Jim Sez MLB Managers and NFL Previews Colts Falcons Rams

THE BASEBALL REPORT: IT'S A THUMBS-UP/THUMBS-DOWN LOOK AT A FISTFUL-PLUS OF MLB MANAGERS

OUR NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM UPDATES INCLUDE THE COLTS, FALCONS & RAMS

Love to hear the TV "experts" ramble on and on regarding what kind of a job Major-League Baseball managers are doing - sometimes we simply don't get it such as when MLB Network's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo waxes poetic about Los Angeles Angels skipper Mike Scioscia:

Heck, if the Halos weren't on the hook for so much of his remaining salary, Scioscia would have - or should have - been a goner a couple of years ago and this season the rotten-to-the-core Angels (35-50) are likely to land an "F" in our mid-term report card grades which we'll release here at Jim Sez in the next couple of days.

So, let's now take a few moments to go "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" to the jobs a half-dozen MLB managers have done so far 80-plus games into this current campaign ... we'll name a manager in each division and let y'all know where we stand:

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pete Mackanin, Philadelphia ... B+
Kudos to this journeyman manager who has this rather no-name pitching staff and low-scoring offense (14th in NL in runs scored) playing better than anyone could have expected at 40-46 (the Phillies' wins total for the year is 66.5).
The Verdict: Thumbs Up

Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh ... B
The Buccos (43-41) have rallied to become relevant the past couple of weeks and Hurdle deserves lots of credit for not allowing this NL Central club to "punt" on their season - note those were the words of TV analyst John Smoltz.
The Verdict: Thumbs Up

Chip Hale, Arizona ... D
No excuses for this fiery Diamondbacks manager even though his club (38-48) lost CF A.J. Pollock on the eve of this 2016 season. The pitching ranks 13th in team ERA and that's after inking free agent RHP Zack Greinke. And why can't this NL West club win at home?
The Verdict: Thumbs Down

AMERICAN LEAGUE -

Joe Girardi, New York Yankees ... C-
There are many on-the-air personalities in/around New York City that believe Girardi's doing a bang-up job, but not us. In fact, Girardi's already cost the Bombers (41-42) a handful of games with shaky strategy and we won't even bring up the fact he talked his way into a rain delay last week that cost his club a game.
The Verdict: Thumbs Down

Brad Ausmus, Detroit ... B+
Consider that this second-year AL Central skipper was supposed to get axed about six weeks ago but instead the Tigers have charged back into the playoff chase at 45-40 and give credit to Ausmus for ignoring any/all calls for his scalp.
The Verdict: Thumbs Up

Jeff Banister, Texas ... A+
Folks, this here's your MLB Manager of the Year right this moment - yes, he gets the nod over Chicago Cubs field boss Joe Maddon in case you were wondering! - with the AL West-leading Rangers sitting pretty at 53-32 despite the fact they rank 6th in the league in home runs (108) and only 6th in team ERA (4.18).
The Verdict: Thumbs Up

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners. Plus, the Football Season isn't that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on Sunday, August 7th with the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Indianapolis Colts versus the Green Bay Packers - just cannot wait, right?

NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES

It is summertime and that means the annual Jim Sez report on all 32 NFL teams with our quick-hitter looks continuing today with the Indianapolis Colts, the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams ... and check out our quickie pointspread ditties too. Last year's SU (straight-up) records appear next to the team name below:

INDIANAPOLIS (8-8) - Is there any money left to pay anyone else after last week's announcement that the Colts would be handing over $140 million to QB Andrew Luck ($87 million of which is guaranteed)? Keep in mind Luck did miss nine games last year for a Colts crew that scored 18 points or less in seven games. One target that Luck hopes to connect with often is WR Donte Moncrief who missed Indianapolis' offseason practices following toe surgery.
Pointspread Notes - The Colts were a major money-maker as chalk sides between 2012 thru 2014 with a spiffy 20-8-2 ATS (against the spread) log when laying points but last year Indy slumped to 2-6 ATS as betting favorites and that included four consecutive season-opening spread setbacks as favs.

ATLANTA (8-8) - Maybe the Falcons don't have any friends in the NFL offices at Park Avenue in New York City: Keep in mind this NFC South crew will play four of its first six games in different time zones with road tilts slated for Oakland (Week 2), New Orleans (Week 3), Denver (Week 5) and Seattle (Week 6) ... the good news is Atlanta will play only one "far-away" road game in its final 10 games with that being a Week 14 affair at the Los Angeles Rams.
Pointspread Notes - Hard to believe that the Falcons last year finished 6-10 versus the vig after that hellacious 4-and-oh spread start that included milt outright upset wins against Philadelphia and the New York Giants. Overall, Atlanta's a dour 9-15 ATS away since the start of the 2013 campaign.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (7-9) - The up-to-the-minute Rams' depth chart shows four quarterbacks on the list with rookie and top draftee Jared Goff (California) atop the pile followed by Case Keenum, Nick Foles and Sean Mannion but don't expect that to stay put ... this NFC West crew isn't promising that Goff will be the Week 1 starter nor that a couple of these dudes might be gone by the end of the summer. Last year Foles led the then-St. Louis Rams with 2,052 yards passing and 7 TDs with 10 INTs while Keenum chipped in 828 passing yards with 4 TDs/1 INT and Mannion completed 6-of-7 passes for 31 yards and O TDs/0 INTs.
Pointspread Notes - Since the start of 2011, the Rams are just 7-12 ATS as betting favorites and that includes early-season spread setbacks versus Washington and Pittsburgh as 3- and 1.5-point favorites a year ago. Note that the Rams are a crummy 2-7 spreadwise in Week 1 affairs since 2007 and they'll open up this new Los Angeles era at San Francisco in a Monday Night Football game on September 12 ... why not have the Rams open at home and get all the glitz/glamor that will go with being back in Hollywood?

NOTE: Get ready for our MLB Report Grades this weekend here at Jim Sez.

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