Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES ...
OUR NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM SUMMERTIME LOOKS BEGINS TODAY WITH THE BROWNS, CHARGERS & SEAHAWKS
Okay, so we've all been hearing the same names in terms of "trade chips" when it comes to pitchers in Major-League Baseball: Everywhere you turn there's talk that San Francisco's LHP Madison Bumgarner, Toronto's RHP Marcus Stroman and New York Mets' RHP Zack Wheeler will be dealt to contenders and so they all could be getting sent "change-of-address" slips any day now. Let's list the names /odds on them getting dealt prior to the July 31st trade deadline:
MADISON BUMGARNER, San Francisco ... Keep hearing he's headed out of the Bay Area soon but we'd rate a move to the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox as relative long-shots. Bumgarner has a 4.28 ERA in his first 16 starts this year:
Odds to get traded to Minnesota or Atlanta ... 4-to-1
Odds to get traded to New York Yankees or Boston ... 15-to-1
MARCUS STROMAN, Toronto - This at times hot-headed hurler (ask Bosox analyst Dennis Eckersley!) has pitched better than his record as Stroman sports a 3.04 ERA in his first 17 starts.
Odds to get traded to the New York Yankees ... Even money
Odds to get traded to Houston, Boston or Minnesota ... 20-to-1
ZACK WHEELER, New York Mets - The Metsies were counting on big things from this righty who's in his "walk year" but instead Wheeler's been Mr. Inconsistency again (see 4.69 ERA in first 16 starts).
Odds to get traded to anyone but the Yankees and / or Red Sox ... 5-to-1
Odds to get traded to a "dark horse" team such as Milwaukee, Minnesota or Colorado ... 8-to-1
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NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM / SUMMERTIME LOOKS
We begin our annual NFL team-by-team summer accounts right here - and every day at Jim Sez we'll be posting two or three teams as we check out news/notes/reports while getting ready for camp. 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. So, here we go ...
CLEVELAND (7-8-1) - All the hype surrounding this year's Browns is understandable but, despite the addition of loud-mouth WR Odell Beckham, Jr., there is a glaring weakness on this team: Stopping the run. In the 2018 campaign, the Browns ranked 28th in the NFL in rush defense (allowed 135.2 yards per game) and there's reason to believe pass-rushing defensive ends Olivier Vernon (traded from the New York Giants) and Myles Garrett won't be able to stuff the opposition's rushing game while DT's Sheldon Richardson (free agent via Minnesota) and Larry Ogunjobi have plenty to prove.
Pointspread Notes - Last year's Browns banged out a 10-6 ATS (against the spread) record, thus tying the same mark back in the 2009 season and note Cleveland registered a 9-4 spread log whenever in the underdog or pick 'em role. The AFC North crew finished '18 having covered four-of-six divisional games after going a combined 4-14 versus the vig in same division games from 2015-thru-2017.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (13-5) - Is this edition of the LA Chargers gonna be as high-octane as last year's? The Bolts ranked sixth in the league in per-game scoring (26.8 ppg) and to show you how much confidence third-year head coach Anthony Lynn has in this unit you'll note that the Chargers didn't draft an offensive player until QB Easton Stick (North Dakota State) in Round 5. One player that this AFC West crew needs to be healthy is TE Hunter Henry who missed all of last year save for the AFC Divisional Playoff loss in New England. Henry is back following knee surgery and insiders say he looks good so far and could be an 80-catch guy this season.
Pointspread Notes - Overall, last year's Chargers rang up a tidy 8-3 ATS away mark that included divisional road wins /covers in Denver, Kansas City and Oakland. Note that the Bolts have covered six of their last seven head-to-head showdowns with the rival Oakland Raiders and that includes a 26-10 win as 5.5-point home favorites last year and then a 20-6 win as 10-point road favs in Oakland.
SEATTLE (10-7) - The Seahawks have flipped the script on the NFL: While most / all teams throw it more these days, Seattle has turned back the clock and last year - while ranking #1 in the NFL in rushing (160 ypg) -- the NFC West team attempted 140 fewer passes than it did in 2016. Still, the Seahawks did not ignore the downfield passing game in the most recent draft as Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf was scooped up in Round III and West Virginia's Gary Jennings was taken in the fourth round. If either / both of these guys can produce the occasional home run on the other end of some QB Russell Wilson's passes, then that #1 ground game could be even more productive in 2019.
Pointspread Notes - Go back to the start of the 2011 season and you'll see that the Seahawks are 78-56-7 ATS (a .582 winning rate) ... betcha didn't know Pete Carroll's crew was such a consistently good bet! Seattle sported a 5-2-1 spread mark at home last year with covers against Dallas, the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota and Kansas City and note that overall the 'Hawks are 47-28-3 ATS as hosts while dating back to the 2010 campaign (a .627 winning rate).
Editor's Note ... We'll continue with our annual NFL team-by-team summertime glances / looks in the next edition of Jim Sez. We'll highlight the New York Jets, the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons. Check it out!
NOTE: There's more MLB News / Notes plus NFL Team-by-Team accounts in the next Jim Sez.