some key MLB weekend matchups and more in tomorrow's edition of Jim Sez plus lots of NCAA Football and NFL News & Notes all summer long!