Hats Off to the ’Stros But Game 7 Was a Snoozer; NFL Week 9 Heats Up Tonight










Go ahead and give the Houston Astros a round of applause … Major-League Baseball’s newest champions were born in 1962 and that’s a really long, long time to make your fans wait for a title. Right?



Now, far be it from us, but the Los Angeles Dodgers – and specifically right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish – sure made it easy for the ‘Stros to cash in last night in a Game 7 that bored most folks to tears. Darvish was a disaster as five of the 10 batters he faced came around to score and he can begin packing his bags right now ‘cause the National League champions will have zero interest in bringing him back. Okay, so that’s for another day.


Meantime, Houston won Game 7 by a 5-1 score behind Series MVP George Springer’s game-opening double (he scored moments later) and his second-inning two-run dinger that jumped out of a stunned Dodger Stadium but you could make the case that LA shot itself in the foot way too many times as the Dodgers left nine men on base in the first four innings alone and didn’t get a damn key hit all night.


It was some really awful baseball – heck, Houston RHP Lance McCullers Jr. plunked four batters in less than three innnings of work – but the Astros’ pen did the rest while allowing just one run in 6 one-third innings with “closer” Charlie Morton pretty much cruising through the final four innings.


Was it a great Game 7? Nope, but all anyone’s gonna remember years from now is Houston won its first-ever baseball championship and SS Carlos Correa proposed to his gal friend on the field a half-hour after the final play of the game.


Who knew that was going to be the single most-exciting part of the night?


  Attention ladies and gentlemen …


The 2017 Major-League Baseball season is now in the books but there’s plenty of winning straight ahead thanks to Jim Hurley and his famed Handicappers and Bloggers. Make sure you roll into NFL Week 9 with our Sides & Totals plays on tonight’s game between the Buffalo Bills at the New York Jets. Plus, there’s lots of College Football action this evening – including a 6 p.m. Eastern time start between Northern Illinois at Toledo in a key Mid-American Conference game. Plus get all the NBA winners too as we pile up the profits in the month of November.





BUFFALO (5-2) at NEW YORK JETS (3-5) – 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS


It’s no secret that the Buffalo Bills have pushed all their chips into the proverbial center of the table. Hey, the Bills have four wins in their last five overall games and then “upped the ante” this past Tuesday at the NFL Trade Deadline when they acquired uber-talented WR Kelvin Benjamin from Carolina.


First-year head coach Sean McDermott’s squad leads the league in the all-important turnover margin category – the Bills are a plus 14 – and can you believe that this Buffalo offense has turned it over only three times? If QB Tyrod Taylor steers clear of getting picked off by NYJ’s rookie safeties then the 3-point favorite Bills should move into a tie with New England atop the AFC East.


The backdrop for the J-E-T-S is that they’ve come out and scored a touchdown on their opening possession in each of the past three weeks – against New England, Miami and Atlanta – but they’ve blown fourth-quarter leads in all of them and suddenly the feel-good story that was the ’17 Jets has turned sour.


Let’s see if RB Matt Forte – only four carries last week in the rainstorm 25-20 loss-but-cover against the Falcons – gets his way and gets more touches after he sounded off against the game plan the other day.


In other NFL News & Notes …

Not quite sure we believe all the talk that the inept Cleveland Browns “botched” the proposed trade for QB AJ McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals. Maybe there is some truth to the belief that Cleveland didn’t notify the NFL folks of the deal in a timely manner but it appears Bengals’ boss Marvin Lewis didn’t want to deal McCarron and so Cincy more than likely scuttled the trade at the last minute. Prediction: McCarron will be Cincinnati’s first-stringer come the 2018 season and QB Andy Dalton will be gone  …


And a shout-out to the Minnesota Vikings – the most unsung 6-2 team in the league -- and they’re really getting it done with a third-string quarterback in Case Keenum and a high-quality defense that makes second-half adjustments better than anyone else this side of Bill Belichick’s Patriots. If the Vikings – who rank third in the league in total defense – want to look at things “long term” than consider Minnesota that following this weekend’s bye, the next three weeks includes road games at Washington (banged-up badly on the O-line) and Detroit (offensively-challenged lately) sandwiched around a home game against the Los Angeles Rams. Is it possible the Vikes could be 9-2 while heading into December?





Go ahead and raise your hand if you accurately predicted the four teams in the first-of-the-season College Football Playoff rankings … now way, Jose!


Hey, we forecast that Notre Dame (at #3) would get into the mix in this debut ranking but we didn’t expect Georgia to be #1 over #2 Alabama and we surely didn’t think reigning national champ Clemson would snag the #4 spot … does everyone out there think #9 Wisconsin is not “for real”?


Wow, we know the Badgers have not played a particularly challening sked but give the “cheeseheads” a break! They’re 8-and-oh and deserve to be ranked ahead of one-loss squads such as Ohio State,  Oklahoma, Penn State and TCU.


Says us!


And keep in mind that if Miami runs the table, then the Hurricanes will be in the “final four” … no ifs, ands or buts about it!





Today’s Hot Plays