The MLB Report: Will Dodgers Slow Down without Their Ace?

THE BASEBALL START-OF-THE-WEEK REPORT: IS THERE ANY LETTING UP FOR THE LA DODGERS (WHO MAY BE WITHOUT STAR LEFTY CLAYTON KERSHAW TILL FURTHER NOTICE?)

OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE FORECASTS ARE STRAIGHT AHEAD THIS WEEK BUT NOW WE'RE TALKING HEISMAN TROPHY ODDS

It's a brand-new week ... but we're asking the same old story: Is there anyone out there in Major-League Baseball land that can derail the sizzling-hot Los Angeles Dodgers (68-31)?

Heck, it seemed as if it was a "successful" weekend past for the visiting Atlanta Braves who managed to split the series with the Dodgers - note the Bravos were + 190 and + 230 in the games they won last Thursday and Friday night -- but overall baseball's best team (that's a .687 winning percentage that we're talking about, ladies and gents!) still sported a winning week with a 4-2 overall mark that included a pair of road victories against the lowly Chicago White Sox.

The proverbial bottom line is the Dodgers - who own a 10.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the National League West and an 11.5-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks - may have to go it without super-stud lefthander Clayton Kershaw for a start or more following his latest back injury flare-up yet we're here to inform y'all that the Dodgers have won 8 of their last 10, 13 of their last 15, 27 of their last 32 and 33 of their last 39 games ... now that's mind-numbing stuff for any era and we're ball-parking it here but safe to say that in the Dodgers' last 40 games they've made their $100 per-play backers in the neighborhood of 2,000 smackers.

Now the Dodgers embark on a new week in which the Minnesota Twins come calling - and Minny's a rock-solid 26-17 on the road this year - and then the archrival San Francisco Giants come knocking on the door for a three-game set.

If Kershaw's out for a time (he's already been placed on the 10-day Disabled List), than there will be plenty of nay-sayers claiming the Dodgers' demise is imminent, but can we remind you that Dave Roberts' club is 41-13 at home, 9-3 versus American League sides and 24-17 against fellow NL West opponents ... nobody's getting rich betting against those figures and if folks are waiting for a Dodgers' collapse because of Kershaw's removal after 21 pitches and lower back pain in Sunday's eventual 5-4 extra-innings win against Atlanta, then here's what we say:

Don't hold your blanket-bland breath! The Dodgers currently rank first in the NL in team ERA (3.16 ERA), they're third in the league in runs scored (501 runs or 5.06 runs per game) and fourth in home runs (141 or 1.42 dingers per game).

In other words, it's all not just Mr. Kershaw.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days when you check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus, the Football Season isn't far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on Thursday, August 3rd with the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys versus the Arizona Cardinals. And the College Football kids get serious beginning on Saturday, August 26th when there's three games on the big board including Hawaii-UMass, Portland State-BYU and Stanford-Rice ... so know that we're gearing up for loads of NFL and College Football winners soon enough!

In other MLB News/Notes ...
Not always sure there's a correlation between the day of the week and a team's won/loss mark but when the New York Mets dropped a 3-2 rain-delayed verdict to the visiting Oakland A's on Sunday afternoon, it marked the 11th time in 16 Sundays that the Mets had come up losers and - crazier yet - the Mets now have had five different opportunities to snag a weekend home sweep and they've failed all five times (versus Miami on May 7th, versus the Los Angeles Angels on June 21st, against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 2nd, versus Colorado on July 16th and then in this latest outing against the Oakland A's) ...

Finally, the week ahead features some fun Interleague matchups aside from the above-mentioned Twins-Dodgers three-game set - there's the Windy City home-and-home set between the White Sox and Chicago Cubs (first two games at Wrigley Field) and there's a fun two-game set between the Cincinnati Reds at the New York Yankees - watching Reds 1B Joey Votto take his hacks against those Yank relievers will be a blast, eh?

 

HEISMAN TROPHY ODDS

It's never - we repeat - never too early to talk up College Football as the 2017 will swing into high gear in another 30-or-so days but we actually begin our preseason coverage by chatting up the here-and-now 2017 Heisman Trophy Odds ... here we go:

PLAYERPOSITIONSCHOOLHEISMAN ODDS
Sam DarnoldQBUSC9-2
Lamar JacksonQBLouisville8-1
Baker MayfieldQBOklahoma10-1
J.T. BarrettQBOhio St.10-1
Deondre FrancoisQBFlorida St.12-1
Jake BrowningQBWashington15-1
Jarrett StidhamQBAuburn15-1
Saquon BarkleyRBPenn St.18-1

Sure looks like the Heisman Trophy is gonna come from a rich quarterback pool as USC's Sam Darnold - for now - is the favorite over last year's winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville but our prediction is any of the above-named slingers than snags a key early-season "signature win" and puts up some keen September stats will be the frontrunner that must be caught from behind - just like Louisville's Jackson who dashed out to such a big Heisman lead in 2016 that he was never gonna be caught even though he skidded late in the year and in the team's bowl loss versus LSU.

If there's a 20-to-1 (or longer) guy to watch it's UCLA signal-caller Jose Rosen (yes, he's listed at 20-to-1) providing he can stay in one piece for a 12-game season and do keep an eye on long-shot Alabama RB Bo Scarborough who's priced at 25-to-1 but showed last year he's a big-time star in big-time games.

 

NOTE: Lots more Football coming in the next editions of Jim Sez.

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