Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 12:00 AM
BASEBALL'S ALL-STAR SNUBS? WE CARE WAY MORE ABOUT THE SURGING RED SOX AND THEIR POTENTIAL TRADES THAT MAY LIE STRAIGHT AHEAD
OUR NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM ACCOUNTS: IT'S THE J-E-T-S AND VIKINGS
The Major-League Baseball world today is all caught up in the matter of All-Star Game snubs … hey, Tampa Bay LHP Blake Snell (he's 12-4 with an American League-leading 2.09 ERA) should have been a lead-pipe cinch for a berth and ditto for Los Angeles SS Andrelton Simmons (although he could get voted in still) along with National Leaguer LHP Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.18 ERA) of the Colorado Rockies.
Then again, there's always gonna be guys considered "snubs" depending on how you look at things though we wouldn't entirely be against expanding rosters one mo' time - folks, plenty to say next week when the All-Star scene hits the Washington D.C. area, so we'll stay silent on the matter till then.
Right here / right now the topic is the Boston Red Sox:
The AL East leaders (by two games over the New York Yankees while heading into Monday's action) is an MLB-best 62-29 (a .681 winning percentage) and the truth is the Bosox even may get better in the immediate days/weeks ahead. Yes, the team that MLB Network's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo says will finish behind the Yankees by "8-to-10 games" in the AL East enters this week's home series against the Texas Rangers on a six-game winning streak that included back-to-back road series sweeps in Washington and Kansas City where the Sawx rolled up 50 runs in the six road tilts - va-va-va voom!
Now, word trickling down the pike - maybe even the Massachusetts Turnpike - is that the Red Sox have a better-than-average opportunity to land a couple of the following big names: San Diego Padres closer LHP Brad Hand (batters are hitting .162 against his get-them-out slider); Miami reliever RHP Drew Steckenrider (his mid-to-high 90s mph fastball could make 'em the perfect eighth-inning set-up guy in front of All-Star RHP Craig Kimbrel (27 saves in 2018); Miami C J.T. Realmuto (11 HR, 38 TBI, .306 batting average and owner of a five-hit game last week); and Minnesota 2B Brian Dozier (51 runs scored for the anemic Twins).
The Red Sox could be gearing up for a 110-win type season and to show their dominance in last weekend's set in KayCee, did you notice that Boston was favored by - 380 in the start made by LHP Chris Sale (a no-contest 10-5 win); - 180 in the Saturday start made by the disappointing LHP David Price (a rocking-chair 15-4 win despite the home runs bombs allowed by Price); and - 230 in Sunday's 7-4 win started by one-time Cy Young winner RHP Rick Porcello.
Don't look now, "Mad Dog", but the Sox this week play three games at Fenway Park against the Rangers and then three more games in their own backyard against sub-.500 Toronto before we all hit the All-Star break … can you imagine if the Sox are 67-30 heading into the Mid-Summer Classic and still rockin' some new mid-to-late July acquisitions. Egads!
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 online or 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 couple/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 New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.
NEW YORK JETS (5-11) - Year Four in the Todd Bowles Era is gonna include a new touch as third-year LB Darron Lee will get to be the primary play-caller on a defense that last year ranked 24th in the NFL against the rush and 21st against the pass. Lee is a former 2016 first-round draftee from The Ohio State University and, if truth be told, his brief Jets' career has been a tad underwhelming so far. Last year Lee collected 67 solo tackles with three sacks and two forced fumbles in 15 games but Bowles believes the added responsibility will help to elevate Lee's game. Remember that the J-E-T-S signed ILB Avery Williamson as a free agent this past off-season but Bowles passed 'em over in terms of defensive play-caller and that's raised some eyebrows in/around Florham Park.
Pointspread Notes - Believe it or not, the Jets are 18-10-2 ATS (against the spread) when playing divisional foes the past five seasons. Note that NYJ's
MINNESOTA (14-4) - All the gridiron talk in the Twin Cities revolves around new QB Kirk Cousins but better be aware that his supporting cast has some serious questions to answer: Will second-year RB Dalvin Cook (ACL injury last year) be able to regain his quick first step and make the Vikings' ground game something to fear/respect?; Will TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle surgery in February) be a red-zone menace or just an ordinary pass-catcher this year; and what about "third" WR David Treadwell who's been a major bust after coming out of Ole Miss a couple of years ago? Treadwell caught only 20 passes worth 200 yards in 16 games last year for this NFC North crew and he remains engaged in a battle with WR Kendall Wright for reps. Note the '17 Vikes scored more than 30 points just once in their last seven games including that 38-7 loss at 3-point underdog Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game.
Pointspread Notes - The Vikings have churned out five consecutive winning spread seasons en route to a 53-29-1 ATS mark from 2013-thru-2018 (that's a sizzling .646 winning rate). Last year this NFC North crew finished 11-6-1 versus the vig and that included an 8-3-1 ATS mark as regular-season betting favorites.
NOTE: More NFL team notes in the next Jim Sez - we'll bring you Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Seattle.