2019 NCAA Tournament Picks

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hey, I'm picking Duke like everyone else.  Spoiler.  I don't have a bracket with a winner other than Duke or Virginia; I'd also not be surprised if Gonzaga won.  Any other winner would surprise.

I've got a few different brackets out there (I've entered a contest picking nothing but the higher seeds) but this will be my official bracket:

Round 1 Winners:

UCF (VCU doesn't get defensive rebounds)
Miss St. (not sure under what circumstance I'd ever pick Liberty)
Va Tech
Belmont/Temple (going to pick either of them over the Terps)
Michigan St

Round 1 Winners:

Baylor (plays well against zone defense)
Murray (this is sort of a sucker play, everyone wants to see Ja Morant so are willing this upset)
Florida St
Buffalo (if Arizona St wins that is super, super tempting)

Round 1 Winners:

Ole Miss (OU struggles vs zone defense)
Oregon (I'm a Pac 12 guy and the Ducks have been comin')
UC Irvine (going with both west coast teams in San Jose)
St Marys (I often over value California teams out of desire to root for them)
Cincinnati (another pick based on game site)

Round 1 Winners:

Utah St (Washington may struggle to score)
New Mexico St (I really like this matchup for the dog)
Iowa St (they have 2 for real NBA prospects)
Wofford (they could get bounced, which would make for a long tournament for your boy)

Round 2 Winners:

VT (VT is small, but Miss St can't take advantage)
Michigan St (I do not like picking a team with this many injuries)

Round 2 Winners:

Florida St (I'll be rooting for whomever they're playing, heck, I'm rooting for Vermont in the previous round)
Buffalo (this is a team that gets up and down the floor, you want pace? Buffalo gives you pace)
Nevada (Nevada's high intensity plus lack of depth makes this second game in the weekend a challenge, but I want that Buffalo/Nevada Sweet 16 game)

Round 2 Winners:


Round 2 Winners

Wofford (they've won 20 straight coming in and now I have them at 22, beating Kentucky)

Sweet 16 Winners
Michigan St (so many injuries)
Wofford (Does Wofford make the Elite 8?)

Final Four
Wofford (three ones and Wofford, why not)

Final Game
Duke over Virginia

2019 First Four Picks

Full bracket tomorrow. Here are my First Four picks for the 2019 NCAA Tournament:

FDU over Prairie View
Belmont over Temple
ND St over NC Central
Arizona St over St Johns

2019 Top 100 MLB Players

Thursday, March 14, 2019

MLB Network list first.  Mine second.  Top 100 players in MLB for 2019

MLB List
100. D.Price P Bos
99. M.Bumgarner P SFG
98. J.Lester P Chi
97. S.Piscotty OF Oak
96. Y.Grandal C Mil
95. A.McCutchen OF Phil
94. T.Shaw 3B Mil
93. G.Sanchez C NYY
92. B.Posey C SFG
91. M.Andujar 3B NYY
90. Y.Puig OF Cin
89. S.Doolittle RP Wash
88. K.Jansen RP LAD
87. N.Castellanos 3B Det
86. D.Peralta OF Ariz
85. O.Albies 2B Atl
84. T.Turner SS Wash
83. J.Segura SS Phi
82. M.Clevinger P Cle
81. S.Ohtani DH LAA
80. S.Strasburg P Wash
79. N.Syndergaard P NYM
78. P.Corbin P Wash
77. J.Abreu 1B CWS
76. M.Ozuna OF StL
75. M.Brantley OF Hou
74. N.Cruz DH Minn
73. A.Chapman RP NYY
72. B.Treinen RP Oak
71. Z.Greinke P Ariz
70. S.Gennett 2B Cin
69. G.Torres 2B NYY
68. A.Hicks OF NYY
67. J.Upton OF LAA
66. C.Carrasco P Cle
65. W.Buehler P LAA
64. K.Freeland P Col
63. M.Muncy 1B LAD
62. J.Aguilar 1B Mil
61. J.Donaldson 3B Atl
60. M.Conforto OF NYM
59. R.Hoskins 1B Phi
58. M.Olson 1B Oak
57. K.Davis DH Oak
56. A.Benintendi OF Bos
55. B.Nimmo OF NYM
54. R.Cano 2B NYM
53. C.Kimbrel RP
52. E.Diaz RP Sea
51. J.Hader RP Mil
50. E.Suarez 3B Cin
49. W.Merrifield 2B KC
48. C.Seager SS LAD
47. A.Simmons SS LAA
46. X.Bogaerts SS Bos
45. T.Pham OF TB
44. C.Bellinger 1B LAD
43. L.Severino SP NYY
42. G.Cole SP Hou
41. T.Bauer SP Cle
40. JT Realmuto C Phi
39. M.Haniger OF Sea
38. C.Blackmon OF Col
37. G.Springer OF Hou
36. J.Soto OF Wash
35. R.Acuna OF Atl
34. A.Rizzo 1B Chi
33. M.Carpenter 3B StL
32. K.Bryant 3B Chi
31. C.Correa SS Hou
30. T.Story SS Col
29. J.Baez SS Chi
28. L.Cain OF Mil
27. M.Chapman 3B Oak
26. B.Snell SP TB
25. C.Kershaw SP LAD
24. A.Nola SP Phi
23. C.Kluber SP Cle
22. J.Turner 3B LAD
21. A.Rendon 3B Wash
20. J.Verlander SP Hou
19. G.Stanton DH NYY
18. J.Votto 1B Cin
17. F.Freeman 1B Atl
16. P.Goldschmidt 1B StL
15. B.Harper OF Phi
14. M.Machado SS SD
13. C.Sale SP Boston
12. A.Judge OF NYY
11. JD Martinez DH Bos
10. J.DeGrom SP NYM
9. J.Ramirez 3B Cle
8. C.Yelich OF Mil
7. A.Bregman 3B Hou
6. J.Altuve 2B Hou
5. M.Scherzer SP Wash
4. F.Lindor SS Cle
3. N.Arenado 3B Col
2. M.Betts OF Bos
1. M.Trout OF LAA

My List
100. B.Treinen RP Oak
99. E.Diaz RP NYM
98. D.Price SP Bos
97. E.Rosario LF Min
96. M.Stroman SP Tor
95. G.Marquez SP Col
94. J.Berrios SP Min
93. B.Dozier 2B Wash
92. J.Flaherty SP StL
91. B.Anderson 3B Mia
90. R.Devers 3B Bos
89. S.Ohtani DH LAA
88. R.Acuna LF Atl
87. J.Taillon SP Pit
86. P.DeJong SS StL
85. R.Odor 2B Tex
84. J.Gallo LF Tex
83. S.Marte CF Pit
82. R.Hopkins 1B Phi
81. S.Strasburg SP Wash
80. E.Andrus SS Tex
79. J.Segura SS Phi
78. J.Abreu 1B CWS
77. M.Olson 1B Oak
76. C.Morton SP TB
75. T.Pham LF TB
74. E.Inciarte CF Atl
73. M.Tanaka SP NYY
72. C.Archer SP Pit
71. V.Guerrero 3B Tor
70. D.Murphy 1B Col
69. T.Shaw 2B Mil
68. P.Corbin SP Wash
67. K.Davis DH Oak
66. M.Ozuna LF StL
65. N.Cruz DH Min
64. C.Kershaw SP LAD
63. N.Syndergaard SP NYM
62. M.Semien SS Oak
61. X.Bogaerts SS Bos
60. A.Simmons SS LAA
59. W.Merrifield 2B KC
58. B.Nimmo CF NYM
57. C.Dickerson LF Pit
56. T.Bauer SP Cle
55. G.Sanchez C NYY
54. J.Paxton SP NYY
53. J.Donaldson 3B Atl
52. E.Suarez 3B Cin
51. K.Seager 3B Sea
50. B.Snell SP Tampa
49. Y.Grandal C Mil
48. R.Cano 2B NYM
47. A.Benintendi LF Bos
46. G.Springer CF Hou
45. JT.Realmuto C Phi
44. A.Eaton RF Wash
43. T.Story SS Col
42. C.Blackmon CF Col
41. A.Nola SP Phi
40. B.Posey C SFG
39. G.Cole SP Hou
38. C.Carrasco SP Cle
37. L.Severino SP NYY
36. J.Baez SS Chi
35. C.Seager SS LAD
34. M.Conforto RF NYM
33. A.Rendon 3B Wash
32. C.Bellinger 1B LAD
31. M.Haniger RF Sea
30. C.Kluber SP Cle
29. M.Machado 3B SD
28. M.Carpenter 3B StL
27. J.Upton LF LAA
26. G.Stanton DH NYY
25. J.Verlander SP Hou
24. M.Scherzer SP Wash
23. J.Turner LAD
22. L.Cain CF Mil
21. A.Rizzo 1B Chi
20. T.Turner SS Wash
19. J.Votto 1B Cin
18. M.Chapman 3B Oak
17. P.Goldschmidt 1B StL
16. C.Yelich RF Mil
15. J.Soto LF Wash
14. B.Harper RF Phi
13. F.Freeman 1B Atl
12. JD Martinez DH Bos
11. J.Altuve 2B Hou
10. C.Sale SP Bos
9. K.Bryant 3B Chi
8. J.Ramirez 3B Cle
7. J.DeGrom SP NYM
6. F.Lindor SS Cle
5. N.Arenado 3B Col
4. A.Judge RF NYY
3. A.Bregman 3B Hou
2. M.Betts RF Bos
1. M.Trout CF LAA

2019 Top 10 Starting Pitchers

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Here are the top 10 starting pitchers for the 2019 season - MLB Network Shredder is first, my list, which will go to 20, is second.

10. B.Snell TB
9. C.Carrasco Cle
8. L.Severino NYY
7. C.Kershaw LAD
6. A.Nola Phi
5. J.Verlander Hou
4. C.Kluber Cle
3. J.DeGrom NYM
2. C.Sale Bos
1. M.Scherzer Wash

20. J.Taillon Pit
19. C.Morton TB
18. C.Archer Pit
17. S.Strasburg Wash
16. M.Tanaka NYY
15. P.Corbin Wash
14. C.Kershaw LAD
13. T.Bauer Cle
12. N.Syndergaard NYM
11. J.Paxton NYY
10. B.Snell TB
9. A.Nola Phi
8. G.Cole Hou
7. C.Carrasco Cle
6. L.Severino NYY
5. C.Kluber Cle
4. J.Verlander Hou
3. M.Scherzer Wash
2. C.Sale Bos
1. J.DeGrom NYM

2019 Top 10 Relief Pitchers

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Here are the top 10 relief pitchers for the 2019 season - MLB Network Shredder is first, my list is second.

10. B.Morrow Chi
9. J.Leclerc Tex
8. A.Chapman NYY
7. C.Green NYY
6. F.Vazquez Pit
5. B.Treinen Oak
4. E.Diaz NYM
3. J.Hader Mil
2. S.Doolittle Wash
1. C.Kimbrel

10. F.Vazquez Pit
9. C.Knebel Mil
8. A.Chapman NYY
7. D.Robertson Phi
6. A.Miller StL
5. D.Betances NYY
4. J.Hader Mil
3. K.Jansen LAD
2. B.Treinen Oak
1. E.Diaz NYM

2019 MLB Top 5 DH

Monday, March 11, 2019

Here are the top 5 DH's for the 2019 season.

I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts.

5. S.Ohtani LAA
4. K.Davis Oak
3. N.Cruz Min
2. G.Stanton NYY
1. JD Martinez Bos

2019 MLB Top 10 Shortstops

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Here are the top 10 shortstops for the 2019 season - MLB Network Shredder is first, my list is second.

I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

10. D.Gregorius NYY
9. J.Segura Phi
8. P.DeJong StL
7. C.Seager LAD
6. C.Correa Hou
5. A.Simmons LAA
4. M.Machado SD
3. T.Story Col
2. J.Baez Chi
1. F.Lindor Cle

My List:
10. J.Segura Phi
9. M.Semien Oak
8. A.Simmons LAA
7. X.Bogaerts Bos
6. T.Turner Wash
5. T.Story Col
4. C.Seager LAD
3. J.Baez Chi
2. C.Correa Hou
1. F.Lindor Cle

2019 Top 10 First Basemen

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

Here are the top 10 first basemen in MLB for the 2019 season; MLB Shredder first, me second.

10. J.Abreu CWS
9. R.Hoskins Phi
8. J.Aguilar Mil
7. J.Smoak Tor
6. M.Olson Oak
5. A.Rizzo Chi
4. M.Muncy LAD
3. J.Votto Cin
2. F.Freeman Atl
1. P.Goldschmidt StL

My list:
10. M.Muncy LAD
9. R.Hoskins Phi
8. J.Abreu CWS
7. M.Olson Oak
6. D.Murphy Col
5. C.Bellinger LAD
4. A.Rizzo Chi
3. J.Votto Cin
2. F.Freeman Atl
1. P.Goldschmidt StL

2019 Top 10 Center Fielders

Friday, March 8, 2019

Here are the top 10 center fielders in MLB for 2019.  MLB Network first, mine second.

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

MLB Network Shredder
10. K.Kiermaier TB
9. H.Bader StL
8. S.Marte Pit
7. AJ Pollock LAD
6. C.Blackmon Col
5. G.Springer Hou
4. A.Hicks NYY
3. L.Cain Mil
2. C.Bellinger LAD
1. M.Trout LAA

My List:
10. K.Marte Ari
9. K.Kiermaier TB
8. A.Hicks NYY
7. S.Marte Pit
6. E.Inciarte Atl
5. B.Nimmo NYM
4. G.Springer Hou
3. C.Blackmon Col
2. L.Cain Mil
1. M.Trout LAA

2019 Top 10 Left Fielders

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Here are the top 10 left fielders in MLB for 2019.  MLB Network first, mine second.

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

MLB Shredder:

10. D.Peralta Ari
9. K.Davis Oak
8. M.Conforto NYM
7. M.Ozuna StL
6. J.Soto Wash
5. J.Upton LAA
4. T.Pham TB
3. RAcuna Atl
2. G.Stanton NYY
1. JD Martinez Bos

My List:

10. A.McCutchen Phi
9. E.Jimenez CWS
8. J.Gallo Tex
7. R.Acuna Atl
6. T.Pham TB
5. M.Ozuna StL
4. C.Dickerson Pit
3. A.Benintendi Bos
2. J.Upton LAA
1. J.Soto Wash

2019 Top 10 Catchers

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Here are the top 10 catchers in MLB for 2019 - MLB Network Shredder first, my list second.

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

MLB Network:
10. S.Perez KC
9. M.Zunino TB
8. W.Ramos NYM
7. K.Suzuki Wash
6. Y.Molina StL
5. W.Contreras ChiC
4. G.Sanchez NYY
3. Y.Grandal Mil
2. JT Realmuto Phi
1. B.Posey SFG

My List:
10. T.Flowers Atl
9. Y.Molina StL
8. W.Contreras Chi
7. W.Ramos NYM
6. M.Zunino TB
5. A.Barnes LAD
4. G.Sanchez NYY
3. Y.Grandal Mil
2. JT Realmuto Phi
1. B.Posey SFG

2019 Top 10 Right Fielders

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

Here are the top 10 right fielders in MLB headed into the 2019 season.  MLB Network Shredder is first, my list second.

MLB Shredder:
10. S.Piscotty Oak
9. N.Castellanos Det
8. A.McCutchen Phi
7. Y.Puig Cin
6. B.Nimmo NYM
5. B.Harper Phi
4. M.Haniger Sea
3. C.Yelich Mil
2. M.Betts Bos
1. A.Judge NYY

Jividen List:
10. R.Grichuk Tor
9. N.Castellanos Det
8. Y.Puig Cin
7. A.Eaton Wash
6. M.Conforto NYM
5. M.Haniger Sea
4. C.Yelich Mil
3. B.Harper Phi
2. A.Judge NYY
1. M.Betts Bos

2019 Top 10 Third Basemen

Monday, March 4, 2019

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

2019 Top 10 Third Basemen

MLB Network Shredder:
10. E.Suarez Cin
9. J.Donaldson Atl
8. K.Bryant ChiC
7. M.Chapman Oak
6. M.Carpenter StL
5. A.Bregman Hou
4. A.Rendon Wash
3. N.Arenado Col
2. J.Turner LAD
1. J.Ramirez Cle

My List:
10. J.Donaldson Atl
9. M.Carpenter StL
8. A.Rendon Wash
7. M.Machado SD
6. J.Turner LAD
5. M.Chapman Oak
4. K.Bryant Chi
3. J.Ramirez Cle
2. N.Arenado Col
1. A.Bregman Hou

2019 Top 10 Second Basemen

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Rankings for the 2019 MLB Season. I'll do a second pass (probably) just before the season starts (for real, with everyone)

MLB Network Shredder:
10. DJ LeMahieu NYY
9. B.Zobrist ChiC
8. G.Torres NYY
7. J.Wendle TB
6. S.Gennett Cin
5. C.Taylor LAD
4. R.Cano NYM
3. W.Merrifield KC
2. J.Lowrie NYM
1. J.Altuve Hou

My List:
10. G.Torres NYY
9. B.Dozier Wash
8. O.Albies Atl
7. Y.Moncada CWS
6. S.Gennett Cin
5. C.Taylor LAD
4. R.Odor Tex
3. W.Merrifield KC
2. R.Cano NYM
1. J.Altuve Hou

3/4 Down - the Top 30 Players in the NBA, 2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Here are the 30 best players in the NBA through 60 games of the 2019 season.

1. James Harden G Hou
2. Paul George F OKC
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo F Mil
4. Kevin Durant F GSW
5. Anthony Davis F NO
6. Nikola Jokic C Den
7. Rudy Gobert C Utah
8. Nikola Vucevic C Orl
9. Karl-Anthony Towns C Min
10. Damian Lillard G Port
11. Steph Curry G GSW
12. Joel Embiid C Phil
13. Kyrie Irving G Bos
14. Jrue Holiday G NO
15. LeBron James F LAL
16. Bradley Beal G Wash
17. Kawhi Leonard F Tor 
18. Blake Griffin F Det
19. Mike Conley G Mem
20. Jusuf Nurkic C Port
21. Kemba Walker G Charl
22. Andre Drummond C Det
23. LaMarcus Aldridge C SA
24. Jimmy Butler G Phi
25. Steven Adams C OKC   
26. Pacal Siakim F Tor
27. Montrez Harrell F LAC
28. Ben Simmons G Phi
29. Tobias Harris F Phi
30 Eric Bledsoe G Mil     

2019 Academy Awards Predictions

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Let's make some 2019 Oscar picks.

Picture: Roma
Director: Cuaron
Actress: Close
Actor: Malek
Supporting Actress: King
Supporting Actor: Ali
Adapted: BlackkKlansman
Original: The Favourite
Cinematography: Roma
Costume: The Favourite
Editing: Vice
Makeup: Vice
Production Design: The Favourite
Score: If Beale Street Could Talk
Song: Shallow
Sound Editing: First Man
Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Visual Effects: Avengers
Cartoon: Spiderman
Documentary: Free Solo
Foreign: Roma
Cartoon Short: Bao
Doc Short: Period End of Sentence
Live Action Short: Marguerite

Athlete of the Month, February 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019


Stephon Gilmore.  Runners-up: Julian Edelman, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Durant

Two Down.  10 Left.  Who Will Be Named 2019 Athlete of the Year?

January-James Harden
February-Stephon Gilmore

The Greatest MLB Tournament Ever - The Greatest World Series Ever

Friday, February 1, 2019

last group

There were 256 teams; the 128 teams from each league with the highest pythagorean winning percentages in baseball history.

The 1939 New York Yankees won the American League - defeating the 1929 Philadelphia A's in a tiebreaker.

The 1976 Cincinnati Reds won the National League - defeating themselves from the previous season, the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.

It all comes down to this.

1939 Yankees (World Champions-Joe McCarthy)
1976 Cincinnati Reds (World Champions-Sparky Anderson) 

Catcher: Dickey (32) v. Bench (28) Winner: NYY -Dickey
First Base: Dahlgren (27)  v. Perez (34) Winner: Cin-Perez
Second Base: Gordon (24) v. Morgan (32)Winner: Cin-Morgan
Shortstop: Crosetti (28) v. Concepcion (28) Winner: Cin-Concepcion
Third Base: Rolfe (30) v. Rose (35) Winner: Cin-Rose
Left Field: Selkirk (31) v. Foster (27)  Winner: Cin-Foster
Center Field: DiMaggio (24) v. Geronimo (28)Winner: NYY -DiMaggio
Right Field: Keller (22) v. Griffey (26)  Winner: Push
SP1: Ruffing (34) v. Nolan (28) Winner: NYY-Ruffing
SP2: Gomez (30) v. Zachry (24)Winner: Cin-Zachry
SP3: Hadley (34) v. Norman (33) Winner: Cin-Norman
Closer: Murphy (30)  v. Eastwick (25)   Cin-Eastwick
Team Offense: Cin
Team Pitching: NYY

Reds 10 Yankees 5 - And that's the name of that tune.  The Reds not only win the position player matchups - they also win the pitching matchups and when you add the offensive totals, they win more easily than you'd ever expect.

         The Greatest Team in Baseball History?  The 1976 Cincinnati Reds.

Greatest MLB Tournament Ever - The League Championships

Thursday, January 31, 2019

last group

We started at 256.  The 128 greatest teams from each league.  It's now four.  And about to be two.

1939 Yankees (World Champions-Joe McCarthy)
1929 Philadelphia A's-Connie Mack

Catcher: Dickey (32) v. Cochrane (26) Winner: NYY -Dickey
First Base: Dahlgren (27)  v. Foxx (21)Winner: Phi-Foxx
Second Base: Gordon (24) v. Bishop (29) Winner: NYY-Gordon
Shortstop: Crosetti (28) v. Dykes (32)Winner: NYY-Dykes
Third Base: Rolfe (30) v. Hale (32)Winner: NYY -Rolfe
Left Field: Selkirk (31) v. Simmons (27)Winner: Phi-Simmons
Center Field: DiMaggio (24) v. Haas (25)Winner: NYY -DiMaggio
Right Field: Keller (22) v. Miller (34)  Winner: NYY - Keller
SP1: Ruffing (34) v. Grove (29) Winner: Phi-Grove
SP2: Gomez (30) v. Walberg (32)Winner: Phi-Walberg
SP3: Hadley (34) v. Earnshaw (29) Winner: Phi-Earnshaw
Closer: Murphy (30)  v. Shores (25)  Phi-Shores
Team Offense: NYY 
Team Pitching: A's

NYY 9 Phil 8 - the A's sweep the pitching, forcing the tiebreak - but the Yankee bats are too much.

The 1939 New York Yankees are the Greatest Team in American League History.

1975 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson
1976 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson 

Catcher: Bench (27) v. Bench (28)   Winner: Cin 75-Bench
First Base: Perez (33) v. Perez (34) Winner: Cin 75-Perez
Second Base: Morgan (31) v. Morgan (32)   Winner: Cin 75-Morgan
Shortstop: Concepcion (27) v. Concepcion (28)  Winner: Cin 76-Concepcion
Third Base: Rose (34) v. Rose (35)   Winner: Cin 76-Rose
Left Field: Foster (26) v. Foster (27)  Winner: Cin 76-Foster
Center Field: Geronimo (27) v. Geronimo (28) Winner: Cin 75-Geronimo
Right Field: Griffey (25) v. Griffey (26) Winner: Cin 76-Griffey
SP1: Nolan (27) v. Nolan (28)Winner: Cin 75-Nolan
SP2: Billingham (32) v. Zachry (24)  Winner: Cin 76-Zachry
SP3: Norman (32) v. Norman (33) Winner: Cin 76-Norman
Closer: Eastwick (24) v. Eastwick (25)   Winner: Cin 76-Eastwick
Team Offense: 1976
Team Pitching: 1976

1976  11   1975   5 --- tied through the position players (which, since they're all the same, is fitting) but the '76 team took the pitching matchups and then edged by their predecessors to take both totals.

The 1976 Cincinnati Reds Are the Greatest Team in the History of the National League

And there you have it.  One matchup to go.

Tomorrow - for all the chips.  

1939 New York Yankees
1976 Cincinnati Reds

How They Got Here - The Greatest MLB Tournament Ever Reaches the League Championships

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

last group

The 1939 New York Yankees entered as the top overall seed in the American League, that means they had the greatest pythagorean record in AL history.

They opened up with a 10-5 win over Babe Ruth's 1918 Red Sox; they then beat Ty Cobb's 1915 Tigers 9-6; in the Round of 32 they whipped The Bronx Zoo 1977 Yankees 12-3; in the Sweet 16 they took out the great pitching staff of the 1973 Orioles 11-6; they faced a dogfight in the Elite 8, beating Derek Jeter's 1998 Yankees 9-8 - and then they made this round, with a 9-6 Final Four victory over the 2017 Houston Astros -- the '39 Yankees have yet to lose a single total WAR battle - both offense and pitching (they pushed pitching against Houston).

They face the 14th overall seed in the American League - the 1929 Philadelphia A's.

The A's got started with an 11-4 win over Ted Williams and the 1948 Red Sox; Tris Speaker was the next victim, the A's beat the 1921 Indians 12-3. They faced a little more of a test in the next round, beating the 1985 Blue Jays 10-6 - and then they had to fight it out in the Sweet 16, the A's topped Ruth/Gehrig and the 1932 Yankees 8-7; the Yankees won the overall total bats in that contest, the A's first loss in any of the totals.  Another tough matchup in the Elite 8 - the A's beat one of those Earl Weaver Orioles clubs, the 1969 Orioles, 9-7 - again, losing the offensive total.  And then in the final four; they knocked out the second overall seed, their real life rivals, the 1927 Yankees, 8-7, again, despite losing the offense.

So - the 1939 Yankees, who entered as the top AL seed - face the 1929 A's, who knocked off the number two overall seed.

The 1975 Cincinnati Reds were the 15th overall seed in the National League; they were pushed to the brink in round 1, defeating the 1886 St Louis Browns 8-7, Rawly Eastwick earned them a pitching victory that prevented this early upset.  Another tight game in round 2, the Reds beat the '77 Dodgers 9-7, once again, Eastwick got their only pitching point and that prevented a tiebreaker.  In the round of 32 it was Christy Mathewson's 1908 Giants who couldn't match the offensive firepower, the Reds won 9-6 (still, only getting the same pitching point).  Advancing through the Sweet 16 took a tiebreaker; the offense of the Reds beating the pitching of Maddux/Glavine and the 1997 Atlanta Braves.  Again, Eastwick won the closing battle to prevent elimination.  It was another of those Mathewson Giants clubs who went down in the Elite 8, the Reds took out the 1911 Giants 8-7; the Reds lost every single pitching point in this one - but still advanced.  And in the Final Four it was a dominating pitching staff, the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies, taking every pitching point...but still, falling to the Reds 8-7.  Despite that 15th seed, Cincinnati has never had to face a higher seed team in the tournament and will not in this matchup either.  The '75 Reds starting pitchers have been shutout in the tournament, only the closer Eastwick has won even a single matchup.

The 1976 Cincinnati Reds entered as the 33rd overall seed in the National League; they opened up by whipping the 1920 New York Giants 10-3 (Pat Zachry won a starting pitching matchup, already surpassing the results of the '75 club).  The Reds were underdogs as early as round 2, when they beat the 32nd seeded 1986 Mets 10-6 (another Zachry win). The Reds then faced the top overall seed in the National League, Tinker/Evers/Chance and the 1906 Chicago Cubs - Eastwick took the closer's point and the Reds won 9-7; they kept it rolling in the sweet 16, with an upset over Stan Musial's 17th seeded 1943 Cardinals 9-6.  They beat the Giants again, this time the 8th seeded 1905 version, 9-7 in the Elite 8 -- and it took a tiebreaker, but the 4th overall seed in the NL, the 1944 Cardinals fell in the Final Four - Eastwick, as he did the year before, saved this club with a matchup win to force the tiebreaker, and the Reds won 9-8.

We've hit the end.  

1939 Yankees
1929 A's

1975 Reds 
1976 Reds

The winners to meet to determine the greatest Major League Baseball team of all time.  

Super Bowl 53 Prediction

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Who did I pick at the beginning of the season...let's check...Patriots v. Rams.

Who am I picking Sunday?

Rams  +2.5
Rams outright

I've been rooting for the Rams, as I mentioned in my playoff preview.  There will be a point where the Niners will be good enough that this becomes a real rivalry and I'll be steadfastly opposed to them - but right now, like all decent people, who I'm steadfastly opposed to is New England and I'd like them to lose by 4 touchdowns.

They won't lose by four touchdowns, but over the course of the regular season, the Rams were the better team (better by FPI, solidly better by SRS) and that's almost always who I pick.  The best team in the NFL this season was New Orleans - and the Rams just went on the road and beat them. Smart money has sided with the Patriots and that should give one pause, but why pick New England when they come in as the lesser squad? 

Here's my annual Super Bowl posts that I update after every year's game and will do so again after Sunday.

Re-awarded MVP

Top 25 Individual Performances in SB History

Ten Best Super Bowls of all Time

Ten Best Teams Not to Play in the Super Bowl

SB Quarterbacks

Ten Best Teams Who Didn't Win a Super Bowl

Every SB Winner Ranked

Greatest Players in SB History

Greatest MLB Tournament Ever Created - National League Final Four

Monday, January 28, 2019

last group

We started at 128 - we're about to name the 2 greatest teams in National League history.

1944 St Louis Cardinals-Billy Southworth
1976 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson 

Catcher: Cooper (29) v. Bench (28)  Winner: Cin-Bench
First Base: Sanders (27) v. Perez (34)  Winner: Cards -Sanders
Second Base: Verban (28) v. Morgan (32)   Winner: Cin-Morgan
Shortstop: Marion (27) v. Concepcion (28) Winner: Cin-Concepcion
Third Base: Kurowski (26) v. Rose (35)  Winner:-Cin-Rose
Left Field: Litwhiler (27) v. Foster (27)Winner: Cin-Foster
Center Field: Hopp (27) v. Geronimo (28) Winner: Cards-Hopp
Right Field: Musial (23) v. Griffey (26) Winner: Cards-Musial
SP1: Cooper (31) v. Nolan (28) Winner: Cards-Cooper
SP2: Lanier (28) v. Zachry (24) Winner: Cards-Lanier
SP3: Wilks (28) v. Norman (33)  Winner: Cards-Wilks
Closer: Schmidt (28) v. Eastwick (25) Winner: Cin-Eastwick
Team Offense: Cin
Team Pitching: StL

Reds 9 Cards 8 - it should be a tiebreaker at this stage and it was; the Reds just needed one pitching point, and they got it from Eastwick to force the tie - in the end, it was super close, but the Reds bats just edge the Cards arms to move into the NL Final.

1975 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson
2011 Philadelphia Phillies-Charlie Manuel

Catcher: Bench (27) v. Ruiz (32)  Winner: Cin-Bench
First Base: Perez (33) v. Howard (31) Winner: Cin-Perez
Second Base: Morgan (31) v. Utley (24)  Winner: Cin-Morgan
Shortstop: Concepcion (27) v. Rollins (32) Winner: Cin-Concepcion
Third Base: Rose (34) v. Polanco (35)  Winner: Cin-Rose
Left Field: Foster (26) v. Ibanez (39)  Winner: Cin-Foster
Center Field: Geronimo (27) v. Victorino (30)Winner: Phi-Victorino
Right Field: Griffey (25) v. Pence (28)Winner: Push
SP1: Nolan (27) v. Halladay (34)Winner: Phi-Halladay
SP2: Billingham (32) v. Lee (32)  Winner: Phi-Lee
SP3: Norman (32) v. Hamels (27) Winner: Phi-Hamels
Closer: Eastwick (24) v. Madson (30)   Winner: Phi-Madson
Team Offense: Cin
Team Pitching: Phi

Reds 8 Phillies 7 - The Reds nearly sweep the bats, the Phils do sweep the arms - if Pence had been able to take RF that would have moved them to the tiebreak -- but they pushed, and the two greatest teams in National League history are, in fact, both Reds World Champions from the mid 70s.

1975 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson
1976 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson 

Greatest MLB Tournament Ever Created - American League Final Four

Sunday, January 27, 2019

last group

We started at 128 - and are about to name the two greatest teams in American League history.

1939 Yankees (World Champions-Joe McCarthy)
2017 Houston Astros-AJ Hinch

Catcher: Dickey (32) v. McCann (33) Winner: NYY 39-Dickey
First Base: Dahlgren (27)  v. Gurriel (31) Winner: Hou-Gurriel
Second Base: Gordon (24) v. Altuve (27) Winner: Hou-Altuve
Shortstop: Crosetti (28) v. Correa (22)Winner: Hou-Correa
Third Base: Rolfe (30) v. Bregman (23) Winner: NYY 39-Rolfe
Left Field: Selkirk (31) v. Gonzalez (28) Winner: NYY 39-Selkirk
Center Field: DiMaggio (24) v. Springer (27) Winner: NYY 39-DiMaggio
Right Field: Keller (22) v. Reddick (30)  Winner: NYY - Keller
DH: Henrich (26)  v. Beltran (40)  Winner: NYY 39-Henrich
SP1: Ruffing (34) v. Fiers (27) Winner: NYY 39-Ruffing
SP2: Gomez (30) v. Morton (33)Winner: Hou-Morton
SP3: Hadley (34) v. Keuchel (29) Winner: Hou-Keuchel
Closer: Murphy (30)  v. Giles (26) Hou-Giles
Team Offense: NYY 
Team Pitching: Push

Yankees 9 Astros 6 - Houston's able to get some pitching points, but the Yankee bats are too strong and they move into the AL Final game.

1927 New York Yankees-Miller Huggins
1929 Philadelphia A's-Connie Mack

Catcher: Collins (30) v. Cochrane (26)Winner: Phi-Cochrane
First Base: Gehrig (24) v. Foxx (21)Winner: NYY-Gehrig
Second Base: Lazzeri (23) v. Bishop (29) Winner: NYY-Lazzeri
Shortstop: Koenig (22) v. Dykes (32)Winner: Phi-Dykes
Third Base: Dugan (30) v.  Hale (32)Winner: Push
Left Field: Meusel (30) v.  Simmons (27)Winner: Phi-Simmons
Center Field: Combs (28) v.  Haas (25) Winner: NYY-Combs
Right Field: Ruth (32) v. Miller (34)Winner: NYY-Ruth
SP1: Hoyt (27) v.  Grove (29) Winner: Phi-Grove
SP2: Pennock (30) v. Walberg (32)  Winner: Phi-Walberg
SP3: Shocker (36) v. Earnshaw (29) Winner: Phi-Earnshaw
Closer: Moore (30) v. Shores (25) Winner: NYY-Moore
Team Offense: NYY
Team Pitching: Phi

A's 8 Yankees 7 -- I'll be damned; there wasn't a single second where I thought we were headed for anything but the two top overall seeds meeting for the AL crown - but it didn't happen; these two blood rivals, A's and Yankees from the late 20s, went at it here and it was Philadelphia, riding their pitching, who came out on top.  Had Joe Dugan won the third base matchup to force the tie, the Yankees would have come out on top in the tiebreaker.  

So - that's it.  One American League matchup left.

1939 Yankees (World Champions-Joe McCarthy)
1929 Philadelphia A's-Connie Mack

Greatest MLB Tournament Ever Created - National League Elite 8

Saturday, January 26, 2019

last group

We started with 128 National League teams - after this round - we'll be down to 4.

1905 New York Giants-John McGraw
1976 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson 

Catcher: Bresnahan (26) v. Bench (28)Winner: Cin-Bench
First Base: McGann (33)v. Perez (34) Winner: NYG-McGann
Second Base: Gilbert (29)v. Morgan (32)  Winner: Cin-Morgan
Shortstop: Dahlen (35)v. Concepcion (28)Winner: NYG-Dahlen
Third Base: Devlin (25) v. Rose (35) Winner: Cin-Rose
Left Field: Mertes (32) v. Foster (27)Winner: Cin-Foster
Center Field: Donlin (27) v. Geronimo (28) Winner: NYG-Donlin
Right Field:  Browne (29) v. Griffey (26)Winner: Cin-Griffey
SP1: Mathewson (24) v. Nolan (28)Winner: NYG-Mathewson
SP2:  McGinnity (34) v. Zachry (24)Winner: Cin-Zachry
SP3: Ames (22) v. Norman (33) Winner: NYG-Ames
Closer:  Elliott (28)v. Eastwick (25)Winner: Cin-Eastwick
Team Offense: Cin
Team Pitching: NYG

Reds 9 Giants 7 - Cincinnati split the pitching matchups, and if they can do that they're impossible to stop - the 1976 Reds move into the Final Four.  

1944 St Louis Cardinals-Billy Southworth
1942 St Louis Cardinals-Billy Southworth

Catcher: Cooper (29) v. Cooper (27)  Winner: Cards 44-Cooper
First Base: Sanders (27) v. Hopp (25)  Winner: Cards 44-Sanders
Second Base: Verban (28) v. Brown (32)  Winner: Cards 42-Brown
Shortstop: Marion (27) v. Marion (25) Winner: Cards 42-Marion
Third Base: Kurowski (26) v. Kurowski (24) Cards 44 - Kurowski
Left Field: Litwhiler (27) v. Musial (21)Winner: Cards 42-Musial
Center Field: Hopp (27) v. Moore (30)  Winner: Cards 44-Hopp
Right Field: Musial (23) v. Slaughter (26) Winner: StL 44-Musial
SP1: Cooper (31) v. Cooper (29)  Winner: StL 42-Cooper
SP2: Lanier (28) v. Beazley (24)  Winner: StL 44-Beazley
SP3: Wilks (28) v. Lanier (26) Winner: Push
Closer: Schmidt (28) v. Gumbert (32) Winner: Cards 42-Gumbert
Team Offense: StL 44
Team Pitching: StL 42

1944  8   1942   7 --- the slightly older Cardinals defeat the slightly younger Cardinals by the slightest possible margin.  The 1944 Cardinals head to the Final Four to take on the '76 Reds.

1975 Cincinnati Reds-Sparky Anderson
1911 New York Giants-John McGraw

Catcher: Bench (27) v. Meyers (30)  Winner: Cin-Bench
First Base: Perez (33) v. Merkle (22) Winner: NYG-Merkle
Second Base: Morgan (31) v. Doyle (24) Winner: Cin-Morgan
Shortstop: Concepcion (27) v. Fletcher (26) Winner: Cin-Concepcion
Third Base: Rose (34) v. Devlin (31) Winner: Cin-Rose
Left Field: Foster (26) v. Devore (23) Winner: Cin-Foster
Center Field: Geronimo (27) v. Snodgrass (23) Winner: Cin-Geronimo
Right Field: Griffey (25) v. Murray (27) Winner: Push
SP1: Nolan (27) v. Mathewson (30)Winner: NYG-Mathewson
SP2: Billingham (32) v. Marquard (24) Winner: NYG-Marquard
SP3: Norman (32) v. Ames (28) Winner: NYG-Ames
Closer: Eastwick (24) v. Crandall (23) Winner: NYG-Crandall
Team Offense: Cin
Team Pitching: NYG

Reds 8 Giants 7 -- this time, the Giants do sweep every pitching point --- and they still lose; both Reds' squads are in the Final Four.  

2016 Chicago Cubs-Joe Maddon
v.2011 Philadelphia Phillies-Charlie Manuel

Catcher: Montero (32) v. Ruiz (32)  Winner: Phil-Ruiz
First Base: Rizzo (26) v. Howard (31)  Winner: Chi-Rizzo
Second Base: Zobrist (35) v. Utley (24)   Winner: Chi-Zobrist
Shortstop: Russell (22) v. Rollins (32) Winner: Chi-Russell
Third Base: Bryant (24) v. Polanco (35) Winner: Chi-Bryant
Left Field: Szczur (26) v. Ibanez (39) Winner: Chi-Szczur
Center Field: Fowler (30) v. Victorino (30) Winner: Phi-Victorino
Right Field: Heyward (26) v. Pence (28)  Winner: Phi-Pence
SP1: Lester (32) v. Halladay (34) Winner: Phi-Halladay
SP2: Arrieta (30) v. Lee (32)  Winner: Phi-Lee
SP3: Hendricks (26) v. Hamels (27) Winner: Phi-Hamels
Closer: Rondon (28) v. Madson (30)   Winner: Phi-Madson
Team Offense: Cubs
Team Pitching: Phi

Phillies 9 Cubs 7 - they didn't win the pennant - but this pitching staff continues to be unmatched and now the 2011 Phillies will face the 1975 Reds in the ultimate bats vs. arms battle.

Greatest MLB Tournament Ever Created - American League Elite 8

Friday, January 25, 2019

last group

We started with 128 American League teams.  It's about to become 4.  

1939 Yankees (World Champions-Joe McCarthy)
1998 Yankees (World Champions-Joe Torre)

Catcher: Dickey (32) v. Posada (26) Winner: NYY 39-Dickey
First Base: Dahlgren (27)  v. Martinez (30) Winner: NYY 98-Martinez
Second Base: Gordon (24) v. Knoblauch (29)Winner: NYY 39-Gordon
Shortstop: Crosetti (28) v. Jeter (24)Winner: NYY 98-Jeter
Third Base: Rolfe (30) v. Brosius (31)Winner: NYY 39-Rolfe
Left Field: Selkirk (31) v. Curtis (29) Winner: NYY 39-Selkirk
Center Field: DiMaggio (24) v. Williams (29)Winner: NYY 39-DiMaggio
Right Field: Keller (22) v. O'Neill (35) Winner: NYY 98- O'Neill
DH: Henrich (26)  v. Strawberry (36) Winner: NYY 39-Henrich
SP1: Ruffing (34) v. Pettitte (26)Winner: NYY 39-Ruffing
SP2: Gomez (30) v. Wells (35)Winner: NYY 98-Wells
SP3: Hadley (34) v. Cone (35) Winner: NYY 98-Cone
Closer: Murphy (30)  v. Rivera (28) NYY 98-Rivera
Team Offense: NYY 39
Team Pitching: NYY 98

1939 9  1998 8  - The bats from 1939 against the arms from 1998 - the modern team needed to sweep the pitching to take it...but Red Ruffing won the battle of the aces and it's the 1939 New York Yankees who move into the Final Four

1934 Detroit Tigers-Mickey Cochrane
2017 Houston Astros-AJ Hinch

Catcher: Cochrane (31) v.  McCann (33) Winner:  Tigers-Cochrane
First Base: Greenberg (23)` v. Gurriel (31) Winner: Tigers-Greenberg
Second Base: Gehringer (31) v. Altuve (27) Winner: Tigers-Gehringer
Shortstop: Rogell (28) v. Correa (22)Winner: Astros-Correa
Third Base: Owen (28)  v. Bregman (23) Winner: Astros-Bregman
Left Field: Goslin (33) v. Gonzalez (28)Winner:  Astros-Gonzalez
Center Field: White (25)  v. Springer (27)  Winner: Astros-Springer
Right Field: Fox (25) v. Reddick (30)  Winner: Astros-Reddick
DH: Walker (26) v. Beltran (40) Winner: Tigers-Walker
SP1: Bridges (27) v. Fiers (27)  Winner: Tigers-Bridges
SP2: Rowe (24)  v. Morton (33) Winner: Tigers-Rowe
SP3: Sorrell (33) v. Keuchel (29) Winner: Astros-Keuchel
Closer: Auker (23) v. Giles (26) Winner: Astros-Giles
Team Offense: Astros
Team Pitching: Push

Astros 9 Tigers 6 - The arms push and Houston wins the bats - the 2017 Astros offense has carried them into the Final Four.  

1927 New York Yankees-Miller Huggins
1971 Baltimore Orioles-Earl Weaver

Catcher: Collins (30) v. Hendricks (30)Winner: NYY-Collins
First Base: Gehrig (24) v. Powell (29)Winner: NYY-Gehrig
Second Base: Lazzeri (23) v. Johnson (28)  Winner: NYY-Lazzeri
Shortstop: Koenig (22) v. Belanger (27)Winner: Balt-Belanger
Third Base: Dugan (30) v.  Robinson (34)Winner: Balt-Robinson
Left Field: Meusel (30) v.  Buford (34) Winner: Balt-Buford
Center Field: Combs (28) v.  Blair (27) Winner: NYY-Combs
Right Field: Ruth (32) v. Robinson (35)Winner: NYY-Ruth
DH:  Gazella (31) v. Rettenmund (28) Winner: Balt-Rettenmund
SP1: Hoyt (27) v.  Cuellar (34) Winner: NYY-Hoyt
SP2: Pennock (30) v. Dobson (29) Winner: Balt-Dobson
SP3: Shocker (36) v. Palmer (25) Winner: Balt-Palmer
Closer: Moore (30) v. Watt (30) Winner: NYY-Moore
Team Offense: NYY
Team Pitching: NYY

NYY 11 Balt 6 -- dead tied headed to the closer, the Yankees won that and then took both totals.  Form holds - the 1927 Yankees head to the Final Four.

1929 Philadelphia A's-Connie Mack
1969 Baltimore Orioles-Earl Weaver

Catcher: Cochrane (26) v. Hendricks (28)Winner: Phil-Cochrane
First Base: Foxx (21) v.   Powell (27) Winner: Phil-Foxx
Second Base: Bishop (29) v. Johnson (26)Winner: Balt-Johnson
Shortstop: Dykes (32) v. Belanger (25)Winner: Balt-Belanger
Third Base: Hale (32) v.  Robinson (32) Winner: Balt-Robinson
Left Field: Simmons (27) v.  Buford (32) Winner: Phil-Simmons
Center Field: Haas (25) v. Blair (25)Winner: Balt-Blair
Right Field: Miller (34) v.  Robinson (33)Winner: Balt-Robinson
SP1: Grove (29) v. Cuellar (32) Winner: Phi-Grove
SP2: Walberg (32) v. McNally (26)Winner: Phi-Walberg
SP3: Earnshaw (29) v.  Phoebus (27) Winner: Phi-Earnshaw
Closer: Shores (25) v. Watt (28)Winner: Phi-Shores
Team Offense: Balt
Team Pitching: Phi

Phi 9 Balt 7 - the A's sweep the pitching and that proves too much for the Orioles.  The American League final four is set.

1939 Yankees (World Champions-Joe McCarthy)
2017 Houston Astros-AJ Hinch

-it's the top overall seed against the sole remaining modern team

1927 New York Yankees-Miller Huggins
1929 Philadelphia A's-Connie Mack

-multi-year rivals in the late 20s face off

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