Posts Tagged: MLB

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 »

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 »

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 »

Schooping It Out

With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, new faces abound across the league. That’s certainly true for both the LA Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers, who added infielders Brian Dozier and Jonathan Schoop, respectively, during yesterday’s activity. Both newcomers are expected to be in uniform tonight as they Dodgers and Brewers continue their series at Dodger Stadium. To… Read more »

Bryce Price?

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is today at 4 p.m. EST and suddenly Bryce Harper’s name has surfaced as a player who could be on the move. The Washington Nationals (52-53; No. 17 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) were expected to easily win the NL East again this year, but have been a disappointment so far leading to reports that the… Read more »

Holliday In

The Colorado Rockies (56-47; No. 15 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) are still in the thick of the playoff chase, trailing the Dodgers by 2 games in the NL West and Arizona by only a 1/2 game for the final Wild Card spot. Perhaps with an eye toward recreating the mojo from the 2007 Rockies — the only Colorado team to… Read more »

Royal Flush

While it hasn’t been even a full three years since the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, the team continues to flush out core pieces of that group. Yesterday, it was the third baseman Mike Moustakas who was packing his bags as the slugger was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for a pair of minor league prospects. The upside… Read more »

Yu Turn

While the Chicago Cubs (58-40; No. 6 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) continue to wait for the return of Yu Darvish to the starting rotation, they’ve had to patch together a group to fill the void. Tonight, it will be Luke Farrell’s turn to fill in for Yu as he makes just his second MLB start. He’ll look for a better… Read more »

deGone?

Trade rumors continue to swirl around Mets ace Jacob deGrom to the point where the 30-year-old right-hander has talked about the possibility of life outside the Big Apple. But nothing seems to be in the works immediately and deGrom (5-4, 1.68) is set to make his start tonight against Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.54) as the Mets (40-56; No. 25 in… Read more »

Man(n)y Happy Returns

The debut of Manny Machado in a Dodgers uniform last night couldn’t have gone much better and brought back remembrances of another Manny the Dodgers acquired for the stretch run — Manny Ramirez back in 2008. The All-Star shortstop reached base four out of five times he came to the plate (two singles, two walks) and LA started the second… Read more »

New Deck

The Cards headed into the All-Star break with dysfunction on the field and disharmony in the clubhouse. The combination cost manager Mike Matheny his job and into the breach steps interim manager Mike Shildt. His job doesn’t get any easier tonight as St. Louis (48-46; No. 19 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) opens a five-game series against a Chicago Cubs team… Read more »

Sky’s The Limit

The Seattle Storm (16-6; No. 1 in Dunkel’s WNBA Rankings) continue to look like a real contender this year after winning six of its last seven and eight of its last 10 to take over the top spot in the competitive Western Conference. Today, the Storm will travel east to face the Chicago Sky (7-15; No. 11) and you can… Read more »

Progressive Thinking

While Progressive Field has been good to the hometown Cleveland Indians (51-43; No. 5 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) in recent years, it doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the New York Yankees (62-32; No. 3). Last night, the Yankees pulled out a 6- 5 win to run their record versus the Tribe this year to 5-1. Including… Read more »

Cys Matter

It’s a battle between the reigning AL Cy Young winner and the front-runner for this year’s award as the Indians’ Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.49) faces the Yankees’ Luis Severino (14-2, 2.12).  Cleveland (50-41, No. 5 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) avoided a sweep at the hands of Cincinnati yesterday with a 19-4 offensive explosion, while New York (60-31; No. 3) settled… Read more »

Mystical Tour

The Washington Mystics were hoping the acquisition of Elena Delle Donne last year would spark a surge and that looks to be the case this season. Delle Donne has the Mystic (12-7; No. 6 in Dunkel’s WNBA Rankings) in first place in the Eastern Conference and was named Player of the Week after averaging 20.3 ppg over the last three… Read more »

Miles To Go

The road back to the majors for Miles Mikolas was a long one. After struggling in his first MLB stint with the Padres and Rangers from 2012-14, Mikolas went over to Japan and redeveloped his game. The 29-year-old signed with the Cardinals this offseason and has turned in an All-Star-worthy performance (9-3, 2.63) to date. Tonight, Mikolas will be in… Read more »

Panda Welcomes Cubs

The Chicago Cubs (51-36; No. 6 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) completed a successful 7-1 homestand over the weekend, but face a tough West Coast road trip before the All-Star break beginning with tonight’s opener against San Francisco. Yesterday, the Giants (47-45; No. 16) exploded for a season-best offensive performance in a 13-8 win over the Cardinals. Pablo Sandoval – aka… Read more »

Knock On Wood

One of the many victims of the Dodgers early woes was pitcher Alex Wood, who lost his first four decisions after starting out last season 11-0. But like the team itself, Wood (5-5, 3.84) has turned his season around and will be looking for his fifth straight win tonight as the Dodgers (48-40; No. 11 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) wrap… Read more »

Artful Dodger

Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling did not start out as a key component in the LA starting rotation. But after 10 appearances out of the bullpen, Stripling was converted to a starter and has been arguably Dave Roberts’ most consistent pitcher since then. Tonight, Stripling (6-2, 2.27) will take the mound for the Dodgers (47-40; No. 11 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings)… Read more »

Opening Act

The Tampa Bay Rays have experimented all season with the concept of an “opener” where a reliever starts the game rather than a traditional starting pitcher. The idea has had some success as the Rays have the lowest ERA (2.81) in the majors since May 19. Tonight, Tampa Bay (43-43; No. 14 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) will go with opener… Read more »

National Concern

The Washington Nationals have dominated the NL East in recent years, so to see them struggle during the first half of this season is something the Nats are not accustomed to. Things have gotten so bad that after yesterday’s loss to Boston — Washington’s fifth straight defeat and 17th in its last 22 games — the team held a players-only… Read more »

There’s A Catch

The Houston Astros have arguably the best pitching staff in baseball, but just who is going to catch their pitches is becoming a big question. A day after the Astros put Brian McCann on the DL with a knee injury, his replacement — Max Stassi — was forced to leave last night’s game after getting hit on the right wrist… Read more »

A For Effort

While the Red Sox, Yankees, and Astros have dominated the MLB rankings and gotten most of the attention this season, the Oakland A’s have quietly played themselves into playoff contention. Bob Melvin’s team (46-39; No. 9 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) has won 12 of its last 15 games and has done much of it without standout third baseman Matt Chapman,… Read more »

Ray Of Hope

If the Arizona Diamondbacks hope to make the postseason this year, they’ll likely need left-handed starter Robbie Ray to stay healthy. The 2017 All-Star missed 58 days with an oblique injury earlier this year, but looked solid in his first start off the DL last Wednesday as he tossed six scoreless innings en route to a 2-1 win over Marlins…. Read more »

For Sale

There have been times this year when Red Sox ace Chris Sale has been the victim of paltry run support from his Boston offense. But last night wasn’t one of those times as the Red Sox exploded for 11 runs and 17 hits against the Yankees. Sale, for his part, took full advantage as he held New York to one… Read more »

Pennant Chase

The Milwaukee Brewers continue to hang on in the NL Central and lead the Chicago Cubs by 2 1/2 games after last night’s 6-4 comeback win over the Reds. Tonight, the Brewers (47-33; No. 10 in Dunkel’s MLB Rankings) will turn to Chase Anderson (5-6, 4.37) to start the second game of the series and hope he continues his solid… Read more »

Taking It Slow

Arizona’s Zack Greinke has never been an easy pitcher for batters to figure out, so it’s no surprise that at 34 years of age the former Cy Young winner is still adding to the confusion by developing new pitches. This year, Greinke has added a super slow curveball to his arsenal that has been baffling teams of late as the… Read more »

Riding The Wave

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais has a bet with his closer, Edwin Diaz, that he’ll shave waves into the side of his head if Diaz can get to 50 saves this year. Last night, the Mariners’ closer notched save No. 29 during a 3-2 win over the Orioles, inching closer to Servais’ trip to the barber. Diaz and Seattle (49-31;… Read more »

Walk In The Park

Not surprisingly, the Seattle Mariners road trip through New York and Boston didn’t go so smoothly. Scott Servais’ team dropped all three games against the Yankees and two-of-three to the Red Sox. Limping into Baltimore’s Camden Yards last night, the M’s needed a victory and were able to take advantage of a season-high 10 walks to squeeze out a 5-3… Read more »

Red Alert

You can’t take the Cincinnati Reds lightly at the moment, just ask the Chicago Cubs. Jim Riggleman’s team has won seven straight, including their first four-game sweep of the Cubs since 1983. Tonight, the Reds will head to Atlanta to open a series against the NL East-leading Braves. To get Dunkel’s pick for this game and the full MLB schedule,… Read more »

Shades Of Grey

It’s a Grey Cup rematch tonight in the CFL as the Calgary Stampeders (1-0; No. 4 in Dunkel CFL Rankings) head to Toronto to face the Argonauts (0-1; No. 3). In last year’s championship game, the Argonauts stunned the heavily-favored Stampeders, 27-24. To get Dunkel’s pick for tonight’s contest, click HERE. And in MLB action, the Minnesota Twins (33-39; No…. Read more »

Wright Stuff

Steven Wright’s knuckler has been frustrating batters since his return to the Red Sox rotation earlier this year. The 33-year-old right-hander has a 2-1 record and 1.23 ERA with his only blemish coming last weekend in Seattle when he lost to Wade LeBlanc and the Mariners, 1-0. Tonight, Wright and the Bosox (50-26; No. 2 ) get a chance at… Read more »

Rocky Road

After enjoying the thin Denver air in a 12-2 win in the series opener, the Mets have found what it’s like to be on the wrong side of the Coors Field scoreboard after dropping back-to-back 10-8 decisions to the Rockies. Those two teams will slug it out one more time this afternoon as the Rockies (36-38; No. 22 in Dunkel’s… Read more »

Fresh Brew

The Milwaukee Brewers got another shot in the arm last night from rookie pitcher Freddy Peralta as the 22-year-old held the Pirates scoreless for six innings en route to a 3-2 win. This came after he set a franchise record last month by striking out 13 in his MLB debut. Last night’s victory kept the Brew Crew (43-30; No. 9… Read more »

Beeline

Angels pitcher Felix Pena has racked up some frequent flyer miles between Salt Lake City and Anaheim. For the third time this year, the 28-year-old right-hander has been recalled from LA’s minor league affiliate where he was 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA for the Bees. Tonight on ESPN, Pena will be making his first MLB start against the Diamondbacks (40-32;… Read more »

Fallen Angel

There was a time when Zack Greinke was a part of the LA Angels plans. Back in 2012, Greinke was acquired by the Angels as part of their late-season push to make the playoffs. The right-hander did his part (6-2, 3.53), but LA still came up short. Then in the off-season, Greinke decided to jump ship and head to the… Read more »

Mercury Rising

The Phoenix Mercury won their seventh straight last night with an 89-72 thumping of Connecticut. The victory moved the Mercury (9-3; No. 3 in the Index) to within a half-game of the West-leading LA Sparks with a chance of moving into the top spot tonight as Phoenix heads to Las Vegas to take on the Aces (3-8; No. 11). To… Read more »

Chicago Fire

The Chicago Cubs offense has been inconsistent so far this season, but there’s no doubt when the bats get cranked up they can still put up runs in a hurry. That was the case last night as Chicago pounded out 13 hits, including seven for extra bases, in a 13-5 rout of the Cardinals. The rivalry will continue tonight as… Read more »

Sparks Fly

After completing a five-game homestand, the Los Angeles Sparks (6-2; No. 2 in the Index) fly out east tonight to face the Washington Mystics (6-4; No. 8) in the first of three WNBA contests on the schedule. To get the Index’ picks for this game and the full WNBA slate, click HERE. In MLB action, the struggling Chicago White Sox… Read more »

Here’s Johnny

The Canadian Football League is set to kickoff its season this weekend and that means most eyes will be on the return of Johnny Manziel at QB for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Manziel is slated to play backup to Jeremiah Masoli and looked good (12-for-20, 88 yards and 1 TD) in the final preseason tuneup. While Hamilton will have to wait… Read more »

Brave Heart

While the Atlanta Braves own the most lopsided schedule in the early going with just 28 home games to date, that hasn’t stopped them from jumping out to a strong 37-28 start and sitting tied with the Nationals for first place in the NL East. Atlanta will finally get some home cooking as they play their next 12 out of… Read more »

Brewers Have A Miller

The surprising Milwaukee Brewers may already be making moves with an eye toward a long stretch run as they acquired infielder Brad Miller from the Rays yesterday. Miller joins the Central Division-leading Brewers (39-26) just in time as they host a big series against the second-place Cubs (37-25) starting tonight. To get the Index’ pick for this game and the… Read more »

Passing The Man

At this stage of his career, every hit Albert Pujols delivers takes on some historic significance. That was certainly the case yesterday when Pujols produced HR No. 623 and RBI No. 1,951. In doing so, Pujols passed Stan “The Man” Musial for sixth place on the career RBI list. More importantly for the Angels, the hit proved to be the… Read more »