Posts Tagged: Dunkel

The Minnesota Vikings were hoping for more out of a Kirk Cousins-led offense than last year’s 8-7-1 season produced. As a result, the Vikes made a change on the coaching side with Kevin Stefanski taking over as the new offensive coordinator. The signs were positive in Week 1 of the preseason as Cousins completed all four of his passes and… Read more »

Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers are trying to deal with changes to their offensive lineups. For the Chiefs, coach Andy Reid has yet to fix on a replacement for departed running back Kareem Hunt. And in Pittsburgh, coach Mike Tomlin must find a way to pick up the slack for two stars who are no longer there… Read more »

The Baltimore Ravens (1-0) came out of Week 1 of the NFL preseason with the highest Dunkel rating after their 29-0 dismantling of the Jacksonville Jaguars. QB Lamar Jackson looked sharp (4-of-6 for 59 yards and a TD) while playing with the first team for most of the first quarter. The victory also extended the Ravens’ winning streak to an… Read more »

It’s been a rocky road of late for the Colorado Rockies (pun intended) as a 13-31 stretch since June 21 has all-but-eliminated Bud Black’s team from postseason contention. Relegated to the role of spoiler, the Rockies (52-65) will try to execute that game plan tonight as they open up a series at Coors Field against the Arizona Diamondback (59-59), who… Read more »

The Philadelphia Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a mega-contract with the intent on being in the postseason hunt for many years to come. So far, those results have been mixed. On Friday night, Harper delivered in a big way with two HRs in a 9-6 win over the San Francisco Giants. But yesterday, Harper struck out in the ninth inning… Read more »

The NY Mets have surged back into playoff contention by winning 13 of their last 14 games — the best 14-game stretch the team has had since 1990. The Mets have an opportunity to make up even more ground starting tonight as they open a three-game set against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. New York (59-56) trails Washington (61-53)… Read more »

The NY Mets made one of the bigger deals at the MLB trade deadline when they acquired All-Star pitcher Marcus Stroman (6-11, 2.96) from the Toronto Blue Jays. Joining a staff that already includes Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, Stroman gives the Mets arguably the best rotation heading into the stretch run.  The right-hander will make his Mets debut tonight… Read more »

The first two games of the St. Louis-Chicago Cubs series has looked a lot like a playoff matchup with runs coming at a premium. The Cards (57-50) took game 1, 2-1, on a late Paul Goldschmidt HR and the Cubs (57-50) rebounded last night to take game 2, 2-0, behind strong pitching from Kyle Hendricks and the bullpen. The net… Read more »

Washington’s win over the Dodgers yesterday in the series finale allowed the Nationals (56-49) to pick up a game on the Atlanta Braves (62-44) in the NL East race and sit 5 1/2 games back as the two teams open up a three-game set tonight at Nationals Park. Patrick Corbin (8-5, 3.25) will get the start for Washington and comes… Read more »

The Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals open up an interleague series tonight at Busch Stadium with both teams riding a hot streak. The Astros (66-38) have won seven of their last eight to push their lead over Oakland to eight games in the AL West standings. The Cardinals (55-47) have used an 11-3 run since the All-Star break to… Read more »

It took over half a season, but the New York Mets finally got a big game from Robinson Cano last night as the veteran second baseman produced the first 3 HR game of his career.  Cano accounted for all five runs as the Mets took the opener in their series with the Padres, 5-2. The two teams will be back… Read more »

The Washington Nationals were hoping that ace Max Scherzer could make the start for tonight’s series finale against the Braves. But inflammation in the shoulder will keep him sidelined and the Nats instead will have to rely on Joe Ross (0-1, 11.05) to take the mound. After making 17 appearances out of the bullpen, this will be Ross’ first start… Read more »

The Oakland A’s avoided their first back-to-back losses since early June with last night’s 5-3 win over the Twins. The victory also moved the A’s (56-42) into sole possession of the second wild card spot in the AL and just one game behind Cleveland for the top spot. Oakland will try to make it two straight over the AL Central-leading… Read more »

Last night’s 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins was a rare stumble for the Oakland A’s. Bob Melvin’s team came into the series with a six-game winning streak, and is 36-17 since May 16 and 12-3 over the last 15 games. The A’s (55-42) will try to bounce back tonight as they continue their series against the Twins (59-36) at… Read more »

The Washington Nationals have clawed their way back into the NL East race and have a chance to make a major dent in Atlanta’s lead as they open a four-game set tonight against the Braves at SunTrust Park. The Nats (50-44) have won 13 of their last 17 to move to within 6 1/2 games of the Braves (58-39), who… Read more »

With the July 31 MLB trade deadline approaching, players are not only playing for their current teams, but could be showcasing their talents for a future team. One of those players is Arizona pitcher Robbie Ray, who has been reportedly garnering interest from a number of playoff contenders. Ray (7-6, 3.81) will be on the mound tonight as the Diamondbacks… Read more »

San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford enjoyed a Rocky Mountain high yesterday as the Giants shortstop hit three HRs and drove in nine runs as part of a doubleheader sweep over the Rockies. The outburst has been reflective of the Giants play of late as Bruce Bochy’s team has won 10 of its last 12. They’ll try to keep the momentum going… Read more »

There’s never been a question the NY Yankees offense can produce a lot of runs in a hurry. Rather the uncertainty with the team has been whether the starting pitching can hold up. Judging by the Yankees’ weekend series with Toronto, that doesn’t seem to be much of a question either. New York (59-32; No. 3 in Dunkel’s latest MLB… Read more »

No pitcher had a better first half of the MLB season than the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Korean left-hander posted a 10-2 record and league-leading 1.73 ERA, which earned him a start for the NL in the All-Star game. Tonight, Ryu will open up the second half in Boston against David Price (7-2, 3.24) as the Dodgers and Red Sox… Read more »

Despite a rash of injuries that have sidelined stars such as Jose Altuve and George Springer for significant chunks of time, the Houston Astros are right where they want to be. Leading the AL West by 7 1/2 games and ranked No. 3 in the latest Dunkel MLB rankings, the Astros (57-33) kick off the second half of the MLB… Read more »

Heading into tomorrow’s All-Star break, five of the six MLB division leaders look to be fairly secure with the one exception being the NL Central race. The Chicago Cubs hold a narrow half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and only 4 1/2 games separate them from the last-place Reds. The Cubs (47-42) will wrap up their first half this afternoon… Read more »

Independence Day serves up its usual fare of baseball all day starting with the first pitch between the Marlins and Nationals at 11:05 a.m. Another NL East battle will take place later in the evening as the Atlanta Braves (51-36) wrap up their series against the Philadelphia Phillies (45-41) at SunTrust Park. The teams have split the first two games… Read more »

The LA Angels staged an emotional comeback last night a day after the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. The Angels (43-43) overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Texas Rangers (46-39) with two runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth en route to a 9-4 win. Those two teams will be back on the field at Globe… Read more »

The race in the NL Central couldn’t be much tighter heading into the last week before the All-Star break with just 5 1/2 games separating all five teams. Two of those clubs — the Chicago Cubs (45-39) and Pittsburgh Pirates (39-43) — will open a big four-game set beginning tonight at PNC Park. Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.08) will get the… Read more »

The Atlanta Braves are slowly starting to pull away in the NL East. Yesterday’s come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Mets moved Atlanta to 6 1/2 games over the Phillies and 8 over the Nationals in the division race. Winners of six of their last eight, the Braves will go for the series sweep over the Mets tonight on ESPN’s prime… Read more »

Arizona’s Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.08) is having another stellar season and gets a chance to pitch for the first time this season against the Giants at Oracle Park — a place where he has enjoyed much success. Greinke is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA in seven career starts in San Francisco and has also done it with the bat, racking… Read more »

The Oakland A’s and LA Angels have taken advantage of some recent stumbles by the Houston Astros to at least get within shouting distance of the front-runners in the AL West. The A’s (43-38) have won seven of their last nine, while the Angels (41-40) have won six of their last nine, including a just-completed two-game sweep of the Reds…. Read more »

Manny Machado’s return to Baltimore last night turned out to be a productive one as the former Oriole homered and drove in two runs to help the Padres win the series opener, 8-3. Machado and the Pads (39-40) will try to make it a sweep today as they wrap up the short two-game set against the O’s (22-57) at Camden… Read more »

Former Cy Young winners and one-time teammates Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 2.85) and Zack Greinke (8-3, 2.91) face each other tonight as the Dodgers and Diamondbacks open up a series in Arizona. The two have faced each other only once before as Kershaw bested Greinke, 7-1, in April of 2017 at Dodger Stadium. Overall, the Dodgers (54-25; No. 1 in latest… Read more »

The San Francisco Giants probably didn’t think they were acquiring the next Babe Ruth when they traded for platoon outfielder Alex Dickerson earlier this month, but after two games it looks like that’s what they got. The 29-year-old Dickerson had six RBI — four on a grand slam — in his Giants debut on Friday and followed that up with… Read more »

The New York Yankees are starting to get healthy and that is spelling trouble for the rest of the MLB world.  Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton recently returned from injuries to a lineup that also just added slugger Edwin Encarnacion from Seattle. The result has been a seven-game winning streak for the Yankees (48-27), including yesterday’s 4-1 victory over the… Read more »

Seattle’s rebuild is in full motion after the Mariners (30-44) followed up their trade of Jay Bruce to the Phillies with a deal that sent AL HR leader Edwin Encarnacion to the Yankees yesterday. With the Mariners’ ship seemingly taking on water, perhaps it’s appropriate that they send Mike Leake (5-6, 4.26) to the mound this afternoon for the series… Read more »

Despite being battered and bruised throughout the postseason, the Golden State Warriors managed to get back to the NBA Finals in their quest for a third straight championship. But against the Toronto Raptors, the short-handed Warriors have come up short so far. Down 3-1 in the series and facing a hostile home court in Toronto, Golden State will try to… Read more »

The St. Louis Blues have come back from a 2-1 series deficit and sit one game away from clinching their first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. They’ll try to accomplish that feat tonight as the Blues host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 at Enterprise Center. To get Dunkel’s pick, click HERE. The Washington Nationals (29-35) are also trying… Read more »

After exceeding expectations, the NY Yankees (39-23) have all of a sudden hit a rough patch. New York has dropped four of its last five, including last night’s 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians (32-31) in the series opener. The two teams will be back on the field today for Game 2 with the Yankees sending CC Sabathia (3-2, 3.61)… Read more »

The Golden State Warriors came out of Toronto with a hard-earned split of the first two games of the NBA Finals, but also added to their injured list. Gone for the remainder of the series is valuable back-up Kevon Looney (fracture cartilage) while Splash Brother Klay Thompson was also hobbled with a strained hamstring, although Thompson has been given the… Read more »

There haven’t been many times in Golden State’s recent postseason history where the Warriors have faced adversity. But after dropping Game 1 of the NBA Finals to Toronto, 118-109, questions have arisen whether Golden State has enough firepower without Kevin Durant to get past Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors. Durant (calf strain) will be sidelined again tonight as the Warriors… Read more »

The St. Louis Blues managed to get out of Boston with a split of their first two games in the Stanley Cup after taking Game 2, 3-2, in overtime. Now it’s the Bruins turn to see if they can win on the road, something they’ve shown they can do so far in the postseason. Boston has won six of its… Read more »

Add Carlos Correa to the list of bizarre injuries after he attributed his broken rib to a massage he was getting. It’s the latest in a string of injuries that have hit the Houston Astros. Despite the misfortune, the Astros have managed to keep a sizable lead in the AL West and come into tonight’s game with a 7 1/2… Read more »

Despite missing three mainstays (Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa) from their lineup last night, the Houston Astros scratched out a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs in the interleague series opener. The Cubs (30-22) will try to bounce back tonight, but will need a better performance from starter Jon Lester (3-3, 2.68), who has a 9.72 ERA over… Read more »

After a lengthy layoff, the Stanley Cup championship gets started tonight with the Western Conference champion St. Louis Blues heading to Boston to face the Eastern Conference champion Bruins. St. Louis advanced after getting past the San Jose Sharks in six games, while Boston needed just four to dispatch the Carolina Hurricanes. To get Dunkel’s pick for Game 1, click… Read more »

The Colorado Rockies (21-25) are trying to get back to the level that won them 91 games last year and put them in the postseason. There were some hopeful signs last night as starter German Marquez pitched eight shutout innings in a 5-0 win over Pittsburgh that snapped the Rockies four-game losing streak. Colorado will try to make it back-to-back… Read more »

One half of the NBA Final is set as the Golden State Warriors advanced last night after beating Portland, 119-117 in OT, to sweep the Western Conference Final. The East is still to be determined with the Milwaukee Bucks leading the Toronto Raptors 2-1 heading into tonight’s Game 4 at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game,… Read more »

The only thing noticeable in Kevin Durant’s absence from the Golden State lineup is the fact there’s been nothing noticeable in the Warriors’ production. Golden State has yet to lose since Durant was sidelined with a calf strain and are up 3-0 in their Western Conference Finals series against the Trail Blazers with a chance to clinch on Portland’s home… Read more »

The Toronto Raptors looked poised to steal Game 1 on the road against Milwaukee when they entered the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead. But an uncharacteristically bad quarter from Kawhi Leonard (two points) combined with Brook Lopez’ career playoff game (29 points, 11 rebounds) bailed the Bucks out in a 108-100 win. The Raptors will try to rebound tonight… Read more »

Portland’s hope that its high-powered backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum could match up with Golden State’s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson did not pan out in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.  Lillard and McCollum combined for only 36 points on 11-of-31 shooting (3-of-10 on three-pointers) while Curry had 36 points alone in a 116-94 victory for… Read more »

It looks to be the battle of the backcourts in the NBA Western Conference Finals as Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum matchup against Golden State’s venerable duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Both teams advanced with big wins on the road as the Trail Blazers survived a Game 7 in Denver while the Warriors knocked off the Rockets… Read more »

The Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers took care of business last night on their home courts to stay alive in their respective conference semifinal series. Tonight, it’s the Houston Rockets turn to see if they can use the home-court advantage to survive. The Rockets are down 2-games-to-3 in their best-of-seven series against Golden State after the Warriors 104-99 victory… Read more »

Last night, the Boston Celtics became the first conference semifinalist to get eliminated as they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 116-91. Tonight, the NBA playoffs feature two more teams struggling to stay alive as the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers look to avoid elimination on their home courts against the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets, respectively. To get Dunkel’s… Read more »

Since scoring 39 points in Game 1, Portland’s Damian Lillard has been relatively quiet. As a result, the Trail Blazers missed on opportunity to go up 3-1 in their series with the Denver Nuggets when they dropped Game 4 in Portland, 116-112. Now Lillard and the Blazers have to find a way to steal a game in Denver starting with… Read more »