The Four Teams That Will Be Fighting It Out For The 2019 American League Playoffs

With the 2019 Major League Baseball season underway here is a projection of which teams will be fighting it out in October. The 2018 Boston Red Sox are frontrunners to repeat. In this post, we will examine which team’s will be standing in Oct

Four Teams That Will Be Fighting It Out For The 2019 American League Playoffs

1st Place AL East Boston’ The World Champions had a relatively quiet offseason. General Manager Dave Dombrowski resigned World Series MVP  Steve Pearce. and starter Nathan Eovaldi.  As of last week, the organization  rewarded ace Chris Sale with a five _year contract extension

Bullpen _wise, closer Craig Kimbrel still remains a free agent.   As it stands now, the opening day closer remains veteran righthander Matt Barnes.

Offensively; Offensively the team will open the season with the same lineup as last season. Overall, in 2018 the team finished 6th in the league in home runs /208 and 1st in every other department. The only change in the lineup is catcher Sandy Leon who was released in spring training.     Wild Card Yankees; The Yankees had a successful 2018 season winning 100 games. In 2018 the Yankees landed the biggest free agent fish n Giancarlo Stanton. Apparently, Stanton was not enough as the team lost to Boston in round one of the playoffs.

This offseason the Yankees were one of the busiest in baseball. The club acquired Seattle southpaw James Paxton. Resigned JA Haap and Zach Britton. Also coming to terms were infielder Troy Tulowitzki, Outfielder Andrew McCutcheon, Infielder DJ LaMahieu pitchers Lace Lynn and Gio Gonzalez.       The Yankees will be serious challengers to the Red Sox as the club added depth to their 2019 roster. One thing is for certain they will be active at the trade deadline.

AL Central Minnesota; This may seem a long shot but the Twins are committed to winning. First_year manager  Rocco Baldelli takes a team that finished in third place a year ago with visions of a championship.

In the offseason, the Twins added CJ Cron, Nelson Cruz, and infielder Johnathan Schoop. With an established pitching staff and deep bullpen look for the club to be the surprise of the American League.

Offensively the Twins have a talented group of Max Kepler, MIguel Sano, and outfielder Byron Buxton. Despite Joe Mauer, retiring Twins fans have high hopes for a serious championship run.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             AL West Houston Astros;  The Astros won five games less than the Red Sox in2018 finishing 103-59 and a 636 winning percentage. Considering the fact that they lost starter Charlie Morton to Tampa Bay, they still have an intriguing pitching staff. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole give the Astros a reliable one and two punch.  Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock round out the staff. As for depth, the club has two studs ready in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley should join the staff at some point

Peacock rounds out the staff. Depth_ wise, the team has two young studs in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley will be recalled at some point during the season.

The organization announced that they had resigned pitcher Justin Verlander and third baseman Alex Bregman to contract extensions. Despite losing Marwin Gonzalez in free agency, they still have plenty of punch with Jose Altuve and George Springer

Sizing Up The 2019 Men’s March Madness Potential Champions

Tuesday, March 12th marks the opening round of the 2019 Men’s College Basketball Championship. Otherwise known as March Madness. Like every year there are surprises. Last season, for example, Virginia lost in the first round to Wofford. This season the Cavaliers are ranked number one and hope to redeem themselves this season. In this post, we will examine the final eight team in this year’s tournament.

Sizing Up the 2019 Men’s March  Madness Contenders

No. Eight Tennessee;  The Volunteers have been one of the most surprising teams this season. Coming on strong the past two weeks they find themselves a number 2 seed in the East

The strengths of the Volunteers is their experience. The starters are mostly all upperclassman led by junior guard Admiral Schofield. Schofield’s strengths are his defense and three _point shooting. Other players to watch are  Grant Williams, Jordan Bove, and Lamont Turner. Defensively and rebounding wise the Volunteers are one of the best in the country in these categories.

No.7 Virginia; Learning from experience may be the theme of this year’s Cavalier squad. Last season, the Cavaliers were out in the first round by Wofford after finishing 2018 at number one.

If the Cavaliers are going to make a statement, it will have to be done with their defense. Overall, the team was number one on defense give up 54 points per game. With a deep shooting group of De”Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome are one of the best three _point shooting groups in the nation. If the Cavaliers can hit the three_  pointer consistently, they will be in the fight.

No 6 Wisconsin: The Badgers have a history of getting out in front of the tournament early but fall to the stronger teams. This year’s team had a successful season finishing 21-9. Wisconsin is led by one of the best big men in the country in Ethan Happ. Another strong characteristic is their three_ point shooting.

Guards Brad Davison, Nate Reuvers, Brevin Prezi, and Tal Strickland are the best three_ point shooting group in the Tournament.

No 6 Texas Tech; Texas Tech 26-5 is another team that jumps out early and loses in the mid_ round. Outside of Guards Matt Mooney,Jarrett Clarke, Davide Marretti,  Texas Tech will not make to much noise.

No. 5 Kansas State; Kansas State finished up the regular season with an impressive 69-58- win over Oklahoma St. Some argue that Oklahoma is the better team but the fact is Kansas State finished the year with a win.

A solid defensive team Kansas State is led by a strong group of Kamu Stoker, Xavier Speed, and Barry Brown. This team had a successful campaign finishing 14-4 in the competitive Big Ten.

No. 4 North Carolina; The Tar Heels finished the regular season at 25-5. Unlike, other team’s North Carolina is in it until the end. This season will be no exception. A young group led by guard Cameron Johnson, Colby White, and Luke Maye. Do not be surprised if they make it to the championship.

No 3 Kentucky; Despite an up and down season the Wildcats finished 26-5 and are a number one seed going into the tournament. One of the youngest team’s in the country we will see how serious they are.

No.2 Gonzaga; Like, every season the Zags are always in the competition. The29-2 Zags are a real threat to win the whole tournament This year the club is led by Rul Hachimura and his 46%three point shooting. Guards Brandon Clarke and Josh Perkins are outstanding shooters.

No 1 Duke; Even if All American Zion Williamson does not return because injury, they are  loaded. The Blue Devils have one of the most talented backcourts in the nation in Tre’ Jones, RJ Barrett,  Cameron Reddish, and Marques Bolden. Look for Duke to be National Champions for 2019.

Patriots 2019 Offseason Needs

With the Patriots recording their sixth Super Bowl title, the offseason frenzy officially begins. The Patriots who have plenty of cap space have a league _high 12 draft picks awarded to them. Overall, they have six picks in the first three rounds. One first, two seconds and three_ thirds. In this post, we will discuss three areas the team needs to focus on this offseason.

Patriots 2019 Offseason Needs

Draft A Quarterback;  With Tom Brady getting better with age the organization has a four_ year window to develop Brady’s successor. The team’s best bet is to draft a quarterback and have him under team control for five years. Signing a free agent quarterback would be risky as long as Brady stays healthy.

Three quarterbacks who may be available at pick 31  are Brett Rypien of Boise State and Shea Patterson of Michigan. Rypien threw for 10,000 yards passing in four years at Boise State.  Shea Patterson of Michigan may also be available at 31. Patterson impressed scouts as he  65 % of his passes in four years at Michigan. We all know the last quarterback the Patriots took from Michigan in 1999.  Other possibilities may be Daniel Jones of Duke or Jake Browning of Washington.  Jones ‘s stock may drop due to a knee injury he suffered in the second game last season.

Draft A Safety; Just after the Super Bowl veteran Devin McCourty considered retirement. In the past, the Patriots have drafted great safeties such as Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather. Some names to keep an eye on are Deionte Thompson of Alabama, Chauncey GardenJohnson of Florida, and Nasir Adderley of Delaware. Out of the three Adderley has the best skill set. Adderley is excellent in zone coverage and is a projected 1st round pick.

Edge Rusher; The Patriots defense ranked 15th in the NFL last year. They  stopped the Rams run game in the Super Bowl. Adding another edge rusher can never hurt. The current linebacking group of Donta Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Trey Flowers, Johnathan Simon, and Elandon Roberts could use an extra body. Some names to keep an eye on are Josh Allen of Kentucky, Nick Bosa of Ohio State, Jachai Polite of Florida. Depending on who is available look for the Patriots to select Josh Allen of Kentucky. Allen finished his career with 224 tackles,15 forced fumbles, and 31 career sacks.

Free Agency; With free agency starting March 1st the Patriots will be searching for a tight end and Receiver help.  Some players who could be available for the right price are Jesse James of the Steelers, Antonio Brown of the Steelers and Antonio Gates of the Chargers. Benjamin Watson of New Orleans is also a possibility. James can play both receiver and tight end.  Depending on Rob Gronkowski’s decision on retirement look for Belichick to stockpile in this department.