Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 11:53 AM
BASEBALL'S ALL-STAR GAME TAKES THE CENTER STAGE IN THE SPORTS WORLD AND WE PAUSE TO HAND OUT AWARD WINNERS ...
PLUS MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES: IT'S THE BRONCOS AND THE BEARS
'Ya better believe that the stars are going to come out at night - that's Tuesday night in Miami - for Major-League Baseball's annual All-Star Game and may we remind one-and-all that there is no home-field advantage attached to whomever wins this year's games ...
And thank goodness for that!
Still, there's plenty of pride at stake - and remember the National League sports the oh-so-small 43-42 advantage over the American League with a pair of ties chucked into the mix even though the AL is an electric 16-3-1 in the last 20 All-Star Games.
Hey, there's always fun prop plays that are offered on many web sites/off-shore/Las Vegas venues and here's a couple that we'll have fun with today - first we remind you the current line on this Midsummer Classic is the host NL is - 115 with a price of 9.5 under 120:
... First home run hit in the All-Star Game?
We say it will be hit by Houston SS Carlos Correa (AL) but out "backup" is to go with Washington 2B Daniel Murphy (NL).
... All-Star Game winning pitcher?
Let's go with two plays again here: If the AL wins than Kansas City's Jason Vargas gets our nod; if the NL wins we'll go with Arizona's Robbie Ray.
... Finally, who's gonna win the All-Star Game MVP?
If the AL wins, it'll be Seattle DH Nelson Cruz; if the NL wins it's a vote for the aforementioned Mr. Murphy of the Washington Nationals.
Not that was some All-Star Game fun, eh?
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and they will get you the Side & Totals winners of the 88th All-Star Game when you check in any time after 12 noon ET on game-day afternoon. In fact, all you really need to do is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and cash in big with the All-Star Game and remember MLB resumes regular-season action on Friday. Plus, the Football Season isn't far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on Thursday, August 3rd with the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys versus the Arizona Cardinals.
THE MLB REPORT - Now, to our MLB 1st-Half Award Winners ...
MVP - Bryce Harper, OF, Washington ... It's a tough call in the senior circuit where a handful of high-quality players all have tossed their hats into the ring here at the unofficial halfway point of the '17 season but the Nationals' megastar has 20 HR, 65 RBI, 69 runs scored and a .325 batting average, so right now he's our guy.
CY YOUNG - Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers ... Tough to choose anyone but this superstar hurler who enters the All-Star Game break with a dynamic 14-2 record with a miniscule 2.18 ERA and let's not forget the 159 Ks and only 22 BBs in 132 innings. Too bad Kershaw's spotless win on Sunday will keep 'em out of pitching for the NL side come Tuesday evening.
MVP - Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees ... Va-va-va voom, what a first half for this 6-foot-7 slugger who enters the All-Star Game break leading the AL in home runs (30) while ranking second in RBI (66) and second in batting average (.329). Gotta say that he's the "clubhouse leader" but if the Yanks continue to stumble, one or two of those Astros' stars will soon pass 'em by in the race.
CY YOUNG - Chris Sale, LHP, Boston ... Lack of early-season run support really has kept this new Bosox hurler from having an epic first half: Sale's a still-solid 11-4 with a 2.75 ERA with 178 Ks and 22 BBs in 127.2 innings and truth is his closest first-half competition comes from Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel (23 saves/25 opportunities).
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES
It is summertime and that means the annual Jim Sez report on all 32 NFL teams with our quick-hitter looks continuing today with the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears ... and check out our quickie pointspread ditties too. Last year's SU (straight-up) records appear next to the team name below:
DENVER (9-7) - Will second-year slinger Paxton Lynch be the one calling the shots as a starter when this 2017 season begins in September? Well, Lynch looked good in the latter stages of the team's mandatory minicamp last month and may have closed the gap on starter Trevor Siemian. First-year Broncos head coach Vance Joseph claims it will be a real competition for the #1 job between Lynch and Siemian - but Lynch likely needs to "win the decision", if truth be told.
Pointspread Notes - No question there was a post-Super Bowl hangover for last year's Broncos who finished up 9-7 ATS (against the spread) and that included three-of-four spread setbacks in the season's final four tilts and three of them were when Denver was in the underdog role.
CHICAGO (3-13) - There's major yakking on the windy city's sports talk shows regarding the off-season acquisition of free agent QB Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay) and first-round draftee Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina) ... remember the latter was snagged with the draft's second overall pick. It's a near certainty that Glennon will open the season as the starter but no matter who's chucking the football, new slot receiver Victor Cruz has a shot to steal a starting berth although anyone that watched the former long-time New York Giants' star knows he's lost more than a step in the past year-plus.
Pointspread Notes - Once upon a time, the 2016 Bears were a wobbly 2-7 against the odds but a rally of sorts in the second half of the campaign pushed this NFC North team to a 7-9 ATS final mark that happened to include four-of-six pointspread wins in divisional play and a more-than-respectable 7-6 ATS mark when in the point-grabbers role.
NOTE: Lots of NCAA Football and NFL News & Notes coming your way later this week in Jim Sez.