Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 2, 2018 at 12:00 AM
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES:
RED SOX TELL YANKEES,
SEE ‘YA NEXT MONTH IN BOSTON …
NBA FREE AGENCY: LEBRON’S IN LA-LA LAND …
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM ACCOUNTS:
IT’S THE BROWNS, PACKERS & BRONCOS
If you were hoping for some sit-at-the-edge-of-your-chair baseball excitement this past weekend at Yankee Stadium, you didn’t get it.
Three straight blowouts in the much-hyped series between the Boston Red Sox at the New York Yankees – see Yankees 8-1, Red Sox 11-0 and Yanks 11-1 – hardly qualified as captivating baseball but the proverbial bottom line is the series turned out as you might as expected with the host Bombers winning two-of-three and losing the game started by Sox ace LHP Chris Sale (and started by Yankees’ black sheep Sonny Gray).
Now, these two American League East combatants – separated by .008 percentage points with the Yankees (54-27) leading the Red Sox (56-29) while heading into Monday’s play – will look to snap up as many “W’s” as possible before they meet again in early August with a four-game set that starts Aug. 2nd at Fenway Park. The whole theme is avoiding that one-game AL Wild Card affair likely against the AL West runner-up, either Houston or Seattle, and all we know is that if the Sox play in that game you probably won’t see LHP David Price on the hill (we lost track of how many home runs he allowed on Sunday night!).
Stat of the weekend from The Bronx: The aforementioned Price is now 0-5 with a 10.44 ERA in his last five starts at Yankee Stadium.
NBA FREE AGENCY
Now that didn’t take long!
After months of speculation as to where the one-and-only LeBron James would play next season and beyond, The King announced Sunday night that he had signed with the Los Angeles Lakers … a four-year deal worth $154 million.
Goodbye, Cleveland … again.
Hey, we’re not gonna fault James for his destination choice although deep down we rooted for ‘em to stay put in northeast Ohio and try to deliver one more NBA championship to Cavaliers Nation. Yes, the road’s gonna be a bit tougher now in LA where the Lakers must hurdle a bevy of top-shelf teams just to get to another NBA Finals (James will be shooting for a ninth consecutive Finals appearance next June) but already the Las Vegas oddsmakers have placed the Lakers as 7-to-2 favorites to win it all – only Golden State at even money is a smaller price – and if/when Kawhi Leonard joins James then this Lakers’ team will be a rocket ship ready to take off with all those young-and-comer players.
This time there was no “decision” for James – he knew getting back on national TV and telling folks where he was “taking his talents” was a no-no this time and all we heard here was that James met with Lakers’ executive Magic Johnson at 9:01 p.m. PST – or one minute into the official free agency period – and the two icons met for close to three hours while ironing out all the details.
Will James win a crown at some point in his next four years in LA-LA land? Hard to say ‘cause the Warriors – should they stay together – probably will win two or three more crowns in addition to the three titles they own during this era but, if forced to say, James will win one title in Hollywood and then soon after ride off into the sunset.
Now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are winning big with Major League Baseball action each/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. Go ahead and pile up the profits as we head towards another great NCAA Football / NFL season straight ahead!
We continue our NFL team-by-team summer accounts right here – and every day at Jim Sez we’ll be posting a few teams as we check out news/notes/reports. Plus, we get you some key pointspread info to boot and note a team’s SU (straight-up) record is listed next to the team name. Here’s the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos:
CLEVELAND (0-16) – The names of this year’s Browns’ running backs is way more impressive than in year’s past, but is a “running backs by committee” really gonna work for third-year head coach Hue Jackson? Word is rookie Nick Chubb (Georgia), former San Francisco 49ers star Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson will share time this year with the “hot hand” playing the most but odds are Browns’ running backs coach Freddie Kitchens will lean more towards a Chubb / Johnson backfield with Hyde getting short-yardage and goal-line plays. Last year the Browns ranked 17th in the NFL in rushing (a decent 107.1 yards per game) and 24th overall in team offense.
Pointspread Notes – Date back the past three football seasons and you’ll see that the woe-be-gone Browns are a collective 13-34-1 ATS (against the spread), a lowly .277 winning percentage. Last year’s 4-12 spread mark “featured” a pair of covers against Pittsburgh along with get-under-the-number pointspread wins against Tennessee and the Los Angeles Chargers. Overall, the Browns are 5-17-1 at home the past three years.
GREEN BAY (7-9) – The Packers say there’s no reason to fret but long-time WR Randall Cobb was spotted last week with a walking boot on his right foot. It’s not been made clear if/when Cobb underwent surgery but insiders say the injury happened at the team’s spring-time OTAs but he’s not expected to miss the Week 1 game – a Sunday night bash against the visiting Chicago Bears on Sept. 9th. Keep in mind that the current Green Bay depth chart lists Davante Adams and Cobb as the team’s starting wide outs and don’t forget Green Bay acquired TE Jimmy Graham from Seattle this past off-season.
Pointspread Notes – The 2017 Packers staggered to a 7-9-1 ATS mark, thus snapping a three-three run of double-digit spread winning seasons (see 10-7-1, 11-7 and 11-7-1 versus the vig). Green Bay’s covered its last three consecutive season-opening games including last year’s 17-9 triumph against 2.5-point road dog Seattle and did you know the Pack’s a solid 6-3-1 spreadwise in its last 10 post-season games while dating back to the 2012 season?
DENVER (5-11) – Folks, you have to go back to the 2009-10 seasons to find the last time the Broncos failed to make the playoffs in back-to-back years (a/k/a the Josh McDaniels Era) but if you wish to hear some optimism as per 2018 then listen to Denver WR Emmanuel Sanders: The long-time Broncos’ pass-catcher claims new QB Case Keenum has a lot of similarities with Peyton Manning who connected with his receivers with summer-time pass-catching drills away from the normal practice field. Sanders pointed out that Manning used to gather the WRs, TEs, RBs at Duke University for extra reps and this year Keenum’s been doing the same in Aurora (CO). “Just to get that chemistry,” says Sanders while Manning chimed in, “I’m a big Case Keenum fan”.
Pointspread Notes – Last season’s ugly 4-11-1 ATS campaign was the Broncos’ worst since 2008 (also 4-11-1 ATS) and take note that the ’17 season included a rotten 1-4-1 spread log against fellow AFC West foes. Gotta go back to the early part of the 2016 season to find the last time that Denver enjoyed a pointspread winning streak (see four in a row vig-wise out of the starting gate).
NOTE: More MLB, NBA and NFL goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez.