"THE DAILY RANT"
Today is the debut of a new column at insideplays.com called the daily rant. make sure to check in every day for it. It gives a true inside look at what really happened in sports the previous day.
Today is the debut of a new column at insideplays.com called the daily rant. make sure to check in every day for it. It gives a true inside look at what really happened in sports the previous day.
“The Daily Rant”
Yeah it was dumb fighting and killing dogs; but did Mike Vick really need to go to jail for almost 2 years to teach him a lesson? I don’ think so…….
Good to see him back in the arena last night, even if he was in street clothes.
So Boston gets to play a real team tonight on the road; 7:00 PM EST. @ Detroit. This is a must watch fellas. We will finally get to see how the big 3 match up against a real squad and if the role players can step it up. Show me what you got Rondo, House, Perkins and Big Baby! I will have plenty to rant about on this game tomorrow.
We have a bit of everything today my friends. Bowl(football, not the cheeba) season is finally settling in and we get to see a couple respectable teams today, we get to hear about Jessica Simpson for 3 hours during the Cowboys game, and there is more hardcourt action than you can shake a stick at. For me, it just means more money tied up for more hours during the day, and with that I say…good luck fellas!
Even with their sketchy history in playoff situations, I have to say I was surprised by the choke job by the Browns yesterday. Anderson played tight and the Browns had no sense of urgency. D Anderson just made the Browns decision even harder in regards to their QB situation for next year. To me, you still trade Quinn before everybody figures out he's a bum. Derek has proven he is an NFL caliber QB and you can build the team around him, even with the bad game yesterday. With that said, I feel like the Browns will find some way to **** up this situation.
By Money Mike
Wow....where do I start? So much to say...so little time. Anyway, I will start by saying that I promise that I won't talk about the Heat or the Bulls for the third straight day tomorrow because they don't play tonight. With that said, let me get to it.
Ordinarily I would have said that The Cold losing to the Sixers last night was The Cold Hitting rock bottom, but I actually watched a sixers game last week (vs. Lakers) and they are pretty talented and very, very athletic, (they just don't know how to play together yet). Iguodala, Andre Miller, Willie Green and Dalembert play hard every night, hustle and can out jump anyone in the gym. This is the total opposite of what The Cold can do.This game was like watching an 8 year old trying to catch a grasshopper! See above. The grasshopper is obviously quicker and more agile than the uncoordinated child. You get the picture. As for the 4 cylinder last night he put up minimum effort with 5 points and 10 boards. That's what you get for $243,902 a game. Putrid.
By Money Mike
If you watched the game last night between Texas and Arizona State, you saw how a Tier I Division I team matches up with a Tier II Division I team. Two much speed and strength on both sides of the ball for ASU to handle.
Although I have a better winning percentage with college hoops(5-2) than any other sport of mine, I just can’t put all my focus on the roundball until after Jan. 1 when most of football has put away the pads for the season. So today I bring you JoPa and Papa Bill, and you better believe that they’ll be puttin’ some lettuce in my pocket today. Good luck today fellas!
By Money Mike
Thumbs up for the Browns for getting to 10 wins this year, in what was supposed to be a down year for the franchise. Thumbs down for not taking care of business last week opposed to this week. You got your weeks mixed up fellas! The question now for the Browns for next year is will it be this guy:
Or this guy:
Well, you got plenty of time to think about it Browns management...have a nice vacation!
Wow.......what a beat down! The Sooners were never in the game! They were slapped all around the field!. Thumbs down to Stoops for not having his kids ready to play. Thumbs up to Bill Stewart for getting his kids to concentrate on the task at hand with all the distractions concerning the Rodriguez saga looming. Good job Stoops......4 out of 5 Bowl game loses is pretty pathetic!
Word on the street is the Browns are listening to offers for D Anderson. Browns management....are you serious? You won 10 games for the first time since the 90's and your answer to make this team a contender is to turn the reins over to an unproven Brady Quinn? That is so typical of city of Cleveland sports.....get the fan base excited and then make bone head moves to "F" it all up. It's great news for the Steelers though.....the Bengals and Ravens are disarray and the Browns are about to trade a proven NFL starter. The Steelers will own the AFC North division for the next few years if the Browns make that mistake. You heard it here first folks!
Did anybody think that Cam had any chance of keeping his job after The Big Tuna took this team over? No way! Parcells has to put his stamp on this team and Cam is not a part of the equation. Parcells will spend the next couple of weeks putting his boys in place to get this team back on track. Don't worry about Cam though........he will have a college head coaching job fairly quickly if he wants it!
Check back tomorrow to get my predictions on the wildcard games this weekend. I just pick the winners and losers though......you need to count on G Gamble to pick who covers and who doesn't!. Talk to you tomorrow.....and don't forget to tell a friend about Insideplays.com!
With the whole Bowl season wearing thin on me and only a few NBA games on the tilt last night, I came across the #2 Memphis Tigers playing host to Siena. Yeah, I knew it would be a blow out, but I wanted to watch something different and try to get excited about college basketball. In the first minute, down 2-0, Memphis got out hustled by Siena for a couple lose balls. During a dead ball (after the first minute of play) Calipari took out all five of his starters and brought in 5 subs! Asked after the game why he did it....he said he didn't like their effort! You gotta love that in a coach to bench all five of his guys after the first minute of play.....why wait till they get down 10 and before you know it Siena believes they can beat you and then you really have problems. Great move Calipari, keep your players humble!
Tough loss in double OT for the Bulls last night....but I can't say enough about the effort of Joe Smith this year. The former #1 pick seems like he has finally figured it out after his 12th season in the league! Smith put up 31 points, 1 assist, 11 boards, 4 blocks and a steal! I thought the photo above was appropriate to remind Bulls fans would could have been this year....a nice trio of Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and LaMarcus Aldridge down low! This team would without a doubt be 10 games better at this point!
Word on the street is the Bulls are interested in Pau Gasol (for the 10th time) and T Mac. Paxson....what are you waiting for....its a no brainer! The squad you have currently is going nowhere! Pull the trigger please!
Many props goes to the Pistons after their handling of the Spurs on the road after getting beat down by the Mavericks the night before. Lindsey Hunter lead the way in the 3rd quarter with great defense on Tony Longoria and some big shots down the stretch! The photo of Tashaun dunking on the "Big fundamental" is just because I love left handers!
Saturday proved to be another 50/50 day on the hardcourt, but the action was great. And while sitting in my recliner with a stiff drink I learned a few things….the Iowa Hawkeyes are still in the bottom of the Big Ten like I thought before, EXCEPT the fact that Frank Lickliter has his team playing way better than their talent level, which means I am taking a look at them every game just to see if the line looks obnoxious. The other bit of learning for me was that lines above 15 points just don’t seem to be in favor of the favorite, I think conference play puts the squeeze on these games and I am looking at the underdog a lot on anything 15-plus in the future. On to Sunday Funday……
Hope they didn't start the production of these to soon!
The key to the game sports fans:
PRESSURE ON BRADY!
After 18 games...somebody finally figured it out!
Wow....what an ending! I actually was dozing off in the first half. In the second half it looked like the Pats were primed to pull away. Let's be clear....the defenses won and lost the game for both teams. For the Giants, Eli can think that nasty defense for pulling this one out; putting plenty of pressure on Tom and the crew to give the DB's a chance against the weapons of New England. Brady was never really comfortable in the game; even though he still did his part and got the team down the field when it counted in the 4th quarter. The Pats can blame that old defense on this one. I waited and waited for somebody (Harrison, Seau, Bruschi Vrabel, Samuel) to make a play, but it never happened. They let the rest of the team down in the clutch. Write it down now.......the Pats will bring in some young on talent on defense and be right back in the hunt next year.
The media praised the Pats all season; said this could be the greatest team of all time. Well folks they didn't get it done, so lets call it what it really is.....the biggest choke job in NFL history! Brady and the crew just went from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the mole hill in a matter of 60 minutes. With that said, I do really feel bad for Seau, he is a great guy, outstanding player and a hall of famer....as long as he stops wearing the brown taxi cab hat! Better luck next year guys! That's why they play the game folks. Many props to Coughlin for his game planning and prep for this game. Give this guy an extension Giants!
Congratulations to Bobby Knight on his much over due retirement. I think alot of people agree with me when I say he should have retired after he left Indiana. No way he was going to come close to a title at Texas Tech.
What the hell are the Redskins doing? The new offensive coordinator becomes the head coach after two weeks on the job? The problem with this process is that the guy doing the hiring (snyder) may be a good business man; but he really doesn't know football. Which is why the team has been through 6 coaches in 9 years. Good luck Redskins!
Even though the Hawks passed on Chris Paul and Mike Conley, I think they are pretty happy with the Bibby trade. Even better....they didn't have to get up any of their core! (Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Al Horford). Look for this squad to make a run at a playoff spot. (currently one game out).
Tragedy has struck friends close to us in Iowa and we send our deepest thoughts and prayers to all those involved...Greggy G
I must apologize to all my "ranties" for not posting a rant on Friday. Had to take care of stuff at home. But anyway The Rant is back,and I have plenty to talk about after this weekend's festivities!
Congrats to the new #1 team in the country; the Tennessee Volunteers. Bruce Pearl had his boys ready to play, and they met the challenge of playing the #1 team in the country on it's home floor. Sports fans argue all the time about whether or not its good for a team to lose prior to tournaments or playoffs.....I tend to think it depends on the scenario. It can be good just to take off the additional pressure/distractions the pursuit of an undefeated season can bring. (Just ask the Patriots)! In the case of Memphis, I think it was good to get the loss out the way now. I don't think it was realistic for them to go undefeated through a regular season and the NCAA tourney. Now with the loss out the way, this team will be focused and primed for March Madness.
Hey fellas. It's been a tough week for Money Mike. Boss man has been cracking the whip more than usual taking away from my free time. Next week will be better and the rant will be back to normal, But quickly, I had a few things I wanted to comment on.
If you haven't been watching NBA basketball, you have been missing some good games. Yesterday afternoon was another possible playoff preview as Kobe went for 52 to carry the Lake-show to a win at home against the Mavs. Dirk tried his best to match Kobe; making some incredible shots over Lamar Odom playing blanket defense on the German the whole game. The win keeps the Lakers in the 2nd spot in the western conference. Dallas, only three wins out of first, sit at the 7th spot. The west is so tight it's ridiculous!
I know NBA teams have bad nights sometimes .....but giving up 135 points? That's just not acceptable on any night on the NBA. They must have been on the other side of the court while the Warriors ran down to score! You'll get swept out the playoffs of you keep playing D like that!
What a great weekend! I gotta say the game of the weekend was Davidson against Kansas. Stephen Curry and Co. gave the Jayhawks all they could handle. Congrats to the wildcats for a great tourney run. I'm still in amazement all four #1 seeds made it to the final dance. I still got my money on those Memphis Tigers!
Let me put a close to the college hoops season by saying that I wept like a baby watching Memphis drop a 9 point lead in the last two minutes. A Memphis win would have moved me from seventh to second in my friendly bracket pool, instead, I ended up with no cabbage in my pocket and looking through the white pages trying to find CDR's address so I could offer up some free throw lessons. It is a good thing that in the wonderful world of sports we can move on to our next sport in relatively quick fashion, and for me it is focusing on NBA playoffs and digging in on a very fresh MLB season. So good reading my friends.....
NBA PLAYOFFS: (7-1)
DRUNK ON DERBY DAYS: (14-0)
I was going to focus only on this little horse race that I heard about happening somewhere in Kentucky, but with a friggin’ 7-1 NBA playoff record I see no reason not let the good times roll. I have convinced myself that sobriety is a thing of the past, Mint Julep anyone!!
NBA PLAYOFFS: (9-3)
SEASON MLB: (3-2)
One thing is certain today, I will be watching the Pistons/Magic game with a great deal of focus, but I won’t be having any rent money on the line. The whole Billups hamstring injury throws the rest of this series into the mud in my opinion, and I’m not really concerned about him playing from a physical aspect, I’m more concerned about the mental aspect of both teams if he does or doesn’t play. With that said, just click below and find out where who you need to look at if you want to double up your porn video piggy bank…..
NBA 2008 PLAYOFFS ATS: 11-4
MLB 2008 ATS RECORD: 5-5
Not much for words on this Sunday Funday, just some hidden gems when you click below. Will the luck of the Irish prevail?
NBA PLAYOFF RECORD 11-5
MLB ATS RECORD 7-5
I never knew that sports could be so much fun. But it gets even better when you look at my picks and start adding up just how much extra cabbage you can stuff under your mattress after today!
NBA ATS PLAYOFF RECORD: 11-6
MLB ATS RECORD: 8-6
My focus stays on the NBA and America's Greatest Pasttime today, but I thought I would let you know what you are missing on the clay courts of the French Open. As if you needed more reason to surf the net looking for pics of hot azz female athletes. Enjoy...
This little hottie went to France
This little hottie did to
This little hottie likes it from behind
And so does little hottie too
But the last little hottie went wee, wee, wee, all the way to Teasin' T-Bones bedroom!!
2008 MLB RECORD: 15-10
LAST WEEK: 4-2
If you followed all of my picks from yesterday you would a frustrated as me with the fact that the Marlins let a nice lead go, only to come back and win by a run, unfortunately not covering the ATS line. The things that ruin a perfect day. But the good thing about the world I live in is that a mild set back like that can get cured by some late night online Pai Gow. And with that I simply tell you that life is good and we have another full slate on Sunday Funday, so click below to read on.
2008 MLB RECORD: 16-14
Well fellas, all 3 of my picks fell on their face yesterday. Somehow, the Dodgers, Braves, and Twinkies all managed to win convincingly on the road on the same friggin' day. If I had the time to track it, I would post a wager that it wouldn't happen again the rest of the year. But the past is the past and all I know is that I am 0-3 going into today, and I traditionally finish out the weekend at least a game above .500. So ride me like I am your best friends mom! For those Father's out there, have a great day, and for those who don't think they have kids, if you are over 30, chances are you have one running around somewhere, so just pretend you have one and take the day for yourself!
I've got 2 for you on Sunday Funday!!
As for the streaky & sweaty Jason Marquis, the Cubs should've released him and signed cast-off Sidney Ponson a month ago (signed by NYY). At least when he's inconsistent the fans can still enjoy his crazy-azz on the town!
As for the Gridiron, while everybody thinks the Jason Taylor trade was huge for DC, unless Clinton's silly-azz can improve on a 3.9 average and the most fumbles of his career, Matt Jones has a better chance of working for the DEA than the Skins have of making the playoffs
And finally, congrats to Josh Childress for signing the biggest deal in EuroLeague History. Looks like that Stanford education is the real-deal as the dollar is much stronger across the pond, not to mention, Josh has the option to opt-out after every year of the deal!
With that, time for my ATS Pick and some Hotties!
GREG GAMBLE'S TOP 5 THOUGHTS OF THE DAY
5. Brett Favre to Tampa rumors swirling
Before you call me Alonzo Spellman-crazy, hear me out. Even through all the coaching changes, Favre has basically run the same offense every year. And while I'm not saying he's Forrest Gump-slow, I think people underestimate how hard the transition will be for the Wrangler Jeans-wearing hero...and I actually believe Garcia's the better choice.
After 4 years of waiting, the Olympics are back with avengence. And I absolutely love the games for several reasons, but quite frankly, it is that beach volleyball azz that gets me going the most.
She's showing you the way, in case you didn't already know.
This is a sport that has quietly marketed themselves to the top by simply showing skin. There was some genius about 20 years ago that said "you know, we are never gonna get recognized as females playing volleyball unless we wear the skimpiest and tightest bikinis around, and then lets put our names across our backdoor to bring more attention."
Um, what was your name again....
Whoever thought that up, let me give you a very large 'Thank You' from the rest of the male population. And don't get me wrong, these ladies are athletes, but when I can watch athletes and all my mind can think is about soft porn on skinemax, I enter this state of euphoria that cannot be described.
Daddy, is this heaven? No son, it's beach volleyball, now shut up...
Outside of the sand, I will be keeping my eyes on a couple other sports. In true U.S. fashion, my eyes will be peeled on every basketball game that takes place. At this point, I'm thinking we are gonna see another let down by the US team for 2 reasons....1) if they wanted to put the best team together, they missed the boat by only getting one true center to make the trip, and 2) they continue to be an example of a team loaded with stars creates a bunch of ballers that are thinking about themselves, and we all know there is no I in team. The team that has the most cohesion will take the gold, unfortunately it won't be the US for the 2nd Olympics in a row.
The other sport I will watch closely is swimming. Michael Phelps is a machine and proved that even at a young age he doesn't let it get to his head. The man will get challenged, but his largest competitor from last Olympics, the Thorpedo from Australia, has since retired.
If you don't believe me, WATCH THIS VIDEO
I'm not jokin' Homeboys, watch the REDONKULOUS VIDEO
On the gridiron, while all the talk has focused on Ocho Cinco's status, the Bengals rushing attack is gonna be sick this season with Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson, the finally-healthy Chris Perry, and a greatly improved O-Line. Throw-in Carson, T.J., & former Colts TE Ben Utecht, & Chad Johnson will be on board for this playoff team in no time!
With that let's try to find some MLB ATS Magic and more hotties!
CHICAGO CUBS (-160) @ HOTLANTA BRAVES
Rich Harden coming off a lousy performance in his last outing means...
In between my Pulitzer Price-worthy sports banter, I’ll be giving you:
GREGGY G'S TOP 3 LADIES OF OLYMPIC HOTNESS
*Obviously it's not fair to have Bia & Branca Feres in the rankings
The Alfonso-bashers were out in full force after the gum-chomper was once again caught admiring a wall-shot and ended up with a single. Honestly, I’m amazed fans are still appalled at the actions of the Northsiders most dangerous hitter. Since returning from his broken hand 20 games ago, the so-called OF is batting .337 with 6 HRs, 17 Runs, & 17 RBIs. Deal with the antics Cubdom, that’s the price you pay for the most lethal lead-off hitter in MLB…who also rolls with Terrell Owens mantra: “I Love Me Some Me!”
GREGGY G'S #3 OLYMPIC HOTTIE
MARGHERITA GRANBASSI – FENCING - ITALY
Beating the great, but aging like Corey Haim-Roger Federer is a remarkable achievement if you know anything about Blake’s up-n-down journey. Not to mention, it might aid the New Yorker in keeping around a FLAWLESS GIRLFRIEND. Seriously, if I come back in life, just call my JB boyz…and I’m not talking about the NFL studio-host James Brown!
GREGGY G'S #2 OLYMPIC HOTTIE
FATIMA MOREIRA DE MELO – FIELD HOCKEY – DUTCH
Great to see my Southsider vets sharpen their skills on the mound like T.T. Boy roughs-up a trimmed mound. After some inconsistent starts, Buehrle and Vazquez posted back-to-back shut-outs against the AAA Royals, which were desperately needed as the Twinkies keep winning. And even crazier yesterday, Griffey Jr. knocked in his 1st RBI since August 1st and raised his average to .200!
As for GREGGY G'S #1 OLYMPIC HOTTIE
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, my eye was going to be on Michael Phelps through the OLYMPICS, and the man continues to amaze me. After watching his final race last night, I realized that part of the amazing story is that not only that he is the fastest in the pool, or that he can be the fastest in any type of swim, it is his conditioning that leads to stamina that is equivalent to Ron Jeremy.
I think it's time to move to Kentucky, unless Ron beats me to it....
When you look at all of the warm up and cool down time in the pool, the robot known as Phelps spends more time in the water than in his bed. And now that he is done, I think as sports fanatics, we all need to take a step back and realize that we have witnessed something that may never occur again. So take a second, clear your mind of the porn that is a continuous feed into your memory bank, and take a drink for Michael, cause we know he hasn't had one in a while.
So as the Olympics head into their 2nd week, and we wait patiently to see if our NBA boys can take the I out of TEAIM, I bring you some MLB action that may keep things interesting today.
Baltimore Orioles @ Detroit Tigers +120(-1.5runs)
While I got burned yesterday by going with the runs for the Yankees.....
Briefly, your self-proclaimed guru of the NFL will be representing InsidePlays in Cuzoogle's NFL Pigskin Picks challenge.
Here are all the sites we are competing against in the contest so make sure to check out the action, voice your support for the dreamy Greggy G, or simply sucker your friends into a bet where they get the field and you get InsidePlays!
Blogs (in no particular order)
The Sports Dungeon
Waiting for Next Year
The Sports Lounge
The Blue Workhorse
My Sports Rumors
Juiced Sports Blog
The Chocolate Dog Blog
NE Patriots Draft
The Sports Dollar
Women Like Sports
Banned in Hollywood
Mac Gs World
BTW, before I get too cocky, I must admit I was the laughing stock of my 2nd fantasy draft last night. With my 12th round pick I grabbed Ben "I broke my clavicle last Friday" Obomanu. And the punishment was well deserved: "And you have fantasy info on your website dipshit!" and "Your frickin' stupid!" and "Why the f*ck did you bring Icehouse tallboys to my house!"
What can I say...Obomanu is like Emmanuelle Chriqui to me. Not really sure what she's done in the past or how to say her name, but I definitly want her on my team and in the lockeroom even if she's not able to play!
Did u c the precision in the lil magician's routes? Royal & Cutler looked more in-sync than Greggy's fav Synchronized Hotties-click me! Anywho, my Homeboy Teasin' T-Bone called me yesterday claiming to have ATS diamond knowledge that would even impressive baseball groupie ALYSSA MILANO (click me), which means Greggy G is on Holiday and hitting the race track...See you manana Homeboys!
So now that 98% of all Fantasy players are wishing they made different picks, we finally have a sense for who is going to show up and play some ball this year. My homey Greggy G mentioned the sleeper of the year yesterday (click here to see), and I have to say that I'm riding this one like KOBE TAI RIDES...well you know.
I know the Raiders are bad, but Monday Night was not the stage for JaMarcus Russell & Al Davis's band of youngsters (tell me Al doesn't look like Darth Vader's boss in Star Wars?) That being said, with Fargas, McFaddon, & Michael Bush looking like the most exciting trio in the backfield, as their ATS number rises look for Oakland to cover plenty of games during the 2nd half of the season. Especially catching teams napping and in no mood to play smashmouth w/ a bottom feeder, as well as J.Russell's development (trust me, like u trust ur bookie), I might start circling OAK in the paper by November!
Just like life as a hot rocker, I'm guessing the Cowboys are gonna have a tough road trying to get past the bird teams...the Seahawks and Eagles in case you needed help (ok, maybe not SEA, we just luv Seneca here at Insideplays)
I know, I know, the Eagles are a bold statement after only one game, but not only was a healthy McNabb overly impressive by throwing for 360 yds, I thought the real story was the Eagles defense. If your spouse has your jewels in a jar on the mantle, you probably missed out on them completely shutting down the Rams to the tune of 8 first downs, 0-11 on 3rd down, and 10 punts. Stewart Bradley locked up 9 tackles and was key in holding Stephen Jackson to a dismal 40 yds on the ground. So while the Chunky Soup king will lead the way, don't get up for a beer just cause he is on the sideline.
And now that we finally have a breather after 5 straight days of the pigskin and 90210 reruns, don't forget the nation's past time is starting to get interesting w/ just under a month to go!
LA Dodgers +102(-1.5 runs) @ San Diego Padres
The Pads finally ended LA's...WANT MORE LUV? CLICK HERE
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S PIGSKIN RECORD
NFL: 11-9 NCAA: 17-18 Teasers 13-11
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S HARDWOOD RECORD
NBA: 1-1 NCAA: 0-1 Teasers 2-1
Greggy G luvs the NFL, TOUCH HERE TO SEE!
We have reached the last Sunday Funday before Christmas, and this is always a special one to me because it provides four avenues of fun…big boy and little boy pigskin, as well as big and little boy roundball!
No gadgets, no gizmos, no sugar plums...
And on this Sunday, I don’t have visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. I have a vision of having a bottle of Templeton Rye delivered to my front door by the TR man himself, Dr. Killmer, and he would deliver it in a vehicle that would make sounds like the friggin’ ice cream man was coming. He would drop it off at my doorstep like he was on a milkman run, I would open the door, he would look at me and in a Ja Rule voice would say ‘Holla, holla, me and my homeys are lookin’ to make some dolla’s, dolla’s!!’ I think I can help with that today my friends….
Wrong team, right colors, and that's good enough for me. Hey look, is that Reggie Bush cumin' in my tunnel, I mean coming down the tunnel?
New Orleans -7 @ Detroit
When I saw this line throughout the week I thought one thing…the Vegas Gods have some type of belief that the Lions are actually going to stay close in this one because it is their last home game and this is their last realistic shot at winning a game. I get all that mumbo jumbo, but the bottom line is that we have a matchup of the most potent offense in the league at 28 points a game against the absolute worst defense in the league at 32 points a game. Plus you are putting a dome team in someone else’s dome, and it really can’t be considered a home field advantage for the Lions cuz there won’t be any fans there!
I don't even think Heidi Montag creating a diversion like this would sidetrack the Saints today....
Even if you wade yourself through all of that muck and still think the Lions might have a chance, lets not forget that Coach Rod is already passing his resume out at the local high schools, and the turnstile that is the QB position never seems to quit rotating. I have got to believe that Orlovsky gets the nod again just to gain some experience, and you know if he is playing to get experience that the coaches are going to be more concerned about giving him specific plays in specific situations, which doesn’t necessarily line up with how the flow of the game is moving. So even if the defense doesn’t lose the game by giving up 50 points, I still don’t think the Lions offense can get in the 20’s to keep this one close. The Breesy Bush wins, 38-17.
Click below for my SUNDAY FUNDAY TEASERS!
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S PIGSKIN ATS : 54%
NFL: 12-9 NCAA: 19-18 Teasers 14-11
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S HARDWOOD ATS : 50%
NBA: 2-1 NCAA: 0-1 Teasers 3-1
Let me start today by saying that for those of you that don’t believe that dreams can come true, they did for me last Sunday. I pulled off a perfect trifecta that included the NFL, NBA, and NCAA pigskin. But most importantly, the Templeton Rye fairy visited me(I had a bottle in my liquor cabinet, close enough) and I was sucking down TR presses for the better part of 8 hours on Sunday Funday. To relive the dream, and the Sunday Funday pics, CLICK HERE!
And now, for the first time in several weeks this Saturday actually feels like a college football Saturday again. With 3 big games that feature good perennial power, I know where my azz will be sittin’ most of the day.
West Virginia -2 @ North Carolina
I still haven’t found any living proof that the ACC or the Big East had teams that knew how to become a great team throughout the year. It seemed like every time one of them was on a roll, instead of gaining confidence they became afraid of losing. But 2 aspects of this game are very clear to me today. The first, the Mountaineers know about the post season and the preparation that goes with it. Bill Stewart has proven he can win in a bowl game, but Butch Davis’ boys might try to enjoy the atmosphere more than focus on the game.
Secondly, I love almost any team that relies on the run in a bowl game. West Virginia gets 217 yards a game on the ground. With an offense led by Pat White at QB, and followed by lightning quick Noel Devine, it makes this stat even better. We all know that Pat has more experience than Jenna Jameson in a studio, and that will prove extremely valuable at getting the spread offense going and moving the ball down the field early. With nearly a month off, I think both teams will struggle early in the air, and unfortunate for the Tar Heels, they are relying on Shaun Draughn who only manages 65 yards a game. WV wins 31-17.
More picks and pics, just click below!
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S PIGSKIN ATS : 52%
NFL: 13-11 NCAA: 19-19 Teasers 15-12
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S HARDWOOD ATS : 40%
NBA: 2-1 NCAA: 0-2 Teasers 3-1
The only thing I have to say today before jumping into my banter and picks is that if you haven’t ridden Greggy G like a rented mule the last 2 nights, you have missed out. To see is mastery of football and basketball picks, CLICK HERE for Thursday action and TOUCH ME for Friday action.
Some people think she is the 'Y' in the YMCA, I think that she is a referee in Carolina today.
Arizona/Carolina over 49 points
When looking at this game I first went back to see what the hell happened when these two met back in October in Carolina. The result, a 23-27 Panther victory, which adds up to 50 points and shows me the potential is there to duplicate this effort. But what really caught my eye today was the fact when the Cardinals hop on a plane to go to a visiting city, they seem to forget their defense back in Phoenix.
Every team looks like this against the Cardinals so-called road defense.
The last 5 games that Arizona has played on the road have resulted in defensive lapses that have given up 27, 37, 48, 35, and 47 respectively. And in those 5 games, Zona has managed to score 18 points a game. I believe that this shows there is a lot to be said for a team getting up by 20 points and relaxing a bit, and we all know that the Cardinals are potent enough with Fitzgerald, Boldin, and the playoff ready Edge.
With a couple wide outs like Fitzgerald and Boldin anchoring the front end, it's tough to not score all the time, kinda symbolic isn't it?
If you need one more reason to love this game, both the Cardinals and Panthers have gone over the line in 6 of their last 7 games. Smells like a whole lot of tuddies and at least 60 points today.
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S PIGSKIN ATS : 51%
NFL: 13-12 NCAA: 19-19 Teasers 15-12
My homey from the Windy City, Greg Gamble, has already summed up the NFL pick of the day pretty well(GET IT RIGHT HERE), so I am going to move my efforts on Sunday Funday to the reason that I lost sleep last night….the Chicago Bulls. Who by the way, managed to completely botch a 4 game home stand with end cap losses to the T-Wolves and the friggin’ Thunda.
If you surround yourself with the right people, good things are bound to happen to you, sweet little thangs.
Lets start with a general theme of mine that I have learned through my life as a degenerate business man. When you are in the middle of a losing situation, either business, personal, or sports, you have two choices…you either ‘CHANGE the people, or you change the PEOPLE’. So it is pretty simple, if the guys within the Bulls organization are not willing to change who they are(which is next to impossible by the way), then the only choice left is to get new people. And when I say new people, I’m talking 60-70% need to be wearing a different color.
Sometimes even top talent needs to strip down and change their scenery, like going from stomach to back!
So lets look at the Bulls roster over the last couple years. In 2007, the Bulls had names like Brown, Deng, Duhon, Gardner, Gooden, Gordon, Gray, Griffin, Hinrich, Hughes, Khryapa, Nichols, Noah, Nocioni, Sefalosha, Simmons, Smith, Thomas, and finally Wallace. Count ‘em up fellas, that’s 19 different players, all led by 2 different coaches. And now for the 08-09 roster, the Bulls bring Deng, Gooden, Gordon, Gray, Hinrich, Hughes, Hunter, Noah, Nocioni, Rose, Ruffin, Sefalosha, Simmons, and Thomas.
I don't always recommend it, but sometimes a 2-for-1 trade is needed.
So the good news is that they have slowed down the churn from 19 different players to 14 players this year, the bad news is that they chose to get rid of some of the wrong dudes. From the end of the 07-08 campaign, there are only 3 new faces…Hunter, Rose, and Ruffin. Last time I checked, changing out 3 faces on a team of 14 is about a 20% change, so unfortunately for Bulls fans, many more need to come. At point guard, I commend them for picking up Rose and Hunter, this was a great front office combination, cuz a vet like Hunter is about the only thing that will keep Rose from having 3 babies and a drug addiction after this year. Now Hinrich on the other hand, I cannot begin to explain how backwards it is to have the teams 2nd highest paid player at 10M be third on the depth chart. The Bulls need to dump now and hope to pick up a draft pick, or better yet a middle age defensive specialist to plug the holes.
We can't go back to these days, but we had a guy named Ben Wallace that played a similar style of shut down ball.
As for the rest of the change, I believe you need to get Gordon, Hughes, and Noah the hell out of town while you may still be able to get something for them. This would take a multiple team move, because no one in their right mind would want all three, but if the Bulls could free up 21M to get one good shooting guard that actually plays defense and a real threat PF or center that can master the pick and roll with Rose, Stockton/Malone style.
Dearest Vinny, please go back to TV and get the f**k out of Chicago!
Will these moves happen? I don’t know. Are they the right ones? I don’t know. But change needs to happen soon, and unfortunately for the Bulls, the best coaches to handle an all out culture change are the experienced ones, and last time I checked Scott Baio is as green as a friggin’ electric car. Either way, I’ve learned one thing about the Bulls with these two homes losses in the last week…their focus is elsewhere, cuz teams that have focus don’t let others with worse records take them down on their own turf…and that comes from the top.
CHECK OUT MY NCAA PICKS BELOW!
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S HARDWOOD ATS : 55%
NBA: 3-1 NCAA: 2-3 Teasers 3-3
Welcome to Sunday Funday at Insideplays.com. After Saturdays near perfect explosion(I don’t know how the #7 Bruins can lose an 11 point lead with 5 minutes to go), I am primed and ready to mix up some NFL pigskin as well as some hoops for you. If you didn’t check out our post on Friday, our homey Drew Donkulous leads with his heart and patriotism on the Eagles/Cardinals game, CLICK HERE to check it out. As for where my benjamins are gonna sit today, and of course some scantily clad hotties, just keep readin’.
It's tough to cover up perfection, but I think the Pirates will learn from this hottie and figure it out!
Seton Hall +19 @ UCONN
Yep, I know that that the Huskies have more depth than Jenna Jamesons love canal, but that depth is also part of the reason that they will struggle today to make this a 20+ point game. Coach Calhoun will use his starters to grab a solid lead early on, then will stretch his usual 9 person rotation into a 10-11 person rotation today for the sole reason of resting the big boys for a Wednesday tilt against #22 Villanova followed by a Saturday showdown with #13 Notre Dame.
If my tube sock lover Jenna Jameson isn't worried about covering her spread, than why would Jim Calhoun be concerned?
I love the Big East this year for the fact that I think the coaching staff will constantly be thinking about the next game and the wear-and-tear that the schedule will have on his young guys. I believe that we will see many games between the upper and lower tier of the league where the bottom dwellers cover because the better team is just looking for a comfortable win. On the flip side, let me draw the line in the sand and say that we will see the exact opposite when we have two tightly matched ball clubs(ie Syracuse yesterday and Georgetown/UCONN a couple weeks ago), these games that should come down to the wire are ending up in 15 point victories simply because teams are attempting to make a point. Anyway, back to the Pirates, they average 77 points a game, which means if they come remotely close to this I don’t see how the Huskies can cover. UCONN wins by 8-10.
Ya down wit OKC, hell no not me! OKC has looked good as of late, but all good things come to an end, like when I open my eyes after an Izabel Goulart dream!
Miami Heat -2 @ OKC Thunda
Let me start by saying that I may talk myself out of this game by the time the tip off comes, but I love the fact that in the previous 3 months of the season the Thunda had won a total of 5 games, now out of nowhere they have won 3 of 4. What has changed? Absolutely friggin’ nothing. Lets get real, this is a horrible ball club that has found a mini-groove that will end sooner than later.
Will the Heat be ready or relaxed, that is the question.
What I dislike about this matchup is that the Heat are playing their 6th consecutive road game and they played and lost last night in Houston. I have concern that they will be ready to tie up their shoelaces. So if you play this, keep it light, and it will be a game time decision for me, much like deciding if that Big Mac sittin’ in the corner of the bar is gonna get a treat from T-Bone or not!
Click below for my SUNDAY FUNDAY NFL TEASER SPECIAL!
Welcome to Sunday Funday fellas, and I have to say I have some bitter sweet emotions coming into today cause I had more combinations working with the Penn State/Iowa game yesterday than you can shake a stick at. And my one loss yesterday was the fact that Iowa covered the 6 points, but I have to tell you that I have PSU teased with almost everything I touched, and since that made the points -2 for the Nittany Lions, I have to admit that it was a very exciting last 5 minutes of the game watching them come from 14 points down.
Although Saturday looked pretty good.....
I think Sunday looks even better!
But that was yesterday and we all know that Sunday brings new ballers, new ATS lines, a slightly different level of intoxication, and most importantly an all new spread of Inside Plays ladies. And for those that are loyal fans(like my homey C Witt who brought these trends to light for me), you know that I am a trend guy, and I need to let you know that I have been following the moneyline for a while and tracked it closely over the last week, here is what I found.
After reading the trends below, you may want to ride me like a surfboard, right after my lady Jarah gets done!
In NBA action, there have been 27 games where a team is -200 or above, out of those games only 3 have lost, which is an amazing 89% winning percentage. Looking at the same thing for NCAA, there have been 35 games and 28 winners, posting an 80% winning percentage. But when you only look at NCAA for -300 or above there have been 21 games and 19 winners, which is an even more impressive 91% winning percentage. I give you these trends to keep your eyes open, cuz big daddy Teasin’ T-Bone has put some parlays together that has made very happy. So lets get to the action!
At least someone looks good in the Bulls red colors, cuz we know the men in the Association would rather not put these colors on.
Chicago Bulls @ Minnesota T-Wolves -5
When I think of the Bulls of late, a song comes to mind… ‘Where oh where have my Chicago Bulls gone, where oh where can they be?’ After dropping their last 4 in a row, both straight up and against the spread, and 3 of the 4 at home, they are now tasked with going into the T-Wolves turf where Minnesota has won 8 of their last 10 overall and 5 of their last 6 home games.
There ain't nuttin' better than your own home floor, it makes everyone look like a slice of heaven!
Add in the fact that Drew Gooden has a sore groin(whether it is his sphincter or his taint is still to be determined), and I don’t know how Vinny Del Scott Baio is going to find a rotation that can or wants to stick around and play all 48 minutes. I really believe that Al Jefferson will walk all over Aaron Gray today, but the magic will come when Telfair and Foye are on the court at the same time, cuz Telfair will keep Rose busy and Foye can score well enough on his own, but with Gordon on him it will be that much easier. T-Wolves by double digits.
CLICK BELOW FOR SUNDAY FUNDAY TEASERS
TEASIN’ T-BONE’S HARDWOOD ATS : 56%
NBA: 5-2 NCAA: 5-6 Teasers 4-4
For those that are only weekend warriors, you missed one hell-uva week with Greggy G at the steering wheel. He was so smooth and on point all week that it reminded me of Ice Cube in Boyz-n-tha-Hood, cruizin’ down Crenshaw Blvd. in his ’64 Impala, just letting it drop and hop! To see Greggy’s stuff, CLICK HERE!
Time to pull up your socks and get ready, cuz Inside Plays is always ready for a good day on the hardcourt!
As for me, other than riding Double G like a brokeback mountain boy toy, I am coming off an undefeated Super Bowl Sunday in which Inside Plays hit three pigskin picks for you. But even though our picks have been like waking up next to 18 year old Britney Spears, you never know when you might wake up next to 25 year old Britney, so lets work to keep 18 year old Britney around today fellas!
To be crazy or not to be crazy, that is Britney's question!
Detroit Pistons -3 @ Milwaukee Bucks
Let me start by saying that if you like this one at all, jump on it early cause it has already went from-2 to -3 in the early going. I love this game for two reasons today. The first is simply the fact that the Pistons have owned the Bucks for several years, this matchup is a bit of a mental mind screw for the Bucks. Plus the Pistons have double the talent that Milwaukee can even try to put in a uniform tonight.
Tough to keep talent like Rip and Tay-Tay under cover for too long, so good you just want to eat 'em.
The second, and most important reason, is that the Bucks are trying to get through the rest of the season without Redd, Bogut, and Ridnour, who happen to be 3 of their top 5 scorers. That leaves Jefferson and Villanueva to do all of the scoring, and they get to go up against the likes of Prince, Hamilton, and Maxiell, I don’t know that there is much of a comparison in that matchup. On top of that, the Pistons have one of the stingiest defenses in the land. Expect this one to be extremely low scoring, like a 90-79 snore, but a win none-the-less!
Looks like Baylor green to me, did I ever mention to you that I am color blind and luv Asians...
Baylor Bears -4.5 @ Texas Tech Red Raiders
Baylor has dropped 4 in a row against the Big 12 elite, so they are looking to get back into their groove and improving their March Madness seeding. Tech has been horrific most of the year and are on a skid of their own, only they don’t have the talent to pull out of it. ‘nuff said.
My teasers are on the back side of the page, click below to see them!
TEASIN' T-BONE'S 09 HARDWOOD STATS: 60%
NBA: 7-2 NCAA: 8-7
Orlando Magic -2 @ Philadelphia 76ers
Both of these clubs played last night and had to hop on a plane...Philly from New York and Orlando from....well, Orlando. Normally it is good to stay away from a back-to-back, but since both of them played, I'm considering that a non-factor. 2 other factors however sparked my interest today. The first is the fact that the Magic are 26 games above .500 and have somehow lost 2 of 3 against the friggin' Bulls and Pistons. Odds tell me that a team that many games above .500 doesn't drop 3 of 4(BTW, they haven't lost 3 of 4 yet this year and only lost 2 in a row once), and with the line at -2, I'll take my chances and be upgrading to Alize tomorrow.
I hear that Philly has removed all phone booths from the city, I don't think that will be enough to help kid Delambert!
The second factor is the Superman theory. The matchup of Dwight Howard and Samuel Delambert is a joke in my mind. Delambert is only good enough to play 25 minutes a game on a ball club that loses as many as it wins, and we actually expect him to keep Superman in check, I don't think so. Expect Howard to take the pressure off the rest of the team and use his size and speed to blow by the weary legs of the '6ers. Magic by 10-ish.
Kick back and relax, cuz I have more for ya if ya click below!
It's Sunday Funday and I just realized I have to walk to the liquor store in my PJ pants to pick up my Alize from the Orlando Magic winna from yesterday. But I don't mind wearing my Kansas City Chiefs Zubas with a pocket-full of lettuce cause it draws some double takes from the non-penile gender. Since we are talking about my beloved Chiefs, I loved the news about Cassell. Although this won't turn them into a playoff contender next year, it does show me that the new management team understands the importance of having a leader in the QB position. And quite honestly, I'd have to say that Joe Montana is the last QB leader they had, too bad he was on his retirement tour while in KC.
A leader is a leader, I don't care what color he is wearing...
The only thing that could make me happier for the Chiefs is if I see them pick up a couple young but solid offensive lineman and one all star wideout. If they don't do that soon, we will all find a highly paid Cassell all dinged up by mid-season and scared to drop back and throw more than a 5 yard slant. So lets all grab a 40 of OE today, screw off the cap, throw it over your shoulder, pour out a little for Derrick Thomas(the best Chief ever in my book), and dump the rest down your throat in anticipation of the football season that is still unfortunately 5 months away.
Back to the NBA, where the Mavs will look flawless!
As for my pick of the day, I'm going to stick in the NBA since it has paid out for me 80% of the time this year.
Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks -6
I agree with all Raptor fans that the addition of Shawn Marion is exciting and will open up the lane for Chris Bosh, but as we see with any mid-season acquisition, it just takes some time for everyone to get used to each other. Add that onto the fact that Toronto is the second worst team in the East, then consider that Dallas is fighting for a playoff spot, then multiply that answer by 9, cuz the Mavs have won 9 of 10 against the Raptors, then top it all off with the Mavs being at home. What you end up with is a number that is a number, but a million reasons why Dallas takes this one without breaking a sweat.
Keep it light fellas, looks like there might be some other things to tend to today as well!
First and foremost, as if you aren't already stoked that it is Sunday and you have another full day of sports and calling your favorite bookie, today you get an extra bonus. This Sunday makes up for the other 51 Sundays when you are trying to come up with a reason to start sippin' on Alize before noon. Well today you woke up and it was magically an hour closer to noon than when you went to bed. So thank the 'spring forward' concept because it just brought you an excuse to drink at 11am and not have the better half filling out the divorce paperwork!
Our Inside Plays friend Jenna Jameson is living proof that you can have talent still make everyone around you happy!
And on the same day that we are so happy, we get brought down to earth by seeing the realization that cry babies without talent get paid nothing, but cry babies that drop 30+ balls a year(that's TO homeys) but has talent somehow get 6.5million a year. Something doesn't feel right with this one. But as I said yesterday(CHECK IT OUT HERE), owners continue to look at physical talent and don't account for the cancer that I call selfishness!
Teasin' T-Bone's picks are mmm, mmm, good!
On with what puts lettuce in our pockets....
Northern Illinois +4 @ Toledo
I admittedly don't know much about either team, other than the fact that they both have losing records. But I see a couple stats that make this one a little more black and white today. The first, and most important in my mind is the fact that the Huskies thumped the Rockets by 24 points earlier this season. When you lose by 24 to a sub .500 team and you only win 6 games all year, I think that means you just simply don't have the baseline talent to play in D-1. The second thing I like is that Northern Illinois puts up 10 more points a game, which tells me it will take a near perfect offensive performance for the Rockets to hang in for 40 minutes, which is tough to do for a team with 6 wins. Huskies win outright.
Much like Brooke, the ACC matchups today are oldies but goodies.
SUNDAY FUNDAY ACC TEASER SPECIAL
Duke teased to +12.5 @ North Carolina
Clemson @ Wake Forest teased to -1
I don't think the Dukies can avenge their loss from earlier this year, but Coach K will have a new game plan and a bit more focus to keep this one closer. As for Wake, they have only lost once at home and Clemson just lost at FSU.
WELCOME TO TEASIN' T-BONE'S WEEKEND ATS HOUSE
While I'm guessing your wondering where the man, the myth, the drunk 5-0 ATS yesterday-Legend GREG GAMBLE is, don't worry girls & Asians, just check back in after lunch...he promises to have some NCAA & NBA action. Until then, let me hit you up with one my favorites on the NBA docket before the spread flies through the roof once Vegas get's a wiff of the IP.com daily newsletter at 1:00!
Utah Jazz @ Miami Heat -1
Not much time today guys, so lets make this simple. Utah had won 12 in a row and finally dropped one on Wednesday. Now they hit their 4th straight road game coming off a huge run and have to go up against the Heat, who have beaten them 9 of the last 10 meetings. Oh yeah, plus Miami has this guy named D-Wade, I hear he is a decent baller. As my homey Shock G once said, 'DoWhatChaLike', but I know where my focus is today! Miami wins by 6-9.
GREG GAMBLE 2:00 UPDATE - GREG GAMBLE 2:00 UPDATE
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (-2) @ CHICAGO BULLS
Just like I told you yesterday with the Hornets (Btw, I went 5-0), they're desperate to snag the #2 seed in the West. As for the back-2-back road game voodo, New Orleans actually had a shorter trip (Milwaukee) than Chicago (Philly) had last night. Not to mention, the Bulls lost another heartbreaker last night and probably are not too excited too hear the United Center razzing after an 0-fer road trip. Throw in that D-Rose hasn't figured out how to play elite D and that CP3 probably wants to prove the new kid ain't what he thinks he is, and I'm guessing this is a double digit victory for Byron Scott...HORNETS BY 10-16 POINTS
CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (-4) @ MINNY T-WOLVES
After an unbelievable run that put the Cats in the playoff race for the first time in their existance, Grandpa Larry's crew has lost two straight...but at least those two were against the Spurs & Rockets. Even on the back-2-back (which the awful T-Wolves are also doing), I expect them to play with desperation trying to regain their postseason dreams...CATS O BOB BY 8-14 POINTS
FOR MY NCAA AFTERNOON PICK...TOUCH ME HERE PLEASE
...in case you don't touch me...I LUV PURDUE
GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Picks: 87-69 ats…55%
NBA 58-52 - NCAA 21-14 - Teasers 7-3 - Church League 69-0
PHOENIX SUNS @ GOLDEN ST. WARRIORS (-3)
The Suns tried to get-up for the big-dogs at home this week, and while they played well, the end result further proved Stevie Kerr is an idiot and the veteran Suns are not touching the post-season. As for the streaky-n-wild Warriors, Donnie Nelson's crazy mind-games has them playing for their lives...WARRIORS BY 8-14 POINTS
MISS ST. BULLDOGS vs TENNESSEE VOLS (-5.5)
For the first time in Bruce "Bare-chested Car Salesman" Pearl's tenure, the overly athletic Vols have figured out if they play with some discipline they can beat anybody. While betting (legally of course) Tennessee will continue this current streak of efficiency is Paris Hilton-stupid, for some reason I think this loaded squad as figured something out. Not to mention the Bulldogs aren't that good outside of one the most exciting ballers around the rim in recent memory (Jarvis Varnado), I expect an easy victory for Pearl's posse...VOLS BY 8-14 POINTS
IT IS DANGEROUS IF DON'T CHECK OUT MY FINAL PLAY
I HAVE MORE U LIL BEEATCHES...TOUCH ME HERE
GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Picks: 88-72 ats…55%
NBA 60-54 - NCAA 21-15 - Teasers 7-3 - Church League 69-0
Like some of the tainted swimmers Ronny Mexico gave a couple of his groupies, this Cutler story just won't go away. And sorry to keep boring you with my thoughts on it, but what can I say, I luv gridiron soap-opera material. Anywho, before we hit-up my hardwood selections, including the start of the NCAA Tourney, my Homeboy Otis Van Style is back with his second installment of fantasy diamond notes. So if you're interested in collecting some paper in your HR Pool this year, make sure to check out and shoot him an email if you think he's crazy for not throwin' Pablo Ozuna on this list - firstname.lastname@example.org
HANDICAPPING YOUR 2009 HOME RUN POOL
By: Otis Van Style...aka ur Fantasy Cuz
How about the Netherlands beating the Dominican twice in the WBC? Those are my guys. The Dominican had something like 23 major league players on their roster, while the Netherlands had two pitchers who “pitched”, if you can call it that, in the big leagues last year (Ponson and VandenHurk) and a bunch of guys who can’t hit the ball out of the infield. As of this writing, the U.S. and the Netherlands were getting ready to square of in an elimination game.
Every home run pool is run differently, but for the most part, you’ll pick a certain number of players from several groups. Usually, these groups are based on how many pumps the guy hit the previous season. Because of this stat being the basis for the groups, the novice fan can be exposed in a home run pool in a bad, bad way. For example, Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott hit 23 home runs last year, so they’re in the same group as Matt Holliday (25) and Justin Morneau (23). I’m not a huge Holliday fan now that he’s in Oakland, and I also believe that Morneau’s MVP Award and continued candidacy, based solely on his RBI totals, are probably unwarranted, but you’d have to be out of your mind to pick Wigginton and/or Scott over either of them.
Here’s a rundown of my picks this year:
Group A (1 player)
Ryan Howard- If healthy, combined with the bandbox that he plays in, he’s the safe bet to lead MLB in bombs this year. The 29-year old has averaged 51 home runs in his three full seasons.
Group B (1 player)
Albert Pujols- Supposedly still just 29 years old, “Believe in Me” has gone deep at least 32 times in each season of his eight-year career. A machine, and as a Cubs fan, I can’t stand the dude. Looked pretty slim on the cover of SI, didn’t he? Hmmm……
Group C (3 players)
Manny Ramirez- Can you really take Jack Cust or Ryan Ludwick (and yes, both guys are in this group) over Man Ram and live wih yourself all season...didn't think so!
Ryan Braun- I’ll never understand how a guy who looks like he weighs 160(listed at 6-1, 200) has so much power. 71 bombs the last two seasons, and at 25 years old, should still be getting better. As a Cubs fan, I’ve learned to hate Braun & his taunting ways quickly.
Miguel Cabrera- Led the AL last year with just 37 pumps and has hit at least 33 in four of his five full seasons. Just 26 years old, but gets bigger and less agile each year. Remember when he played right field for Florida in the 2003 NLCS? He’s a first baseman now and a future DH.
Group D (3 players)
Mark Teixeira- Might not ever again hit 43 like he did while playing in the launching pad in Arlington in 2005, but the short porch at Yankee Stadium and the pressure of the contract should allow for a minimum of 35.
David Wright- If I have the number one overall fantasy pick, this is my guy. Has hit between 26-33 in each of his four full seasons, with the 33 coming last season. At 26 years old, the career-best number in 2008 might mean the home run number will go up again in 2009.
Hanley Ramirez- 25 years old, and home run totals have gone from 17 to 29 to 33 from 2006-2008. Future MVP.
Group E (3 players)
Lance Berkman- Good value pick here. Hit just 29 last year, but had a total of 79 extra base hits, due to 46 doubles. If some of those doubles go over the fence again, another 40 home run season is possible.
Jason Bay- With the exception of a 2007 season ruined by a knee injury, he’s been between 31-35 in each of his full seasons. 30+ out of this group is good. A bit of a risk, but the short distance of the Monster makes him a tempting pick.
Josh Hamilton- I’m not getting caught up in the hype from the 2008 Home Run Derby, but he simply has more upside than other options from this group, such as Beltran, Vlad, A-Ram or Youkilis, who hit 29 home runs last season, 12 of which cleared the fence by 10 feet or less. You got to love Baseball Prospectus.
Group F (3 players)
Holliday- He’s going to drop off big-time in Oakland, as his career home-road are just as drastic as Coors products such as Vinny Castilla, the Big Cat, Larry Walker, and any other Rockies legend. If the A’s are out of contention in July, he’ll be dumped since he’s in his contract year.
Morneau- Solid value pick here. He hit only 23 last year after 34 and 31 the previous two seasons. Not yet 28, so he shouldn’t be in decline.
Brian McCann- Without much fanfare, this guy is the best hitting catcher in the game. He’s jacked 65 home runs the past three seasons in his age 22-24 seasons. It is tough to take backstops in this because they never play 162 games, like other position players do. Adrian Beltre, in a walk year (remember when he hit 48 for the ’04 Dodgers) was tempting.
Well, that's all for today, but I'll be back next week with more fantasy chatter to hopefully help you win some fantasy cheddar this season. And if you missed my first piece for IP.com, Touch Me Here.
Take it easy, Otis Van Style - email@example.com
2009 NCAA TOURNEY ACTION - PLAY IN GAME
Just like Tila compared to real actresses, just because Alabama St. & Morehead St. are not one of top dogs doesn't mean they still can't provide a lil excitement!