Just a few thoughts on what’s going on in the hot stove league. Two great starting pitchers are traded on the same day in a 3-team deal. First of all, who trades Cy Young pitchers? Cliff Lee, formerly of the Phillies, goes to Seattle, while Halladay, formerly of the Blue Jays, takes his place as the No. 1 starter with Philly. The Blue Jays end up with three minor leaguers. That drops their payroll, but gives their team no chance to complete next season in the tough AL East.
The Phillies get a great pitcher, but give up a great one, who has performed well above expectations for two years. Confused? Well, so am I.
The Angels pick up Yankee castoff Hideki Matsui with a 1 year, $6 million deal. Now they’ve got another outfielder that is relegated to being a DH only. Why didn’t they just keep Guerrero, as he can’t play in the outfield either?
The Yankees, who are always in the middle of the hot stove league, pick up one player, Curtis Granderson, who plays center. Curtis hit .220 last season, and it remains to be seen if he can improve the world champions. There are a slew of good free agent players still unsigned, so I’m eagerly awaiting the next round of chess moves and I can become even more confused.
There are eight bowl games this week, and I’ve projected totals on each. My code has been a 3-point difference from my number represents a play. Anything less than that, you are on your own. My numbers have been increased or decreased depending on total yards on offense, and total yards given up on defense, along with how offensive yards are acquired. The weather factor you must judge a day or so before the games. However, many of the bowl games are either under a dome, or may have artificial surfaces, which sometimes favor offenses instead of defenses in rainy weather. Wind becomes a factor only if the speed exceeds the teens in velocity.
BYU v. Oregon State -58.
Utah v. Cal -55.
SMU v. Nevada -67.
Ohio v. Marshall -52.
NC v. Pitt -43.
Boston College v. USC -46.
Kentucky v. Clemson -49.
Texas A&M v. Georgia -58.
Remember that totals move in both directions the closer the game gets to kickoff. If you have an under bet pending, it’s usually better to wait, as the totals usually rise by kickoff. Beware of injuries and suspensions, as they normally occur in Bowl Games during the week of the game. Attempt to determine if it benefits your play, and if it remains questionable, bet back your bet ASAP and just blow the juice. Don’t worry about one game, as there will be 20 more next week.
Here are my NFL plays:
Green Bay hosts Seattle, and Seattle has already called for their t-times. The Packers should blow out the Seahawks. Packers -12.
Weather permitting I’ll bet the Browns over 37½ against the Raiders in a battle of who cares. Browns over.
The Bengals should put the hapless Chiefs to rest between Benson, who’s having a pro bowl year, and Ochocinco, as the passing game returns to Cincy. Bengals -13½.
Atlanta hosts Buffalo, and the total is 40 ½, which is too high for two running teams. Falcons under 40½.
For your parlay pleasure, Sunday night gives us Skins +4 or more and under 38½. Wait until almost game time for this wager, as you’ll get a better spread if the weather is favorable. Skins and under.
Speaking of weather, there were three games last week that were not only cold, but also windy, as the Eagles, Jets and Ravens all went under. Chalk another three up for the Weather Channel.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Sid Diamond