Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM
THE MLB REPORT - HERE'S SOME "CATCH-YOUR-EYE" STATS ...
THE NBA UPDATE: RAPTORS REIGN SUPREME BUT WHO'S THE EARLY-BIRD FAVORITE TO WIN IT ALL IN 2019-2020? ...
NBA DRAFT NEWS / NOTES INCLUDES A FORECAST OF MANY 1ST-ROUND DEALS
In another 10 days-or-so, we'll have reached the halfway point of this here-and-now 2019 Major-League Baseball season - really, time is flying by - and so it's a good time to catch up on some of what we'll call "catch-your-eye" stats:
In the American League ...
The Tampa Bay Rays are an AL-best 23-10 away this year - that's a sizzling .697 winning rate - and this is truly pertinent because this AL East squad will head off to play the New York Yankees, Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins on a three-city sojourn beginning Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Heck, we all know the Rays never get enough respect from the media, the general public and the oddsmakers and so there could be some bargains and / or short prices up ahead.
The Detroit Tigers exited Friday night's 13-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians with a putrid 11-22 home mark ... yikes! Ron Gardenhire's club has been a major money-burner at home for weeks now. In fact, since May 13th, the Tigers are 2-15 at home (that's a .118 winning rate) and that included three consecutive three-game sweeps by visitors Houston, Oakland and Miami. We will all back Detroit at home with a great deal of caution (if at all) the rest of the way.
In the National League ...
The bottom three teams in the NL East - that's the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins - are a combined 13-35 against NL Central squads this year. Gotta know that the NL Central is quite a bit stronger than the East, but when you examine the lack of success by these three East teams (a .271 winning rate) against the Central it's still rather stunning. Heck, the Mets lost two games to St. Louis on Friday night at Citi Field and the bullpens of the Mets / Nats have been blowing games all year. Let's see when we can take prices with the NL Central against these three East teams.
The Los Angeles Dodgers exited Friday night's 5-3 home win against the Chicago Cubs with a run differential of + 111. Okay, so that's far-and-away the best in this year's senior circuit - Arizona and the aforementioned Cubbies each are plus 61 runs and next-best while heading into Saturday's action - but consider that the Dodgers have won 20 games at home (out of 27 overall home wins) by two-or-more runs. Something to think about when you can lay 1.5 runs at home with this potent Dodgers team that averages 5.24 runs a game.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have waved bye-bye to the 2018-19 NBA season but there's plenty of winnin' straight ahead as we get you Sides & Totals of Major-League Baseball this weekend and all throughout the current campaign. Just check with us at 1-800-323-4453.
THE NBA REPORT
According to the good folks in Las Vegas, here's the NBA Odds to Win it All for the 2019-2020 campaign:
Imagine that ... a Lakers team that didn't even make the playoffs this year in LeBron James' first season in Hollywood and they are favored to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2020. Guess there's "inside info" that either Anthony Davis (from New Orleans) or some trade package from Boston (maybe Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown, etc.) is en route by early next month but ask us and we believe even before the draft and before the July 1st free agency period that Philly at the healthy 12-to-1 odds looks good and ditto for longshot Brooklyn at 25-to-1. Sounds like PG Kyrie Irving to the Nets is just about a done deal!
NBA DRAFT NOTES
These days there are many wagering sites that allow for bets on the NBA Draft.
We've yet to see the categories but better believe that one of 'em will be the over / under on how many players get drafted from the mighty Atlantic Coast Conference. When the dust settles, we believe the ACC will have 10 players drafted in Thursday's Round I ... and here they are: Duke's Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish; Florida State's Mfiondu Kabengele; North Carolina's Coby White, Nassir Little and Cameron Johnson; Virginia's De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome; and Virginia Tech's Nickell Alexander-Walker. If the prop play reads over 8.5 or 9 ACC players, then go "over"! ...
Meanwhile, something tells us this could be a very active first round in terms of trades. If there's a prop stating how many Round I picks will get traded on draft night, go "over" as we see the Lakers at #4, the Phoenix Suns at #6 and Washington at #9 all shopping their picks. Hey, don't be shocked if Atlanta makes a draft night deal with Washington and then the Hawks wind up with back-to-back-to-back picks at 8-9-10 in which - we say - Atlanta would take Carolina PG Coby White, Gonzaga F Brandon Clarke and then France "export" F Sekou Doumbouya ...
Finally, who's likely to be the first "up-the-board riser" in Round I? How about UNC's Cam Johnson who might someday remind some folks of Golden State's now-injured Klay Thompson. Johnson will be a solid 3-pointer shooter in the pros eventually and will be able to defend 2's and 3's. Johnson could scoot up to pick #7 with the Chicago Bulls or maybe he'll be left there for the Hawks.
NOTE: Lots of NBA Draft News straight ahead - the NBA Draft is set for Thursday, June 20th.