Monday, March 28, 2016

ESPN MLB’s Top 100 List for 2016 - A Look into Top 10 Players

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization. MLB have produced a lot of legend players and exceptional teams so far. So, there is a huge expectation in teams and players amid fans when the 2016 season starts at once. People have already begun to ask themselves and aloud who will be the best players in Major League Baseball in the 2016 season. ESPN created a group of MLB writers, analysts and contributors have created a list 100 players to watch out for 2016 season. Let’s have a close look at the top 10 players to watch out 2016 MLB season as per ESPN experts:

1.     Mike Trout

ESPN experts consider Mike Trout as number one player to look out for the 2016 MLB season. He plays for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Trout was AL Most Valuable Player in 2014. He is a four-time All-Star and a two-time All-Star Game MVP. He leads all players with 37.9 WAR.  He can be handy in defense, walks, base running, and durability as well which makes him No. 1 player in 2016 MLB season.

2.     Bryce Harper

ESPN experts think that Bryce Harper can bring intense challenge to Mike Trout. He plays for Washington Nationals and his 2015 stats include .330 BA, 1.109 OPS, 42 HRs, and 99 RBIs. In 2015 season, he became the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history and was chosen for the 2012 All-Star Game. Harper received the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2012.

3.     Clayton Kershaw

ESPN experts believe that Clayton Kershaw is a terrific player and the one to be watched for 2016 season. He plays for the Los Angeles Dodger and his 2015 stats include 33 GS, 16-7, 2.13 ERA, 301 Ks. He is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and the 2014 National League Most Valuable Player. Kershaw has 1,746 strikeouts in 1,611 career innings pitched.

4.     Paul Goldschmidt

ESPN experts trust that Paul Goldschmidt is one of the most important players to look out during 2016 season. He plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks and his 2015 stats include .321 BA, 1.005 OPS, 33 HRs, and 110 RBIs. He is a three-time MLB All-Star and also has attained the National League Hank Aaron Award, Gold Glove Award, and Silver Slugger Award.

5.     Andrew McCutchen

ESPN experts hope that Andrew McCutchen will be one of the best players in 2016 season. He plays for Pittsburgh Pirates and his 2015 stats include.292 BA, .889 OPS, 23 HRs, and 96 RBIs. He has delivered five straight seasons with 60 or further extra-base hits. He has been chosen for the All-Star Game for the past five seasons (2011-15). You can secure your discount Pittsburgh Pirates tickets from here without service fee and enjoy the live actions of Andrew McCutchen.

6.     Zack Greinke

ESPN experts place Zack Greinke as an important player to watch out during 2016 season. He plays for Arizona Diamondbacks and his 2015 stats include 32 GS, 19-3, 1.66 ERA, and 200 Ks. In 2009, he appeared in the MLB All-Star Game. Greinke g went in front all of baseball with a 1.66 ERA last season.

7.     Josh Donaldson

ESPN experts think Josh Donaldson will be a vital player in 2016 season. He plays for Toronto Blue Jays and his 2015 stats include .297 BA, .939 OPS, 41 HRs, and 123 RBIs. Josh was fourth, eighth and first in the past three AL MVP votes. He is powerful with the glove and it makes him a valuable player.

8.     Giancarlo Stanton

As per ESPN experts Giancarlo Stanton will be a main player in 2016 season. He plays for Miami Marlins and his 2015 stats include .265 BA, .952 OPS, 27 HRs, and 67 RBIs. He was chosen to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2012 and 2014. Stanton has hit 181 home runs since he debuted in 2010 and it have come in 2,567 at-bats.

9.     Jake Arrieta

ESPN experts see Jake Arrieta as a significant player in 2016 season.  He plays for Chicago Cubs and his 2015 stats include 33 GS, 22-6, 1.77 ERA, and 236 Ks. Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award and was the MLB wins leader.

10.     Miguel Cabrera

According to ESPN experts Miguel Cabrera is a vital player during 2016 season and he is a most feared and admired hitters in the game. He plays for Detroit Tigers and his 2015 stats include .338 BA, .974 OPS, 18 HRs, and 76 RBIs. He is a two-time AL Most Valuable Player award winner, a four-time AL batting champion, and a ten-time MLB All-Star.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Why the David Blatt Firing changed my opinion of LeBron James

The collective shock surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers’ mid-season firing of David Blatt has begun to subside. The reality of the behind the scenes discord, however, still is unfolding. And it does not make the league’s most recognizable athlete look as inclusive as he would like us to believe he is.

If you have been following my writing on this blog for even a year, you know that I have always been one to crown LeBron James as one of the best to play—because he is. But for me, it was more than just his basketball talent. It was his desire to play the Good Father or Community Leader quite often. It was moments like these that I always pointed to to represent his big heart. To his credit, he has never been involved in scandals like other legendary athletes in recent memory a la Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather or even Michael Jordan.

But this is not acceptable.

When a coach who is 30-11 is fired a year after taking his team to the NBA Finals, something is wrong. Stan Van Gundy said it best in this clip…what does this mean for assessing coaching success if wins don’t matter?

LeBron James has come out and said that he was surprised about the coaching change but I don’t believe that. Anybody who doesn’t think LeBron James is lying is, to quote a social media icon, playing themselves.

I have been dumbfounded. The final straw for me was this excellent breakdown by Coach Nick. LeBron James mopes around the court like a 10-year-old who was told he couldn’t have ice cream before he did his homework. It’s pitiful, disgraceful, and a whole host of Stephen A. Smith adjectives. And why does LeBron give a basketball-unknown, his friend Rich Paul, so much power?

If you haven't already, you need to watch this.

Will the Cleveland Cavaliers be better off without David Blatt? Most likely. Did the Warriors’ firing of Mark Jackson set precedence for firing “successful” coaches? No doubt. Will Blatt laugh all the way to the bank and sit at home like the rest of us, enjoying Super Bowl commercials when the Carolina Panthers suit up against the Denver Broncos? I hope so. But at the same this timing is just so…wrong. I’m hardly saying anything that hasn’t been said already, but this is a conclusion I’ve personally never come to before in 10+ years I’ve watched the ascent of an all-time NBA great:

The circus surrounding the Cavs this season and the David Blatt firing is a tremendous indictment against the character of LeBron James.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hoop Dreams: Basketball Betting 101

One of the most fast-paced and electrifying sports on the planet, basketball is a spectacle in and of itself as well as an exciting event for wagering. Pocketing profits from your hardwood expertise is easier than ever now with sites like guiding players every step of the way by showing how to bet on hoops legally.  Getting started on the right foot requires a basic understanding of the various bet types for this exciting game.

Money Line Bets

Moneyline betting is the most common and accessible type of basketball wager for a beginner to understand, with wagerers betting on the outcome of the game outright. Money line bets in basketball are typically shown as an whole number with a decimal attached, and this is the multiplier by which a winning wager is calculated. For example, a bet of $100 on Golden State Warriors 1.5 will yield $150 in the event of a successful wager.

Handicap Betting

Placing a bet on a game’s handicap is a way for odds makers to make betting on a team perceived to be overmatched more attractive. A handicap bet is shown as plus or minus a number, such as Philadelphia 76ers (+14.5) and this is the figure that is added to the final score of the team wagered on to determine if the bet was successful. If the target team’s final score is more than their opponents’ when the handicap is factored in, the bet is successful and the payout is made.

Total Betting

Total betting or “totals” aims to predict the final score of a game when the points for both teams are tallied, and bettors are asked to predict whether the final score will be over or under the listed total. For instance, if a game is listed as Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Over 198.5 or Under 198.5 and final score is 101-99, the bet is a winner regardless of the winning team.

Accumulator and Prop Bets

Accumulator bets are a type of advanced bet that places the results of multiple games within the same wager, requiring that all aspects be correctly predicted in order to receive a payout. Accumulator bets are usually made with multiple handicap bets, and even one team failing to win either outright or as measured via the handicap makes the bet invalid. Another type of commonly placed bet is the prop bet, which tests wagerers’ ability to accurately predict in-game scenarios such as first basket scored, first player to receive a foul or score at halftime.

Basketball is a true global sport with high profile leagues and dedicated fans around the world, and its prominence in the world of gambling stands as proof. Betting on games is a fun activity that could prove extremely lucrative to the lucky and the bold.