The AL/NL Championship Series

Well after a pretty thrilling divisional round where error played a big role with over 30 errors between all the teams. We saw the Red Sox continue to flounder in the postseason and the heavily favored Cleveland Indians fall to the New York Yankees in 5 games in the American League over in the National League  the Dodgers cruised to the Championship while the Nationals and Cubs play a fierce 5 game series complete with 2 shutouts, 2 no-hitters that turned into losses, and a mind blowing final game.

As for the Championship series we have some exciting games that are going to happen. It will be the first time that Houston has made it to this round since it moved to the American League and following their first series win since 2005 when they won the National League. They will face the Yankees who haven’t been here in 5 years when they were swept by the Tigers. The last time they met each other in the playoffs was the Wild Card game back in 2015. This was a while ago. The Astros had a long layover between their win in the ALDS and this first game of the ALCS so Houston will be well rested and the Yankees having gone 5 with Cleveland will be on a day rest. I’m not sure what’s better to be well rested or battle tested. It would be great if the Astros got to the series in the American League as they’d be the only team ever to have been for both leagues. However it could go to the Yankees.

In the National League it will be The Dodgers who were there last year but haven’t won an NL Pennant since 1988 when they also last won the World Series so there is that going on. Meanwhile the Cubs are in there again so it’s a rematch of last years NLCS, Let’s hope that the Dodgers can beat them this time around. I’m not sure with the extended drama that was the division series if either team (Cubs or Nationals) would have been a huge threat to LA but who know what will happen. Reading online it seems that the Dodgers thought that the Cubs would be a harder series to win but looking at the errors and lack of runs in the Division series, I’d say that’s not so now. So Dodgers seem like the team to win in the NL.

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The AL and NL Division Series

Today the Baseball playoffs begin in earnest as the American League Division Series starts today at 4 PM on the Major League Baseball Network, it’s that time of year when we all search for the network, as the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros meet in Houston. This is the first time that these teams have ever met in the playoffs but they finished the season against each other during the regular season the home team won the series with Houston winning four last weekend in Houston while Boston took two of three in June. The night continues at 7:30 PM on Fox Sports 1, with the New York Yankees traveling to Cleveland to face the Indians. If history continues the Indians look to be favorites to win as the past two times they met in the division round playoffs Cleveland has come out on top, these past wins came in 1997 and 2007 in 98 they met in the Championship series and New York won.

Most pundits are having the Cleveland Indians make it through easily as well as the Houston Astros. Although if those other teams the Yankees and Red Sox made it that would be the series that people would want to watch. However it looks like the Indians will make it through and the rotation in Houston will be tough to play against, but they were just playing so either team could win.

On Friday we get a whole lot of baseball as the day begins at 2 PM when the ALDS continues then in the evening the National League Division Series begins at 7:30 PM on TBS as the Washington Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs in Washington. This is the first post season meeting between the two teams in the regular season Washington took the season series but the last time they played was back in early August. This game is followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks traveling to LA to face the Dodgers at around 10:30 PM and this looks like a tough series for the Dodgers as the past two series the D-backs swept the Dodgers.  It’s the first time that these two have met in the postseason. So who knows how this series is actually going to go.

Experts are pulling for the Nationals and the Dodgers for a rematch of last years epic NLDS. Although there are some that are saying that the Cubs might get by the Nationals since they have played more meaningful games lately. I’m pulling for the Nationals and D-backs to advance since that looks like an easier series to win, but as long as the Nationals get into the Championship series I’d be happy.

Baseball Playoffs 2017

Well they begin on Tuesday night with the American League Wild Card Game but all the teams are set and most of the matchups have been made. In the AL we’ve got Cleveland, Houston, Boston, New York and Minnesota while in the NL there are Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Arizona and Colorado. This year has some interesting things that can happen in both leagues we know for sure that the NLDS will have a rematch of two NL West teams as the Dodgers will face either the Diamondbacks or Rockies in one there is also a chance that in the AL the same thing could happen with the Indians possibly playing the Twins rivals in the AL Central.

The Twins became the first team to make the playoffs after losing 100 game in the previous season.  It is a pretty unique group of teams as so many have wait for so long to win a World Series with only the Yankees, Red Sox and Cub winning in the past decade.

In the Wild Card games we’ve got the Twins and Yankees playing for the right to battle the Indians in the American League while the Diamondback and Rockies see who is going to travel to LA for a couple of games.  It would be cool if the Twins won since I think it would be a very unique series if they played Cleveland one more time this season. and because think of the storyline if they and the Nationals made it to the World Series the last team from Washington (The Senators in 1924) to win the World Series being the team the Nationals have to get over to win the World Series. In the Arizona and Colorado game they know each other fairly well and both have done well against the Dodgers this year so either team will make for an exciting series. It’s a coin toss in the NL. However this is only a one game series so anybody could win either game.

In the Division Series in the American League there are the Cleveland Indians playing either Twins or Yankees while Boston and Houston match up against each other and these two team have just seem each other facing off in the last series of the season. Over in the National League the LA Dodgers  will play either the Rockies or Diamondbacks while the Nationals and Cubs will be facing off in what most were predicting would have been last years NLCS. More on these games on Thursday.

Conference Championships

In both the NBA and NHL they have reached the final round. In Hockey they have started the Conference Championship round. This year we have a new comer in the Nashville Predators as this is the first time they have advanced this far. Out in the West it’s Nashville and the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks. It would be cool to see Nashville win and get to their first Cup final but it seems like it is an evenly matched series so far. In the East we have the Penguins against the world, as it seems like basically everyone wants the Penguins to lose except for those Penguin fans they are playing against the only Canadian team left in the Ottawa Senators. It would be great if the Senators and Predators made it as both team would be going for their first Stanley Cup title.

In the NBA they are also in the final round or almost there as there is a single game 7 to be played tonight where it seems like the Boston Celtics will beat the Washington Wizards as the home teams have won all the games in this series. Whoever win will get the pleasure of playing LeBron James who has the chance of becoming the first individual since the Celtics in the 60s with 7 NBA finals in  row. Whatever happens this upcoming series is bound to be interesting. In the West it’s the Golden State Warriors yet again this time playing the San Antonio Spurs. It seems like we are being set up for a rematch in the final. I’m pulling for John Wall, Bradley Beal and company in Washington to pull off a win tonight in Boston and then take on Cleveland, since I would find those games more interesting to watch then Boston

Stanley Cup 2017: Round 2

The NHL playoffs are happening and going pretty quick but lasting very long. In the opening round half of the matchups went 6 games and none had to go to a Game 7, however there were 18 overtime game in this single round of the playoffs. So we are now on to Round 2, starting on Wednesday/Thursday. Of the five Canadian teams that were in the playoffs two have advanced to this round one in the East and one in the West. So there is a small chance that there could be an all Canada Stanley Cup final, however unlikely that seems to be.

Over in the West we’ve got the St. Louis Blues facing off against the Nashville Predators and the Anaheim Ducks squaring off against the Edmonton Oilers. The Predators are on a hot streak after shocking the world by sweeping the top seeded Chicago Blackhawks, this was the first time that an 8 seed swept a 1-seed. It should be an exciting series to watch. Out on the West Coast Anaheim is coming off a sweep but Edmonton is hoping to regain the glories of the 80s. Nashville and Edmonton both won the season series against their respective teams and that last time Edmonton faced Anaheim in the playoffs the Oilers advanced.

In the East there is the most hyped series which is the two best teams in hockey facing off and they happen to be bitter rivals. The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are playing a rematch from last year’s second round and hopefully the results are different this time around. During the season they split the four games between them so it will be a tough one. The other game between the NY Rangers and the Ottawa Senators this could be a great matchup but who really knows. Since it seems like it will be the Caps or Pens playing the Rangers for the Eastern Conference title in the next round.

Super Bowl LI recap

The Patriots’s revenge tour is over. They won the Super Bowl, now if they can only shut up about how great Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. Sure they play a relatively easy schedule this year and Brady played 4 less games so he was well rested I sure hope that someone other than New England in the AFC gets to the Super Bowl next year as they’ve been in 9 Super Bowl games since 2000 and have won five.  It almost looked like the Falcons were going to win but clearly the NFL wanted to make up to New England for the whole deflate-gate thing. Anyway you put it the Patriots have been labeled cheaters several times in the past and nothing can really change that to the general public, sure the folks in New England will adore them even more as most of them have forgotten or weren’t a fan during those year where they were a horrible team.  It will be interesting to see what happens to them when Brady or Belichick retire and they have to find a new QB/head coach  to take over.

The commercials were pretty weak this year, and Lady Gaga’s halftime show was fun. It was nice that it was only her as the previous years they’ve always had special guests showing up at some time during the performance.

Super Bowl LI

Yes, you read that right we are back to Roman Numerals for Super Bowl numbering. This year we have Tom Brady and the New England Patriots going into like their tenth (it’s only been seven) Super Bowl this century. This is the Patriots 9th Super Bowl and they have split their previous appearances last winning in 2014. Tom Brady is looking for Super Bowl ring number 5 and Super Bowl MVP number 4. On the other side of the field we have the Atlanta Falcons in their first Super
Bowl since XXXIII, when they lost to John Elway in his final game. I and most of America would love to see Atlanta win for their first time. Sure the odds are stacked against them, however the Patriots are only favored by 3 points. Atlanta has done a lot of scoring during the season and my only hope is that that game is competitive and not a blow out since that just make the game harder to watch. The game is on Sunday and Lady Gaga doing the Halftime show. It’s on FOX so we’ve got Joe Buck and Troy Aikman doing commentary.

NFC/AFC Championship games

This Sunday we have the big games the ones that matter and once again they are rematches from earlier in the season.

In the NFC we have the Packers traveling to Atlanta once again this time hoping to avenge an earlier loss where the Falcons squeaked by with a point win. This will be the last game ever played at the Georgia Dome as their new Stadium will open in July, so emotions will be high in Atlanta. The Falcons have the high powered offense, while the Packers have Aaron Rogers who seems to do just about anything. Over in the AFC we’ve got the Steelers traveling to New England now the week 7 game which the Patriots won was a long time ago and Big Ben wasn’t playing . This will only be the ninth meeting between Brady and Big Ben. This will be a challenge for New England as they face a team that has a chance to beat them, but also for Pittsburgh as they will need to score more than field goals to win.

It seems likely that both of these will be a good games whoever win. As for my picks it would be wonderful if Atlanta could make it to the Super Bowl for the second time and this time win, or the Packers and Aaron Rodgers taking home a second Super Bowl Title, or Pittsburgh bringing back another championship bringing their total to 7. In the NFC I’d call it a toss up as to who will win the game but over in the AFC since it’s a New England home game they have the slight advantage added to the fact they they been in every AFC Championship game since the 2011-12 season however they have only won two of those game so perhaps Pittsburgh should have the advantage. Vegas odd currently have Patriots by 5.5 and Atlanta by 4.

Divisional playoffs

This weekend the NFL reaches the Divisional round in the playoffs and all the teams who had a bye last week play this week. This year all these Divisional games are rematches from earlier in the season.

The weekend starts off with Seattle traveling to Atlanta where they will try to sneak by the Falcons once again. However, the set up is reversed Seattle will be traveling to Atlanta and Atlanta will be coming off a bye week. This was a close game during the regular season with Seattle falling behind only to come back and win by two. Saturday night we have New England who will beat the Texans again, this was a shutout in week 3 when New England was forced to use a third stringer QB, as Brady was out with his suspension, and his replacement was out with a concussion. Will the Texans has a shot to score any points or will it be another shutout?

Sunday begins with The Steelers going to Kansas City, now Kansas City hasn’t fared well in the playoffs as of late, sure they beat the Texans last year but the Texans were a mess at QB where they used three interchangeably. This seems like to be another year where the brand name teams will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Later that afternoon we will have the most compelling, exciting game of the weekend as Green Bay travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. During the regular season the Cowboys outplayed the Packers but Green Bay has been on a winning streak as of late and they are the hot team entering the game.

As it looks right now the Steelers and Patriots will be playing in the AFC Championship game, and the NFC is up in the air I am hoping that Green Bay and Seattle can will so there is a chance for some snow in during the Championship game.

NCAA Football National Championship games and Playoffs

This upcoming weekend is jam packed with football at both college and professional levels. As we have the FCS Championship game, four Wild Card games and then the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the FBS Championship game.

Saturday at Noon we have James Madison taking on Youngstown State, this seems to be an exciting game since North Dakota State, the five time reigning champions, will not be playing in the Championship game. JMU has blow out most of it’s competition this year in the playoffs while Youngstown has had several close games. If you have some spare time on Saturday this will be the game to watch as the NFL playoffs slate on Saturday afternoon doesn’t seem watchable. As we will have a rookie quarterback in Connor Cook and the Raiders taking on a Texans team who they faced in the regular season, a game in which the Raiders won. On the other side we have the Lions playing in Seattle as they sort of just fell into the playoffs this year and it’s doubtful if the visitors will get out of this round.

On Sunday we have a couple of better games the biggest is the Giants and Green Bay where while they are playing at the frozen tundra this was the same place where they beat the Packers on their way to win their most recent NFL Championships, although it seem it might not happen this year with the Packers being a hot team having won their past 6 games and the Giants haven’t scored 20 points since about that same time.  It will be the most compelling game on Sunday as it seems like Pittsburgh will easily beat the Dolphins .

Finally, on Monday the biggest college football game of the year will take place and we will watch the same two teams from last year battle it out for the Championship.  This year Alabama and Clemson are playing the game and I sure hope that Alabama will finally lose a Championship game and we will see them play in a close game for the first time this season since the Ole Miss game. Clemson will be playing for only it’s second football National title. It would be great for college football either way I guess. Nick Saban only needs another National championship to tie Bear Bryant for the most Championships by a coach. However, it’s getting to the point of the UConn women’s basketball team where we all know that they will be playing in the Championship game just because.