RIZZO & TROUT OUT FOR THE SEASON

trout and rizzoRIZZO & TROUT OUT FOR THE SEASON

Various wagering propositions and futures went through some major changes early this week as serious injuries to some very significant players has taken them out of action for the foreseeable future thus affecting their teams’ chances of winning a certain number of games or going to the Super Bowl, etc.

It was a bad weekend for some of American Sports’ most popular figures as Mike Trout and Anthony Rizzo joined Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees on the IL, or ‘Injured List’, for what very well could be the remainder of their respective seasons.

For the football guys, whose season is just getting underway, it could mean missing yet another chance for a Super Bowl appearance, for the baseball guys it means missing the playoffs and perhaps the World Series.

Back on September 5th Mike Trout hit his 45th homer and was in the running, as usual, for the American League MVP Award for 2019.  Then he exited the game a bit later limping visibly, and did not return.  Nor did Trout show up in the lineup for the next two games citing ‘right toe discomfort’ as the reason.

Obviously Trout’s toe issue was much more serious than he had initially let on to the public, and perhaps to his coaches and trainers as well.  Whatever, he was kept out of the lineup and underwent what is called a ‘cryoablation procedure’ for a neuroma, which is a tumor formed of nerve tissue, in his right foot and pronounced out for the season.  No wonder he had discomfort in his right toe.

So, one of the best living baseball players in the big leagues is out for the season and the Angels will surely miss him, although they have already been eliminated from postseason play for this year.

The Chicago Cubs, on the other hand, are very much in contention with the Washington Nationals for one of the two Wild Card spots available in the National League.  It could well come down to a one game, winner-take-all, contest with the Nationals to see which team will advance in the playoffs to take on the formidable Los Angeles Dodgers who have their sights set on nothing less than winning the 2019 World Series after falling short for the past two years to the Astros and the Red Sox.

However, one of the central players on the Cubs roster is everyday first baseman Anthony Rizzo who has just sprained his right ankle when he rolled on it trying to field a bunt.  Rizzo was obviously in some intense pain writhing around on the ground and observers noted that he could not put any weight on his right leg while being helped back to the dugout.

Subsequent X-Rays revealed that there were no significant breaks and the ankle injury was diagnosed as a mild sprain, although it surely didn’t look like that at the time. The Cubs All Star shortstop Javier Baez is already out with a hairline fracture on his left thumb and could be out well into the postseason.

Now with Rizzo in a walking boot and out at first base, the Cubs infield must rely on minor league call ups and otherwise bench players to fill those very big shoes as the Cubbies, who are still in contention for the NL Central as well, still have to face the red hot St. Louis Cardinals 7 times before the end of the regular season in what is ranking up to be one of the most meaningful MLB series of the whole year.

So, just like with the Steelers and the Saints before them, odds to win divisions, leagues and championships have all taken a nose dive for the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels as well.  It was a tuff weekend.

BIG BEN AND BREES BANGED UP BADLY

drew & benBIG BEN AND BREES BANGED UP BADLY

The odds on a number of NFL propositions and futures have changed dramatically after the serious injuries to two veteran All Pro quarterbacks last Sunday as both Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have gone down to significant injuries taking them out of action for the foreseeable future.

The Pittsburg Steelers announced today that their veteran Pro Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is now out for the season after suffering an elbow injury in the Steelers game against the Seattle Seahawks. During the first half Roethlisberger suddenly grabbed his elbow after throwing a short pass and signaled to the sidelines immediately that he needed help.

He was obviously in a lot of pain and was escorted at once to the locker rooms for evaluation.  After contemplating various options, including a rehab program, Ben and the Steelers have announced that he will have season ending surgery to repair what seems to be very similar to what baseball pitchers go through with Tommy John Surgery, but his injury is to the UCL in the elbow.

If there is one thing that Ben Roethlisberger has proven to football fans over the years is that he is one tuff dude.  Big Ben will be back, probably stronger than ever.  You can bet on that.  In the meantime the Steelers will be in the hands of young second year quarterback Mason Rudolph out of Oklahoma State.

Rudolph took over after Big Ben went down and completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He did throw one pick, but it was on a deflection and not really his fault. He will be put to the test next week with the Steelers travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.

But without Roethlisberger the Pittsburg Steelers’ odds to win much of anything this season have taken a nose dive and any futures wagers will have to be reconsidered.  They are now projected to win only 6 games all season long.

To add insult to the injury, former Steeler Wide Receiver and favorite Roethlisberger target, Antonio Brown was catching his first touchdown pass from Tom Brady just about the same time that Big Ben was hurt.

What looked like a freak accident in the backfield as Drew Brees was releasing a pass has resulted in an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand that may keep the future Hall of Fame quarterback out for 6 weeks or longer.  This is grim news for the Saints who count on Drew to be the heart and soul of the organization, which of course he still is, even from the sidelines.

But now he is hurt and out of the lineup and Coach Sean Payton and staff will now have to rally the troops to hold it together and win games until their famed quarterback is back in action. Teddy Bridgewater, who knows firsthand about coming back from catastrophic injury is like, will take over for Brees at quarterback for the Saints.

The injury to Brees will not only change the odds out of total number of victories and who will win the Super Bowl, but also the individual achievement awards and records that Drew Brees was set to break this season, including the total number of touchdown passes in NFL history.

Peyton Manning still holds the record at 539 but both Brees and Brady are closing in rapidly with 522.   Drew Brees already holds the NFL record for the most passing yards ever with 74,845 with only Tom Brady still left with any hope of catching him.  Saints fans hope that Brees will be back in time to foil Brady’s quest.

Just as it went down for the Steelers in Three Rivers Stadium after Big Ben went down for the count, the Saints team never seemed to regain their composure after Drew Brees went trotting back to the locker room.  Both teams eventually lost their respective games in undistinguished styles.

Of course Fantasy Football players will have to reassess their picks after these two great quarterbacks have gone down for the season. There are plenty of new ones to choose from these days but, for now anyway, two of the best NFL quarterbacks in the business are sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Get well soon to both.

BASEBALLS’ MAJOR AWARDS RACES WINDING DOWN

MLB LOGOBASEBALLS’ MAJOR AWARDS RACES WINDING DOWN

All players who make it to the Major League level, aka ‘the Big Leagues’, are already the cream of the crop when they arrive. Having gone through college championship teams and played in the minor leagues, they are the best baseball players in America, perhaps on the planet.  The MLB annual awards are for only the very best of the best and are considered among the greatest honors in all of sports.

This year’s race for the National League Most Valuable Player, or MVP, recently lost one of its principal contenders when the Brewer’s Christian Yelish went down on a freak foul ball off his knee which hit him so hard that the perennial All-Star is now listed as out for the season although subsequent reports indicate that no surgery will be necessary for the healing process.

That leaves the Dodgers Cody Bellinger sitting in a pretty good spot to take the NL MVP Award for 2019.  Bellinger has been at the forefront of the home run race for all of MLB all season long and continues to demonstrate his 5 tool skills on a daily basis.

Not only that but ‘Beli’, as he is known in the clubhouse, seems to be playing in a different position for almost every game.  Right field, center field and all over the field, but where Bellinger seems to fit best is at first base where his exceptional length and quickness can be utilized to their fullest making spectacular catches from all over the field for outs at first base.

Over in the American League, once again it’s the Angels’ Mike Trout in the lead, actually Trout should have a class of his own and let all the rest compete for the regular MVP Award.  He is still that good and he means that much to the Angels organization.

Value to the team is what the MVP Award is all about and young Alex Bregman has been a valuable asset on the Houston Astros team since they drafted him out of LSU just before winning the World Series a couple of years ago. Of course the Astros boast one of the most talented rosters in all of baseball, so Bregman must be extraordinary to excel among them, he is.

One of the most difficult decisions to be made each year is picking the AL and NL managers of the year.  Almost always there is more than one clear cut candidate for this coveted award.  Dave Roberts should be considered in the running for the National League Manager of the Year, but Dave has already won the award before and has his sights set on nothing less than victory in the World Series in October.

Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals is the most likely candidate to take the award this year. The NL Central has been a perennial log jam of good teams in recent years but Shildt has the Cards on top with two weeks to go.  If St. Louis is able to come out victorious over both Milwaukee and the Cubs, no easy task, they will take the NL Central going away and move on to the post season, probably against the Atlanta Braves on the road to the World Series.

Other National League managers deserving serious consideration should be Craig Counsell of the Brewers, now without Christian Yelish, and Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals, who, after falling to 19-31 at one low point this season, has rallied his team into a position where they stand a good chance of taking on the Dodgers as the NL Wild Card selection for 2019.

The Minnesota Twins of the American League were way under .500 last year and preseason speculation didn’t have them doing much better this year. However, they had not counted on first year manager Rocco Baldelli to motivate his club into first place in the AL Central, a position they have held for most of the season and sitting pretty to go into post season play once again for the Twins.

Baldelli will obviously be in stiff competition with Aaron Boone of the Yankees who, despite an unusually unfortunate number of injuries to members of the team, has still managed New York to the top of the AL East and a major contender for post season play.  The Yankees are the winningest team in baseball with two weeks left in the regular season.

The Manager of the Year Awards and the Most Valuable Player Awards are among the most coveted prizes to win in any sport at any time.  When it’s ‘America’s Favorite Pastime’, so much the better.

FOOTBALL MEANS HIGH SEASON FOR BOOKIES

fb moneyFOOTBALL MEANS HIGH SEASON FOR BOOKIES

Now that both NFL and NCAA Football have finally gotten underway, bookmakers across the country can settle into high season mode and take in more action than at any other time of the year.

While Baseball may still be ‘America’s Favorite Pastime’, Football, both pro and college, is now ‘America’s Favorite Sport’ and the overall favorite wagering option for bettors everywhere. More money is wagered on football in North America than on any other single sport.

Elsewhere in the world, it is Soccer that takes first place in wagering world-wide.  It is ironic that Soccer is referred to as ‘Football’ everywhere except in North America. Even the Canadians have their own peculiar brand of ‘football’, and they bet on it quite frequently as well.

Once again we had to suffer through four meaningless ‘preseason’ NFL games when wagering was somewhat impaired by bettors not knowing beforehand just who would be on the field for these games.  Still, this year saw wagering on preseason games reach new highs in terms of dollars wagered on the contests.

Sadly, the first few weeks of NCAA college football are a bit like the NFL preseason games in that they feature outlandishly mismatched teams with point spreads reaching into the 40’s and 50’s.  Wagering on these games becomes a little ridiculous at times, but many still do and those huge point spread are often not met.

But now we are finally down to the real nitty-gritty games that really count for both pro and college football games.   The NFL is going into their third week and college teams are beginning to face some real competition after completing their annual ‘cupcake’ games.  Divisional and conference races are starting to unfold and the cream is beginning to separate a bit.

Football season could also be a time when today’s bookmaker finds himself being outclassed by the local competition and should then seek out help to bring his business back into line and profitable once again.  This is where a quality pay per head service can be of tremendous help to a bookie and his clients.

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