Archives for: 2010, week 41


National League Championship Series Preview

Permalink 08:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Philadelphia Phillies vs San Francisco Giants

Do the Giants have what it takes to tame the Phillies starting rotation? Roy Halladay become the second pitcher is Major League baseball history to toss a post-season no hitter (Don Larson, 1956 World Series perfect game). Cincinnati never had a chance. San Francisco took advantage of nearly every break Atlanta threw their way in NLDS. Giants hurlers must come through with career games if they're to have any chance of knocking off NL Champ Philadelphia. Don't bet on it.

The best of 7 NLCS begins tonight. Time to break it down...

Starting Rotation: EDGE PHILLIES
Game 1: Halladay vs Lincecum (in Philadelphia)
Game 2: Oswalt vs Sanchez (in Philadelphia)
Game 3: Hamels vs Cain (in San Francisco)
Game 4: Blanton vs Baumgarner (in San Francisco)

Tremendous edge to Phils. Top 3 starters all capable of tossing complete games. An epic pitching match-up in Game 1 featuring Cy Young candidate Halladay's first start after no hitting Reds vs back to back Cy Young winner Lincecum. Every baseball fan should tune in for this one! Oswalt and Hamels will be too much for Giants inconsistent lineup to handle. Blanton should be skipped if Giants win any of first 3.

Batting Order: EDGE PHILLIES
Howard, Utley, Werth, Rollins, Ibanez, Ruiz, Victorino. Phils lineup weaknesses? None. They'll take it to Giants pitchers all series long. All clutch performers. SF got a late season boost acquiring Ross & Burrell. Don't take Giants lineup lightly. Posey, Uribe, Huff, Burrell could stroke some damage. I'd bet they won't see many run scoring situations. When opportunities arise... these guys better step up because there will be no second chances vs Phils.

Defense: EDGE EVEN
Both defenses are solid and make big plays. Phils (NL's 4th best) .986 fielding percentage. Giants .988 (NL's 3rd best). Rollins leg may limit ability to snag hot shots up the middle.

No player from either team is feared off the bench. These squads feature mostly role players expected to perform when their number's called.

Middle Relief: EDGE GIANTS
No need for Phils long relievers unless control issues pop up for Oswalt (or extra innings). Relievers are Philadelphia's one weak spot. You never know what you're going to see with this erratic crew. Romo, Casilla & Ramirez were lights out during regular season for SF.

Closers: EDGE EVEN
Phillies Lidge and Giants Wilson will keep local fans biting their finger nails off all series long. Nothing is easy with these fellas. Their managers are hoping for more than one run leads before comfortably calling either hurler.

Prediction: The Phillies will win their 3rd straight NLCS. I can't picture any scenario favorable for San Fran to win 4 games. Not against Halladay, Oswalt & Hamels. Phillies dominate all 4 games.

Phillies in 4.



American League Championship Series Preview

Permalink 02:39:14 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers.

Get ready baseball fans. 2010 ALCS is set to begin tonight in Arlington. Playoff history couldn't be more different for these squads. Defending World Series Champion New York Yankees have won 27 Fall Classics. Yankees players dominate playoff record holders in nearly every meaningful category. Texas won their first playoff series ever against Tampa Bay.

Wipe the slate clean. The best of 7 ALCS begins tonight. Yesterday is history. Today is all that matters.

Time to break it all down.

Starting Rotation: EVEN
Game 1 - Sabathia vs Wilson (in Texas)
Game 2 - Hughes vs Lewis (in Texas)
Game 3 - Pettitte vs Lee (in NY)
Game 4 - Burnett vs Hunter (in NY)

Interesting pitching matchups. CC should be able to out-duel Wilson. Yankees bats are ferocious. CC is used to big game pitching. Game 2 is a toss up. Hughes got lucky throwing fastball after fastball right down the middle vs Minnesota but the Twins couldn't get anything going. If Hughes repeats, then Texas will score at will. Pettitte vs Lee. Pettitte's post-season success is legendary. Lee dominated as a Phillie last year and owned the Twins in ALDS. In Game 4, it'll be surprising if either Burnett or Hunter survives 5 innings unscathed.

Batting Order: EDGE YANKEES
Yankees hitters have big game experience. Yankees hitters own a few playoff records. 1-9 there's no easy out vs LHP or RHP. Robinson Cano is AL MVP candidate. The off days should help Yanks players (Posada, Swisher, ARod, Jeter) get strong and healthy. Jeter slumped after the All Star break. He's been hitting everything hard lately. 2009 playoff hero ARod has yet to get it going but he's primed to tear apart his former team.

Rangers are packing Texas heat at the plate. AL MVP candidate Josh Hamilton was a pitchers worst nightmare until a rib injury sidelined him for most of September. He's back, but his swing isn't. Vlad Guererro has been every bit as important to this squad. 7 quality hitters. Good base runners and plenty of pop. Interesting note... Texas has yet to win a 2010 home playoff game.

Huge advantage to Yanks when it comes to team defense. New York committed 36 fewer errors in 2010. Yanks MLB best 69 team errors and .988 fielding percentage. 19 errors by starting infield (ARod 7, Jeter 6, Cano 3, Teixeira 3). Good luck getting one by these guys.

Berkman, Thames & Kearns lead the way and could play large rolls. Thames slugs lefties is scheduled to DH vs Wilson and Lee. Berkman's been turning it up and will start vs righties.

Middle Relief: EDGE RANGERS
One never knows what kind an effort Yanks relievers will deliver. They're good when avoiding falling behind in the count. It's always easier to perform ahead 0-1 or 1-2 than it is behind 2-0 or 3-1. Can't give powerful Rangers hitters any chances to excel or they will. Rangers middle relievers have been great. All they need to do is leave the butterflies behind in the bullpen.

Mariano Rivera is the All Time everything when it comes to Playoff pitching. 0.72 ERA in 91 career playoff games. Rangers have a flame thrower in Feliz. Don't take him for granted but he's been having control issues lately. Feliz cannot afford to give one of the all time greatest come from behind playoff teams any second chances or extra at bats.

Prediction: Throw out who's better on paper. Games are always decided on the field. 27 World Championships to Zero carries a lot of weight but the games will be won pitch to pitch. Hughes & Burnett could get lit up by an aggressive Rangers attack. If the Rangers can pull off a Game 1 victory vs CC then they'll own an emotional and rotation edge. If CC shuts down Texas then there won't be any stopping New York.

Yankees in 6.



NFL Predictions: Week 6

Permalink 02:08:02 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Maybe it's time I try cutting up 28 little pieces of paper containing team names. 6-8 last week. This is officially my worst season of predicting teams since junior high school. Upset city has visited NFL teams in 2010. Bookies and legit sports books are cleaning up. 38-34 season total leads me to refrain from normal one line commentary accompanying predictions.


SUNDAY (home team in CAPS)
BEARS 27 Seahawks 13
PACKERS 33 Dolphins 17
Chargers 38 RAMS 10
PATRIOTS 27 Ravens 26
Saints 31 BUCCANEERS 14
GIANTS 36 Lions 21
Falcons 17 EAGLES 16
STEELERS 23 Browns 17
TEXANS 24 Chiefs 20
Raiders 26 49ERS 21
BRONCOS 34 Jets 24
VIKINGS 24 Cowboys 23
REDSKINS 26 Colts 24

Titans 30 JAGUARS 28

BYE: Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati.


Power Rankings Movers & Shakers

Permalink 01:34:32 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Who's number one? Yankees or Phillies? How about those Texas Rangers? Ohio State or Oregon? Washington or Detroit? Seasons are changing. Baseball is fading as the Fall Classic is only days away. Football is going full steam. NBA & NHL are on the launch pad.

Top 10

1- Phillies
2- Yankees
3- Rangers
4- Giants
5-10 season over
(Playoff previews later this week).

1- Lakers
2- Magic
3- Celtics
4- Heat
5- Mavericks
6- Suns
7- Spurs
8- Thunder
9- Bulls
10-Trail Blazers

1- Ohio State
2- Oregon
3- Boise State
4- Oklahoma
5- Auburn
6- TCU
7- Nebraska
8- LSU
9- Michigan State

A tremendous season in progress.

1- Jets
2- Ravens
3- Steelers
4- Bears
5- Falcons
6- Patriots
7- Chiefs
8- Giants
9- Redskins

Team will be moving up and down this list all season long.

1- Capitals
2- Red Wings
3- Sharks
4- Maple Leafs
5- Canucks
6- Flyers
7- Bruins
8- Lightning
9- Blues



Can You Believe It? (NFL)

Permalink 10:04:47 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL 2010 has been a wacky one. Many a fan has been scratching their head. In Las Vegas, hundreds angrily tear up losing betting slips. It's been a season of "I can't believe they won... or... I can't believe they lost" moments. 90% of the league can be considered within striking distance of becoming division winners or wild card reps.

This season has a great new feel. A select few labeled as losers are putting up early wins. Big favorites stunned by upset losses. Games decided by crazy plays in closing minutes. New York Giants domination of Chicago's front line for 9 first half sacks. 2010 has produced a few shockers...

Here's a few of my "Can You Believe ...?"

Can you believe..... New Orleans (3-2) trails Tampa Bay (3-1) in NFC South after Week 5 ?

... All AFC South teams are tied at 3-2? (Houston, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Tennessee).

... San Francisco is 0-5?

... Kansas City and Tampa Bay are 3-1?

... Randy Moss traded to Minnesota?

... Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (99.9 - 7th) has a higher passer rating than Drew Brees, Tony Romo & Aaron Rodgers?

... 12 kicks returned for touchdowns? (on pace for 38).

... Miami Dolphins special teams implosion vs New England on Monday Night Football?

... Upsets. Houston beat Indy, KC beat SD, STL beat Washington, Seattle stunned SD, Cleveland beat Cincy, Jacksonville beat Indy, Tampa Bay beat Cincy, Washington beat GB... wow!

... 1st, wondering how Chan Gailey was ever offered a head coaching job in Buffalo? 2nd, that he still has a job coaching the lowly 0-5 Bills. It's almost like Buffalo is tanking teams so they can escape to Toronto?