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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 31, 2017 at 2:33 PM




Glory be! It's finally July 31st and that means the Major-League Trade Deadline is upon us and we expect plenty of fireworks prior to the 4 p.m. Eastern time deadline ... and so should you!

There's been plenty of chatter regarding the "glut" of available outfielders and so that likely means New York Mets OF Jay Bruce, Baltimore OF Chris Davis and Colorado OF Carlos Gonzalez won't be dealt away at the eleventh hour but the free-for-all regarding relief pitchers means one thing:

Clubs on the outside-looking-in at a possible playoff berth this season will be eager to bring in prospects for their closers/eighth-inning guys and so fully expect the San Francisco Giants to jettison Mark Melancon, the New York Mets to deal away RHP Addison Reed and Baltimore to attempt to deal off LHP Zach Britton.

If you're looking for trade partners, consider Reed to Houston or Boston; expect Melancon to come back East and land with either the Red Sox or his old Nationals squad; and Britton could be headed to Hollywood (re: the Los Angeles Dodgers).

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the new Baseball week begins with extra interest on a couple of series including Cleveland (57-46) at Boston (57-49) and Tampa Bay (54-52) at Houston (68-36) and we'll see if the Astros can snap back following back-to-back losses in Detroit this past Saturday/Sunday (note the 'Stros surrendered 13 runs and 15 hits in the matinee tilt yesterday) while Boston's hoping to ruin Terry Francona's latest Homecoming (the Sox have lost seven of their last 10 games and it feels like old times at Fenway Park where team turmoil is a major problem).

Make sure you cash with all this week's Baseball action and get in from the very start with the National Football League Preseason swinging into action with Thursday's Hall of Fame Game in Canton between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. Call us toll-free at the Jim Hurley Network at 1-800-323-4453 or right here online. There's a full slate of NFL Preseason Games the following week beginning Thursday, August 10th, so make sure you're gonna be cashing all summer long plus remember College Football is up and running beginning August 26th and it's going to be another great gridiron year for the Jim Hurley Network.

Don't sweat it ... we'll have a nice, little Hall of Fame Game Preview in the next edition of Jim Sez as it's Cowboys vs. Cardinals come Thursday night in Canton but a couple of quick-hitter notes from these two NFC squad:

But isn't this how things often happen: The Cowboys last week cut return specialist Lucky Whitehead - yes, there's been major firestorms over that move considering Whitehead was totally cleared of all wrong-doing in an alleged shoplifting incident - and just when they want to take a long look at rookie returner Ryan Switzer (North Carolina) the kid is down with a hamstring injury suffered in last Thursday's practice. Switzer will miss the Hall of Fame Game and the team's fourth-round draft pick this past spring likely won't be back on the field for another week-plus.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals don't figure to play soon-to-be 38-year-old QB Carson Palmer in this exhibition game but camp reports say he's zipping the ball better now than in the past handful of years (Palmer says his change in off-season throwing is the key) but gotta say we're not exactly in love with the team backups at the position as veteran journeyman Drew Stanton (a C+ guy at best) and rookie Trevor Knight (Texas A&M) are second- and third-stringers on the depth chart and that's not real encouraging should Palmer go down at some point in the 2017 campaign.


We continue to rock-n-roll forward with our College Football Conference-by-Conference Reports ... today it's the Big 10:

The conventional thinking in/around the Big 10 this year is that three teams - that's Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State - all sport legitimate national championship hopes and insiders say you might want to toss Wisconsin into that mix too.
In any event, the Big 10 generally is in a something-to-prove mode after going a shoddy 3-7 SU (straight-up) in bowl games a year ago and remember that included Ohio State's 31-0 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoffs/Fiesta Bowl.

BEST TEAM - Ohio State
It's downright nutty that sixth-year Buckeyes' head coach Urban Meyer is 61-6 SU at this school but if he wishes to get his club back into the playoffs for a third year in a row than beating Oklahoma early (in Columbus) and besting Michigan late (in Ann Arbor) is on Meyer's to-do list. Quarterback J.T. Barrett may still be the most underappreciated player in recent O-State gridiron history.

BEST PLAYER - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Nittany Lions' mega-star rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 TDs a year ago and he could be a 2,000-yard runner this year providing Penn State's protecting some TD-plus leads late. We say it's a top five finish in this year's Heisman Trophy for Mr. Bradley.

BIG 10 GAME OF THE YEAR - Ohio State at Michigan, Nov. 25
Did you really have to ask? This annual tug-of-war keeps getting bigger and bigger with Meyer squaring off with Jim Harbaugh and this might be another case of last team with the ball wins. Let's say the maize-and-blue deserve a break or two this time around.

HIDDEN STORY - Everyone wants to see how Minnesota fares in Year One of the P.J. Fleck Era but how about Purdue's new boss Jeff Brohm? The Boilermakers are expected to finish in the West Division basement but junior QB David Blough could steal lots of headlines if he cuts back on his 21 INTs under Brohm's tutelage.

Big 10 Championship Game Prediction: Michigan beats Wisconsin

NOTE: More College Football in the next Jim Sez!

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