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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM

IT'S THE MID-WEEK BASEBALL UPDATE: HOW THE NEXT 10 DAYS WILL DETERMINE WHAT GIVES TRADE-WISE FOR THE ROYALS, M'S, METS AND CARDINALS ...

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: CHECKING OUT THE LATE AUGUST SKED

Turn on any Baseball talk show this week and everyone's talking the upcoming Trade Deadline:

Who's buying, who's selling ... and why.
Well, as we all discovered last week when the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox pulled off a major blockbuster deal that brought LHP Jose Quintana to the "North Side", not everybody was in the loop with that one.

Heck, we heard rumors that Quintana was headed to Houston or to the New York Yankees or even to the Los Angeles Dodgers but instead the two Windy City teams clicked with this deal coming right out of the All-Star Game break.

Now, we look ahead to the next 10 days when a batch of so-called contenders (or are they all "pretenders") determine whether they are for real or not while trying to track down a 2017 playoff berth.

Here's some thoughts with all records below thru Monday's games ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE

KANSAS CITY (45-46) - Insiders say the Royals started off this week (that's four home games versus Detroit, three home games versus the Chisox) with the hopes that a 5-2 (or better) run could have 'em sniffing around to make a deal but anything less might force management's hand and break up this two-time World Series team. Say this: If KC goes 2-5 in these games, than at/around the July 31st Trade Deadline the likes of 1B Eric Hosmer and 3B Mike Moustakas (among others) will be gone.

SEATTLE (47-47) - Funny how these things work as the Mariners were pretty much left for dead prior to last week's All-Star Game but following Monday's drama-filled 9-7 extra-inning win at Houston (the M's cashed as a 2-to-1 underdog there) here was Seattle still in the hunt for a wild card berth. If the M's can play .500 or better ball through the rest of the week against Houston/New York Yankees then they'll be a buyer and very much in the market for at least one starting pitcher.


NATIONAL LEAGUE

NEW YORK METS (41-49) - Nobody's really labeling this here-and-now Mets team a "contender" but this on-going four-game home set versus St. Louis and the weekend's home-game home series against Oakland will tell Mets' GM Sandy Alderson whether or not he should deal away some of his so-called "chips" including closer Addison Reed, OF Curtis Granderson and 1B Lucas Duda. A slumbering week here and all of the above will be gone from Flushing.

ST. LOUIS (45-47) - The Cardinals follow up this above-mentioned four-game set at Citi Field with a three-game series at Wrigley Field (including the ESPN Sunday Night game) and folks in/around St. Loo want to know whether relief pitching and defense will be trade deadline priorities but something tells us a Cards team that's under .500 come Sunday night won't be moving the earth, moon and stars to make in-season upgrades. In other words, if the Cards don't roll up four or five wins in the next six days, they'll sit tight and make the best of it while looking ahead to 2018 though rumor-meisters claim they could be eyeballing relievers on the White Sox and/or San Diego Padres.


Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days when you check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. 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. And the College Football kids get serious beginning on Saturday, August 26th when there's three games on the big board including Hawaii-UMass, Portland State-BYU and Stanford-Rice ... so know that we're gearing up for loads of NFL and College Football winners soon enough!


COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT

We know, we know: You're counting down the days till we get to the start of the 2017 College Football Season and the first full week of play swings into action on Saturday, August 26th and then the second week gets underway on August 31st, so let's delve into a few of these late-summer showdowns:

On Saturday, August 26, it's ...
OREGON STATE at COLORADO STATE (2:30 p.m. ET) - Hey, these two teams were amongst the best pointspread squads in the land last year as the O-State Beavers cranked out a 9-3 ATS (against the spread) record while the C-State Rams finished up 10-3 versus the vig and keep in mind Mike Bobo's CSU crew scored 45-or-more points in each of its final four games. If senior QB Nick Stevens (1,936 yards passing with 19 TDs and 5 INTs last year) can avoid the Oregon State pass rush, he'll get the cover as Colorado State's a 3.5-point betting favorite.

On Thursday, August 31, it's ...
OHIO STATE at INDIANA (8 p.m. ET) - Have to hand it to the Buckeyes ... last year they reeled off an 11-2 SU (straight-up) mark that included Big 10 wins/covers against Rutgers, Nebraska and Maryland but did you realize that Ohio State is a nothing-special 21-21-1 ATS in all conference games since the start of the Urban Meyer Era back in 2012? Here, the 'Eyes are listed as a 3-TD road favorite with veteran QB J.T. Barrett (2,555 yards passing with 24 TDs) looking to kick-start his own Heisman Trophy campaign (what, already!).

NEW MEXICO STATE at ARIZONA STATE (10 p.m. ET) - Let's swing out west for this non-league tilt and note the ASU Sun Devils club are currently priced as a 25.5-point betting fav for this under-the-lights duel - and that might raise some eyebrows considering the Pac-12 team last year finished 5-7 SU/5-6-1 ATS and didn't make it to a bowl game for the first time since 2010. Arizona State boss-man Todd Graham didn't get his contract extended this past off-season and, if he wants alumni to love 'em again, it's a must to cover this nearly 4-TD price tag here with a pass-happy attack that returns possible star-in-the-making QB Manny Wilkins (2,329 yards passing last year).

NOTE: Plenty more MLB, NFL and NCAA Football News/Notes ahead!

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