Red Sox Still Alive In The AL East

Despite recent struggles, the Red Sox is still alive in the AL East. After taking two out of three in Seattle, the team has won seven in a row. With eleven games left, it boils down to the starting pitching. Chris Sale is healthy and winning. Nathan Eovaldi is one of the league _best. With a weekend series against the Yankees, the team cannot afford to make silly mistakes. Fundamentals have been a major issue with this team. In this post, we will review the club’s strengths.

Chris Sale Is Healthy And Winning

Since being reactivated with Tommy John surgery, Chris Sale is 5-0. Despite an issue with Covid, the teams’, pitching is its’ strong point. With Sale pitching like Sale, the Red Sox are just as good as anyone.

With, fourteen pitchers, the team is flexible. Garrett Richards has been a shining star. c is healthy from Covid. Rookie Garrett Whitlock is a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year.

The success of the club falls on Chris Sales health. Nathan Eovaldi has been the unit’s ace all year. Eduardo Rodriguez has been inconsistent. A successful postseason depends on the starting pitching.

A Smart Manager In Alex Cora

Despite, a second_ half slide, manager Alex Cora has the club in the thick of the race. The team has rediscovered itself since the Covid outbreak. He has managed to utilize Kyle Schwarber and JD Martinez.

The organization has also gotten convincing performances from its bench. Late _season additions Travis Shaw, Jose Iglesias have contributed significantly. Cora has managed to keep loose and winning. Late game heroics have also benefitted the team.

With thirteen players out with Covid, Alex Cora has the club playing tough hard_ nosed baseball. If the team can play smart baseball, the playoffs will be a success.

The Emergence Of Bobby Dalbec

First baseman Bobby Dalbec has emerged as a quality first baseman. With, early_ season stumbles, Dalbec was Player of the Month for August. With, 23 home runs and 78 rbi’s Dalbec is only getting better. He and Hunter Renfroe continue to get clutch hits.

Defensively, Dalbec continues to shine. Prior to August, he was heavily criticized for not making routine plays. He is clearly the team’s best hitter as of this moment. If the club needs to keep winning, then they need Dalbec to stay hot.

Conclusion

With nine games left, the Red Sox are in a good spot. Sound baseball is the recipe for success. Committing poor base running mistakes and sloppy defense will not get it done.

Questions Facing 2021 Patriots Roster

With the 2021 NFL season a week away, fans are questioning the 2021 Patriots Roster. The head coach spent over $160.000,000 The most in franchise history. They drafted a quarterback with the 15the pick in the NFL Draft. New faces will be on the field and time will tell how this team responds. In this post, we will evaluate three areas that the team needs to focus on.

Quarterback Experience/Depth

Last week the organization released Cam Newton. Newton, the controversial starter, suddenly got released. Rumors of vaccination issues quickly spread. Realistically, Cam Newton was beat out by rookie Mac Jones.

The future is now with Mac Jones leading the way. The biggest question can move the Patriot’s offense. And the next question is can he stay healthy. With a deep offensive line and backfield, Jones should be OK. The growing pains will show. Patience from the fans and coaches will be vital.

With new receivers and two new tight ends, Jones should be successful. If the receivers can hold on to the ball and get open, Jones is the perfect quarterback to lead them. One area that needs improvement is receivers holding onto the ball. Last season, the team was one of the worst for dropping passes.

No Stephon Gilmore

With, pre _season over, Stephon Gilmore has yet to be on the field. Gilmore was assigned to the PUP list. Contract talks continue to stall and the Patriots backfield is not as strong as it once was.

The team added cornerback Shaun Wade from Baltimore. Wade, an Ohio State product, was considered a high draft pick, but an injury deterred his stock.

Special Teams Concerns

The Patriots signed undrafted kicker Quinn Nordin out of Michigan. With, Nordin’s signing, Nick Folk is on the practice squad. The issue is Nordin has no NFL experience. Last year’s kicker Nick Folk was effective but was beat out by Nordin. Nordin impressed the Patriots coaches this summer.

Conclusion

With, the offseason roster revamped fans are curious about the upcoming season. All eyes are on Mac Jones. Cam Newton’s work ethic was debatable. Last season Newton did not execute one hurry_up exercise. The Hurry_up is a vital play for any NFL team. Overall, I look for the Patriots to go 10-7 for the 2021 NFL season.

Marcus Smart Will Be Staying In Boston

Marcus Smart will be staying in Boston. The NBA free_agency is off and running. The Celtics have been one of the league’s busier teams. Veteran, Tristan Thompson, and Kemba Walker will be changing uniforms. The Celtics and Al Horford have reunited. In this post, I will review three reasons why Marcus Smart isn’t going anywhere this offseason.

Tough/Scrappy Defender

‘Marcus Smart is one of the game’s toughest defenders. His tough scrappy, style makes him special. When he is on the floor opposing teams know they’re in for a long night. Criticized for his emotions and short fuse Smart has also cost the Celtics critical games. But overall he’s the game’s best and they have no one else to replace him.

Since being draftec1st by the Celtics in 2014, Smart has improved significantly each year. Last season the team finished a disappointing eighth seed and first_round exit. With new faces, Smart will have to step up in 2021/22.

Offensive Game Improving

In the last three seasons, Smart’s offensive game has been improving. His outside shooting has been the most significant improvement. Taking more shots Smart is getting more confident each. game. His three_point shooting has also improved significantly.

If improvements continue the rewards will be beneficial. The more he connects in the postseason, the better the team’s results. Shooting threes is the key to playoff success in the NBA.

Needs To Control Emotions

During the season Smart receives heavy criticism from fans due to his emotions. If the Celtics want to win crucial games this is an area that needs to be addressed. Playing intelligently is important for him and the team. Within time and patients, he will get better.

Conclusion

With GM Brad Stevens wheeling and dealing, Marcus Smart is still valuable to the organization. Many fans would like to see him traded. With Kris Dunn acquired in trade, Smart would provide depth. Resigning Evan Fournier is vital for a winning season. Do not expect the number one pick Juhann Begarin of France for a couple of years.

Patriots And Stephon Gilmore Need To Come To Terms

The Patriots and Stephon Gilmore need to come to terms. With the NFL pre _season around the corner, time is running out. Currently, he is in the final year of a four-year deal. In this post, we will review three issues why Stephon Gilmore should be extended.

Creates Opportunity

Patriots fans know the importance of getting Stephon Gilmore re-signed. Gilmore is on the last year of a four_year deal. Injuries hindered him in 2020. In eleven games Gilmore had one interception.

Overall, the four_year Patriot has started in fifty_six games and has eleven interceptions. Getting Gilmore extended makes the Patriots that much better. With, all the new additions, resigning him is a priority.

Gilmore would provide depth in the defensive backfield. The team lost corner Jason McCourty in free agency. The Patriots have Devin McCourty, Johnathan Jones, Jalen Mills, Myles Turner, Kyle Duggar, Adrian Phillips, JoeJuan Williams under contract. With him signed, their defense would be a Super Bowl defense.

The Incentive Option

One resolution for the team to go in is the incentive option. this means that the organization would tack on money and lengthen his contract. Such was the case with former players Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, and Richard Seymour.

Given his age of thirty and a season_ ending injury in 2020, it comes down to his expectations. One scenario was Deion Branch. Branch held out for more money, which came down to him being traded to Seattle. One thing is for certain, they are better with him than without him.

Compared To Other Corners

In 2019, Stephon Gilmore was the best in football. However, Pro Football Focus Gilmore does not rank in the top 10. Compared to Jalen Ramsey of the Rams, Jaire Alexander of Green Bay, Travon Mullen of Las Vegas. Patriot corner JC Jackson does rank in the top 10. Given Gilmores age, he takes more snaps than Jackson and covers the opposition’s number one receiver. Jackson is younger and used in situational plays.

Conclusion

Having Stephon Gilmore resigned would make life a lot easier for Patriots fans, The team has fifteen million dollars left in cap space for the 2021 season. a healthy Stephon Gilmore is intimidating for NFL quarterbacks. I think in the end both sides will come to terms.

Three Studs The Red Sox Must Consider In The Draft

With, the MLB Draft days away the Red Sox has decisions to make. With the fourth selection, there are three studs the Red Sox must consider in the draft. the team can draft a quality arm or select a talented positional player. In this post, we will review three options the team can explore.

Starting Pitching Depth

This year’s draft is stockpiled with pitching. The two top studs are Jack Leiter and Kumar Rockar. Both hurl for Vanderbilt. Out of the two, Jack Leiter has the upside. With four pitches to his arsenal, he would be the ideal selection for Boston.

In 2021 Leiter finished up with a 2.08 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 101 innings pitched. His teammate Rocker is equally talented. Blessed with a torrid fastball and curve he will be a nice fit in a Red Sox uniform.

In three years at Vanderbilt Rocker has compiled a 28-10 record and a sharp2.89 ERA. His most impressive performance was his 19 strikeout no_hitter in the 2019 NCAA regional finals. The Burly 6″5″ 245 lb righty will be a starter in two_years.

Henry Davis/C/Louisville

Henry Davis the most talented catcher in this year’s draft. Currently, the club has Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki, Connor Wong, Ronaldo Hernandez, and Chris Hermann on the depth chart. By drafting Davis, this would be a stud who is an offensive threat.

In 2021 Davis hit 370 with 15 home runs, 48 runs batted in for the Cardinals. Not to mention a 663/SLG,484OBS. The only drawback is how he handles quality pitching. His framing and game_ calling skills are superb.

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Other Options

I like Henry Davis with the fourth pick. Realistically Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker will have been selected. Davis is an extraordinary talent who could be starting in three_years.

Outfielders to look for are Colton Cowser of Sam Houston State and Sal Frelick of Boston College. Both are excellent contact hitters exceptional defensively. Frelick can play both the infield and outfield which would help his stock.

Conclusion

This will be General Manager Chaim Bloom’s second draft. Last year the organization selected second baseman, Nick Yorke. Yorke a high school phenom from California has impressed the team’s scouts with his power. Another important draft in rebuilding a thin minor league system.

Patriots Have Many Holes To Fill In This Year’s Draft.

Now that Mac Jones is officially a Patriot let’s look at the big picture. The Patriots have many holes to fill. Defensively, they ranked 26th in 2020. They were one of the worst teams in the league in stopping the run. So where do they go from here? My guess is Bill Belichick will focus on the defensive line adding to the rotation. In this post, we will discuss three departments the team needs to restructure.

Middle Linebacker/Defensive Front

The good news is Donta Hightower is returning for the 2021 campaign. Other than that there is not much to get excited about. Edge rusher Josh Uche showed flashes of promise. Chase Winovich is gradually getting better. Number one pick Kyle Duggar has shown he can play. I personally feel they need to get more physical. Teams ran all over them last season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. That statistic needs to improve.

New additions Henry Anderson, Davon Godchaulx, and Matthew Judon, and Kyle Van Noy will bolster the front seven. Stopping the run is priority number one in 2021.

Patrick Chung Retiring/McCourty Aging

In the off_ season safety, Patrick Chung retired. Chung was noted for his ability in stopping the run. Long time safety Devin McCourty a year older. Second_year safety Kyle Duggar is not ready to take over yet.

Replacing Julian Edelman

The biggest off season news was Julian Edelman announcing his retirement. Edelman is one of the greatest slot receivers in Patriots history. Known for his toughness,Edelman made one of the most clutch catches in Super Bowl history in the comeback win.

Two names to keep an eye on are Elijah Moore of Ole Miss and terrace Marshall Jr of LSu. Both receivers are excellent route runners with burning speed.

Conclusion

Poor execution was frustrating for Patriots fans. A 7-9 record is frustrating for Patriots fans But with the free _agent spending spree and new blood coming in,2021 will be an exciting year.

Sizing Up Chaim Bloom’s Offseason Transactions.

Now that baseball is officially here, it is time to make predictions. Red Sox General Manager Chaim Bloom didn’t really make any big splashes, but he did enough to keep the team competitive. In this post, we will review Chaim Bloom’s Off_ season Red Sox transactions. If anything, the organization got better. But that remains to be seen.

New _Season Fresh Outlook

In 2020, the organization had the 4th worst record in Major League Baseball. Now a year later the team has rehired Alex Cora. With Alex Cora, the club has several new faces. Key addition,s are Garrett Richards righthanded pitcher, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, right_ handed pitcher Mike Andriese, Relief pitcher Adam Oattavino, utility man Marwin Gonzalez, second_baseman Kiki Hernandez, Right Handed_pitcher Calvin Pritchard,

Granted, these moves are not blockbusters, but good enough to make a solid competitor in the AL East this season. Martin Perez provides depth. With promising prospects Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata on the horizon, the club will make 2021 interesting.

Pitching Is Still Questionable

In 2020, the team had the worst bullpen in baseball. A Major League _high 25 blown saves cost the club a winning season. Manager Ron Roenicke lost his job to Alex Cora. Starters Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez suffered season _ending injuries. Mike Andriese and Adam Ottavino will provide depth.

The primary concern is who will win the closer’s role? The logical candidate is Matt Barnes. Barnes will get competition from Ryan Brasier and Connor Seabold. Seabold came over in the Brandon Workman trade from Philadelphia trade along with Nick Pivetta.

Well Balanced Offense

In 2020 the Red Sox finished with a team average of 265 81 home runs and 278 rbi’s. They also had a 5th best 292 runs scored. Despite impressive numbers they finished with disappointing 24-36 record.

The team added Kiki Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Marwin Gonzalez to the mix. Rookie Bobby Dalbec is the starting first baseman. In23 games with the big club he had 8 home runs and 16 rbi’s in 23 games.

Team Has Plenty Of Depth

The Red Sox have added plenty of depth for the 2021 season. Manager Alex Cora has plenty of options. KiKi Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez can play both the infield and outfield. Hunter Renfroe can platoon and share the designated hitter responsibility.

Conclusion

With a new season comes hope and optimisim. The organization has young prospects ready to make their mark in the majors. The bullpen added arms and depth. A veteran starting pitcher in Garrett Richards. Red Sox fans have reason to be excited for the upcoming season.

Revolution Season Ends In A heartbreaking Loss

The New England Revolution’s season came to a heartbreaking loss Sunday, as the team lost 1-0 to the Columbus Crew. Columbus mid_fielder Artur scored the game_winner in the 58th minute. In this post, we will review three positives that the Revolution can look forward to in 2021.

Revolution Season Ends In a Heartbreaking Loss

13 Players Under Contract

Heading into next season, the Revolution will have 13 players under contract. Notable players under contract are Taejon Buchanon, Brandon Bye, Matt Turner, Gustavo Bou, and Alexander Button are just some players who will return in 2021.

Head coach Bruce Arena feels that the club has made significant gains from last season. Arena feels the team needs to strengthen its attacking department.

In Sunday’s loss, the Crew’s midfielders completely controlled the game. Star play _maker Lucas Zalaryan proved too much for the Revolution defenders. Star mid_fielder Artur took a pass from defender Johnathan Mensah for the game _winner.

Significant Improvements From 2019

The club had a significantly better season in 2020 than last season. Last year in 2019 the Revolution finished in 7th place with an 11-11 record and 12 ties. They averaged 1.33 points per game.

While in the bubble in 2020 the club finished 8-7-8 for 23 points, They scored 1.33 points per game. Defensively the club is one of the better teams in the MLS.

They still have one of the game’s best goalkeepers in Matt Turner. Down the stretch, Turner was fearless in dramatic wins over Philadelphia and Orlando. The club, however, did not pick up the option on backup Brad Knighton’s contract.

Bright Future With The Current Group

With the core group intact, the club will set higher expectations in 2021. The team has gained confidence and feels it can finally be a contender in the tough MLS East. The team broke a barrier by defeating the Philadelphia Union. The Revolution previously was 0-5.

Sunday’s loss was an excellent building block for the Revolution. Aside from 13 players under contract, the organization needs to decide on several other key players. Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez, Antonio Delamea are a big part of the future that needs to be resigned.

Conclusion

Despite a heartbreaking loss,2021 should be even better. Head coach Bruce Arena is the game’s best. Considering the team came so close to going to the championship, they should only be better in 2021.

Why The 2020 Celtics Have An Outside Chance To Win Their 18th NBA Title

As the NBA season is about to resume, there are several issues facing the Celtics chances of winning their 18th title. Kemba Walker’s knee seems to have healed and is ready to go. The Celtics will play eight games to finish the season. If all goes well, the Celtics may reach the finals. In this post, we will review three reasons why this year’s team has an outside chance to win their 18th NBA title.

Why The 2020 Celtics Have An Outside Chance To Win Their 18th NBA Title 

Overall Health Of The Team Is Good   Since the league shut down in mid_March the health of the team is excellent. Kemba Walker’s knees are healed. Jayson Tatum is ready to take his career to the next level. If Brad Stevens can guide his team cautiously the Celtics could be interesting down the stretch.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, the organization needs to keep everyone healthy. If the league makes the season, the club that stays the healthiest is the team that could win it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Team Is Shooting Better As we have seen in the past, the team that wins in  the postseason, is the team that shoots better from the field. For example, this year the club is shooting 363% as a group. The league average is 357%.                                                                                                                                                                                         Depth wise, the Celtics have been getting excellent production from guards Javonte Green, Carson Edwards, and Brad Wannamaker. Marcus Smart has improved tremendously in his outside shooting. Gordon Hayward was playing like Gordon Hayward before the pandemic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One Of The Best Defensive Teams In The League  In 2019/20 the Celtics ranked near the top defensively. Guard Marcus Smarts is one of the games best. His physical style of play has helped Boston win a lot of close games.                                                                                                                                                                                    If the Celtics expect to beat Milwaukee, Indiana, or Miami playing tough and physical will be one strategy they have to apply.  Center Robert Williams is maturing and brings muscle to the frontcourt. Center Enes Kanter is one of the team’s most popular players. Overall, the team was one of the leagues best defensive rebounding units.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Surviving The Pandemic With the league set to resume July 30th the overall safety of the players is goal number one. This will be a day to day season. If multiple players and teams start testing positive then expect the season to close.

Quiet Bruins OffSeason Resulting In Little Improvement

The Boston Bruins are enjoying a quiet offseason, after claiming their third Eastern Conference championship banner in nine years. Thus far the only Bruins signings have been forward, Brett Ritchie from Dallas, Danton Heinen, and Steven Kampfer. General manager Don Sweeney still has a lot of work to due this summer. The Bruins need to come to terms with Defenseman Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo. In this post, we will review three reasons why the Bruins have not improved from last season.

Overpaying For Danton Heinen  Mistake, number one was overpaying for Danton Heinen. Heinen, the third_ year wingers production dipped considerably in 2018.

In 2011 Heinen’s 11 goals and 13 assists and a plus_ minus ratio of 11 one more than the previous season. In  2017  he netted 16 goals and 31 assists. This past summer the organization awarded him a 2.8 million dollar salary which ends in 2023.

Granted, Heinen is a gritty third__line player, he is not worthy of 2,000,000,  per season. With only three years of service time, he adds a strong physical presence on the team’s third line. Only time will tell if he is worthy of the contract.                          

  No Major Free Agent Signing’s  The good news is the Bruins are well under the NHL cap space this summer. The bad news is they have to come to terms with  Tory Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo. The team cannot sign all three

Torey Krug had one his most productive seasons as a Bruin. Krug is a valuable member of the power play and sparkled in the playoffs. Krug has one more year left on a four_ year  $21,000,000 deal. Expect Krug to average 9 or 10 million per year on the open market. Signing him will be a major hurdle losing him will be worse.

Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are the nuts and bolts of the defensive corp. McAvoy is at the end of his rookie contract. Carlo had his best season as a Bruin. When Zdeno Chara retires, Carlo will be the club’s number one or two defenseman.

Signing Brett Richie  The only major splash this summer has been Brett Ritchie. The team lost free agent  Marcus Johansen and center Noel Acciari. Ritchie has 33 goals and 21 assists n five_year’s as A DallasStar.  He is not the skilled player that Johansen is, but fits the Bruins style of play.

The Bruins have major decisions to make on McAvoy and Carlo. Krug could be the odd man out. Mc Avoy and Carlo are the future of the Bruins Compared to last season the team has not gotten any better and will struggle to reach the finals.