Top 10 NFL Power Rankings

With the NFL season just around the corner and the pre-season just starting, and with all the transactions made this year from the return of Marshawn Lynch to the trade of Brandin Cooks, we will be looking at the predictions for what most people think are the best teams in the NFL.
10.Arizona Cardinals
It’s a do or die season for the Cardinals. Carson Palmer is on the edge of retirement and Larry Fitzgerald isn’t getting any younger. With an offense led by superstar running back David Johnson and a defense that was ranked 2nd in the league last year, there should be no excuse for them to make a deep playoff run. It all depends on if Carson Palmer can stay healthy.
9. Tennessee Titans
The Titans were well on their way to a playoff spot until Marcus Mariota season ended prematurely. Expect the same thing this year especially with weapons like first year receiver Corey Davis. Expect the defense to improve with the additions of Logan Ryan and Jonathan Cyprien.
8. New York Giants
The Giants play in arguably the most competitive division in football competing alongside the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins. With an offense led by Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr they will be able to keep up with top offenses in the league. With Paul Perkins expecting a bigger workload and an improved defense, critics shoudn’t be surprised if the Giants win the NFC East
7. Seattle Seahawks
The Legion of Boom isn’t as feared as it once was, but is still one of the leagues best defensive teams. The offense improved a bit by adding Eddie Lacy. If he can keep his weight down, he will have a great year. The offensive line will be a constant struggle as its one of the worst in the league. Critics may see them getting in as a wild card and then receiving an early exit.
6. Oakland Raiders
It’s the year of the Raiders. The Raiders surprised everyone last year and made the playoffs as a wildcard due to Derek Carr’s injury. If the Raiders manage a healthy Derek Carr and maintain great defense led by Khalil Mack, and if Marshawn Lynch can get back into dominating the field, audiences shoudln’t be a surprise if the Raiders become a top contender for the Super Bowl.
5. Green Bay Packers
Year in and year out the Packers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers once again will be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and Jordy Nelson will hopefully be one of the top receivers in the game. The defense on the other hand is a problem, their secondary is one of the worst in the league and their defensive line is atrocious. Ty Montgomery will go in as the number 1 running back. He has shown he can run the ball sometimes, but struggles with inconsistency. Overall, the Packers should be set for a great season especially under Mike McCarthy who proves to be a great coach. They just need healthy receivers.
4.Pittsburgh Steelers
Many will agree that this might be the last year the Steelers will be competitive in a while. Ben Roethlisberger is seriously considering retirement after this season, and Le’Veon Bell is playing under the Franchise Tag this year and he wouldn’t want to resign with a team led Josh Dobbs. Without Bell that leaves Antonio Brown to lead the offense. It’s either show up or shut up for the Steelers.
3.Dallas Cowboys
Last year the Cowboys surprised everyone by going 13-3 under rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot. Expect them to repeat that success even though Elliot is facing a suspension. With rookies Ryan Switzer and Taco Charlton expecting to be big impact players and with 2nd year linebacker Jaylon Smith healthy coming off knee surgery, don’t expect an early exit this year from the Cowboys.
2.Atlanta Falcons
28-3. The score that has haunted Falcon fans for the past six months. The Falcons have a huge chip on their shoulder after surprising everyone and going to the Super Bowl and almost pulling off the biggest upset in NFL history. Expect the Ryan-Jones connection to be even stronger this year, and first round pick Takkarist McKinley has the raw emotion to play at an elite level but has to learn to control it. Even though they have a better team, don’t expect them getting past the divisional round of the playoffs.
1. New England Patriots
 They were by far the best team in football last year. They completed the comeback of the century and they somehow figured out how to get better. They signed cornerback Stephen Gilmore to compliment Malcolm Butler. They traded for Brandin Cooks, resigned Dont’a Hightower and traded for Dwayne Allen. After the season they had, they figured out how to become even more dominant. The Patriots may be the only team to go undefeated the entire season.
 
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Braves Trade Sean Rodriguez to Pirates for INF Prospect

 

The Atlanta Braves have traded utility man Sean Rodriguez to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league infielder Connor Joe. Rodriguez, 32, has not played much this year due to a horrible car accident in January and underwent shoulder surgery soon after. Originally expected to miss the entire 2017 campaign, Rodriguez beat all odds by coming back in late July, but has struggled ever since.

Sean Rodriguez has only hit .162 (6-37) with 2 HR and 3 RBI since his return. However, his OBP is a lot higher at .326 thanks to 8 walks. Unfortunately for the Braves, Sean struck out a staggering 19 times in those 37 AB.

Sean spent the previous 2 years in Pittsburgh, who are currently 3 games under .500, will add INF depth while trying to catch up with the red hot Chicago Cubs. In 2016, his best season so far, Sean slugged 18 bombs with 56 RBI and hit .270. Sean spent the earlier portion of his career with the LA Angels (2008-09) and the TB Rays (2010-2014). He signed a 2 year deal with Atlanta before the season.

On the other hand, the Braves acquired INF prospect, Connor Joe. Joe, 24, is hitting .240 in short-season A ball and AA with 5 HR and 30 RBI. He was ranked as the 29th best Pirates prospect entering this year by prospects1500.com. He was signed by Pittsburgh out of the University of San Diego in 2014.

Braves newly acquired INF Connor Joe.

OTHER TRANSACTIONS—

Atlanta Braves recall LHP Max Fried (Braves #10 prospect) from AA Mississippi and UTIL Jace Peterson from AAA Gwinnett; option RHP Jason Hursh to AAA Gwinnett.

Braves activate RHP Jason Motte from 10 Day DL and place LHP Ian Krol on the 10 day DL with a left oblique strain.

Neymar signed World Record Fee

Today, the Soccer World was shaken by the signing of Neymar to PSG. We will be reviewing the how good PSG will be and what will happen to Barcelona after this monster deal.

Barcelona: A Barcelona team without Neymar sounds a bit weird. Nobody thought it was going to happen we all thought it was just another idiotic rumor trying to get attention. Well, it is a reality now and we need to examine Barcelona’s team after this deal. For a hefty fee of $263 million, we will be seeing world class midfielder and Brazilian star Neymar, in a PSG jersey. After, this the  Neymar saga we will definitely see Coutinho in Barcelona jersey. We will see Barcelona finish 3rd or 2nd in La Liga after getting rid of one of their key pieces. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi have a bigger responsibility to carry this team to the top and it’ll be their primary job to do so.

PSG: PSG just absolutely shocked everyone including critics by signing  Neymar. He’ll be a CRUCIAL part of this team. PSG is heavily relying on Neymar to be their star and take them all the way to their Champions League which they have been dreaming for. With an impressive midfielder, PSG looks to be at the top.

In Conclusion, we will have to see where the Neymar transfer saga will take us. With PSG breaking the world record and Barcelona looking a bit different without their Brazilian star. One thing many people will continue to think though is that this was one of a kind trade window!

Interview with Dominic Abbadessa.

Yesterday I got the chance to interview Blue Jays minor league CF Dominic Abbadessa. Dom was drafted in round 23 in 2016. Dominic is hitting with a 376 batting average with 41 hits in 109 at bats in rookie league.

Q: What did it take you to get to where you are now?

A: First off my mom and dad, nothing would be possible without them. My older brother as well for giving me a competitive edge always playing against him as we were growing whether it was whiffle ball, basketball, or video games etc. And mainly I would say my mentality of never having a doubt in myself in anything I do.

Q: Who did you admire growing up and why?

A: My dad because he taught my brother and me how important family is and he sacrifices a lot for us.

Q:  If you could play another position besides the outfield what would it be?

A: Probably a pitcher it looks cool to gas up people every 5 days.

Q: What is your pregame routine?

A: I pray, eat something light listen to music nothing too crazy.

Q: What is your favorite thing if your not playing baseball.

A: I like to get after it with friends and really enjoy the ocean.

Q: If you could give any advice to kids what would that be?

A: I would tell them that yes mechanics are important but I think getting yourself prepared on the mental side will mainly help you excel. True confidence and having no fear will lead you to great things. Also stay humble at the highest and lowest points of your career.

Q: If you could choose a food in an eating contest what would that be?

A: Give me a box combo from canes… Sub the slaw for an extra piece of toast and an extra order of canes sauce. I could run through those.

Q&A with Jordan Watson

Yesterday I got the opportunity to interview Diamondbacks pitcher Jordan Watson. Watson was drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Diamondbacks. Watson is making his first start of the 2017 season, after suffering from Tommy John. He is going to make his rehab start This Friday, August 4th in Rookie ball. I expect great things from Watson as his career moves forward.

Q: Explain what it took to get to where you are now?
A: “It took discipline. I haven’t made all the best choices growing up but one thing I never did was take a repetition off. I was once told that it doesn’t matter if they believe in you, it only matters if you believe in yourself. I’ve always believed in myself and that allows me to never give up.”

Q: Growing up who did you admire the most? And why?

A: “I would probably have to say my younger sister. She had a kid when she was 19 years old, and she straightened her life up and became very ambitious the day she found out she was pregnant. She provides for her son and puts him before herself and I admire that.”

Q: In your opinion what is your best pitch? And why?

A: “My best pitch can be any of my pitches on any day. I base how good each pitch is by the confidence I have in it that day.”

Q: If you could say one thing about your college coach, what would you say?

A: “He gave me a second chance at life. When nobody would give me a second chance, he did. I wouldn’t be playing professional baseball if it wasn’t for him. He held me accountable for my actions but was always there for words of wisdom if I was ever in a hard time. Just a class act.”

Q: What is your pregame routine?

A: “Nothing too crazy. Just like to warm my body up by running a little, and then some plyometrics, after that I use a weighted ball to help loosen my arm up before catch.”

Q: What Motto/Quote do you live by?

A: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t mark hard. In professional baseball everybody is good and the only thing that separates us is health and effort put into your craft.”

Q: If you could give any advice to kids trying to make it to this level, what would you tell them?

A: “The odds are stacked against you but don’t let the odds decide what you want to do. Nothing comes easy, stay the path and embrace the process.”

Q: What is your favorite baseball memory?

A: “Pitching in the World Series at USAO was surreal!”

Q: What is your favorite thing to do if you’re not playing baseball?

A: ” Playing 2k! Nobody wants to catch me on the sticks, I’m a force that can’t be beaten.”

Q: What is your favorite food and drink?

A: “Filet Mignon, mashed potatoes, with asparagus. Off to the side, I’ll have a Modello.”

https://twitter.com/Boomskie/status/842860724514824193

Breaking Down the Sonny Gray Trade

The Sonny Gray trade has been finalized on the MLB trade deadline! Sonny Gray will be a Yankee and 3 of the Yankees top 12 prospects will be in the green and gold. In, this article I will be reviewing how the trade went down and who won.

Athletics: Now, the athletics came into the trade deadline knowing that Sonny Gray was going to be traded for top prospects, and that’s exactly what happened. They got James Kaprelian, Dustin Fowler, and Jorge Mateo. Jorge Mateo is a fast base runner, the one problem is he doesn’t have power to hit Homeruns but, I do think the A’s will be able to teach him how to get under the ball and hit dingers. If the A’s can teach Mateo that he will be a deadly 2B for them. Dustin Fowler and James Kaprelian are both players that had season ending injuries but, were playing like studs before them. Dustin Fowler hits dingers he has 25 Homeruns and is slashing. James Kaprelian is a pitcher with a lot of potential and can easily become the A’s number 3.

ATHLETICS GRADE: B+

Yankees: A team trying to contend for World Series number 28, there in need of pitching help. Picking up Sonny Gray on the deadline was a huge plus especially seeing how well he was performing in his last 10 games for the A’s. The Yankees gave up 2 injured prospects and a decent prospect in Jorge Mateo. Which, was a good deal for the Yankees especially since they didn’t give up Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier.

YANKEES GRADE: A

Overall, I think the Yankees won giving up two injured prospects and Jorge Mateo for an ace was a good trade for the Yankees. Notice how I’m not saying it was a steal. For the A’s part of the trade, It was also well, considering how good Fowler and Jorge Mateo can be is a great start for the A’s rebuild. If you have 3 prospects that came from a farm as deep as the Yankees have you know you have a good chance at getting a stud. Great trade for both teams at the end of the day and they both got what they needed.

NHL power rankings.

The NHL season is just 2 months away and training camp is basically already here. With all the moves in the off season from  Patrick Marleau to Kevin Shattenkirk we look at predictions for teams by the end of the year.

31: Las Vegas Golden Knights

Much isn’t expected out in Las Vegas but it still looks entertaining to go watch a game there. The Golden Knights roster is pretty bad Brayden McNabb is the teams best defenseman but options on scoring like  James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault won’t really make a difference and who knows how good Marc Andre Fleury will do in Net.

30: Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks roster looks Washed up many old players with both Daniel and Henrik Sedin out of their prime the team lost Goalie Ryan Miller and have to know role with Jacob Markstrom. One good addition though was Sam Gagner he could score add around 20-30 points. The defense looks terrible too many injuries and Vancouver has Horrific contracts like Loui Erikson. The team’s best player is Bo Horvat no doubt racked 52 points last season and has lots of potentials.

29: Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche were the worst team last season who put up a horrific 48 points. Colorado didn’t have a great offseason losing the first overall pick in the lottery draft, but they did end up with someone they wanted, Cale Makar who was picked 4th overall. Colorado lost Mikhail Grigorenko and Goalie Calvin Pickard it looks like Colorado could even have a worse year than last year.

28: New Jersey Devils. The Devil’s finished with 70 points last season and moving up to get the 1 overall pick in which they drafted Nico Hischer. Hischer won’t make a huge impact for New Jersey right now and the Devil’s have a terrible D core their best defenseman is Damon Severson which isn’t too bad but the Devil’s lost Jon Merill in the expansion draft and the D core is one of the worst in the league.

27: Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes finished with 70 points last season and traded away their first round pick for Derek Stephan and Anti Rantta who will take over the goalie position for Mike Smith. Stephan racked up 57 points last season in New York who is looking to be the 1 center. Also, Arizona acquired Niklas Hjalmarsson who is going to bring great experience in the dressing room and help Oliver Ekman Larsson on the backend. Arizona still doesn’t have a good enough roster to really compete out West.

26: Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes has an ok offseason giving Jaccob Slavin a 7-year deal and bringing back the former player and Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams. Williams can score and will add an offensive boost to Carolina. The defense is improving Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin all could have break out years but the team doesn’t look good enough to compete yet.

25: Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings didn’t do much this offseason and things are looking worse everyone is getting older Niklas Kronwall and Jimmy Howard have massive contracts hurting the cap. Detroit did make an addition this offseason signing Trevor Daley but the team really won’t make the play even if Dylan Larkin has a great season.

24: Florida Panthers. The Panthers lost key players in the expansion draft such as Marchessault and trading Reilly Smith to Vegas. The Panthers have the same roster but they did sign winger Radim Vrbata who is going to replace Smith and hope that he can provide some offense for Florida The Defense is ok Aaron Ekblad is great Jason Demers is ok Keith Yandle is overpaid and not where he was 4 years ago and Goalie Roberto Luongo is getting older and worse on the ice.

23: Los Angeles King‘s. The King’s aren’t where they were 3 years ago winning the cup their roster has declined since Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik are hurting the team Jonathan Quick is injury prone and isn’t really the spectacular goalie 3 years ago the team lost Brayden McNabb but hopefully Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty could do their best to get the King’s into the playoffs

22: Winnipeg Jets: The Winnipeg Jets are still a developing young team with Patrick Laine, Mark Scheifele, Nikolai Ehlers and Blake Wheeler leading the offense you never know what you can get the Defense is ok Dustin Byfuglien plays the game really hard and is a monster in the ice Jacob Trouba is decent and Hopefully Josh Morrisey can have his break out season and now Steve Mason in net is a bit of an upgrade but with Stars making moves this offseason it’s hard to picture Winnipeg in the playoffs.

21: Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers come into the 2017-18 season with high expectations Nolan Patrick looks like a future star and Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds will lead the offensive once again. The Flyers lost RW Brayden Shenn to a trade with the Blues and Brian Elliot is worse than Steve Mason so if anything I see the Flyers missing the playoffs again.

20: Buffalo Sabres. The Buffalo Sabres have slightly improved their roster for the 17-18 season adding former winger Jason Pominville and adding Defenseman Marco Scandella to help the Blue line. Jack Eichel looks like he’s about to have a break out season but I don’t see Buffalo making the playoffs any time soon.

19: Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning aren’t looking to great to start the season. One main reason is Steven Stamkos ok Steven isn’t hurt right now but if he gets hurt again which has happened for the past 3 seasons then this team has no chance. Tampa also traded LW Jonathan Drouin to Montreal for D Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev is a great prospect but isn’t NHL ready yet and Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy hasn’t reached his full potential and Dan Girardi might help Victor Hedman on the Blue line if he doesn’t get hurt.

18 : New York Islanders. The Islanders look like they could improve in 2018 they acquired Jordan Eberle from Edmonton for Ryan Strome which will boost the offense beside John Tavares. The Defensive core looks ok Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuck will lead the D core and Joraslav Halak in the net is the worst option.

17: New York Rangers. The Rangers had a great offseason they signed one of the best offensive Defenseman in Kevin Shattenkirk got rid of Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi’s bad contracts and traded away Derek Stephan for Anthony DeAngelo who is only 22 and for the 7th overall pick which turned out to be Lias Anderson who is compared to a Nikolai Ehlers. Overall we predict that New York will make the playoffs in the second Wild card spot in the East.

16: Minnesota Wild. The Minnesota Wild had a decent off season. Minnesota acquired Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis to improve the top 9 forward group they lost Martin Hanzal who was horrific with the wild last year when he was acquired at the trade deadline, the Defense is still good even with out Scandella and Devan Dubnyk is still one of the league’s most underrated goalies. We predict that Minnesota will not make the playoffs.

15: Boston Bruins. The Boston Bruins finished 3rd in the Atlantic last season and losing in the first round to Ottawa. The Bruins added winger Drew Stafford to improve their top 9 forward group with top center Patrice Bergeron this teams offense looks great and should contend. The Defense is slowing down Zdeno Chara is getting older and so is goalie Tuukka Rask. The Bruins will be in their first full season with coach Bruce Cassidy. We have Boston in the first wild card spot.

14: Dallas Stars: The Stars missed the playoffs last year shocking the hockey world. The Stars made some great moves acquiring Marc Methot from Las Vegas, signing Martin Hanzal and acquiring Ben Bishop from the La King’s. Dallas has great offense Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza will lead the charge. The Defense needed help and they got Marc Methot also Ben Bishop will hopefully solve the new goalie problem and return back to his normal self between the pipes. We think that Dallas will make the Second Wild card.

13: Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets lost in 5 games in the first round of the playoffs to the Stanley Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite winning 16 games in a row Columbus doesn’t have that Franchise player you could debate about Sergei Bobrovsky but they don’t have what Great teams have Columbus did trade Brandon Saad back to Chicago to get Russian scorer Artemi Panarin. The Blue line looks great David Savard, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski will be a huge factor. Our predictions Columbus does make the first round of the playoffs.

12: Calgary Flames. The Calgary Flames got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year by the Ducks. The Flames made some good moves to be contenders Acquiring Travis Hamonick and goalie Mike Smith the offense is backed up by Johnny Gadreau and Sean Monahan and the Defense is great by still having  Dougie Hamilton T.J Brodie and Mark Giordano this makes the Flames Easily Contenders. Our predictions Calgary makes the wild card.

11:  Ottawa Senators. The Sens had one of their best years in franchise history making it to the conference final. The Sens didn’t really make a move this offseason as their group stays put. The Sens have great production offensively Kyle Turris showed that in the playoffs so did Jean Gabriel Pageau the Defensively core is a bit worse because the sens lost Methot in the expansion draft but Erik Karlsson is the best Defenman in the league and could help Ottawa to another playoff run. We predict that Ottawa will lose in the first round.

10: Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs finished in the second wild card spot and losing to the Washington Capitals in the first round. The leafs made some key moves this offseason by drafting Timothy Lilegren and signing future hall of famer Patrick Marleau. Marleau should play alongside Auston Matthews and William Nylander providing offense. As for the Blue line it still looks weak Morgan Reilly is the teams best defenseman and as for Fredrick Anse in net if he plays like he did last year the leafs have a great chance in the playoffs. We predict that the Leafs will make it to the Conference Final.

9: San Jose Sharks. The Sharks lost in the first round last year to the Oilers and there offseason hasn’t been great they resigned Joe Thornton but lost Patrick Marleau to Toronto. Once again Joe Pavelski and Logan Coture will lead the office as the Blue Line it’s very strong Brent Burns Jason Demers and Marc Edouard Vlasic will help and with Martin Jones still between the pipes we predict that San Jose will lose in the first round.

8: Montreal Canadiens. As for a disappointing first round loss in the playoffs last year the Canadians have stacked their team into the upcoming season. Adding Defensman Karl Alzner to pair up with Shea Weber is a great idea and trading for Jonathan Drouin to boost your offense is a great idea. And with Carey Price in net now your team looks very good. We predict that Montreal loses in the second round.

7: St Louis Blues. The Blues made some nice deals as trading away Jori Leterha for Brayden Schenn the offense gets a big boost adding to Vladimir Tarasenko and Colton Parayko is still developing and looking to have a break out year. Our predictions St Louis loses in the second round.

6: Washington Capitals. The Caps choked again last season losing in the second round to the Penguins. The Caps lost Justin Williams Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner but their core looks good enough to contend. Alex Ovechkin had a down year last season but looks like he wants a cup bad enough we predict Washington loses in the second round and Ovi is still without a ring.

5: Chicago Blackhawks. The hawks lost some key pieces losing Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin but the team signed former winger Patrick Sharp. Chicago has Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews still as the franchise core.

4: Nashville Predators. The Preds had their best season in franchise history last season making it to the Stanley Cup finals and losing to Pittsburgh. The Preds lost James Neal but their offense still looks good enough with Ryan Johanson and Victor Arvidson. The Defense is the best in the league P.K Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi are outstanding and Pekka rinne is still one of the best goalies in the league. We predict Nashville to make the conference final.

3: Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks had a heart breaking season losing in 6 games in the conference final. The ducks still have the same core Hampus Lindholm and Cam Fowler Are the big guys on the Blue line and Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are the franchise core we predict the ducks lose in the second round.

2: Edmonton Oilers. It’s hard to say whether the Oilers are the second best team in the league. The Oilers lost in 6 games to the ducks in the second round last year. The offense looks great after Conner McDavid’s 100 point season and MVP a year ago and Leon Draisatl’s 78 points but the Defense is still developing with guys like Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson. We predict the Oilers will lose in the Stanley Cup final

1. Pittsburgh Penguins: There’s no doubt why the Penguins are the best team in the league Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL and Evgeni Malkin behind him is the best duo we’ve seen since Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemiux. On the Blue line Kris Letang Oli Matta and Brian Dumolin will keep the pucks out of the net and Goalie Matt Murray is due for a break out season. We predict that the Penguins will win The Stanley Cup.

Leave your feedback on these power rankings.