Fri. Mar 22nd, 2019

Month: March 2019

NL West Team Previews and Predictions

Arizona Diamondbacks

Preview: After trading their best player in Paul Goldschmidt, the D-Backs are stuck between rebuilding and contending. The organization doesn’t seem to have enough talent to compete and presents an unimpressive farm system. Any team should expect a dip in offensive production after losing a player of Goldschmidt’s caliber. Arizona should be expecting the same. Key returning members of the D-Backs lineup are an outfielder, David Peralta (.293 BA and 30 HRs in 2018) and infielder, Eduardo Escobar (23 HRs and 84 RBIs in 2018). In order for Arizona to have a shot at the playoffs, David Peralta will have to find the same kind of success as he found in 2018. Along with production from Peralta and Escobar, the D-Backs are hoping to get some help from power-hitting infielder, Jake Lamb. After hitting 59 combined home runs between 2016 and 2017, Lamb struggled in a shortened (due to injury) 2018 season. The lineup in Arizona appears mediocre; not good enough to contend for this division. With a strong possibility of a lack of offense in 2019, there will be plenty of rotation on this D-Backs pitching rotation. Zack Greinke is still a reliable starter and will once again be the ‘ace’ in Arizona. Zack Godley and Robbie Ray are coming off a 2018 season in which they both looked shaky but showed some signs of dominance along the way. A new addition to the rotation, replacing Patrick Corbin, is a former first-round pick, Luke Weaver. The Diamondbacks acquired Weaver from the Cardinals in the Goldschmidt trade. Weaver struggled last season but still shows lots of potential to be a quality starter at the top of a rotation. The fifth starter spot is expected to be taken by a 30-year-old rookie, Merrill Kelly. Kelly spent four years pitching in Korea before returning back to his home in Arizona to pitch for the Diamondbacks. Arizona presents an average bullpen. They could possibly close by committee. Key relievers in this bullpen include Archie Bradley, Greg Holland, Yoshihisa Hirano, Andrew Chafin, and T.J. McFarland. The Diamondbacks will be playing for a second wild-card spot, but an Arizona postseason appearance in 2019 is a long shot.

Prediction: 75-87

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Utah State: A Rising Power

Utah State University is a small school in Logan, Utah that never gets enough recognition as (I think) it deserves. People often think about USU as the youngest brother of The University of Utah and Brigham Young University, the other state universities. However, this “little brother” did quite well this year in athletics.

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BNP Paribas Open Recap: Youth revolution strikes at the desert

“You are watching the changing of the guard.”

On January, earlier this year, John McEnroe believed that when Greek rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas stood out mightily to deny 2018 champion Roger Federer of recording a back-to-back title at the Australian Open after grabbing a 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5) victory at Rod Laver Arena—and, boy, oh boy, just a couple of months later, it can be fully claimed that the guards are almost changed.

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5 Bold Predictions for the NCAA Tournament

  1. At Least One 14 Seed Will Topple a 3

While Yale over LSU has been the trendy upset pick, the other 3/14 matchups have been widely overlooked. Texas Tech should take care of business vs Northern Kentucky, but due to the Red Raiders’ heavy reliance on Jarrett Culver to carry the offensive load, the Norse might be able to give Tech some trouble if they can force Culver’s teammates to knock down shots. Led by D’Marcus Simonds (18.4 ppg), Georgia State is equally capable of troubling their opponent, Houston. Houston is a predominantly guard-oriented team, and at 6’3 195, Simonds is much bigger than Houston’s guards. Also, Georgia State played well against power 5 teams in the non-conference slate. The Panthers defeated Georgia, Alabama, and Saint Bonaventure and had a good showing at Kansas State too. Lastly, the sneakiest 3/14 matchup to keep an eye on is Purdue vs Old Dominion. Recently, Purdue had been Carsen Edwards-or-bust on offense. If Edwards struggles from the field once again (he is 23-102 on 3s since February), the Boilermakers will struggle to score on Old Dominion’s stellar defense, which ranks 9th in the country in defensive efficiency. Earlier this season, the Monarchs overcame double digit halftime deficits to upend both VCU and Syracuse. Continue Reading!