Jay Bruce destroys Colby Lewis, continues tear

Man, who is this guy?

This guy who looks like the 23-year old kid again with power to all fields, with 16 homers and 55 RBI. This .282 average, .921 OPS bat?

Reds win 8-2 in Arlington in a game that Colby Lewis was supposed to handle their lineup easily, in a game where the Rangers and people around baseball were chalking this up to be a ‘gimme’.

I can’t believe now that Bruce is in the midst of a career year and probably the best offensive player on the roster; that the Reds are going to just move him. Say it ain’t so!

Bryce Harper hits home run 15 at Dodger Stadium

Here’s Dodger Stadium in all it’s glory. This is a series I really wanted to try to be at for my first trip to LA; but my wife shot that down because we move into a new home next week and we’re having our second child in about two months. Timing just isn’t good. Oh well.

So, I watched a lot of this one on television. No Vin Scully for the viewers, Scully wasn’t feeling well so Charlie Steiner and Orel Hersheiser took the reigns for a game.

In the first inning, Bryce Harper hits a rapier laser the other way to left field off Scott Kazmir. This would give the Nationals a 1-0 lead which eventually grew to 2-0. I was actually tired and went to bed.

But when you go to sleep on Dodger Stadium, you chance missing the magic.

Yasmany Grandal who is still probably hitting .181 hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning off Tanner Roark, and that would be the last say the Nationals would have in it. Dodgers win 3-2 in a game in which Bryce Harper hits his 15th home run of the 2016 season and the 112th of his career.

The Houston Astros are back to .500 on the strength of Carlos Correa’s Alligator blood

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I sat in my mom’s 90 degree house last night and watched the entirety of this one – the Astros have been red hot – and they’ve pulled back to .500 for the first time since they were at 1-1 the first two games of the season. The story obviously is Carlos Correa. He’s getting his season back on track and he had another big night last night.

Correa hit his 11th home run of the season, an impressive bomb; off a decent Hector Santiago to make it 2-1.

By the time Huston Street had loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth for Correa again, you knew they were going to get theirs. Correa had a nice at-bat to battle the count full and then used right field as he loves to do. It was down for a two-run game winning single that won Houston the game 3-2.

Correa drove in all three Astros runs. He’s up to .263 on the season with 11 homers and 39 RBI. Houston is three games out of the AL Wildcard with a 36-36 even record.

Tiny Tim Anderson hits his first Big League Home Run at Fenway Park

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[White Sox 3, Red Sox 1]

I’ve taken a little interest in Tim Anderson, shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. I snagged Anderson off the waiver wire in my keeper fantasy league; it’s been a rough year. I’m looking for him to round out my last keeper spot for next season (middle-infield thins out quickly in that league).

Last night, Tim Anderson was probably a little fired up to be playing at Fenway Park and leading off. First batter of the game, first big league bomb:

Anderson had two hits, including this one and is at .292 to start his career.

In other news, Chris Sale is still Chris Sale. He improves to 12-2 while striking out nine over seven innings of work. He silenced the powerful BoSox Bats.

Carlos Correa knocks the bejesus out of one; Hits Train Tracks at Minute Maid

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Look out baseball world. Carlos Correa is wearing his pants low now, and he’s starting to pull the baseball again. He means business. You love Correa’s ability to use the entire field of course, but last season he was at his best when he was turning on balls and being aggressive early in the count with pitches down the middle.

He’s starting to do that this year. In the Astros 10-7 win over the Angels at Minute Maid Park tonight he doubled to the gap (I haven’t seen him hit a ball to this spot of a park this season until tonight) and then homered off the train tracks at the park. See for yourself.

This was Correa’s 10th home run of the season, and let us hope that he has about 15 more left in him. When he gets hot, it’s going to be with a fury.

The Astros are four games out in the Wildcard race in the American League and can still make a go of things if they play steady baseball from now until October.

Michael Saunders joins the Gentleman’s Game Hall of Fame Inner Circle

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Up until a few weeks ago, the Gentleman’s Game Hall of Fame was empty. Then Corey Seager homered three times and scored 42 points, and became the first honorary inductee.

It’s a weird thing, because we just can’t allow Franklin Gutierrez into our Hall. It doesn’t feel right. He scored 43 points and was a huge reason t3bird04 pulled past DStars45 later on in the night last Friday.

But Michael Saunders scored 52 friggin’ points! He homered three times and drove in eight. Of course, I was on the receiving end of it in my lone head to head league, too. And any league I have a shot in of course the guy I’m jockeying for position with also had Michael Saunders! Saunders will show up in my nightmares forever, driving in eight with that ‘3 3 8’ line in the box score. Only one gent had the medium-priced Saunders and that was the defending champ DStars45. Saunders owes him because if he was not in play in this Gentleman’s game, no Hall of Fame for Saunders of course.

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Here are the weekly standings, with t3bird and Gutierrez pulling down five points. DStars45 is starting to stretch out a nice lead; and if JSquad34 doesn’t stop leap frogging me and then going underneath me! I am tired of needing to adjust these damn standings. Then again, maybe I should stop either finishing first or last every week.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 47 points
t3bird04 – 40 points
Jsquad34 – 33 points
Diamondhoggers – 31 points
Swindaman3 – 28 points

It’s now time for the Fantasy Players to Bludgeon. First we’ll do the weekly winners, followed by our yearly turdballs.

  • Maikel Franco (this son of a bitch NEVER does anything in DFS for me, he’s dead to me.)
  • Nelson Cruz (why wouldn’t maximum-priced Cruz do nothing against Eduardo Rodriguez while his tag team partner Gutierrez goes off for 43)
  • Nick Hundley
  • Jean Segura
  • Tommy Joseph
  • Jon Gray
  • Lance McCullers (I dare you to just have a dominant outing)
  • Evan Gattis
  • Ian Desmond
  • Mike Trout (so useless on Friday’s please look it up beginning 2015 he never does anything on a Friday evening).
  • Michael Conforto
  • Shin-soo Choo
  • Neil Walker
  • Nolan Arenado
  • Matt Harvey

And now, for the yearly guys who are sucking up the joint:

  • Byung Ho Park (the one day I miss getting this dreadful lurch into my lineup because I am like; being a dad, he homers. Otherwise he’s not getting a hit. I hate you Park! You hear me?)
  • Chris Davis (please do adderall again or something! SPEED it up!)
  • Yan Gomes
  • Yasmany Grandal
  • Russell Martin
  • All catchers really
  • Bryce Harper
  • Giancarlo Stanton (slowly climbing out of it)
  • Justin Upton (slooooowly climbing out of it)
  • Trevor Rosenthal
  • Michael Brantley
  • JAMES SHIELDS
  • Joey Votto

I know I’m missing some folks but close enough for the girls I go with.

Now here’s a copy of the winning lineup that t3bird04 strung together. Added bonus points for fielding this lineup from his brother’s wedding, and congrats to t3bird brother on embarking on the great journey of marriage. Hopefully you bring your wife each Friday night like your brother, a true gentleman and family man of DFS should you ever venture into a Gentleman’s Game Cocktail party.

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SO…. what’s going to happen next week in the Gentleman’s Game presented by The Mean Bean of Powell Coffee Shop and Gold Bond Powder?

We are quickly approaching the ‘Gentleman’s Game Live Final’ where it is possible all five gents are gathered in one family room to lose all their money in shocking fashion. Our night will be over by 7:20 PM and we will be left to make smores and watching JSquad34 drink his scotch and Swindaman3 make out with a cigar. We might get the beer bong out and see if we can down eight liters of Mountain Dew. We may have some special videos for you or some toilet picks prior to the festivities. The point is, if you’re a big fan of the Gentleman’s Game, you’ve got some big moments coming your way as the drama continues to build into a magnificent crescendo.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the world of DFS! Draftkings and FanDuel will soon merge to become a global superpower and be in cahoots with all the shady politicians in the world. You will be robbed of your referrals and they will roll out fancy incentives that are designed to stick it to the little guy. That said, I am going to come in around 2,000 of 115,000 tonight in a contest! This astonishing event which is as good as a small ant like me could ever do will yield me $10! With the winnings I will buy some Hostess cupcakes and a tin of chew, or maybe some new shoelaces. Definitely shoelaces.

Stay tuned for the next twists and turns in the saga of the Gentleman’s Game. It is like Days of our Lives playing out in DFS form each week, where one gentleman’s life will change forever at season’s end.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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A mid-June Saturday, full slate of baseball; and as always Saturday is the grandest day of the week during a baseball season.

As customary, we put the flag at half mass with this post. This is the game we love most on earth, and there are a full slate of great games on tap.

And it’s Father’s Day weekend! So for all you dads out there, you should have the green light to sit around in peace and quiet and see that prized pitching match up you want!

Sorry this is so short, but it’s on my iPhone. I’ll have more later today, at some point.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers, enjoy your Saturday!

Reds beat Astros in 11 despite a Correa homer providing Friday Night Bonus Baseball

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With the lowly Reds coming to town, and coming off two big wins in St. Louis; you figured maybe the Houston Astros were getting things going a little bit.

The Reds had played a lot of innings of baseball down in steamy Atlanta, and the Astros had a day off and Lance McCullers on the bump. There was a good reason Houston came into the game as -240 moneyline favorites. But it wasn’t so.

The Reds got 5 and 2/3 really good innings from Jon “Barback” Lamb, with Lamb striking out 8 and leaving with the lead momentarily 2-1. Things were looking bleak for Houston, when Carlos Correa and Blake Wood became acquainted.

That tied the game at 2-2, and granted us some extra innings with nothing to do on a Friday night. Nothing better.

The Astros would go on to give this one away to the Redlegs – these two teams are just kind of poor like that. Astros lose in 11 innings, 3-2.

It had been too long since a Bryce Harper home run

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It’s been a rough past 45 days for Bryce Harper. But, whatever. We’re only trying to live in the present. In the Nationals 8-5 win over the Padres on Thursday night, Harper started the weekend off a little early with his 14th bomb of the season off off-brand Erik Johnson.

For a pitcher’s park, Harper doesn’t mind going yard at Petco which isn’t far from his birthplace. He likes hitting out west! It was his fourth career home run at Petco.

Harper now has 111 career home runs. Let’s hope this is the start of something big. Baseball is better when he’s hot.

It’s hard to believe the Nationals tallied three home runs and 13 total runs were scored in this game. That’s not very Petco at all.

World Series Futures : Who Will Win The 2016 World Series

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Chicago Cubs Odds To Win NL Pennant: +175
Prediction: Chicago Cubs To Win World Series

Jake Arrieta is somehow off to an even better year than his 2015 campaign, which is just the tip of the iceberg when talking about the Chicago Cubs. The more you look at the Cubs, the more you realize how young and talented this current edition is.

The Cubs have a crop of young hitters, all of whom have proven they can be counted on in the clutch. The foundation of the lineup is comprised of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Rizzo, the oldest of the bunch at 26, embodies the team’s youthful and exuberant spirit.

The Cubs will most likely be making deep runs into the playoffs for the foreseeable future, and with the rotation of Jon Lester, John Lackey and Arrieta, 2016 may just be their year. The Cubs are in the top 10 in every offensive metric including stolen bases. If the defense can keep their end of the bargain, which was their undoing in the NLCS in 2015, the Cubs are our pick to win not only the NL pennant, but the World Series, too.

San Francisco Giants Odds To Win NL Pennant: +425
Prediction: San Francisco To Lose In NLCS

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The San Francisco Giants have made it to the World Series in alternating years since they won in 2010. Can they do it again in 2016? Manager Bruce Bochy conceded that the length of the season makes it tough for teams to win back-to-back NL pennants, and if that is true, the rest of the National League better believe these guys are well rested and ready to go.

Madison Bumgarner is having another incredible year and is averaging 10.4 K’s per 9 innings. The offseason acquisition of Johnny Cueto has helped elevate San Francisco’s pitching to a level that will be tough to match.

The Giants, however, lack the potent hitting that other favorites boast and are 13th in home runs out of the 15 NL teams. Expect the Giants to make a few changes to solidify their roster. We think the Giants, behind the Cubs, are favorites to win the NL pennant.

Have a look at the full MLS schedule, find out the betting lines for every game, visit your favorite team page and heed some tips on how to help you make more money from your MLS bets.

American League

The American League is slightly inferior to the National League this season. Kansas City and Toronto have lost traction, leaving the race for the AL pennant wide open. Boston has returned to form in the final year of David Ortiz’s historic career and the Detroit Tigers are a rejuvenated side.

Boston Red Sox Odds To Win AL Pennant: +450
Prediction: Boston Red Sox To Win ALCS

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The Red Sox are hitting the ball better than any other team in the AL, sitting first in runs, hits and doubles. Ortiz is leading the charge and is on pace to set the MLB record for doubles in a season (67, Earl Webb 1931 Red Sox).

The Red Sox are firing on all cylinders but have been relying heavily on production from Big Papi, which should trouble the Sox. Boston doesn’t have the type of pitching that can pull out low-scoring games if Big Papi’s form dips at any point during the campaign.

Detroit Tigers To WIn AL Pennant: +1200
Prediction: Detroit Tigers To Lose In ALCS

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The Detroit Tigers had to trade Yoenis Cespedes last season and the move has paid immediate dividends. Michael Fulmer, in our opinion, is a shoe-in for AL Rookie of the Year and one of the main reasons Detroit has been able to shake off the last season’s disappointing season.

Fulmer has been the most surprising player this season but with Verlander returning to his Cy Young form, averaging 9.4 K’s per 9IP, and the signing of Jordan Zimmerman, the Tigers have one of the best three-men rotations.

The Tigers, as long as they can hang around the top of the Central division, are a great darkhorse selection given the state of the American League.

ESPN will do a 30 for 30 on Darryl Strawberry & Doc Gooden

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Everyone is talking about 30 for 30: O.J. Simpson, Made in America. The one I can’t wait for is Darryl & Doc, premiering July 14th at 9:00 PM.

I’ve long been a sucker for anything about the 80’s New York Mets, especially Darryl Strawberry stuff since he was my first favorite player. As they always do, I expect ESPN to knock this out of the park. It’s the only item that makes turning on the Worldwide Leader worthwhile anymore.

Then there’s this, which just wreaks of classic:

That was following this game, where Doc Gooden won his 20th game for the first time at Shea Stadium against Steve Garvey, Kevin McReynolds and the Padres.

My All-Star Ballot

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Alright, so this is definitely a combination of ‘my guys’ along with who I feel is truly most deserving. I’m not sure that casting votes for Carlos Correa over Xander Bogaerts is going to go over well with anyone objective who reads this; but I digress.

MLB has changed the voting a bit over the years – I miss the paper ballots at the park – and now you can vote just 35 total times online. This does away with the teams that would organize social media voting parting for their guys at the final hour.

It’s probably for the better, and every year I make sure to post my ballot on here and had not done so thus far this season. So here it is. My 2016 MLB All Stars.

Baseball