Our AL All-Star Game Ballot Plus Lots More
HERE’S A LOOK AT OUR OWN AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME BALLOT PLUS MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM REPORTS AS WE TACKLE THE COWBOYS, BENGALS & BILLS
Friends, we’re now less than two weeks out from the Major-League Baseball All-Star Game in Miami and, well, you know what they say …
Get out and vote!
As a matter of fact, voting ends Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. ET and there’s still plenty of positions up for grabs.
In a bit here in today’s column space, we’ll have our American League All-Star Game ballot and in tomorrow’s jam-packed edition of Jim Sez we’ll get you our National League ballot, so make sure you check it out!
And remember …
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 at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus, the Football Season is right around the corner with preseason games set for early August!
OUR AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME BALLOT
Here’s the way we see it in terms of All-Star Game starters beginning with the “junior circuit”:
1B – Yonder Alonso, Oakland (.292, 17 HR, 38 RBI) … One of the most scrutinized swings in the “bigs” but surely A’s slugger has re-invented himself in 2017.
2B – Jose Altuve, Houston (.319, 11 HR, 36 RBI) … One of baseball’s top five players overall and the leader of MLB’s best team in season’s first half of play.
SS – Carlos Correa, Houston (.303, 14 HR, 48 RBI) … Keystone combo with Altuve and folks still buzz about how the ball jumps off this kid’s bat. Is an MVP straight ahead this ’17 campaign?
3B – Miguel Sano, Minnesota (.278, 18 HR, 52 RBI) … Hats off to MLB fans who’ve got this Twins star in the lead all along and would love to see him get a few big swings in Mid-Summer Classic against RHP Max Scherzer/LHP Clayton Kershaw.
OF – Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (.330, 26 HR, 59 RBI) … Monster masher has been the numero uno story of this MLB season thus far and would like to see ‘em get three at-bats in All-Star Game.
OF – George Springer, Houston (.280, 22 HR, 47 RBI) … Another man/child that’s been bopping all year long and maybe he’ll hit that Marlins’ “home run” structure beyond centerfield.
OF – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (.337, 16 HR, 36 RBI) … Two-time league MVP has been out awhile and still deserves a starting spot on the AL squad.
C – Salvador Perez, Kansas City (.290, 15 HR, 43 RBI) … One of baseball’s five most important players as these Royals would have fallen apart this year without ‘em.
DH – Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels (.239, 11 HR, 51 RBI) … Call it a reward for his 600th home run, okay?
NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES
It’s summertime and that means the annual Jim Sez report on all 32 NFL teams with our quick-hitter looks and today it’s the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills … note that we list the 2016 SU (straight-up) mark including post-season games after the team name below plus check out our quickie pointspread ditties on each/every team along the way too!
DALLAS (13-4) – So, what type of encore season is RB Ezekiel Elliott gonna have in 2017? The Cowboys’ electric star led the NFL with 322 carries last year and 1,631 rushing yards and even jumped into the team’s Salvation Army kettle but insiders say his role will be expanded this year in the passing game one year after ranking 31st in the league in targets among running backs. In a perfect world, the Cowboys would love to have Elliott handle the ball 30 times a game and they’d cut him some slack in any/all blowouts.
Pointspread Notes – Last year’s Cowboys actually banged out a nine-game spread winning streak between Week 2 and Week 11 (there was a Week 7 bye) and still only finished with a 10-7 ATS (against the spread) mark … hmmm. Note that Dallas covered four-of-five games when placed in the underdog role.
CINCINNATI (6-9-1) – Maybe one of the most distressing aspects of last year’s Bengals’ bust season was the fact the team ranked 21st in rush defense (113.2 ypg allowed) but a healthy off season from LB Vontaze Burfict could help. Note that the often wild-and-crazy Burfict spent the better part of the past two off seasons recovering from knee and foot injuries and it appears the Bengals’ ‘backer has recovered fully from last year’s concussion that kayoed him from the regular-season finale.
Pointspread Notes – No playoffs last year for the Bengals and a losing spread mark for the first time since 2010 too as Cincy had to get hot late just to get to 7-9 ATS with four covers in its final five games. Note that Cincinnati is a solid 4-1-1 spreadwise in season openers the past half-dozen seasons.
BUFFALO (7-9) – Lost among last year’s “lost season” for the Bills was the fact that this AFC East crew ranked first in the NFL in rushing yards (164.4 ypg) … so maybe that’s not the best way to travel in this here-and-now NFL so rookie head coach Sean McDermott is very much watchful of the progress WR Sammy Watkins (foot) is making after the speedy wide-out missed a batch of game time in each of the past two season. Watkins won’t be given a full workload come late July training camp after playing in just eight games – and with 28 receptions -- in 2016.
Pointspread Notes – Call ‘em the bad news Bills last year as the second and final year of the Rex Ryan Era produced a shoddy 6-10 ATS mark that included a 1-5 spread mark versus fellow AFC East foes and a matching 3-5 ATS marks both home and away. Ugh!
NOTE: More NFL team-by-team quick hitters in the next edition of Jim Sez plus there’s NBA Free Agent goodies and Major-League Baseball too!
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