ESPN's Bottom Line Widget

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rose Bowl Prediction

This year the Wisconsin Badgers will be facing the Stanford Cardinals in the Rose Bowl game.  Both of these teams are very similar in that they both like to pound the ball downhill, while running behind their big and physical offensive linemen.  The Badgers and Cardinals are overall pretty equal, but the one thing that will be the difference in this game is Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez.  

Barry Alvarez, who is stepping in to coach the Badgers after the departure of Bret Bielema, is a perfect 3-0 in Rose Bowl games in his career.  He knows what it takes to win big games, unlike Bret Bielema who was 0-2 in Rose Bowl games, and 2-4 overall.  Also, Barry Alvarez will be able to handle the pressure late in games in making better play calls than Bielema, who made awful calls in late game situations, which cost the Badgers from winning the Rose Bowl the last two years.  With all the Badger players and fans behind Alvarez, there is no one better to coach the Badgers to a victory in the Rose Bowl.  

The return of Barry Alvarez to the sidelines will motivate the Wisconsin Badgers players to a 28-24 win over the Stanford Cardinals.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Milwaukee Brewers Should Sign Rafael Soriano

Milwaukee's bullpen struggled in 2012 with an awful ERA of 4.66, ranking last in the MLB.  The Brewers' bullpen was the main reason why they didn't make it into the playoffs, and if the Brewers were able to have a stable closer the Brewers' bullpen would have been greatly improved.

This offseason the Brewers made it known that it was a priority to improve their bullpen.  The Brewers still need a reliable relief pitcher after signing Tom Gorzelanny, and Rafael Soriano is a perfect fit.  Last season Soriano stepped in as closer for the Yankees, after Rivera's injury, and he exceeded  expectations.  In 69 appearances, Soriano recorded 42 saves with a 2.26 ERA.    

Soriano would step in to the closer position while, John Axford would become the Brewers set-up man.  This move would strengthen the back end of the bullpen, while giving them a reliable closer, who has experience at pitching in the toughest environments, for the years to come.

The Brewers need to sign Soriano, who is 32 years old and has many quality years in front of him, to a three year deal no matter what the cost is because if the Brewers don't have a successful closer, they will not be able to compete at a high level.


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Packers Need to Kick Mason Crosby Out of Green Bay

The kick is up, and it good!  This has become a common phrase that Packer fans have heard all season because Mason Crosby has struggled to be consistent when kicking field goals.  Crosby currently has a streak of an unacceptable eight straight games with a missed field goal.  He has only made 17 field goals in 29 attempts, with both his field goal percentage (59%) and total misses (12) last among NFL kickers.  Crosby has become so bad that you can't even trust him to make a 40-yard field goal, which means that they need to immediately find a replacement for him.

Currently there are multiple kickers on the free agent market that would be a good fit with the Packers, but the kicker who is the best kicker available and for the Packers is Neil Rackers.  Neil Rackers is the best option because even though his leg strength has decreased over the years, he is a very safe kicker who is a career 80% field goal kicker in 330 attempts.  Last year, Rackers made 32 of 38 attempts including a 54-yarder, and in the past four years he has made close to 89% of his field goals.  He also has made 80% of his field goals in the postseason, which isn't outstanding but is better than Crosby's 76%.  If the Packers want to win the Super Bowl this season they need to have a kicker who can make field goals on a consistent basis, and Neil Rackers would be able to do that for the Packers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The UW-Milwaukee Panthers Need a New Baseball Stadium

The UW-Milwaukee's men baseball team is the only Division I baseball program in Wisconsin, and it currently plays at Henry Aaron Field, which is a poor excuse for a high school field.  Building a new baseball stadium needs to be the number one priority for the athletic department, and something that would really help the program with recruiting, and getting more fans to come and support the team.  UWM's best option would be playing at Miller Park, but that is probably not going to happen due to money and because in the past the Brewers have been against allowing them to play their entire schedule their.  The Panthers most realistic option would be to build a new stadium near campus that would seat around two-thousand people, and would look like a smaller minor league stadium.  If the Panthers are able to build this stadium in the upcoming years it would help with recruiting and getting more fans to come out and support the Panthers.

Drop the Puck!

After a great and exciting Stanley Cup, I was really looking forward to this upcoming NHL season.  I was looking forward to all of the great rivalries and being able to enjoy watching the NHL as a casual fan.  But with the lock-out due to the greedy owners, specifically the owner of the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins, who have slowed the process of getting a deal done, have hurt the NHL.  After an exciting postseason and many fans looking forward to this upcoming season, the NHL owners have really hurt the NHL.  I hope the owners can come to an agreement with the players, so we can at watch some hockey this year.....the most exciting and competitive sport of the 4 majors.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Why the Milwaukee Brewers Should Sign J.P. Howell

This off-season the Milwaukee Brewers need to focus on improving their bullpen which was a major weakness last season.  The Brewers bullpen was so bad last season that they had a total of 29 blown saves in 73 opportunities, which was the main reason why the team failed to secure a playoff berth for a second consecutive season.  The Milwaukee Brewers also failed to have a quality left handed relief pitcher in their bullpen, and finding one this off-season needs to be a major focus for them.

J.P. Howell would be a perfect solution for the Brewers, and he is a left-handed pitcher who can get both left-handed and right-handed batters out.  J.P. Howell, while pitching mostly as a middle relief pitcher and left-handed specialist, also has had success in his career as a closer.  Even though Howell struggled in 2011, missing the entire 2010 season because of shoulder surgery, with a 6.16 ERA in 30 2/3 innings, he came back this past season and was pretty successful for the Rays.  In 2012, he went 1-0 with a 3.04 ERA, 42 strikeouts, 22 walks, three holds in 50 1/3 innings.  He also only made $1.35 million last year with the Rays, which would fit nicely into the Brewers budget.  The Brewers certainly need a left-handed relief pitcher in their bullpen and J.P. Howell would fit that role.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why the Milwaukee Brewers Should Sign LaTroy Hawkins

Last winter the Milwaukee Brewers let LaTroy Hawkins leave, as he signed a one year deal with the Los Angeles Angels.  The Brewers made an awful decision by letting him go after he was a key pitcher to the Brewers' bullpen success in 2011, when he had a 3-1 record with a 2.42 ERA and 20 holds in 52 appearance.  

LaTroy Hawkins, who will turn 40 years old in December, had a record of 2-3 last season with a 3.64 ERA, one save and six holds in 42 innings.  Even though his numbers weren't as good as 2011, the Brewers should strongly consider signing Hawkins.  With multiple holes in their bullpen, LaTroy Hawkins would be a good fit because he is a veteran pitcher who has had good success in the National League and as a Brewer.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Josh Hamilton to the Brewers?

There are rumors that the Milwaukee Brewers are seriously considering making an offer to former MVP Award winner Josh Hamilton this off season.  This move would improve an offense that is already the best in the National League, and it would make them a favorite to win the N.L. Central Division next season.  Even though the Brewers could use a starting pitcher, signing Hamilton would be a smarter move.  The Brewers would be getting a superstar player, who produces at a MVP level when healthy, and if the Brewers are able to score more runs a game, then their pitching doesn't have to be as dominant.  With the weak starting pitching market, the Brewers only likely options would be to sign a pitcher like Ryan Dempster, who is an average pitcher that doesn't really knock anyone's socks off.  The Brewers should really consider signing Hamilton, even though it is a risk because if he is able to stay healthy the Brewers will have the best middle of the order in all of baseball, and a lineup that will have no problems scoring five runs a game.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 World Series Prediction

The San Francisco Giants have been on a role this postseason, and they will win the World Series against the Detroit Tigers.  Justin Verlander has done a great job for the Tigers this postseason, but the Tigers bullpen will end up costing them.  The Tigers have had multiple days to rest, which will be a disadvantage for them because they don't have any momentum coming into this series.  The Giants will ride their hot bats and clutch performances to a World Series win in six games.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanZielinski3

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012-2013 NFL Preview: AFC West

The Chargers and Broncos will be fighting for first place the entire season.  If Peyton Manning can stay healthy the Broncos will win this division because with his leadership and experience it instantly makes the Broncos better.  The Chargers did improve their defense in the draft, and were able to sign WRs Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem in the offseason. With these key offseason moves the Chargers will win 10 or more games this season.  The Kansas City Chiefs will have at most seven wins this season because they aren’t an improved team from last season, and because they are playing in a tougher division. The Oakland Raiders will struggle to be a .500 team because they have a tough schedule, they play in a tougher division, and they lost key players, like Michael Bush in free agency.   This division will be a two team race the entire season, with the Broncos winning the division.  

Please follow me on Twitter @DanZielinski3

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2012-2013 NFL Preview: AFC South

The AFC South is the weakest division in the AFC.  The Texans will win this division for a second straight season even though they won’t be as good as last year, since Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans are gone.  They will need key players such as Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson to stay healthy, since they have been injury prone in years past, if they want to improve their record from last season.  The Tennessee Titans will finish second but they will struggle to be a .500 team because they have a tough schedule, and they didn’t do much in the offseason to improve their team.  The Colts won’t be very good but with Andrew Luck they will be an improved team from last year.  At the bottom of the South division will be the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will be awful this season.  If there is one team that could lose every game this season it is the Jags because they don’t have any good, proven players besides Maurice Jones-Drew that can help them win this year.  If lucky the Jags will one or two games this season.  The Texans will win this division by two or three games but I don’t see them going very far in the playoffs.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanZielinski3

2012-2013 NFL Preview: AFC North

The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the two best teams in the AFC North and they will battle the whole season for first place.  These teams will be very close but the Ravens will win this division.  The Ravens have a bit of an easier schedule with a better running game and defense, which will carry them throughout the season.  The Steelers offense needs to be able to run the ball a lot better and their offensive line needs to protect Big Ben if they want to be a complete and competitive team.  For a second consecutive season the Bengals and the Browns will be at the bottom of the AFC North division.  The Bengals had a good season last year but they got lucky to have nine wins because they didn't beat a single playoff team.  I expect the Bengals to be an average team this season and at most they will win seven or eight games.  There is no question that the Browns are awful and that they will only end up with at most three wins.  The Browns offense will struggle with a rookie quarterback in Brandon Weeden, but their defense will be the strength of their team.  Even with a average defense and a good offensive line I can't see them improving their record from last season.  This division will be a two team race the whole season but the Ravens will this division.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanZielinski3

2012-2013 NFL Preview: AFC East

The AFC East will not be a very competitive division this season.  The Patriots will win this division again this season with 12 or 13 wins, and the Bills will come in second with 10 wins.  I don't expect the Jets or the Dolphins to be very competitive teams this season, and both of them will have a below .500 record.  For the Patriots to be a great team they have to improve their defense from last year, and they need to be able to run the ball more consistently.  The Bills improved their defense and were able to keep some of their explosive offensive talent this offseason, and they will be an improved team from last season.  The Jets and Dolphins won't be competitive become they have below average quarterbacks and awful offenses.  With the easiest schedule in the NFL, the Patriots will win the AFC East.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanZielinski3

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Los Angeles Angels Make the Biggest Trade at the Deadline

The Los Angeles Angels definitely won the trade deadline by acquiring one of the best pitchers in the game in Zack Greinke.  With Zack Greinke, the Angels now have two aces in their rotation, and the best top four starters in the American League.  To acquire Greinke they only gave up three prospects, that were all expendable because they won't help them in the near future, and since there is no guarantee that they will be good MLB players.  As long as the Angels continue to play well and stay healthy, they will have a great shot at making a deep run in the playoffs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The American League MVP Award Race

This season there are many American League players who are having a great season.  All of these players in my top five were selected to the All-Star Game, and they have a good chance of receiving many MVP Award votes.  This race will come down to the last game of the season, and this is how I feel the race is shaping out through the first half of the season:

1st - Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels:  Mike Trout has definitely been the first half MVP.  He is hitting .341 with 12 homeruns, 40 RBI's, and a .397 on-base percentage.  He ranks first in batting average and stolen bases (26), and he ranks in the top six in runs (57), slugging percentage (.562), and OPS (.959).  Mike Trout has been a huge difference in the Angels lineup.  Since being called up, the Angeles are 40-24, which is a huge improvement; because before he was called up they had a record of 8-14.  Mike Trout has really energized the Angels, and he can best be compared to Ichiro when he was a rookie with the Mariners in 2001.  He won the Rookie of the Year Award and MVP Award that season, and I expect Trout to do the same.  Right now there is no question he has been the MVP in the first half of the season, and it will be his award to lose.

2nd- Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers:  Josh Hamilton is having another productive season.  He is an All-Star again this year, and he is having a MVP caliber season.  Hamilton is hitting .308 with 27 homeruns, 75 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .380.  At the All-Star break he ranks first in homeruns, RBI's, slugging percentage (.635), and OPS (1.016).  Josh Hamilton got off to a very hot start this season, but in the last month he has cooled off a lot.  Even though he has been inconsistent throughout the first half of the season, he is still putting up MVP numbers.  If he wants to win the A.L. MVP Award, he has to be more consistent throughout the rest of the season.

3rd - Robinson Cano - New York Yankees:  Robinson Cano continues to show why he is one of the best players in the MLB today.  He is having another great season, and has been the best offensive player on the Yankees this season.  Cano is hitting .313 with 20 homeruns, 51 RBI's, and a .374 on-base percentage.  He is ranked in the top ten in the American League, in average, homeruns, runs (57), slugging percentage (.578), and OPS (.953).  Robinson Cano is a huge reason why the Yankees are having a good season this year.  He will continue to make a strong case to be the American League MVP Award winner if he and the Yankees continue to play well in the second half of the season. 

4th - Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles:  Adam Jones is one of the only few reasons why the Orioles have been so good this season.  If it wasn't for Adam Jones, the Orioles would not have a record anywhere near to what they currently have through the first half of the season.  Adam Jones is having a breakout season, and he is hitting .289 with 20 homeruns, 44 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .330.  He currently ranks in the top ten in homeruns and runs scored (54) in the American League.  His stats might not be as good as some of the other MVP Award candidates, but because of the way he has carried the Orioles this season, it will definitely put him in the MVP Award picture. 

5th - David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox:  David Ortiz has been the only player on the Boston Red Sox who has had a great first half.  At age 36, Ortiz is having another great offensive year.  Ortiz is hitting .312 with 22 homeruns, 57 RBI's, and a .406 on-base percentage.  He currently ranks in the top ten in batting average, homeruns and RBI's, and he ranks in the top five in runs (62), walks (51), slugging percentage (.607) and OPS (1.013).  The Red Sox have struggled in the first half of the season, but they managed to end it with a .500 record at 43-43.  If it wasn't for David Ortiz, who knows how bad the Red Sox would have been. 

Players who are still in the MVP Award Race: Jose Bautista, Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo.

The American League has many players who are deserving of winning the MVP Award.  I think there also will be some players who I didn't even list, that will make a strong case to be in the MVP Award conversation by the end of the season.  Mike Trout is leading the race so far to be named the best player in the American League, and it should be interesting to see if he can win the MVP Award as a rookie.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ray Allen is Taking His Talents to South Beach

The NBA's all-time leading three point shooter, Ray Allen, has agreed to sign with the Miami Heat, instead of the Boston Celtics.  This ends the era of the "Big Three" in Boston with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, where the three of them won a NBA Championship.  Ray Allen has decided to take less money to go to a team that is rivals with the Celtics, to have a better chance at winning a NBA Championship.  This was a great move by Ray Allen to go to the Heat because now they will be heavily favored to win the NBA Championship next year.  If Ray Allen would have gone back to the Celtics he would have had to watch Avery Bradley start in his spot, and he would have had to share minutes off the bench with Jason Terry.  It didn't seem like the Celtics even wanted him back since, they were willing to trade him last year at the deadline, and since they already agreed to a deal with Jason Terry.  The Heat wanted him and knew if they were lucky enough to get him that he would be a huge addition to their team.  Ray Allen made the best decision by signing with the Heat because he will now be on a team that gives him the best chances at winning another NBA Championship. 

Please follow me on Twitter @danzielinski3

The National League MVP Award Race

The National League has multiple players who are in consideration for the MVP Award this season, that have been strong candidates in years past.  There is also some players you never thought would be in the MVP race.  The race should be interesting to see how it shapes up to be the rest of the season, but this is how I feel the race looks as of today:

1st - Joey Votto - Cincinnati Reds:  Joey Votto is having the best first half of any player in the National League, and he is in the conversation for the MVP Award again this year.  He is batting .345 with 14 homeruns, 47 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .464.  Joey Votto ranks first in walks with 60, first in slugging percentage (.619), first in OPS (1.082), and fifth in batting average.  He has proved that he is one of the best first basemen in all of baseball, and that he is a legitimate MVP candidate.  As long as the Reds continue to stay in the playoff race and Joey Votto continues to be on fire, he will be leading the N.L. MVP race.

2nd - David Wright - New York Mets:  David Wright finally looks like he is back to being one of the best third basemen in the league after last season when he was injured and missed 60 games.  He and R.A. Dickey are the two reasons why the Mets are above .500 and competitive this season.  Through 80 games this season, Wright is batting .350 with 11 homeruns, 59 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .439.  David Wright currently ranks fourth in batting average, third in RBI's, fifth in runs (55), fourth in walks (48), and fourth in OPS (1.014).  As long as the Mets remain in the playoff race, David Wright should remain above other players in the MVP race who are on team that are struggling this season.  If David Wright can remain healthy, he will be a serious MVP candidate. 

3rd - Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers:  Ryan Braun could easily be ranked higher because he is on pace to have an even better season then he did last year, when he won the MVP Award.  If it wasn't for all of the offseason drama and being falsely accused for using a banned substance, he would be a top the MVP list.  Braun is batting .304, with 24 homeruns, 60 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .386.  He is ranked first in homeruns, second in RBI's, ninth in runs (53), third in slugging percentage (.602), and sixth in OPS (.988).  Braun will continue to produce no matter how bad the Brewers are, but if he wants to repeat as N.L. MVP he has to hope that the voters don't vote based on everything that happened this past offseason.  The voters need to vote based on his stats and the facts because Braun has been a stong MVP candidate in the first half of the season.

4th - Andrew McCutchen - Pittsburgh Pirates:  Andrew McCutchen is having a breakout season.  He is a huge reason why the Pirates are in first place in the N.L. Central.  He is batting .360 with 16 homeruns, 56 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .413.  He ranks in first in batting average, second in OPS (1.023), and he ranks in the top ten in homeruns, RBI's, and runs (54).  Andrew McCutchen has been the only real offense for the Pirates and he will be in the conversation for the MVP Award throughout the rest of the season.

5th - Carlos Beltran - St. Louis Cardinals:  The aging veteran in Carlos Beltran has been a nice surprise this season for the Cardinals.  Many people thought he could be a good player for the Cardinals but no one thought he would be in the MVP Award race.  Beltran has a .306 batting average with 20 homeruns, 65 RBI's, and a on-base percentage of .392.  He ranks second in homeruns, first in RBI's, and he is ranked in the top ten in batting average, walks (41), and OPS (.951) in the National League.  Carlos Beltran has been a good player in the fist half of the season, but I don't think he will be a real contender for the MVP Award by the end of the season.

Players who are still in the MVP Award Race:  Carlos Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Ruiz, and R.A. Dickey.

This season there are multiple players who have a great chance to win the MVP Award this year in the National League.  It will be very interesting to see if voters will vote for Ryan Braun, and if Carlos Ruiz, who has had a great season so far, will get any MVP consideration.  Any of my nine players listed have a chance to win the award, but some of these players won't get as much attention because of there team's lack of success this season.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bryce Harper is Not Selected to the All-Star Game

Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper will not be participating in the All-Star Game this year.  He had the opportunity to be voted in by the fans for the final roster spot, but the fans voted in David Freese instead.  It is a good thing that Bryce Harper wasn't voted onto the All-Star team because he didn't deserve to be considered an All-Star.  Bryce Harper is a good young player who will be a star in the MLB someday, but this season he is only putting up average stats.  

Through 60 games this season, Harper has an average of .283 with eight home runs, 25 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .355.  Matt Holliday, who is having a great, All-Star caliber season, didn't even make the team, and he is batting .318 with 14 home runs, 56 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .397.  Michael Bourn also didn't make the team and he is also having a great season.  He is batting .307 with 7 home runs, 32 RBI's, an on-base percentage of .360, and he has 23 stolen bases, which is second best in the National League.  Even though Holliday and Bourn have played in around 20 more games than Harper they still have had better and more productive seasons.  Both these players are huge reasons for their teams success, and if they didn't make the N.L. All-Star roster, Bryce Harper definitely didn't deserve to make the team.  It would have been very fun and exciting to see Harper in the All-Star Game, but there were other veteran players who deserved to be on the N.L. All-Star team before him.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The American League Cy Young Race

The American League Cy Young Award race has not been a huge surprise to most people so far this year.  Almost all of the pitchers in consideration this year for the Cy Young Award have been Cy Young Award contenders in previous years.  The race to be named the best pitcher in the A.L. will come down to the end, and this is how I feel the race looks right now:

1st - Chris Sale - Chicago White Sox:  It is a surprise that Chris Sale is having a Cy Young caliber season, not because he isn't capable of being a great pitcher, but because it is his first season being a starting pitcher in the MLB.  He has been one of the most dominating pitchers in the A.L. so far this season with a record of 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA and a .95 WHIP.  He ranks third in wins, eighth in strike outs with 98, and second in ERA and WHIP.  The one problem I have with Chris Sale is that he has already pitched a career high 102.2 innings.  We will have to see how he is able to hold up throughout the rest of  the season, but if the season ended today he would be the Cy Young Award winner.

2nd - Jered Weaver - Los Angeles Angels:  Jered Weaver has been very good to start the season and he is in the Cy Young Award talk again this year.  If it wasn't for him going on the DL, he would have been ranked first in my Cy Young Award race.  In 14 starts this year Jered Weaver is 9-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a .94 WHIP.  He currently ranks fifth in wins, first in ERA and WHIP, and fourth in the A.L. with two complete games.  Jered Weaver has been dominate on a good Angels team this year, and if he is able to hold up in the final months of the season, he should make a strong case to be the Cy Young Award winner.

3rd - Justin Verlander - Detroit Tigers:   Many people think Jusin Verlander is having a down year, but actually he has pitched very well on a struggling Tigers team.  His numbers aren't as good as last year when he won both the MVP and Cy Young Award, but they are still good enough to make him a Cy Young Award contender again this year.  He is 8-5 with a 2.69 ERA and a .98 WHIP in 17 starts this season.  Justin Verlander ranks first in the A.L. in innings pitched (123.2), first in complete games (4), second in strike outs (121), third in WHIP, and fourth in ERA.  If he can continue to pitch well and dominate opposing batters he should be in the Cy Young Award conversation at the end of the season.

4th - Jake Peavy - Chicago White Sox:  Jake Peavy is finally back after years of injuries and inconsistency.  He has been pitching very well of late but the White Sox have had trouble scoring runs when he pitches.  In his last four starts, a total of 30 innings, he has an ERA of 2.70, allowing a total of nine runs, four walks and 27 hits.  Yet he has lost all four starts because the White Sox have scored a grand total of two runs.  As a result of him losing four straight starts his record is 6-5, but besides his record his other stats are close to the top in the American League.  He currently ranks sixth in ERA (2.96) and fourth in WHIP (.99).  He also has pitched the most complete games with four, and he has struck out 101 batters four seventh best in the league.  Jake Peavy needs to be able to stay healthy for a whole season, and he can't wear down in the last few months of the season if he wants to be a serious Cy Young Award contender.

5th - David Price - Tampa Bay Rays:  David Price continues to develop into one of the best young pitchers in the game.  He almost won the Cy Young Award two years ago when he had 19 wins, but end up losing to King Felix.  This year Price is making another strong case to be in the Cy Young conversation.  David Price is currently 11-4 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.  He leads the A.L. in wins and is fifth in ERA in 16 starts this year.  He also is in the top ten in strike outs and innings pitched.  David Price needs to continue to pitch well and hope that some of the pitchers above hm start to struggle if he wants to have a chance at being named the American League's best pitcher.

Pitchers who are still in the race:  Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, CC Sabathia, C.J. Wilson, and Felix Hernandez.

The Cy Young Award race isn't over, and any of the pitchers who I don't have in my top five could easily make a push in the second have of the season to take home the award.  It should be interesting to see if Chris Sale can hold up through the rest of the season, and if some of these pitchers can remain healthy enough to try to win the Cy Young Award in the American League.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The National League Cy Young Award Race

This year in the National League there has been many surprising pitchers.  Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in the game, has been hurt for most of the season, and Tim Lincecum hasn't look anything like his Cy Young Award winning years.  This year there is many pitchers, anywhere from 10 or more, who can win the Cy Young Award, and so far the leading candidate is a 37 year old knuckleball pitcher, R.A. Dickey.  Here is how I feel the race is shaping out:

1st - R.A. Dickey - New York Mets:  R.A. Dickey has been a huge surprise so far this season.  No one ever thought he would ever be this good, and anything close to a Cy Young Award contender.  He has been the most dominating pitcher this year going 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA.  R.A. Dickey leads the league with a .88 WHIP and three complete games.  He is second in the National League in strikeouts with 116, and he has shown great control with his knuckleball.  We have never seen a pitcher like R.A. Dickey before who throws mid 80's knuckleball and is so dominate.  He is the leading Cy Young Award candidate and if he continues to pitch like this the rest of the season there will be no question that he should win the award.

2nd - Matt Cain - San Fransisco Giants:  Matt Cain, who has so far lived up to his huge contract he received this off season, has been a very dominate pitcher this year.  He is finally getting some respect he has deserved, since in years past he has been one of the most underrated pitchers in the game.  Matt Cain has been very good this year, and he has pitched the best game this year so far, a perfect game, where he struck out 14 batters.  Through 16 games this season, Cain is 9-3 with a 2.53 ERA and a .95 WHIP.  He is close to the top in strike outs with 114 and innings pitched with 113.2.  Matt Cain has become the ace of the Giants staff and has shown why he is one of the best young pitchers in the game today.  He should continue stay in the Cy Young race and will challenge R.A. Dickey for the award if he continues to pitch this way. 

3rd - A.J. Burnett - Pittsburgh Pirates:  A.J. Burnett might be a surprise here at third but if you look at his numbers he has pitched very well.  He has been very hot in his last 10 starts going 8-0 with a 2.29 ERA.  The ace of the Pirates staff has had only one bad start this season, where he allowed 12 earned runs against the Cardinals on May 2nd.  If it wasn't for the one bad start he would of had a 2.05 ERA, which would currently be second best in the league.  A.J. Burnett is currently 9-2 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, in 13 starts.  He could have a good chance at a 20 win season, and if he continues to pitch this well and stay healthy he will be a dark horse in the Cy Young race. 

4th - Stephen Strasburg - Washington Nationals:  Stephen Strasburg has pitched very well so far, but if he is shut down at his 160 innings limit, which I expect to happen, he will not win the Cy Young Award.  As of today, Strasburg is still well in the conversation of being the Cy Young winner, but because of his inning limit, that is why I have him ranked fourth in my Cy Young Award race standings.  The young power pitcher through 16 games is 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.  He is also leading the N.L. with 122 strike outs in 93 innings.  He is one of the most over powering pitchers in the game, and he will be able to have a chance at the Cy Young Award.  But you can't be the best pitcher when you don't pitch in September.

5th - James McDonald - Pittsburgh Pirates:  James McDonald has been a surprise this season.  He has finally showed that he can be a top of the rotation pitcher.  He has pitched well this season and has a record of 8-3 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.  His could have even more wins but the Pirates have struggled to score runs, and have been shut out all three times he has lost.  If he and the Pirates continue to play well, he will have a slight advantage over guys like Wade Miley, Zack Greinke, and Cole Hamels for the fifth spot.

Pitchers who are still in the race:  Zack Greinke, Wade Miley, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, Lance Lynn, Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, and Chris Capuano.

The Cy Young Award race is still not over and many of these great pitchers who are not in my top five could easily make a push for the top spot.  The Cy Young Award race should come down to the wire and it should be fun to see if some of these pitchers can make a strong push to become the best pitcher in the National League.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The College Football Four Team Playoff is Not Enough

Starting in 2014 college football will be using a four team playoff system to determine who will play for the National Championship instead of having computers pick two teams.  Using a playoff system is a step in the right direction for college football but it isn't enough.  College football should use an eight team playoff system, where the six main conferences champions get an automatic bid into the playoffs, and then have two wild card teams that are selected by a committee.  The two wild card teams and the seeding for the playoffs should be chosen based on their record, strength of schedule, and any head to head meetings between the teams.  College football has to reward the teams who win their conference championship games in the big six conference, and having them all make the playoffs is away to emphasize the importance of the championship games.  The playoff system will never satisfy everyone but an eight team playoff is the answer.  There will be less arguing on who deserves to get in if you have the six main conferences get an automatic bid and two other teams selected into the playoffs by a committee.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Milwaukee Panthers are Moving Back to the Klotsche Center

The Milwaukee Panthers announced that they are moving back to the Klotsche Center.  This move back to the Klotsche is a stupid decision.  The Klotsche Center only seats 3.500 people and it is below Horizon League standards, which requires the arena to seat 5,000 people, but the Horizon League decided to make an exception.  The Panthers will regret moving back to campus instead of paying to play at the US Cellular Arena, even though it was very expensive to play there, because students are still not going to come to the games and they will lose fan support.  Moving back to the Klotsche Center will also hurt their chances of moving into a better conference until they build a new arena on campus.  If the Panthers want to be a competitive and a respected basketball program they can't play in a high school gym.  No high school basketball player is going to want to come and play for the Panthers when they have awful facilities.  The Panthers should have continued to play at the US Cellular Arena, while they built a new arena on campus.  Until the Panthers play in an arena that is suited for a college team they will have trouble recruiting talented players, and they won't have support from students and fans.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Milwaukee Bucks Need to Strike Gold in the NBA Draft

The Milwaukee Bucks need to draft a player who will make an immediate impact right away and someone that will develop into a good starter in the future.  The Bucks can't draft a guy who will take years to develop into a bench player like Larry Sanders, or a player like Joe Alexander, who was a complete bust and is now flipping burgers at the local McDonalds.  The Bucks need to address their biggest need and draft Tyler Zeller.  He would be the best fit for the Bucks because he is experienced, tall, runs the floor very well, and has a great touch around the basket.  People think that Meyers Leonard would be a good player to draft because of his upside, but he isn't experienced, too much of a risk and wouldn't help the Bucks right away.  If the Bucks want to be competitive and have a chance to make the playoffs they need to draft Tyler Zeller.  If the Bucks decided not to draft Tyler Zeller or trade for an experienced center, the Bucks will be just as bad this year as they were last year, and it will be the last year Scott Skiles coaches the Bucks.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Milwaukee Brewers Should be Sellers at the Trade Deadline

The Brewers main focus should be trading Zack Greinke because the Brewers have no chance of resigning him at the end of the year, and they need to get prospects back that are close to the same quality they traded to acquire him last off season.  The Brewers need to acquire pitching prospects and a shortstop prospect since those are two of the weakest areas for the Brewers this year and in their farm system.  Teams will be willing to give up a top prospect and 2 above average to average prospects to acquire a former CY award winner in Zack Greinke, even if it is just a two month rental.....just like the Brewers did a few years ago when they traded for CC Sabathia.  Doug Melvin better be smart for once and look at the future and not the present.  If he doesn't pull the trigger and trade Zack Greinke to help the future he should be relived of his duties as GM.  The Douger has ruined the farm system grabbing for the "brass ring", and has basically fallen off the merry-go-round horse.  He really missed on giving the Brewers a realistic shot at making the playoffs this year.  I have difficulty buying the injury excuse.....please refer to Uncle Teddy up in Green Bay 2 seasons ago when he won a Super Title with a bunch of second and third stringers.  Doug Melvin has to realize that the Brewers are a small market team and should be built through the draft and not by over paying for veteran players, just like what Ted Thompson has done with the Green Bay Packers.  If Greinke and some other players aren't traded the Brewers won't be competitive for the next four years.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heat vs. Thunder in the NBA Finals

Since the start of the 2011-2012 NBA season there has been many surprises, but the one thing that doesn't surprise anyone is that the Heat and Thunder are the last two teams remaining in the playoffs because they are two of the most talented teams in the NBA.  The Thunder will win this series in seven games, but I wouldn't be surprised if they win the series in five or six games because the Thunder have more talent and a deeper bench than the Heat.  Kevin Durant will dominate this series and show why he is the best player in the game, and why he deserved the MVP award.  If the series goes only five or six games it will be because LeBron James will choke again in the finals, which wouldn't surprise anyone since he always chokes in the big games.  If the Heat want to win they have to attack the basket and get Sergi Ibaka in foul trouble, and if they don't they will lose this series.  The young and confident Thunder will beat the Heat to win the NBA Championships.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Albert Pujols' Struggles Continue

To start the season Albert Pujols has really lived up to his massive contract he signed this off season with the Los Angeles Angels.  Albert Pujols, the best player in the MLB today, is batting .191 with a league leading ZERO home runs and five runs batted in coming into today's game.  He should be lucky that he is Albert Pujols, otherwise he would have already been sent down to the minors because statistically he is the worst player in the American League.  He has the lowest batting average, on base and slugging percentage in the American League.  His hitting mechanics are off, supposedly he is uncomfortable without his family in L.A., since they are back in St. Louis, and he is pressing to live up to his huge contract.  That is why I thought he would have gone back to the Cardinals this off season since he is comfortable their, but instead he decided to go to the team that offered him the most money, which was the Angels.  His hitting will eventually come back to being an average hitter, but I think his career his on the decline.  I would not be surprised if this season he only hits 20-25 home runs, 95 RBIs, and has an average of .250.  Without Albert Pujols hitting at an MVP level the Angels will be lucky enough to just win a wild card spot this season.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green Bay Packers 2012 NFL Draft Preview

With the 28th overall pick the Green Bay Packers select...?  The Packers have needs on both sides of the ball, but their top priority needs to be a player that will improve their awful defense.  The Packers need another pass rusher to complement Clay Matthews, and I think they need to take a proven college pass rushing linebacker or defensive end.  They also might now target a safety since they released Nick Collins earlier today.  I think the Packers will take a pass rusher with their first pick, but I would not be surprised if they did take a safety, even though it is not as big of a need.  The Packers need to get an outside linebacker who can step in right away and make a difference.  The answer to the Packers problems is outside linebacker Shea McClellin, from Boise State.  McClellin has the length and skills to be a great fit in the Packers defensive system, and he also has a lot of experience that will allow him to contribute right away.  The Packers have multiple needs, but the Packers will take a pass rusher, most likely Shea McClellin, with their first round pick.  I would not be surprised though if the Packers move up in the draft.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Monday, April 16, 2012

Brewers Struggle Out of the Gate

The Milwaukee Brewers have gotten off to a slow start this season.  Through their first ten games the Brewers have a team average of only .228, which is 26th overall in the MLB, and an on base percentage of .299, which is 23rd overall in the MLB.  Aramis Ramirez, who was signed to help replace the lost production from Prince Fielder, has gotten off to a very slow start, and hasn’t done anything.  He is only averaging .114 to start the season.  Aramis Ramirez throughout his career has averaged only .255 in April/March and .271 in May.  The first two months of the season, Aramis Ramirez always starts slow and then he heats up in June where he is averaging .301.  Throughout the rest of the season he is always averaging at least .280.  The Brewers have faced some good teams to start, and their hitting will come around.  Ryan Braun, the raining N.L. MVP, has picked up where he left of last year, and all the Brewers need is for Aramis Ramirez to heat up. 
Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Friday, April 6, 2012

American League Preview

American League East

The Red Sox, Yankees and Rays are all great teams, and are capable of winning the AL East.  The Rays have one of the best starting rotations in the league and some good offensive players.  The Yankees will struggle at times because they are the oldest team in the MLB.  The Red Sox will struggle because of their weak end of the rotation pitchers and relief pitching, but I think they have one of the best lineups in the majors, which could help carry them through out the year.  The Rays will win this division because of their great young pitching and good offensive.

American League Central

This division won't be competitive at all.  The Tigers will easily win the AL Central because of their great lineup, and because they have Justin Verlander and some good young starting pitching.  The Indians will have a shot at winning but I don't think they will be able to win the division because of their young and inexperienced pitching staff. 

American League West

The Rangers and Angels will be the two teams fighting for the division the whole season.  Both these teams have a great lineup and pitching staff.  The Rangers have the better lineup because they have younger players and a left handed power hitter, compared to the Angels older lineup with all of its power hitters batting right handed.  The Rangers will win the division because they are more experienced and they have a little bit better of a team overall.

American League Wild Card

The Angels will win one of the wild cards spots.  The Angels could easily win their division, but I think they will fall just short.  They should easily win the wild card because they have a great starting rotation.  The Red Sox will win the other wild card spot because of their great offense.  I think the Yankees could win the wild card, but because of their old age, which will led to injuries.  The Yankees and maybe the Indians have are the only other teams that have a chance of winning a wild card spot.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National League Preview

National League East

There will be four teams that will be competitive in the N.L. East, but I think the Phillies should win the division.  I believe the Phillies have the best rotation and one of the top closers in baseball.  The Phillies also have a pretty good lineup, that should be able to score at least three or four runs a game.  I think the Braves, Marlins and Nationals should all do well, but I feel that they are not as deep as the Phillies.

National League Central

The Brewers, Cardinals and Reds are all good enough to win the N.L. Central.  The Brewers have the best starting pitching and relief pitching to win another division crown.  Both the Reds and Cardinals will struggle because the Reds pitching staff doesn’t have a true number one pitcher and an inexperience closer, and the Cardinals offense will struggle without Albert Pujols’ power in the middle of their lineup.   Even with the Brewers losing Prince Fielder I feel the Brewers lineup can still produce at a high level.  The Brewers will win the division because of  their great starting and relief pitching.

National League West

This division will be the closest division in the National League. Each team is capable of winning the division.  I think the Arizona Diamondbacks are the most complete team in the division because of their great young pitching staff and great young power hitters.  I feel the Dodgers can compete because they have Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, but I think their relief pitching and starting pitching after Kershaw will struggle.  I also think the Giants can do well because they have a great pitching staff, and the Rockies can do well because of their offense.  The Padres can win but I think they might struggle because they are so young and inexperienced.  The Arizona Diamondbacks will win the N.L. West because they are the most complete and experienced team.

National League Wild Card

The Marlins and Braves will win the N.L Wild Cards because they have good pitching and offense.  The key for both these teams will be staying healthy because these teams are very talented, but if one of their stars get hurt, I think they will struggle.  I think the Nationals have a good shot at winning a wild card spot, but they will be too young and inexperienced and fall out of contention towards the end of the season. You could also see the Cardinals, Reds, Dodgers and Giants all compete for the wild card, but each of those teams have either a weak offense or pitching staff that will hold them back from winning.

Please follow me on Twitter @DanTheMan4295

Sunday, April 1, 2012

NCAA Championship Game

Monday April 2nd the Kentucky Wildcats will face the Kansas Jayhawks in the National Championship Game.  This will be their second meeting this year.  They met in mid November at Madison Square Garden and Kentucky was able to bet Kansas 75-65.  I think the National Championship Game will be a much better game, and I think it will come down to the wire.  I think both teams are capable of winning this game, even though many people think Kentucky should easily win because of their talent and athleticism.  I feel Kansas can and will beat Kentucky tomorrow.  Kansas will need to play great defense against Anthony Davis, and they will need Thomas Robinson to have a huge game.  Thomas Robinson will have a huge game against Anthony Davis because he is mad that Anthony Davis won the player of the year award over him, and because he will need to play well if Kansas wants to win.  Kansas will also need to make Kentucky's young players show their inexperience and force them to make mistakes with the ball.  I feel if Kansas can get Anthony Davis in foul trouble, play good defense, and score points in the paint with Thomas Robinson they should be able to beat Kentucky.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peyton Manning's New Team

Let the bidding war begin!!  One of the best quarterbacks in NFL history is on the free agent market, after the Colts released Peyton Manning last week.  There are four teams, the Broncos, Cardinals, Dolphins, and Titans, who are all real possibilities to land Peyton Manning as their next quarterback.  I think that all of these teams have things that are good and bad about them.  I think the best team that is interested in Peyton Manning is the Broncos, but I don't think that he will end up signing with them.  I think there are two team that have the best chance of signing Peyton Manning and they are the Dolphins and Titans.

I felt when this whole free agent process started that Peyton Manning would end up signing with the Miami Dolphins because they are in the AFC, where Peyton Manning prefers to play, they have two well offensive minded coaches, they play in a warm environment, and they have a good chance of signing Reggie Wayne, to add to a good offense.  I also now fell that the Tennessee Titans have a good chance of signing him is because they are in the AFC,  they are trying to improve their offensive line, they have an owner who is committed to winning, and he would return to Tennessee were he had great success in college and were he is loved.  I feel that Peyton Manning will eventually decide to sign with the Titans because they are going to improve their team, and he will want to return to Tennessee were he will feel very comfortable playing.  The reason I feel the Dolphins won't sign him is because they will not want to wait for Peyton Manning to make his decision and will sign Matt Flynn.  Peyton Manning will return to Tennessee to play for the Titans and I think he will come back and have a great season.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Brewers Now are a Top Team in the National League

Today the Brewers and Ryan Braun found out that he has won his appeal and will not be suspended for the first 50 games of the season.  I expected Ryan Braun to win his appeal, and I felt that he was innocent all along.  This makes the Brewers favorites to win the NL Central and a possible World Series contender.  The Brewers will have all five starters returning from last year and they will still have a good offense as well, even without Prince Fielder.  I think the Brewers will now have a more consistent offense than last year led by Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez.  I think the Brewers will play more small ball and won't rely on home runs to win games.  Brewers will be a fun team to watch, and I think they can and will challenge the Phillies for the top spot in the National League. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Pick

Giants at Patriots

I think this will be a good game and very similar to the last time the Giants played the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  The Giants defense will need to continue to play well and get pressure on Tom Brady.  I think the defense will be the key for both teams in the Super Bowl because each team's defenses have struggled at times throughout the playoffs and regular season.  The Patriots will need Rob Gronkowski to play well and make some plays for the Patriots offense to do well.  The Giants will need to be able to run the ball well to take the pressure of Eli Manning.  This game will be close, and I think it will come down to who ever plays better defense and has the ball at the end of the game.  I think the score of this game will be 21-17 with the Giants winning the Super Bowl, and Eli Manning winning the Super Bowl MVP award. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life Without Andrew Bogut

Earlier this week the Milwaukee Bucks lost big man Andrew Bogut with another injury.  Andrew Bogut hasn't played a full season since his rookie year in his career due to multiple injuries, and he has averaged just 66 games per season coming into this year.  Andrew Bogut is an average center in the NBA and he hasn't lived up to the number one overall pick.  Andrew Bogut isn't worth his average salary of $12.1 million a year for a guy who has put up average stats (12.7 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, and 1.6 blocks per game) throughout his career and plays in an average of 66 games per season.  I think the Bucks need to move on from Andrew Bogut, and find someone who is a better center and CAN STAY HEALTHY! The Bucks shouldn't go out and trade for another center to try to replace Bogut this year because the Bucks aren't going to make the playoffs and if they do, they won't make it out of the first round.  The Bucks can be a good team without Bogut.  Drew Gooden can do a adequate job filling in for Bogut for the rest of the season.  I think the Bucks need to part ways with Bogut and find a center who will help this team win in the future along with staying healthy.  He might be a great guy, but you can't get the job done if you are always on IR.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL Playoff Picks

Ravens at Patriots

I think this will be a great game between two great teams.  The Patriots offense will be hard to stop but the Ravens defense is one of the best in the NFL, and should be able to slow down the Patriots' two tight ends.  The Ravens do have a great run game, but I think the Patriots will be able to slow down Ray Rice.  I think the Patriots do have the advantage because they are at home.  This game will come down to the end, but I think the Ravens will win because I think they are the better team and the most complete team in the AFC. 

Giants at 49ers

This game is also going to be a very good game.  The Giants are on a roll after beating the defending Super Bowl champions, and the 49ers on motivated to win in front of their fans.  I think the Giants offense will do well, but the 49ers great defense should be able to slow down the Giants.  The 49ers should also be able to get a lot of pressure on Eli Manning with their great pass rushers.  I think the key of this game will be Frank Gore and his ability to run the ball.  If the 49ers can run the ball effectivley they should be able to win.  I think the 49ers will win the game because of their great defense and run game.

Friday, January 20, 2012

How the Brewers Spend Their Money

I was checking the Brewers player salaries for 2012, and do you know who the second highest paid Brewer is?  It is Rickie Weeks, who is scheduled to get paid $11 million this year, with Randy Wolf and Corey Hart almost getting paid $10 million each.  So tell Doug Melvin that we do have money to spend on Prince Fielder if we can pay three average players about $30 million this season.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

NFL Playoff Picks

Texans at Ravens

I think this game will not be very close at all.  The Texans won't be able to run the ball like they have been this year against the Ravens strong defense, and TJ Yates will make a lot of mistakes throwing the football.  The Ravens will be able to run the ball well with Ray Rice, and Joe Flacco will continue to play great in the playoffs.  I think the Ravens are the most complete team and the best team in the AFC.  That is why I think the Ravens will win in easy fashion. 

Giants at Packers

This game will be close like the last time these two teams played each other in the playoffs and in the regular season.  I think the Giants will come out motivated and the Giants stellar defensive line will play great against the Packers weak offensive line.  The Giants should also do pretty well on offense against the Packers, who have one of the leagues worst defenses.  I think Aaron Rodgers will come out a little slow because he hasn't played in three weeks, but after a few plays he should be back to playing at his MVP level like he has all year.  The Packers offensive line will need to protect Aaron Rodgers against the Giants defensive line, which I think is the best in the NFL.  The Packers receivers will also have to make plays and not drop any passes in order to win.  I think this game will be close and exciting, and the Packers will pull out the victory at home to move on to the next round.