Friday, May 26, 2017

Brushing Up on the MLB Season So Far

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We’re just a handful of days away from the NBA and NHL wrapping up their respective seasons, which means baseball will garner most of the sports media attention around the country until football season returns in the fall. If you haven’t been paying attention to baseball this season, you’ve missed some surprising developments. Here are a few pieces of knowledge to get you up to speed before the mid-season break so you can impress your friends with all your baseball knowledge while rocking your colorful, totally-appropriate-for-any-occasion game bib overalls.

1. The Rockies are good. Like really good. Playing in the high altitude has never been easy on pitchers, as the thin air gives them less room to make mistakes. That doesn’t seem to be bothering the Rockies this year. Their bullpen has converted 21 of 24 saves, the team has walked the 6th fewest batters in MLB and batters are hitting an average of .243 against them. Their defense is 4th in putouts from the field, and they have an OPS (on-base + slugging) percentage of .767. You might not know what some of those metrics mean, but trust us, they’re good.

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2. The Astros are even better. This one probably isn’t a surprise to most, but after a disappointing 2016, Houston has righted the ship and then some to grab the league’s best record. As a team, they rank in the top 10 in hits, RBI, home runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Their pitching isn’t too shabby, either. They have the second-best earned run average and have struck out the most batters in the league. Scary good numbers coming out of Houston.

3. The Giants have fallen off the face of the earth. After years of battling the Dodgers for NL West supremacy, the Giants may have finally lost their edge. They are second to last in runs scored, last in home runs, second to last in RBI, hit a combined .231, and have the second worst on-base percentage in the league.
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4. Aaron Judge is a beast. As this is his first full season in the big leagues, he’s considered a rookie. Through the first 60ish days of the season, he’s turned that into 15 home runs (tied for most in the league), a .315 batting average, 30 RBI, a 1.104 OPS and highlight reel after highlight reel on defense. He’s also a terrifying 6’ 7” tall. The Yankees facilities team has already capitalized on his popularity with a section of seats dubbed the Judge’s Chambers.

5. Mike Trout is putting up MVP numbers. The quietest, hardest working player in baseball is having a terrific spring with 50+ hits, double-digit two-baggers, 35 RBI, 15 home runs, a mind-boggling .342 batting average and an OPS north of 1.2.

Some call the space between basketball and football a sports desert. We beg to differ, and this season is already shaping up to be one for the record books. Who will you be watching as the calendar changes to summer? Now that you have a few nuggets of knowledge under your belt, turn on the T.V. and catch up!
Friday, May 5, 2017

NHL Playoffs Predictions

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Now that the first round of the NHL Playoffs is in the books, the second round is nearing its end and the cream of the crop is all that’s left, it’s time for the crew to jump in and make some Nostradamus-esque predictions. Would it have been bolder of us to make predictions before the playoffs started? Sure, but then we’d look foolish for thinking the Blackhawks wouldn’t be swept by the lowest seed in the Eastern division. Chicago woes aside, here’s who we think will make their way through the rest of the tournament based, of course, off the flashiness of their uniforms and colors.

Let’s assume the school-bus-yellow-wearing Nashville Predators will continue their improbable run into the conference finals by beating the St. Louis Blues (we secretly like the yellow, btw). In a color palette mashup that would hurt the eyes of weaker hockey fans, we predict the Oilers will get past the Ducks for a conference title showdown of small market teams. Will the team most people forgot exists make a run against an Edmonton squad trying to recapture their 1980s glory? By a nose, the fellas from Nashville will hoist the conference trophy.

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The matchups in the Eastern conference seem more rooted in tradition and rivalry. First up is the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers. If there was ever a more classic use of red, white and blue in a uniform, we haven’t seen it. Can’t say colors combinations will help them beat the pesky Senators, but they’ve got our vote based solely on uniform aesthetics. Since they reverted to a rich, bright yellow instead of shiny gold, the Penguins’ uniforms have been a thing of nostalgic beauty. They’re also the Achilles heel of the Capitals, so we don’t see Washington making a valiant comeback. In the conference finals, we have to give the edge to Pittsburgh.

So here we are. Upstart vs. tradition. Blue and yellow vs. black and yellow. Experience vs. inexperience. A sabretooth tiger vs. a…penguin with human hands? Throwing actual hockey ability and experience out the window, this is probably a matchup few analysts would’ve predicted. We’re throwing our weight behind Nashville to continue this run and cause an uptick in yellow sports fan apparel everywhere.

Who do you think will win it all this season in the NHL? Share your comments with us below, and enjoy the games!