Daily Dojo 6-14-2013

NBA

LeBron James finally scored in the fashion that he is capable of. He led all scorers with 33 points, and he had 11 rebounds and 4 assists. He played a dominant style of basketball and finally looked like he wanted to score. Early on, he made some layups and that gave him the confidence to make his jumper as evidenced by his first two jumpers going in. Although LeBron finally had a good scoring game, but he definitely wasn’t alone last night. Dwyane Wade played like his knee was not a problem. Bill Simmons made a joking remark asking whether he went to Germany in between games because he was playing like a younger version of himself (the Germany reference has to do with Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods going to Germany for a special clinic). He was driving to the basket and taking jump shots with confidence. I do not think he liked the Spurs guarding him with a center. He played stellar defense with 6 steals and nice block on Tiago Splitter. I think this will be the only big game he has left in these NBA Finals. Wade stepped up when the Heat needed it most.

Tony Parker played amazing in the first half. It was hard to tell if the pulled hammy was bothering him. By the end of the second half, you could tell his hammy started to bother him. He had 15 points and 6 assists in the first half and driving the Spurs potent offense. However in the second half, he had 3 assists and no points. I hope that he will be able to recover a little bit more before Game 5 on Sunday so the Spurs are at full strength.

Prediction for this weekend: Spurs win behind a big game from Manu Ginobili and everyone will be surprised by Dwyane Wade’s lack of production. LeBron has a usual LeBron game.

MLB

Matt Harvey cannot get any run support. He pitches great and cannot buy a win. He was dealt his first loss yesterday afternoon after only giving up 1 run in 7 innings. The Mets have only given him 18 runs while he has been pitching in his last ten outings. That is absurdly low and he should have more than 5 wins. Yesterday, however, Adam Wainwright gave up no runs in 7 innings and earned the win for the Cardinals. This was one of the only games that he has been outpitched. Harvey will be the Mets top of the rotation starter for years to come with Zack Wheeler as the number 2. That is going to be a great rotation in a couple of years.

The Weekend Ahead

Game 2 of the  Stanley Cup Finals is on Saturday with the Blackhawks leading the series 1-0. I think they push it to 2-0 and run over Boston after the big overtime win on Wednesday night. Blackhawks 4-1

The US Open keeps getting rain. There might even be another delay later today. From the couple holes I have watched of Tiger, he looks like he has a wrist injury. After a lot of his shots, he is wincing in pain and shaking his wrist. Hopefully, this isn’t an issue as he goes into the weekend. I am a little less confident in my Tiger pick, but I still believe he will win. After being at his daughters 8th grade graduation and two cross country flights AND getting to the Marion Golf Club less than 2 hours before his 7:11 am tee time, Lefty shoots a -3. Maybe Phil Mickelson is the one destined to win this weekend. We’ll see on Sunday, or Monday because of the weather.

I am excited to watch the White Sox-Astros game tonight. Chris Sale is going to have his best game of the year in my opinion, he is going to get strike outs in droves. I think he will get  AT  LEAST 10 strikeouts in 7 innings. The Astros might have an historically low amount of talent on a Major League roster. They are rebuilding correctly though, and look for them to be a contender come 2015. (More on their rebuild another day)

Austin Jackson is coming back for the Tigers. There line up gets their leadoff hitter back. That lineup is going to be even better going forward with Jackson’s speed and average at the top.

Final Thought

Imagine James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul all on the same team… thats a BIG 3…

Greg Danchik

Update: Just heard the Tiger injury is an elbow… not good for my prediction

 

Daily Dojo 6-13-2013

NBA

Game 4 of the NBA Finals is tonight and LeBron James is going to need to step up. He has already said, “I will do whatever it takes.” He also said that his performance has been unacceptable, specifically about the ZERO free throw attempts. If the Heat want to win tonight, he will need to get to the free throw line and be willing to shoot his jump shot. The Spurs also have Tony Parker available after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring pull. We will see how effective he is. Here’s my prediction, LeBron goes off tonight and gets a triple double, while scoring 30 points. The Heat win and tie up the series. However, if this doesn’t happen and the Heat lose, the Spurs win this series in 5 games.

LeBron and Wade dejected after Game 1 loss.

LeBron and Wade dejected after the Game 1 loss.

NHL

My prediction for yesterday was right all the way up until there was 12 minutes left in regulation. The Bruins were dominating and Tuukka Rask had been insane and kept the Blackhawks to just one goal. Then the Blackhawks woke up. They scored right after the Bruins third goal. This got the crowd back into the game. A couple minutes later, Johnny Oduya took a shot from the blue line that trickled in the net off Andrew Ference‘s skate. There was nothing Rask could have done about that one. The game goes into overtime, and I had to go to sleep, because of work in the morning. I regret that decision because of what happened next. The game went into overtime, and from what I saw, the Bruins had plenty of chances to end it. The first overtime ended in a tie and they went to a second OT. On the power play at the end of the second overtime, captain Zdano Chara took a shot from the blue line and it deflected off Jaromir Jagr, but hit the post. And the Bruins let the game slide into a third overtime. The Bruins couldn’t end the game early in the third overtime. Then the Blackhawks did. They scored on a Michal Rozsival shot that deflected off Dave Bolland and then Andrew Shaw and the Blackhawks win this game in triple overtime.

Andrew Shaw deflects in the Game 1 winner

Andrew Shaw scores the Game 1 winner

A great game that I  wish I stayed up to watch. I will be up and watching all the games until their conclusion from now on in this series. I believe the Bruins probably feel really down today after a tough loss like that. Luckily, they have a break until Saturday to get their heads straight and to recover from an insane amount of hockey.

NFL

Willis McGahee was cut by the Broncos today. He was just told by doctors that he had no more running restrictions while recovering from his Week 11 injury that left him with a torn ligament in his right knee. Even after the injury, he led the Broncos with 731 yards in 2012. The Broncos save $2.5 million in cap space in 2013 and $2 million in 2014. 2nd round pick Montee Ball will most likely become the feature back in that offense. He will start to climb on fantasy football draft boards. He will be the main back and get most, if not all, of the carries for the Broncos. And Peyton Manning can make any running back look good.

US Open

The US Open started today. The rain hit this morning and Marion Golf Club will have a lot of work to do to make this course playable. Once the course is playable, it will be moist and allow for a lot of low scores. Come Sunday (or Monday if the rounds get pushed back because of weather) there should be a lot of players in contention.

Greg Danchik

Daily Dojo 6-12-2013

NBA

Game 3 of the NBA Finals was not fun to watch last night. It was almost worse than a high school basketball game. The Spurs won in 113-77 rout. My prediction from yesterday was clearly off by a lot. LeBron had a terrible game as evidence by his failure to get to the free throw line. However, Tim Duncan did come ready to play with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Even with a double double, Duncan did not lead the way as Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 13 of the NBA Finals record 16 three pointers made by the Spurs last night. The Spurs moved the ball extremely well and the Heat could do nothing to disrupt it. The Spurs also played LeBron very loose and gave him room the shoot his jump shot. However, he just refused to shoot it. He will need to take and make those shots in Game 4 or his team is going to be down 3-1 going into Game 5. And yes it is his team, it is not the Big 3’s team, its LeBron’s.

Other big news from Game 3: Tony Parker strained his hamstring. We’ll see how much or how well he plays in Game 4 tomorrow night. Check out a piece on Tony Parker and his style of play.

US Open

Rain at Marion Golf Club prior to the US Open

Rain at Marion Golf Club prior to the US Open

The US Open is traditionally a tournament where the course is really hard and fast, specifically the greens. I do not think that the Marion Golf Club is going to be able to turn their course into that after the weather they have had. The rain has completely soaked the course and it looked pretty swamp-like at points during and after the rain hit. Hopefully they will be able to dry out the course before tomorrow, but I think this US Open will play a little bit different than past US Opens. I expect much higher scores than a usual US Open, where shooting par is a good day. The group of Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods is one of the best groups I have ever seen to open a golf tournament. I think whoever comes out of this group on top, heading into the weekend, will be the favorite to win the tournament. This is a course that not many of the pros have played on a lot so I think that works out well for this group because their talent will help them pull away. But here’s my prediction: Tiger has 14 majors and I think he will definitely win another one and why not this weekend? I think Tiger finally picks up number 15 this weekend.

NHL

The Stanley Cup Final starts tonight. Again, I do not have as much knowledge in hockey as I do in the other sports. I do know that the Blackhawks are finally starting to play like they did when they were at the top of their game earlier in the season. However, I think the Bruins are the hottest team in hockey and Tuukka Rask is playing out of his mind. I think Tuukka’s insane play will be the difference and the Bruins steal a win in Chicago’s house. Bruins 3-1

MLB

I was wrong about Gerrit Cole… For a first start, you could consider what he did to be dominate. He only gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and did not walk anyone in 6.1 innings. He set the tone for the game when he struck out Gregor Blanco in the first at bat of the game on three pitches. He also drove in the first two runs of the game off, the once great, Tim Lincecum. Russell Martin said after the game that Cole’s fastball was the best fastball he has ever seen. That comment, from a catcher that has caught C.C. Sabathia, makes me think that he could turn into a true stud. Fantasy wise, I would say pick him up and start him against weaker hitting teams, like the Mets and Marlins. However, don’t go out there and spend all of your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) on him because there is always a chance that he gets sent back down to the minors.

Kenley Jansen has officially been announced as the closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kenley Jansen

Kenley Jansen

Maybe Don Mattingly read my post that complains about set-up men being better than closers and how Jansen is much better than Brandon League. Pick him up, if he isn’t already owned, because he has the potential to be a top 5 closer.

 

Daily Dojo 6-11-2013

NBA 

Lebron James' block in Game 1  of the NBA Finals

Lebron James’ block in Game 2 of the NBA Finals

Heat and Spurs NBA Finals Game 3 tonight will be a good one. LeBron James is coming off a game where he did not score a lot but he was a key component in the Heat’s victory with a line of 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and a block that defined Game 2. Tim Duncan had a horrific game. He had 9 points on 3 for 13 shooting. That’s a 23.1% shooting percentage from the floor, which was his worse shooting performance of these playoffs. I think Duncan will bounce back and have a great game in Game 3. However, Miami has only lost 2 games on the road in the playoffs this year. I think LeBron takes over at the end of the game and leads his team to a 3 point victory, 102-99.

MLB

Gerrit Cole is being called up today. He will be pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the San Francisco Giants. He has the stuff right now but he isn’t much of a pitcher by major league standards. He is more of a thrower than pitcher. He has a 100 mph fastball but it isn’t located all the time and will get hit by major league hitters when it’s over the middle of the plate. His secondary stuff obviously isn’t at a major league level yet but that will come with time. I also don’t think the Pirates are great at developing talent (excluding Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte). Otherwise, they would not have been awful the past ten years. Overall, I think Cole could be an ace and he is probably the best pitching prospect being called up this year, so maybe he surprises me today. However, I think the adrenaline will allow the fastball to have a high velocity but will go all over the place and he will get a bit roughed up like Kevin Gausman did in his first start. Buster Posey will have a BIG night for the Giants.

NFL

After about a week of speculation, Ahmad Bradshaw has signed with the Indianapolis Colts. I think that this helps the Colts out immensely. Vick Ballard is a very serviceable running back in the NFL but Bradshaw has much more talent. Bradshaw is a better runner at the goal line, a better pass catcher (even though Ballard had a great game winning catch against the Titans last year), and is better at running outside the tackle box. Everything points to Bradshaw taking over the #1 running back role and Ballard being a clear back up. He can’t be a change of pace because they run with the same style. Ballard will take over when Bradshaw gets hurt at some point this year, but look for Bradshaw to be the main man when healthy. I think this increase in talent at the running back position helps Andrew Luck‘s performance. He’s a top 5 fantasy quarterback and a dark horse MVP candidate with a better running game. Also, I think the Colts are going to surprise a lot of people this season, but that’s a story for another day.

NHL

I honestly don’t know a lot about hockey. What I do know is that the Blackhawks and Bruins have been by far the hottest teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year and that’s why they are playing for the Stanley Cup. The series starts tomorrow so prediction for the game will come then.

Greg Danchik