Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Mother of All Bandwagons

Get ready for it everyone. You think Brett Favre is a bandwagon... it'll look like a midget compared to the Death Star of bandwagons... the 2011 Miami Heat.

More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon, even NBA guys who are usually keen on the league. It's unfortunate.

To Riles' credit, he's augmented the lineup very nicely with what little he has. But a lot of these guys are spot up shooters, like Miller and Z and Maglore and Arroyo.

But seriously where's the defense??? We all know the rub with spot shooters. When they go cold, it becomes an infection and what if one of the Big 3 is having an off night? I guess I'm underestimating Bosh during all this since I basically ignored him in all my analysis.

I just don't think this team has the defense NOR the front court to match up with Orlando, Boston, SA, LA, and possibly Oklahoma City. So suddenly this team is a "LOCK" to win the NBA Finals? I must be nuts... either I am or they are. Which is it?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Your Weekly Pennant Race Showdown Predictions

-- with all due respect to Awful Announcing

Today we're looking into the big Pennant Race matchups in MLB. Some of these series may already be in progress.

A quick outlook:

Dodgers vs Padres: Tough pitching matchup for all three games. I'm going to go with LA to take 2 of 3 despite some empirical statistical advantages for pitchers on the SD rotation.

Marlins vs Giants: I think this is a series split. The Marlins can't close games. The Giants can't get hits in weird spots (or at best, they're very streaky). We saw a sample of it last night when Ricky Nolasco (of all people) shut down the G-Men.

Red Sox vs Angels: Surprisingly, I think the Red Sox will win this one. The Angels have fallen on hard times, and Haren's minor setback last night isn't a great sign. Boston has won game one, so we'll see what happens from here on.

Phillies vs Diamondbacks: Phils on a win streak. D'backs basically quit on their season. Just by default, I'm going to guess the depleted Phils overtake the Diamondbacks' dreadful club.

Cardinals vs Mets: I think the Mets have this series. While they had a terrible road trip, remember, the Mets are equally as good at home. Mets get 2 of 3.

Braves vs Nats: A better series than you might expect. I'll call for the upset on the strength of Strasburg's start. Nats take the series.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Other Superpower Teams in the NBA...

I thought of this this morning while I was in bed. With Chris Paul potentially joining the New York Knicks, I figured they'd be able to make some real noise.

If the LeBron/Wade/Bosh team is "Superteam." That'd make the Knicks, "Batman-team". Stoudamire, Paul, and elusive combo with many weapons. Although in the end they're just regular guys with toys, so they don't have much for defense.

What other Comic Book groups can we assign our NBA Super Powers? I came up with these ideas.

Lakers: The Fantastic Four! Kobe Bryant, Gasol, Odom, and Artest.
Celtics: The Justice League. You may not beat them, but their toughness makes you pay!
Magic: The Spidermen. Look at how Dwight Howard can scale walls and swat things away! He can leap from building to building with the best of 'em.
Atlanta: The X-Men. You never know what to expect from these jokers.

There's more, but I thought this was a good start.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Rebound: Who recovers?

Four teams had terrible four game series over the weekend:

The Dodgers lost 4 straight to the Cardinals
The Red Sox lost 3 of 4 to the Rangers
The Phillies lost 3 of 4 to the Cubs
The Mets lost 3 of 4 to the Giants

Who rebounds? I think we'll go into a week long projection (which takes us to next Monday).

I say...

Dodgers split their next two series
Sox win their next two series
Phillies lose their next two series
Mets split their next two series

And THAT's why they call 'em "LOCKS of the Week" :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Weekend: East vs West

Two big baseball series pepper the weekend, among others (such as LA/StL):

Mets vs Giants
Rangers vs Red Sox

Basically you're looking at East division vs West Division contenders in both cases. One NL, one AL.

Predictions: Believe it or not I'm going to select the Giants to take three of four at home. They tend to play well there, and I imagine the 1-2-3 for SF beats the 1-2-3 for NY. And looking at probables...

Dickey vs Lincecum: Are you kidding me? Timmy will dominate compared to R.A. Dickey. Dickey can barely get a wiffle ball across the plate!
Niese vs Zito: Going with the experience here. Zito is a workhorse and will keep the Giants in the game throughout. All he needs is some run support.
Pelfrey vs TBA: Well it's that always tough TBA... TBA really has a wicked curveball and an underrated slider. More importantly, Big Pelf has come apart in the last week. I think TBA will display more poise.
Santana vs TBA: No telling who Bochy will start here, but if he goes with Cain, this might be a tight, 0-0 game. But I do think the Mets gut it out to break the sweep.

For the Rangers and Red Sox:

Hunter vs Wakefield: Gotta give the edge to the youngin'. His stuff easily beats Wakefields 50/50 knuckleball. You can never tell for sure, but I'd go Hunter for the win.
Lewis vs Doubront: No idea. Not familiar with either pitcher but I imagine they cancel each other out. I'll give it to Boston on the strength of Home Field.
Lee vs TBA: Jury's still out on Lee. He *has* pitched at Fenway before, but he has a career ERA of 5.79 there with a WHIP of 1.6! Go for TBA.
Wilson vs TBA: You'd have to think the Red Sox would find a way to work in Jon Lester or possibly Clay Bucholz in this series. If either pitches in this game, I go with the Red Sox.

In total, I think both the Rangers and Red Sox split the four games.

So predictions are set... let's play ball! (tomorrow)

note: R.I.P. George Steinbrenner. He was an iconic figure and a memorable character. I don't know if he was good for the game of baseball. We'll know for sure as the years go by.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Announcer, "Number One", Mr. Bob Sheppard... "Number One"...

Rest in Peace Mr. Bob Sheppard. You've been a great longtime Yankee Announcer, have been as much a part of the tradition as the pinstripes and frieze, and we all are grateful for your many contributions. Condolences go out to the Sheppard family from all of us here at LOCKS of the Week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The (Micro) Preview: World Cup Final -- Netherlands vs Spain

I probably know less about International Soccer than I do about any other sport, including swimming. That said, I think we're in for a real dog-fight Sunday Afternoon (Sunday Night over in South Africa)!

The Spaniards and the Dutch: Two people who have never tasted a World Cup Championship before. Doesn't it feel like Super Bowl XVI at the Silverdome? A new(ish) building, a new power, a new matchup... two teams that had never been there before. There was a lot of wonder leading up to that matchup.

Actually there were some additional firsts to that game. For CBS, it was the first Super Bowl Featuring John Madden and Pat Summerall. It was, more or less, the first Super Bowl held in a Cold-Weather City.

Today, some additional freshness and wonder evades the tip of the African Continent. For the match, I predict the Spaniards win it. For me, I hope they can pull it off. They've been to a few international events with high expectations, only to meet their demise. I do think it will go into extra time, and the goal will be scored there.

Again, I really have no semblance of expertise with Soccer, but I hope there's a great game in the making!

The final score? 2-1 Spain in the Extra Time.

Rockies/Padres Prediction (well, for two games)

Great comeback by Colorado last night! Down 8-5, a run, then a Grand Slam put the Rockies ahead 10-8, after which the lead stood up.

Today, the Rockies try to repeat the recent trend. Three of their last wins have been come from behind efforts. Hard to think that will continue. It's also hard to think the Padres will keep winning with dinks and dunks and lucky bounces.

The Rockies take one of these next two and start to put some pressure on the Padres this season. Almost everyone predicts SD will fall off, and we could be close to seeing it now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Prediction: LeBron James

The last two nights, the world has been lit ablaze with the prospect of LeBron James on a new team. Last night, it came to a head as Chris Broussard of ESPN leaked a detail that LeBron was "by all accounts" going to sign with the Miami Heat. He'd join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Since then I've been skeptical of that "leak." I don't even know if it is going to hold up. Tonight, the real decision begins! At 9pm ET, LeBron James will announce his intentions.

And LOCKS of the Week believes...... drumroll here please..........

LeBron is going to the New York Knicks!

--and you say "Whaaaaat?" It's true! He spends so much time there in that city that I feel like he's bound to do so. But notice he planted seeds in every town: Condos in Chicago, Hotel Reservations in Miami, a Gym Workout in Ohio, and on and on and on. But the most activity seems to have been in NYC. I think it happens. Tune in, won't you, as millions of lives are affected by this decision.

Please remember, though, it's just a game, and just a sport. Back with more predictions soon!

I'm baaaaaack

Hi everyone,

Boy am I sorry for the extremely long hiatus I've had here on the program. And wouldn't you know: the Magic didn't even come CLOSE to winning the damn Eastern Conference. Who knew???

Thanks so much for being there for the DITC podcast here on LOCKS of the Week, and now, I think I'm going to start doing some posts again.

The problem, in the past, was that I tried too hard. I wanted to do some very analytical, fact supported articles akin to those on Baseball Prospectus or other Sports Blogs. I tried to be a columnist in the footsteps of Bill Simmons or Jim Murray. Why do that? Why couldn't I do it differently??

So, I thought, instead of being some generic sports commentary site, I have determined that this blog space will now be the home for all of my crazy wacky predictions. Just as it was in the very beginning, except this time, I'll be doing predictions for sports other than football.

Let the prognostication begin!