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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 

THE BASEBALL REPORT –

WHAT’S STRAIGHT AHEAD FOR THE STREAKING ‘STROS …

NFL NEWS & NOTES:

THINK WORST-TO-FIRST TEAMS …

PLUS, NBA DRAFT BREAKDOWN:

WHO’S RISING, WHO’S FALLING AS WE

HEAD TOWARDS THURSDAY NIGHT

 

Hey, don’t look now but the defending World Series champion Houston Astros are just now “hitting their stride” on this here-and-now 2018 Major-League Baseball season.

The ‘Stros zoom into the new week riding an MLB-best 11-game winning streak and how about the fact they just swept a weekend series in Kansas City -- and Houston was a better-than-2-to-1 betting favorite in each of those games!

 

Here’s how last weekend’s action looked (home team in CAPS) …

 

DATE                      WINNER         PRICE              SCORE            LOSER

6-15                        Houston         - 230               7-3                  KANSAS CITY

6-16                        Houston         - 255               10-2                KANSAS CITY

6-17                        Houston         - 250               7-4                  KANSAS CITY

 

Okay, so maybe you didn’t lay those bullish prices throughout the weekend but – just a reminder – if you happened to be one of those guys/gals out there that chose instead to lay the 1.5 runs than … bingo! You win that way too.

The proverbial bottom line is the Astros are cooking with gas these days and this haughty 11-game winning streak could grow bigger and bigger when considering the Tampa Bay Rays come to town for Monday-thru-Wednesday games and then aforementioned Kansas City – now some 27 games below the .500 mark – invade Houston for a three-game set this coming weekend. Might the ‘Stros have a 17-game winning streak when they finally get to next Monday’s home series against the Toronto Blue Jays? Do stay tuned.

 In other MLB News & Notes …

Meanwhile, the team that lost Game 7 of the 2017 World Series to the Astros last year – the Los Angeles Dodgers – have dug themselves out from the rubble (now 37-33 while going into their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field) – and hats off to Dodgers’ manager Davey Roberts who took a verbal pounding from the media the first six weeks of this season but now deserves major kudos. The Dodgers have powered their way back to within 1.5 games of the National League West front-running Arizona Diamondbacks – LA leads the NL in home runs (90) and is third in the league in runs scored (334) -- and they’ve managed to climb back into the chase despite the fact LHPs Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood are a combined 6-6 with Kershaw back on the DL (again!) and Wood now has failed to get beyond the sixth inning in each of his last four starts. Could it be that the Dodgers “beat” the likes of the New York Yankees and/or the St. Louis Cardinals to the alter when it comes for a deal involving Texas lefty Cole Hamels (just 74 hits allowed in 85.1 innings so far this season)?

 

Note …

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are winning big with Major League Baseball action every day. So, make sure you cash in big right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Pile up the profits as we head towards another great NCAA Football / NFL season straight ahead!

 

NFL NEWS & NOTES

Just a reminder the next week we’ll begin our NFL team-by-team summer accounts – we’ll have snap-shot reports from all 32 teams as we tackle three or four clubs each day, so don’t miss out right here in Jim Sez:

Any chance that we’re gonna have a “worst-to-first” team somewhere this year in the National Football League? Well, the Houston Texans (tied with Indianapolis at the bottom of the AFC South last year at 4-12) could be such a candidate providing second-year QB Deshaun Watson stays healthy. Last year the Texans’ slinger chucked 19 TDs and only 8 INTs before going down for the year with a knee injury. Maybe the best stat put up by Watson was his sizzling 7.5 yards-per-carry rushing average but you wonder with Watson running less will downfield coverage by the opposition improve?

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers feel they’re a candidate to go from worst-to-first after finishing at the bottom of the NFC West last year with a 6-10 SU (straight-up) mark? The Niners ended the ’17 season on a five-game winning streak – San Fran registered a 4-0-1 ATS (against the spread) mark in those last five regular-season games -- but there’s been some gnashing of the teeth recently after QB Jimmy Garoppolo performed terribly in the team’s recent mini-camp. At one point, the Niners committed four consecutive false start penalties as Garoppolo’s cadence became a problem – for what it’s worth, second-year 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t worried.

In case you’re wondering, San Francisco is a collective 26-35-3 against the odds the past four years.

 

NBA DRAFT UPDATE

This Thursday’s NBA Draft won’t have any surprise at the very top – the Phoenix Suns are gonna pick Arizona F Deandre Ayton, for sure, and not trade for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard -- but depending on whom you believe here are the draft’s risers and fallers, this draft could be a real doozy.

 If you believe the reports, then Missouri F Michael Porter, Jr., West Virginia PG Jevon Carter and Texas F/C Mo Bamba all are getting lotsa love in recent days as their stock values rise while SMU point guard Shake Milton and Michigan State’s wingman Miles Bridges have taken a tumble. Also, it’s possible that the likes of Villanova PG Jalen Brunson and/or Duke shooting guard Grayson Allen could drop out of Round I entirely although we’ve generally seen both names listed as mock draft picks in the #24-to-#28 range.

We’ll get you our NBA Mock Draft first thing Thursday morning right here at Jim Sez but – press us on the matter right now – and we say the top three picks will be Ayton to the Suns at #1, Marvin Bagley III to Sacramento at #2 and Missouri’s Porter to Atlanta at #3 … again, subject to change!

 

NOTE: Catch all the Major-League Baseball news/notes in the next edition of Jim Sez and we’ll continue to dig into all the key NFL news items from here through training camps, so don’t miss out!

 

 

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