Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM
THE BASEBALL REPORT: TOP THREE UNSUNG POSITION PLAYERS (SO FAR) IN '19 ...
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES - CHECKIN' OUT THE TEXANS AND VIKINGS
The 2019 Major-League Baseball season will take a little hiatus next week - Tuesday's All-Game Game in Cleveland allows 28 of the 30 MLB teams a four-day break from the regular-season grind (Houston at Texas begins a four-game set on Thursday) - and so let's take a few moments to uncover our Jim Hurley Top 3 Unsung Positional Players as they've been real difference-makers for their teams.
Folks, these are a trio of guys that have swung the won/loss pendulum to the profit-making side so far here in 2019, so let's examine who we have in mind:
#1 - RAFAEL DEVERS, 3B, Boston ... Go figure. There are three members of the defending World Series champion Red Sox on this year's American League All-Star Game roster and none of 'em are named Rafael Devers. Yet, this dude is off the charts with his offensive numbers this year: 16 HR, 61 RBI, .331 batting average and a .385 on-base percentage. Sounds like possible MPV numbers, to us ... right? Devers has 14 hits in his last seven games and he's helped the Sox steady the ship after last weekend's two-game series loss versus the New York Yankees in London.
#2 - MAX MUNCY, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers ... No doubt that there's been a different hero each / every night when it comes to these 60-29 LA Dodgers, but let's not lose sight of the fact that this powerful lefty-swinging hitter has 21 dingers and 57 RBI and a .379 on-base percentage through just 293 at-bats. Muncy gets "lost in the sauce" at times here on a Dodgers' club that could sport a dozen All-Stars this year but this unsung positional player gets a round of applause from this little corner of the world and he's been worth his weight in gold for pro-Dodgers bettors this season.
#3 - DANSBY SWANSON, SS, Atlanta ... Don't ask us why this uber-talented infielder didn't make the cut in terms of this year's NL All-Star Game roster. Swanson - who banged out a pair of Fourth of July home runs in a come-from-behind win against Philadelphia - entered this summer weekend with 17 HRs and 57 RBI and he's been a major reason why the Braves have run away and hid in the NL East. Swanson's 4.6 career WAR is solid stuff and he should be on everyone's NL MVP ballot if it was announced today.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep winning big with Major-League Baseball action every day of the week. Our 4th of July winners featured "over" 9.5 runs in the Cleveland at Kansas City tilt won by the Indians 8-4 along with Boston (-127) over Toronto in a wild 8-7 victory North of the Border. Then we cashed with Milwaukee's 7-610-inning win in Pittsburgh on Friday night. So, make sure you cash in big right here at 1-800-323-4453. Pile up the profits as we head towards another great NCAA Football / NFL season straight ahead! Remember that the NFL Hall of Fame Game is set for August 1st as the Denver Broncos battle the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM / SUMMERTIME LOOKS
We continue rollin' along with our annual Jim Sez NFL team-by-team summer accounts right here - and every day here 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. Today, we focus on the Houston Texans and the Minnesota Vikings. Next up: The Baltimore Ravens, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams.
HOUSTON (11-6) - Last year's AFC South champ somehow managed to win nine consecutive games SU (straight-up) following an ugly 0-3 SU start but protecting its quarterback Deshaun Watson was an issue all year long. The Texans surrendered 62 QB sacks but the addition of veteran OL Matt Kalil and rookie Tytus Howard - a Round I pick from Alabama State -- is expected to boost the blocking wall somewhat but Watson still may be running for his young life on many passing downs.
Pointspread Notes - No question that last year's Texans rallied hard with a 7-3-1 ATS (against the spread) finish following a rotten 1-5 spread start. Overall, this AFC South crew went 5-7-1 ATS as betting favorites in 2018 while going 4-3-1 odds-wise away.
MINNESOTA (8-7-1) - The Vikings will be playing all three of their NFC North road games within the first seven weeks of this 2019 season (including a Week 2 game at Green Bay's Lambeau Field) but here's the flip side to this Minny sked: Mike Zimmer's crew will play three of their final four games at home against Detroit / Green Bay / Chicago and so that could be a "tie-breaker" of sorts should this be a close race. One non schedule-related Vikings note: Minnesota rushed the ball 48 percent of the time in its final three games after firing OC John DeFilippo but note the ground stats were awful (averaged 93.3 Yards per game / ranked 30th in the NFL).
Pointspread Notes - For the past six years in a row, the Vikings have cranked out winning records versus the vig: Last year's modest 8-7-1 ATS log pushed the Vikes to a collective mark of 61-35-3 (a dazzling .635 winning rate) since the start of the 2013 season. Note that Minnesota is 37-14-2 ATS in non-divisional games the past five years.
NOTE: More MLB News and NFL Team-by-Team reports in the next edition of next Jim Sez and don't forget we'll have plenty of College Football News & Notes all this summer long.