Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE MLB REPORT:
TOP WEEKEND SERIES
FEATURES THE NEW-LOOK DODGERS AT BREWERS
PLUS, BAY AREA BATTLE IN OAKLAND …
NCAA FOOTBALL TIDBITS
You might have noticed that this year’s Major-League Baseball All-Star Game came upon us all a little later than usual on the calendar and so that means crunch time here in the season’s “second half” starts a bit sooner … like now!
No better way to get the post-All Star break off and rollin’ with a batch of high-profile (and highly important) weekend series, so let’s kick it into high gear right after we let you know that …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep winning big with Major League Baseball action every day – get all the MLB winners this weekend at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
Here’s some of what we’re looking at this weekend …
ATLANTA (52-42) at WASHINGTON (53-42) – If the Nationals are ever gonna get their proverbial act together, then the time is now and rehabbed RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-6, 3.46 ERA) gets to set the second-half tone on this Friday night lid-lifter. Hard to believe the Nationals are a sub-.500 team at home (see 22-24) and we say it’s time first-year manager Davey Martinez stops playing around with the lineup and gets 2B Daniel Murphy into the lineup every day.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS (53-43) at MILWAUKEE (55-43) – The Manny Machado “Era” begins here with the LA Dodgers ready/willing/able to make another dash to the National League pennant and isn’t it odd for LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-4, 2,74 ERA) to be making a start this weekend while NOT coming off an All-Star Game appearance? Hey, back to Machado for a moment: He could feast this weekend at Miller Park where the ball can fly out (especially in the Sunday matinee tilt).
COLORADO (51-45) at ARIZONA (53-44) – The best multi-team race in the big leagues is happening here in the NL West but right now we want to know if the Rockies are gonna keep up the winning beat after heading into the All-Star Game riding a five-game “W” streak. Colorado SS Trevor Story was one of 10 All-Stars to whack a home run this past Tuesday night and note Story has five multi-hit games in seven July tilts.
NEW YORK METS (39-55) at NEW YORK YANKEES (62-33) – The Subway Series may appear to be a lopsided affair (the Yankees are – 160 tonight even going against RHP Noah Syndergaard on the hill) but keep in mind the Yanks here won’t be sending All-Star RHP Luis Severino (14 wins, 1.01 WHIP) to the mound at all so he could get extra rest while the Mets get RHP Jason de Grom (1.68 ERA) starts on Sunday Night’s ESPN clash … will NYM have always-hurt Yoenis Cespedes back as a DH for this three-game set?
SAN FRANCISCO (50-48) at OAKLAND (55-42) – If the 68-and-30 Boston Red Sox are the numero uno story in MLB this year then this Oakland A’s bunch should be listed as 1-A … this rather no-name squad has gone 21-6 since mid-June and it’s about time folks call manager Bob Melvin a miracle worker. Meanwhile, the Giants lost two-of-three at home last weekend against archrival Oakland with only LHP Madison Bumgarner capturing an Interleague win … more of the same here?
NCAA FOOTBALL TIDBITS
In yesterday’s edition of Jim Sez, we touched on a batch of “pointspread goodies” concerning the major favorites to win it all this coming season … now let’s zoom ‘round the land and get you teams coming off splendid spread seasons:
FLORIDA ATLANTIC – Last year’s Owls stormed their way to an electric 10-4 ATS (against the spread) campaign behind first-year head coach Lane Kiffin but better believe that FAU will be laying some hefty prices this time around (but note the Owls did cover four-of-five games last year when in the double-digit favorite role). Funny thing is Florida Atlanta was a collective 8-19-1 spreadwise in its 28 games prior to the arrival of Mr. Kiffin.
FRESNO STATE – No doubt that these 2017 Bulldogs were lost in the shuffle despite the fact they won 10 games SU (straight-up) including a Hawaii Bowl mild upset win versus Houston. Note that Fresno State finished 10-2-2 versus the vig last year and that included a perfect 7-and-oh spread log whenever placed in the underdog role.
GEORGIA – No surprise that these SEC Dawgs were major money-makers en route to last year’s national championship game against Alabama. Overall, Georgia registered an 11-4 ATS mark (that’s a sizzling .733 rate) and how about the fact Kirby Smart’s crew covered its last five games in a row?
IOWA STATE – Betcha didn’t realize the I-State Cyclones covered 11-of-13 games a year ago including that wild 21-20 triumph over 3.5-point fav Memphis in the latest version of the Liberty Bowl! Iowa State went 6-1 spreadwise on the road last year and among the conquests was the shocking 38-31 win at 30.5-point favorite Oklahoma and the 31-13 victory at 6.5-point favorite Texas Tech.