NL All-Star Ballot Plus NFL Goodies
THE BASEBALL UPDATE: HERE’S OUR NL ALL-STAR GAME BALLOT … PLUS MORE NFL TEAM-BY-TEAM GLANCES AS WE ZOOM IN ON THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION PATRIOTS AND THE SAINTS, VIKINGS TOO!
Folks, we’ll soon be heading into the holiday weekend and there’s lots of great Major-League Baseball action on tap – never mind the fact we’re looking to see when/if the defending champion Chicago Cubs ever get their act together as we’re now nearly three months (or halfway) through this 2017 season and the Cubbies remain as inconsistent as any recent champ … agree?
And now hear this …
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 NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME BALLOT
Here’s the way we see it in terms of All-Star Game starters with the “senior circuit”:
1B – Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona (.327, 18 HR, 65 RBI) … The Diamondbacks’ heart-and-soul player has been Mr. Clutch again for this playoff contender
2B – Daniel Murphy, Washington (.340, 13 HR, 54 RBI) … Absolute slam-dunk choice here as the Nationals’ superstar second sacker is piling up MVP votes again
SS – Zack Cozart, Cincinnati (.320, 9 HR, 33 RBI) … Hats off to the fans at large who’ve propelled this Reds’ star into the top spot; they got it right!
3B – Nolan Arenado, Colorado (.292, 15 HR, 59 RBI) … The excellent glove work gives him the slightest of edges over Milwaukee’s Travis Shaw
OF – Bryce Harper, Washington (.316, 18 HR, 56 RBI) … Don’t know about you, but every time we see Harper swing he hits the ball hard somewhere
OF – Marcell Ozuna, Miami (.315, 20 HR, 54 RBI) … Might be second-best player in the Marlins outfield these days but power/defense/speed has ‘em in upper echelon of NL players
OF – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami (.271, 20 HR, 49 RBI) … Defending Home Run Derby champ would love to wow the home folks with a dinger in the Mid-Summer Classic
C – Buster Posey, San Francisco (.344, 10 HR, 33 RBI) … Imagine if he wins the NL batting crown this year? Very bright spot in very dull SF season so far
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 New England Patriots, the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings … 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!
NEW ENGLAND (17-2) – Call it the rich getting richer, but the Patriots’ off-season move to acquire New Orleans WR Brandin Cooks (in exchange for a first-round draft pick) not only makes QB Tom Brady happy for the extra team speed but it deepens the still-underrated wide receiving corps that now likely lists WR Chris Hogan (team-best 332 receiving yards in the post-season) as the more-than-likely third wide out behind Cooks and WR Julian Edelman (98 regular-season receptions last year).
Pointspread Notes – Amazing that last year’s Patriots finished up their Super Bowl-winning season with a 16-3 ATS (against the spread) mark … that’s an eye-popping .842 winning rate! New England covered its final eight games of the year including the post-season tilts versus Houston, Pittsburgh and Atlanta and overall Bill Belichick’s crew 8-1 against the odds in games played away from its Foxboro digs.
NEW ORLEANS (7-9) – The word coming down the pike last week was that Saints C Max Unger – who suffered a foot injury in Week 13 a year ago – won’t participate in any of the team’s summer drills nor the preseason games. Unger had surgery in May for a Lisfranc injury and the Saints are holding out hope he’ll be ready to play in the regular-season opener but don’t be shocked if Sean Payton’s team is on the lookout for center help this summer.
Pointspread Notes – Okay, so lost amidst the fact the 2016 Saints did not go the post-season for a third consecutive year was the other fact that N’Orleans compiled a 10-5-1 ATS log. The NFC South squad registered a 7-1-1 spread mark whenever placed in the underdog role and that included outright upsets versus San Diego, Carolina, Seattle and Arizona.
MINNESOTA (8-8) – Is there gonna be serious competition for K Kai Forbath this summer? Last year Forbath nailed all 15 of his field-goal attempts and remains the heavy favorite to retain his job but Marshall Koehn – formerly a free agent signee with Miami – is considered a rising star and so there could be some “comp” for this position that’s been a Viking bugaboo over the years.
Pointspread Notes – Remember last year when the Vikings bolted out of the starting gate with five consecutive pointspread wins? Well, when the dust finally settled on a disappointing ’16 season the Vikes went 9-7 against the odds and that included a losing mark as betting favorites (3-4 ATS) following a Week 6 bye and an overall 1-5 ATS mark away from Week 4 on.
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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