Posts By: Bob Dunkel

Brown Spot

The Cleveland Browns have become the most hapless organization in perhaps all of professional sports. A rotation of coaches and QBs, combined with a current 19-game winless streak, has Browns fans wondering if the misfortune will ever end. But there have been some glimmers of hope in the first two weeks of the NFL season with a comeback tie in… Read more »

No To Morrow

The Chicago Cubs got a dose of bad news yesterday when they announced that closer Brandon Morrow would be shut down for the rest of the season. Morrow, who has been out since the All-Star break, was trying to battle back from a bone bruise in his pitching arm. His loss combined with the recent hamstring injury to fill-in closer… Read more »

Christian Single (And Double, And Triple…)

Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich made MLB history last night when he hit for the cycle against the same team for the second time in a season. Yelich struck again against Cincinnati less than a month after he pulled off the same feat versus the Reds on August 30. Yelich’s achievement was all part of an 8-0 win for the Brewers that… Read more »

Something Fishy

The pace of play in MLB has been impacted in recent years by the number of pitching changes managers are making. That has only multiplied in September with all the minor league call-ups and got to the point yesterday in the Marlins-Phillies game where Miami manager Don Mattingly said something had to be done. The contest was just the fourth… Read more »

Dak-gummit

The Dallas Cowboys were hoping to put last season’s troubles behind them and ride the production of QB Dak Prescott back to the postseason. But Week 1 did not generate much optimism as the Prescott-led offense gave up six sacks, committed four penalties and scored only 8 points in a 16-8 loss to the Panthers. Tonight, Prescott and the Cowboys… Read more »

Day By Day

Ohio State fans have been counting down the days until suspended head coach Urban Meyer returns to the sidelines. In his place, acting head coach Ryan Day has done a solid job as the Buckeyes (2-0; No. 2 in Dunkel’s NCAA Football rankings) have cruised to wins over Oregon State and Rutgers. But Day’s last game as the head coach… Read more »

Wright Place, Wright Time

David Wright has battled neck, back and shoulder injuries in an effort to put on a New York Mets uniform one last time. It looks like he’ll be able to do that in NY’s last home series as the Mets announced yesterday that Wright will be in the starting lineup for their September 25 game versus the Braves. It will… Read more »

Ravenous

The Baltimore Ravens came into this season hungry to get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year because of a Week 17 loss to the Bengals. Based on Baltimore’s 47-3 thrashing of Buffalo last week, John Harbaugh’s team looks to be well on its way. Tonight, the Ravens will get the chance to exact a little revenge… Read more »

Sock It Away

The Boston Red Sox became the first MLB team to clinch a playoff spot last night with their 7-2 win over the Blue Jays. Alex Cora’s team will now begin the process of fine-tuning for the postseason beginning with today’s starter, David Price, who has been the team’s most consistent pitcher since the All-Star break (3-0, 2.30 ERA). Price will… Read more »

Sonny And 70 In Minneapolis

At the start of the MLB season, Sonny Gray was expected to be a major cog in the NY Yankees rotation. But Gray scuffled to an 8-8 record and 5.56 ERA through his first 21 starts, earning a demotion to the bullpen from manager Aaron Boone. Since that time, Gray seems to have regained some of his old form and… Read more »

Hit Like A Mack Truck

The euphoria over Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland quickly dissipated into consternation when the Raiders decided to trade All-Pro holdout Khalil Mack. It probably didn’t help matters much that Mack played like an All-Pro last night in his debut with the Bears that included a strip-sack and pick-six. But the Raiders will have to put that in the past as… Read more »

Greener Pastures

Franchise QBs in the NFL are extremely hard to find, so the Green Bay Packers didn’t take it for granted in having arguably the best signal-caller of all in Aaron Rodgers. Last month, the Pack made Rodgers the highest-paid player in league history when they gave him a four-year extension worth $134 million. With that deal wrapped up, Green Bay… Read more »

Mo(n)d Squad

There’s excitement in College Station with Jimbo Fisher now at the helm of Texas A&M, but the Aggies (1-0; No. 42 in Dunkel’s NCAA Football rankings) will likely only go as far as sophomore QB Kellen Mond can take them. Last week, Mond looked sharp (17-of-25, 2 TDs) in A&M’s 55-7 whipping of FCS-opponent Northwestern State. But the competition gets… Read more »

Gray Matter

The Colorado Rockies have never won the NL West Division in the team’s 26-year history. But with a 1 1/2-game lead currently — the latest in a season that Colorado has ever been in first place — Rockies fans are starting to think this will be the season. Tonight, Colorado will open a big series at home against the second-place… Read more »

From Wentz He Came

When Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL late in last year’s regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles season seemingly went down with him. But into the fray stepped back-up QB Nick Foles, who led Philly on an improbable run to its first Super Bowl victory in the franchise’s history. Wentz is still on the mend, which means that Foles… Read more »

Not Seattle’s Best

At the All-Star break, the Seattle Mariners were competing for first place in the AL West and seemed like a lock to make the playoffs. But a tough second half now has the M’s nine games back of Houston in the division and 5 1/2 games out of the wild card. Perhaps it’s the tension of the collapse that spilled… Read more »

Hard To Bear

The Chicago Cubs threw a little gas on the fire of their rivalry with the Brewers yesterday when pitcher Cole Hamels suggested that the majority of fans at Milwaukee’s Miller Park were Cubs fans. If that in fact was true, it wasn’t enough to get Chicago a win as Milwaukee pulled out a 4-3 victory that cut the Cubs lead… Read more »

Tag, You’re It

Last year was pretty much a disaster for the Florida State Seminoles, who finished with an uncharacteristically pedestrian 7-6 record  (No. 32 in Dunkel’s final 2017 rankings) and watched as head coach Jimbo Fisher jumped ship for Texas A&M. Into the void steps Willie Taggart, who becomes just the ‘Noles third coach in the last 42 years. There’s not much… Read more »

Burrow In

It’s no secret that LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is on the hot seat after a 9-4 season last year (No. 19 in Dunkel’s final 2017 rankings), which means that much of his future will rely on the play of new QB Joe Burrow. Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State, will be making his first collegiate start tonight as the… Read more »

Wash Away

The Washington Huskies (10-3; No. 8 in Dunkel’s final 2017 rankings) are expected to contend for the Pac-12 championship and possibly a CFP slot behind senior QB and Heisman-candidate Jake Browning. But Chris Petersen’s team is risking a lot today as the Huskies head east to Atlanta to face perennial SEC-power Auburn (10-4; No. 12). To get Dunkel’s pick for this game… Read more »

Taylor Made

Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers rode the legs of freshman sensation Jonathan Taylor (1,977 rushing yards, 13 TDs) to a 13-1 record (No. 7 in Dunkel’s final 2017 rankings) and within a whisker of making the College Football Playoff. This year, Taylor is back along with an offensive line that boasts three returning All-Americans and QB Alex Hornibrook to give Paul… Read more »

Knight Shift

Taking over a college football program is never easy, but the most challenging job this year may fall to Central Florida’s Josh Heupel. Heupel steps in for Scott Frost, who left UCF after last season to head back to his alma mater at Nebraska. But before he left, Frost guided the Knights to a 13-0 record (No. 15 in Dunkel’s… Read more »

Brave Face

When Alex Wood and Mike Minor look across the mound at each other in tonight’s Dodgers-Rangers series finale, there will be a familiar look as both were part of the Atlanta Braves pitching staff in 2014. Since departing Atlanta, it’s been Wood who has had the better fortune as he helped pitch the Dodgers all the way to the World… Read more »

Storm Front

The WNBA is down to its final four teams — Washington, Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle. In Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Storm took care of business against the Mercury, 91-87.  Game 2 is tonight in Seattle and you can get Dunkel’s pick for this game as well as Game 2 between the Mystics and Dream by clicking  HERE…. Read more »

Best Foot Forward

The Mets Noah Syndergaard has dealt with a number of physical ailments since joining the starting rotation, but probably none more bizarre than the hand, foot and mouth disease that landed him on the DL back in July. But when he’s right, there’s no denying Syndergaard is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Tonight, he’ll get a chance… Read more »

Line Of Credit

The Dallas Cowboys have generally been credited with having the best offensive line in the NFL. But that foundation has taken a hit this preseason with the recent injury to guard Zack Martin and the diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome for center Travis Frederick.  It will be a patchwork along the front tonight as the Cowboys play their third preseason game… Read more »

Old College Try

The college football season has a mini-package of games today to get things warmed up for next week’s action, including two pure FBS matchups starting off with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors visiting the Colorado State Rams. Last year, Hawaii struggled to a 3-9 record (No. 117 in Dunkel’s NCAA Football Rankings), while Colorado State went 7-6 (No. 49) and has… Read more »

Cousins New Family

The Minnesota Vikings made it all the way to the NFC Championship last year, but still felt they needed an upgrade at QB. Into the mix steps free agent Kirk Cousins, who left the Redskins in the off-season to try to get the Vikes all the way to the Super Bowl. Tonight, Cousins and the starters are likely to see… Read more »

Mayday

The Cleveland Brown have made a history out of moving from one QB bust to another while tanking to a 1-31 record in their last 32 regular season games. But hope has sprung yet again in the form of Baker Mayfield, whom the Browns drafted with the No. 1 overall pick last year. Mayfield has continued to build the excitement… Read more »

Major For Minor

Texas pitcher Mike Minor (9-6, 4.61) has been the Rangers most consistent starter of late, going 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA over his last 11 starts. But he’ll face a major challenge today as he tries to tame the red-hot Oakland A’s on the road. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full MLB schedule, click HERE. The… Read more »

Last Lynx?

The Minnesota Lynx (18-16; No. 6 in Dunkel’s final regular season WNBA Rankings) did not resemble the defending champions for much of this season. But in the end, Minnesota made it back to the playoffs and will begin defense of its title tonight as the Lynx travel to Los Angeles to play the Sparks (19-15; No. 3) in a single-elimination… Read more »

Giant Hole

Lack of offense has been the San Francisco Giants’ nemesis of late and could end up costing Bruce Bochy’s club a return to the playoffs. San Francisco (61-64; No. 19 in Dunkel’s latest MLB Rankings) just finished getting swept in Cincinnati while being outscored by the Reds, 20-6, to fall 7 1/2 games behind in the NL Wild Card race…. Read more »

Wing And A Prayer

After almost squandering a playoff position by losing nine straight games, the Dallas Wings finally clinched a spot with a 107-102 victory over Las Vegas on Friday night. Dallas will wrap up its regular season tonight as the Wings head to Seattle to take on the Storm. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full WNBA schedule, click HERE… Read more »

Texas Cage Match

Joint practices in the NFL usually have their fair share of fights and this week’s scrimmages between the 49ers and Texans were no different as San Francisco DB Jimmie Ward and Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins got into it.  After a week of getting quite familiar with each other, the two teams will take the field tonight in Houston as the… Read more »

Warm Brees

The Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey made news this week when he trashed many of the NFL’s top QBs. But one of the few exceptions was New Orleans’ Drew Brees, whom even Ramsey had to concede is still “really good” even at the advanced age of 39. With Brees at the helm again this year, the Saints feel good about their chances… Read more »

Handshake Deal

Last year’s Super Bowl between the Eagles and Patriots had everything in terms of excitement during Philadelphia’s 41-33 victory. But apparently the one thing missing was the customary handshake after the game between the two QBs — Nick Foles and Tom Brady. For his part, Foles says it’s no big deal, but undoubtedly the cameras will be fixed on the… Read more »

Brock Solid

There looks to be no slowing down the Boston Red Sox. Even the heat of August has only made the team hotter as they’ve won 11 of their 12 games this month. Last night, the Bosox got a PH HR from Brock Holt to take the series opener against the Phillies, 2-1. Both teams will take the field again tonight… Read more »

Bote Show

Doubtful there are few MLB thrills bigger than a walk-off grand slam. That’s what Cubs reserve David Bote experienced on Sunday night in front of a national TV audience as he took the Nationals’ Ryan Madson deep with two outs and the bases loaded to deliver a 4-3 victory for Chicago. The win extended the Cubs’ lead over the Brewers… Read more »

Gold Standard

The Arizona Diamondbacks (65-54; No. 10 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) are in the fight of their life in the NL West where they lead the Dodgers by just 1 game and the Rockies by 1 1/2 in the tightest division race going. If they are going to hold on, the D-backs will need more big days from slugger Paul Goldschmidt,… Read more »

To The Max

While the Washington Nationals’ season would be considered a disappointment to date, the team’s pitching ace — Max Scherzer — has been his usual steadfast self. Already the owner of three Cy Young Awards, Scherzer (15-5, 2.28) looks to be in line to capture his fourth after winning five of his last six starts and not allowing more than 2… Read more »

Johnny Come Lately

Johnny Manziel finally looked like he had his shot at redemption when he was traded to the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and given his first start of the season last week. But the result couldn’t have been more disastrous as Manziel threw four first-half INTs and was benched in the second half of a 50-11 embarrassment at the hands of the… Read more »

Dunkel Premier

The English Premier League kicks off its 2018-19 campaign today with Manchester United facing Leicester at Old Trafford, and it also marks the first season that the Dunkel Index will be producing picks and rankings. For Dunkel’s pick in today’s matchup and all the Matchday 1 contests, click HERE. The NFL continues its first preseason week tonight with a pair… Read more »

Here’s The Catch

With the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers set to play their preseason contest tonight, it’s hard not to think of Dwight Clark and “The Catch” from their 1982 NFC Championship game. Appropriately, the 49ers announced yesterday that they would honor Clark — who died in June after a battle with ALS — with a decal on their helmets and… Read more »

Hey Nineteen

Braves announcer Joe Simpson has gotten into hot water this year for some of his on-air comments and did so again yesterday when he questioned whether Nationals phenom Juan Soto was really just 19-years-old. The comment drew the ire of Washington GM Mike Rizzo, who confronted Simpson about it, and Simpson later clarified that Soto is a “bonafide 19.” It… Read more »

Fiers Sale

Prior to the MLB season, few expected the Oakland A’s to be position to acquire talent for a playoff stretch run. But that’s exactly where the A’s are with a 67-46 record (No. 4 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) and a two-game lead over Seattle for the second AL wild card spot. To help bolster their rotation, the A’s picked up… Read more »

Sinking Ship?

The Seattle Mariners have hit some choppy waters recently and just completed a homestand with only a 2-5 record that included five straight losses before finally snapping the skid yesterday against the Blue Jays, 6-3. Overall, the Mariners (64-48; No. 7 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) have gone just 6-13 over their last 19 games to fall 2 1/2 games behind… Read more »

Met Life

Life for New York Mets fans has gotten so difficult that a mental health company is now offering confidential therapy sessions for fans who are having trouble coping with the team’s woes. The offer first appeared after New York’s 25-4 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday, the worst loss in team history. Yesterday might have provided a little solace as… Read more »

Taking A Chance

The Yankees have dropped the first two games of their series against the Red Sox to fall 7 1/2 games behind Boston on the AL East and now have the added burden of dealing with a depleted pitching staff after J.A Happ was put on the disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease. That’s left NY manager Aaron Boone… Read more »

LA Story

The Houston Astros will head to Dodger Stadium tonight with the memories of their Game 7 World Series victory in LA last year still relatively fresh. Houston took the final game of the 2017 Fall Classic by a 5-1 score and both teams appear very capable of returning again this year. The Astros (69-41; No. 2 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings)… Read more »

Hall Pass

While the NFL will honor the 2018 Hall of Fame class this weekend, two teams will take the field tonight in Canton, Ohio, for the preseason opener looking to recapture some of the glory from two of their inductees. The Bears’ Brian Urlacher and the Ravens’ Ray Lewis are part of this year’s class and will certainly be omnipresent tonight… Read more »