Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 1:04 PM
THE ALL-STAR GAME RECAP: A.L. SNAGS 2-1 WIN IN THE 10TH AS CANO HOMERS (AND STANTON IS SILENCED)
PLUS OUR NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM REPORTS: IT'S THE COLTS, BUCS AND EAGLES ALL ON OUR MID-WEEK RADAR
It was a good/catchy line by Fox's play-by-play voice Joe Buck at the end of last night's 2-1 extra-inning win by the American League over the National League in the 88th All-Star Game:
Buck said "the song remains the same" as he touched on the AL's dominance the past two decades - the so-called junior circuit is now 17-3-1 in the past 21 Midsummer Classics - but while folks were busy taking umpire "selfies" and high-fiving opponents (ugh!) the real story of this night in Miami was host star Giancarlo Stanton was awful as he struck out swinging in the bottom of the first inning, struck out swinging in the home half of the third inning and hit a six-foot dribbler in front of home plate fielded easily by catcher Sal Perez to end the fifth inning to go 0-for-3 - and that's on top of his flameout in Monday's Home Run Derby (where Stanton was a - 325 betting favorite to beat New York Yankees C Gary Sanchez in Round I) and it's safe to say that the local guy didn't exactly make good this week in his own back yard.
Nope, the heroics were left up to eight-time All-Star (and one-time Home Run Derby king) 2B Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners who swatted a leadoff dinger in the top of the 10th inning against lone Chicago Cubs representative RHP Wade Davis.
Overall, AL batters struck out 14 times in all and still won the latest battle-of-the-stars though - as we all know - there was no World Series home field advantage attached to this exhibition.
BTW, don't know what MLB Network host Brian Kenny was watching as this All-Star Game had a good pace/quick rhythm to it till some shaky late-game relief pitching and yet the famed analytics backer came on the air moments after the tilt went final and rambled on and on about it being a relatively "clean" game - didn't he see those great defensive plays by Washington RF Bryce Harper, Detroit RF Justin Upton and Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor? Hey, Brian, get a grip and know what you're talking about next time, ok?
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 plenty of winners in the days/weeks ahead. 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. 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.
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 Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles ... and check out our quickie pointspread ditties too. Note that last year's SU (straight-up) records appear right next to the team name below:
INDIANAPOLIS (8-8) - Okay, so the condition of QB Andrew Luck's surgically-repaired throwing shoulder may be the biggest story in Colts' camp later this month but it won't be the only big story: Indianapolis needs to make sure it protects Luck (and backup QB Scott Tolzien, for that matter) with a better effort from this much-maligned offensive line that surrendered 44 quarterback sacks a year ago. It remains a surprise that the Colts drafted only one offensive lineman last spring - fourth-rounder OT Zach Banner (USC).
Pointspread Notes - Last year's Colts covered back-to-back games only once (at Green Bay in Week 9/home to Tennessee in Week 11 with a bye week in between) en route to a dour 7-8-1 ATS (against the spread) campaign. Note that Indy swept the season series both SU and ATS against Tennessee but finished 0-3-1 vig-wise versus Houston/Jacksonville.
TAMPA BAY (9-7) - The Bucs are gearing up to be the subject of this summer's HBO series Hard Knocks and let's hope they are a more interesting lot than the 2016 Los Angeles Rams ... borrrring! Note that Tampa Bay has more than a few interesting players to focus on here including first-round draftee TE O.J. Howard (Alabama) who was amazing in back-to-back national championships games against Clemson. Howard is listed at 6-6, 255 pounds and QB Jameis Winston called his skills "unreal" and it's not a reach to believe Howard could catch 9 or 10 TDs this year (remember Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans scored 12 TDs last year).
Pointspread Notes - The highlight of last year's Bucs season spreadwise was an incredible six-game ATS winning streak from Nov. 13th thru Dec. 18th when Tampa Bay banged out spread "W's" versus Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, San Diego, New Orleans and Dallas. The Buccaneers were 8-4 against the prices whenever in the dog role in '16.
PHILADELPHIA (7-9) - The Eagles finished dead-last in the NFC East a year ago while ranking a lowly 24th in the league in passing (224.1 ypg) but Philly's hoping the off-season signing of RB LaGarrette Blount (299 carries last year for champion New England) takes some heat off kid QB Carson Wentz who needs to work on his footwork this year. Wentz had surgery back in April to correct his vision - maybe that explained a bit why he threw 16 TDs and 14 INTs last season.
Pointspread Notes - The 2016 Eagles finished a dead-even but vig-losing 8-8 against the odds ... and Philly covered its final three consecutive affairs just to get to that mark. The NFC East crew copped 6-of-10 spread wins outside divisional play including outright winners at Chicago, home to Pittsburgh and then home to Minnesota.
NOTE: More NFL goodies plus a look at Baseball's "Second Half" in the next edition of Jim Sez.