Saturday, July 30, 2011

Top MLB HR hitters if the ball parks were all the same dimensions

I always found that all of the MLB ball parks are different sizes and dimensions was a little strange. I understand that this introduces some unpredictability in the game which gives it character. But to me sport should be played in a defined area that is the same for all players in that league. Sports like the NFL, NBA, NHL are all played on the same size field all over the United States. Why should baseball be different? I would love it if a reader could tell me the answer of the history of how this came to be. If you have read this blog you may realize that I am very interested (some would say obsessed) in sports and sports statistics. A baseball stat that gets a lot of attention is the HR leader table. Often considered as one of the most prestigious of titles the HR leader is considered synonymous with power and hitting ability.  The question I have is though how can you look at the HR leader board and say that the guy at the top is truly the HR king?  Maybe he played in a ball park where it was easier to hit HRs? 
To illustrate my point lets look at 2 ball parks :  Comerica Park in Detroit and the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

                                        HRs in 2011     avg HRs per game
Comerica Park                        88                           1.66
Yankee Stadium                     130                          2.32

Here we can clearly see that a lot more HRs are hit at Yankee Stadium then Comerica.  Therefore you would expect that Tigers players would hit less HRs since they play half of their games there.

I fantastic website that I refer to often is the Hit Tracker website founded by Greg Rybarczyk (http://www.hittrackeronline.com/index.php).  The information on this site is amazing and if you are at all interested in stats check it out.  What they have done is calculate the true distance of HRs, that is the distance of the hit based on where it landed, the speed off the bat etc if there were no physical structure within the ball park to stop it.  This true distance calculation is basically a true indication of how far the ball would have been hit if all ball parks were built the same.

After studying this website I found that this information could be used to calculate who the true HR champ would be if everyone played in the same sized ball park.  If you go to the HR tacker website you can see that the true HR distance ranges from 323-486 ft.  But a 323 ft HR by Sam Fuld (Rays) at Fenway down the right field line near Pesky Pole would not be a HR down the same right field line at Comerica Park (which would be about 340). Firstly lets look at the current HR (non-adjusted leader list):

HR
Bautista, Jose (Blue Jays) 31
Granderson, Curtis (Yankees) 28
Teixeira, Mark (Yankees) 28
Konerko, Paul (White Sox) 24
Cabrera, Miguel (Tigers) 22
Cruz, Nelson (Rangers) 22
Reynolds, Mark (Orioles) 21
Beltre, Adrian (Rangers) 20
Ortiz, David (Red Sox) 20
Quentin, Carlos (White Sox) 20

Next let's look at the list if it is adjusted to the the number of HRs that are over the true HR distance of 400 ft (according to my calculations based in the data from the HR tracker website, BTW I know this is a huge hit but started with this as an exercise).

HR HR>400ft adj
Cruz, Nelson (Rangers) 22 17
Reynolds, Mark (Orioles) 21 16
Bautista, Jose (Blue Jays) 31 14
Lind, Adam (Blue Jays) 19 13
Beltre, Adrian (Rangers) 20 13
Quentin, Carlos (White Sox) 20 10
Ortiz, David (Red Sox) 20 10
Granderson, Curtis (Yankees) 28 10
Ellsbury, Jacoby (Red Sox) 17 10

Quite a surprising result right?  Here we can clearly see that Yankees players (Teixeira, Granderson) are benefiting from playing in Yankee Stadium more often.

Any questions and comments are welcome!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

MLB series coming up this weekend - Fantasy Baseball implications

Angels v Tigers at Comerica Park

Howie Kendrink (Angels, 2B, yahoo rank 117) - career at Comerica Park : 52 AB, 0.135 BA
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers, 1B, yahoo rank 17) - 2011 vs Angels : 10 AB, 0.100 BA
Victor Martinez (Tigers, DH, yahoo rank 116) - 2011 vs Angels : 11 AB, 0.091 BA

Yankees v Orioles at Yankee Stadium

Russell Martin (Yankees, C, yahoo rank 322) - career v Orioles : 23 AB, 0.391 BA
Derek Jeter (Yankees, SS, yahoo rank 199) - 2011 v Orioles :  33 AB, 0.375 BA
Brett Gardner (Yankees, OF, yahoo rank 87) - 2011 v Orioles : 27 AB, 0.185 BA
Nick Swisher (yankees, OF, yahoo rank 139) - 2011 v Orioles : 21 AB, 0.143 BA

Royals v Indians at Progressive Field

Alex Gordon (Royals, yahoo rank 46) - 2011 v Indians : 35 AB, 0.200 BA, 2011 at Progressive : 11 AB, 0.091 BA
Jack Hannahan (Indians, 3B, yahoo rank 911) - 2011 v Royals : 30 AB, 0.367 BA

Mets v Nationals at Nationals Field

Josh Thole (Mets, C, yahoo rank 982) - career at Nationals Park : 18 AB, 0.444 BA, 2011 at Nationals Park : 10 AB, 0.400 BA
Jason Bay (Mets, OF, yahoo rank 423) - 2011 vs Nationals : 18 AB, 0.389 BA
Wilson Ramos (Nationals, C, yahoo rank 477) - career v Mets: 27 AB, 0.444 BA, 2011 v Mets : 14 AB, 0.500 BA
Danny Espinosa (Nationals, 2B, yahoo rank 113) - career v Mets : 50 AB, 0.180 BA, 2011 v Mets : 26 AB, 0.154 BA

Pirates v Phillies at Citizens Bank Park

Neil Walker (Pirates, 2B, yahoo rank 95) - career vs Phillies 17 AB, 0.176 BA, 2011 vs Phillies 10 AB, 0.100 BA
Andrew McCutchen (Pirates, OF, yahoo rank 37) - 2011 vs Phillies 12 AB, 0.500 BA
Garrett Jones (Pirates, OF, yahoo rank 387) - career at Citizens Bank Park 19 AB, 0.421 BA
Ryan Howard (Phillies, 1B, yahoo rank 64) - career vs Pirates 136 AB, 0.201 BA, 2011 vs Pirates 12 AB, 0.167 BA
Shane Victorino (Phillies, OF, yahoo rank 78) - 2011 vs Pirates 14 AB, 0.214 BA

Friday, July 22, 2011

Upcoming MLB series this weekend - Fantasy baseball implications

I have picked some interesting stats that could have fantasy implications this week. Want to know how your fanatsy players matchup this week? Send me a message and I will check up the stats for you!

Astros v Cubs at Chicago

Jeff Keppinger (Astros, 2B, yahoo rank 719) - 2011 at Wrigley Field (14 AB, 0.429 BA)
Carlos Lee (Astros, OF, yahoo rank 179) - 2011 at Wrigley Field (13 AB, 0.417 BA)
Michael Bourn (Astros, OF, yahoo rank 32) - 2011 at Wrigley Field (15 AB, 0.400 BA)
Hunter Pence (Astros, OF, yahoo rank 35) - 2011 at Wrigley Field (13 AB, 0.538 BA)

Mariners v Red Sox at Boston

Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox, 1B) - 2011 at Fenway: 180 AB, 0.383 BA
Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox 2B) - 2011 vs Mariners: 12 AB, 0.167 BA, career vs Mariners: 110 AB, 0.209 BA
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox, 3B) - 2011 at Fenway: 149 AB, 0.383 BA

Athletics v Yankees at New York
Robinson Cano (Yankees, 2B) - 2011 vs Athletics (11 AB, 0.364 BA)
Brett Gardner (Yankees, OF, yahoo rank 84) - career vs Athletics (61 AB, 0.180 BA), 2011 vs Athletics (7 AB, 0.143 BA)
Curtis Granderson (Yankees, OF, yahoo rank 4) - 2011 vs Athletics (14 AB, 0.214 BA)

Carlos Pena (Cubs, 1B, yahoo rank 150) - career vs Astros (27 AB, 0.111 BA), career at Wrigley Field (153 AB, 0.222 BA)
Starlin Castro (Cubs, SS, yahoo rank 84) - 2011 vs Astros (28 AB, 0.393 BA)


Angels v Orioles at Baltimore
Eric Aybar (Angels, SS, yahoo rank 92) - career vs Orioles (89 AB, 0.202 BA)

Matt Weiters (Orioles, C, yahoo rank 218) - career vs Angels (38 AB, 0.393 BA)

White Sox v Indians

Gordon Beckham (White Sox, 2B, yahoo rank 347) - Career vs at Progressive Field (55 AB, 0.400 BA)
Alexei Ramirez (White Sox, SS, yahoo rank 139) - 2011 at Progessive Field (13 AB, 0.154 BA)

Tigers v Twins at Minnesota
Victor Martinez (Tigers, DH, yahoo rank 109) : 2011 vs Twins (26 AB, 0.462 BA), 2011 at Target Field (13 AB, 0.615 BA), career at Target Field (26 AB, 0.423 BA)
Jhonny Peralta (Tigers, SS, yahoo rank 68) : career vs Twins (39 AB, 0.489 BA), 2011 vs Twins (19 AB, 0.586 BA)

Padres v Phillies at Philladelphia

Raul Ibanez (Phillies, OF, yahoo rank 190) : 2011 vs Padres (11 AB, 0.154 BA)
Shane Victorino (Phillies, OF, yahoo rank 82) : 2011 vs Padres (15AB, 0.133 BA)

Ryan Ludwick (Padres, OF, yahoo rank 177) : career at Citizens Bank Field (42 AB, 0.143 BA), 2011 vs Phillies (16 AB, 0.125 BA)
Will Venable (Padres, OF, yahoo rank 375) : 2011 v Phillies (10 AB, 0.462 BA)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Upcoming MLB series this week - Fantasy implications

I have picked some interesting stats that could have fantasy implications this week.  Want to know how your fanatsy players matchup this week?  Send me a message and I will check up the stats for you!

Twins vs Indians (at Minnesota)

First thing to note is that Grady Sizemore (Indains, OF) is now on the DL (again).

Michael Cuddyer (Twins, OF, Yahoo rank 82)vs the Twins this year (21AB, BA 0.143) and has struggled in the last week (12AB. 0.154).  You may want to stay away from him this series.

Delmon Young (Twins, OF, Yahoo rank 842) has been on fire lately (15AB, BA 0.467 last 7 days).  But watch out because this year he has struggled against Masterson (Indians, SP) who pitches later in the series (14AB, BA 0.143)

Michael Brandtley (Indians, OF, yahoo rank 113) has struggled this year at Minnesota (8AB, BA 0.125) but has been hitting well lately (19AB, BA 0.368 last week) so keep this in mind.

Asdrubel Cabrera (Indians, SS, yahoo rank 23) has a great record this year vs Liriano (Twins, SP) who pitches later in the week (19AB, BA 0.579).

Red Sox v Orioles (at Baltimore)

You can't go wrong with most of the Red Sox players in their series against the O's.
While it is obvious that Adrain Gonzalez should be in your fantasy lineup every day here are some stats that will excite you for the sereies vs the Orioles.

Adrian Gonzalez is absolutely killing the O's this year - 32AB, BA 0.500.  At Cambden Yards he is also killing them, 13AB, 0.463 BA.  Plus he has had good records this year vs all the pitchers in this series :  Bergensen, Guthrie and Arrieta (BA at least above 400).  Should be series where A-Gon piles on the stats.

Jacoby Ellsbury also has a good record this year against the O's (35 AB, 0.457 BA) and at Cambden Yards (14 AB, 0.500 BA).

Reds v Pirates (at Pittsburgh)

Joey Votto (Reds, 1B) - Career vs Pirates (69 AB, 0.420 BA)
Drew Stubbs (Reds, OF, yahoo rank 54) vs Pirates at Pittsburgh (36 AB, 0.194)
Jay Bruce (Reds, OF, yahoo rank 39 ) vs Pirates 2011 (19AB, 0.474 BA)

Marlins v Mets (at New York)

Gaby Sanchez (Marlins, 1B, yahoo rank 86) - 2011 vs Mets (17 AB, 0.412 BA)
Omar Infante (Marlins, 2B, yahoo rank 761) - career vs Mets at Citi Field (59 AB, 0.424 BA), 2011 vs Mets at Citi Field (4AB, 0.750BA)
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins, SS, yahoo rank 88) - 2011 vs Mets (20 AB, 0.150 BA, no hits at Citi Field)
Mike Stanton (Marlins, OF, yahoo rank 70) - career vs Mets (38 AB, 0.184 BA) at Citi Field (16 AB, 0.125 BA)

Carlos Beltran (Mets, OF, yahoo rank 44) - 2011 v Marlins (13 AB, 0.231 BA)

Yankees v Rays (at Tampa)

Mark Tiexeira (Yankees, 1B, yahoo rank 43) - 2011 vs Rays (14 AB, 0.214)
Brett Gardner (Yankees, OF, yahoo rank 98) - career vs Rays (97 AB, 0.196 BA), 2011 vs Rays (14 AB, 0.357 BA)
Curtis Granderson (Yankees, OF, yahoo rank 5) - 2011 vs Rays (19 AB, 0.105 BA), 2011 at Tropicana Field (9 AB, 0.111 BA)

Ben Zobrist (Rays, utility, yahoo rank 56) - 2011 vs Yankees (16 AB, 0.375)
Evan Longoria (Rays, 1B, yahoo rank 252) - 2011 vs Yankees (20 AB, 0.252 BA)
BJ Upton (Rays, OF, yahoo rank 47) - 2011 at Tropicana Field (154 AB, 0.182 BA)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prominant MLB position players that could struggle on Sunday

Here are some players that are in the top 100 for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball but have struggled against today's pitchers in the past.  Chances are you may have them on your team and you may want to look for other options.

Joey Votto (Reds, 1B) v Jaime Garcia (Cardinals, SP) - 11AB, BA 0.091
Jay Bruce (Reds) v Jaime Garcia (Cardinals, SP) - 10AB, BA 0.100
Hunter Pence (Astros, OF) v Kevin Correia (Pirates, SP) - 12AB, BA 0.167
Adrew McCutcheon (Pirates) v Wandy Rodriguez (Astros, SP) - 14AB, BA 0.143
Torii Hunter (Angels, OF) v Gio Gonzalez (Athletics, SP) - 17AB, BA 0.118
Bobby Abreu (Angels, OF) v Gio Gonzalez (Athletics, SP) - 16AB, BA 0.063

Players who have lead since round 2 and won the British Open

Darren Clarke is in great position to win his first major and British Open.  Before the tournament started he fit the profile of winners since 1980 well (see my previous posts) and he has had the lead since round 2.  Since 1980 9 players have led since round 2 and gone on to win as shown below.  Could this be Clarke's year?  Would be a great story.

Shots behind/ahead Shots ahead Shots ahead
2010 Oostthuizen -2 5 4
2006 Woods -1 1 1
2005 Woods 1 4 2
2002 Ernie Els -3 1 2
2000 Woods -1 3 6
1996 Tom Lehman -2 1 6
1992 Nick Faldo -2 3 4
1986 Greg Norman -4 2 1
1981 Bill Rogers -2 1 5

Saturday, July 16, 2011

MLB Position players that could struggle on Saturday

Here are some players that are in the top 200 for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball but have struggled against today's pitchers in the past.  They have more than 10 AB v that pitcher and a BA of less than 0.200 in the last 6 years.

Want to know a matchup or more stats?  Message me for details.

Carlos Pena (Cubs, 1B) v Carlos Vasquez (Marlins, SP)
Jose Bautista (Blue Jays, OF) v CC Sabathia (Yankees, SP)
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox, 3B) v James Shields (Rays, SP)
Carlos Quentin (White Sox, OF) v Max Scherzer (Tiges, SP)
Ryan Howard (Phillies, 1B) v Jonathan Niese (Mets, SP)
Brandon Phillips (Reds) v Chris Carpenter (Cardinals, SP)
Jay Bruce (Reds) v Chris Carpenter (Cardinals, SP)
Ian Kinsler (Ranges) v Felix Hernandez (Mariner, SP)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Analysis of previous winners of British Open after round 3

OK round 2 is in the books and the cut has been made.  Some big names missed out including one of the pre-tournament favourite Luke Donald.  One of the criteria I used to eliminate players who would win pre-tournament was that they should not have won the week before and that held true for Donald (although Steve Stricker did make the cut).

So my last analysis will be be after the round 3.  Again an analysis of the round three scores of the winners from the last 30 years produced some interesting results.  The most important factor appears to be whether the player is leading or trailing as shown by the graph below. Out of the 30 winners, 15 had the lead or a share of the lead after round 3.  But another 12 were within 3 shots of the lead.  The far outlier was in 1999 when Paul Lawrie came back from 10 shots behind!  But 20 players were in the range of a 2 shot lead or within 2 shots of the leader.  Appears to be more favourable to be not too far ahead or to be within close range of the leader.

My predictions after round 2 at the British Open

Players from my list of 20 that made the cut and therefore still have a chance to win.

Adam SCOTT, Australia
Bubba WATSON, USA
Darren CLARKE, Northern Ireland
Dustin JOHNSON, USA
Henrik STENSON, Sweden
Jason DAY, Australia
Justin ROSE, England
Martin KAYMER, Germany
Phil MICKELSON, USA
Robert ROCK, England
Zach JOHNSON, USA

Of this list I still have these guys that I said woud be in the hunt (Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter missed the cut)

Darren Clarke, Northern Ireland (my pick for best chance for British win)
Martin Kaymer, Germany (my pick to be in the hunt)
Adam Scott, Australia (who I wanted to win)
Bubba Watson, USA (my pick to be in the hunt)
Robert Rock, England

MLB players currently in hitting streaks of more than 10 games

Ryan Braun (Brewers, OF) - 23 games
Pablo Sandoval (Giants, 3B) - 22 games
Emilio Bonifaco (Marlins, OF) - 13 games
Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox, 2B) - 12 games
Melky Cabrera (Royals, OF) - 10 games
Ian Kinsler (Rangers, 2B) - 10 games

Interesting MLB matchups for Friday - Fantasy implications

PLAYERS YOU MAY WANT TO BENCH:

Paul Konerko (White Sox, 1B) - v Verlander (Detriot, P).  41AB, BA 0.122

Cutris Granderson (Yankees, OF) v Brandon Morrow (Blue Jays, P) 12AB, BA 0.167

Delmon Young (Twins, OF) v Luke Hochevar (Royals, P) 21 AB, BA 0.190


POSSIBLE SLEEPERS:

Jorge Posada (Yankees, DH) - v Brandon Morrow (Blue Jays, P) 15AB, BA 0.467

Alexi Casilla (Twins, 2B) v Luke Hochevar (Royals, P) 14 AB, BA 0.571

Statistics of British Open winners after the 2nd round

We are now in the second round at the British Open and players are scrambling to make the cut.  An analysis the the scores of the previous winner since 1980 provides some interesting results and trends.  Here are some of the trends that I have noticed.

The average combined score is 137 and the median is 138 but this represents only 10 winners out of 30.  But from the graph below you can see a wide range of scores.



Similarly the average score for the second round for the eventual winner is 68 but the spread is quite large.



More interesting though is the graph showing the number of eventual winners and how far they led or behind the leaders they were.  Again there is a fairly large spread but 19 winners either lead by a shot or were within 3 shots of the lead.  Not a great correlation but something to note.




My conclusions from this analysis is that there is no real strong correlations here.  Players are scrambling to make the cut which can lead to variable scoring.  However it does appear that players that are leading by more than 2 shots have trouble holding on to the lead while trailing by more than 4 is too much of a deficit to overcome.  But as we all know exceptions do happen!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Revision of players that I predicted would win the British Open after round 1

OK so the first round of the British Open (or The Open) is in the books.  Lots of surprised for sure and I am sure of lot of people's picks may have not fared so well.  Golf is a difficult sport to predict.  Now I happen to be in the camp of picks who may already be out of it after the first round.  I stuck my neck out and picked Hunter Mahan who had a disastrous round and is currently at 5 over, 10 behind the leader.  My previous post mentioned some statistics of the first round scores of winners in the last 30 years.

The amazing thing is that of my list of 20 that I picked to win only Hunter Mahan (who I narrowed down to my final winner) is the only one that is not within 7 shots!!!! (I believe this to be the magic number that the winner must be within the leader after 1st round).

Here is the post with my original list of 20:
http://lostroadworld.blogspot.com/2011/07/narrowed-my-list-of-british-open.html

So I already lost out with Mahan so I decided to revise my 20 and pick a new winner based on the new stats after the first round.  The most notable stat is that the final winner usually is behind the leader by 2-4 shots after the first round (this would make a score of between 3 to 1 under).  So my new list.

Darren Clarke, Northern Ireland (my pick for best chance for British win)
Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland
Martin Kaymer, Germany (my pick to be in the hunt)
Ian Poulter, England
Adam Scott, Australia (who I wanted to win)
Bubba Watson, USA (my pick to be in the hunt)
Robert Rock, England

Of these guys I still have 2 guys I picked to be in the hunt before the tournament : Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson (also had Adam Scott and Darren Clarke in my last 8 to win).

My new winner is (if I picked with my head) : Martin Kaymer
If I used my heart : Adam Scott (because he is an Aussie)

NOTE:  I got a lot of comments on twitter that history could be made, just so people know I would love to see history made, this analysis is just an academic exercise and I love sports stats!

Some history to keep in mind after the first round of the British Open

Amazing first round at the British Open, some real surprises (as always) and some disappointments (as always).  Still a long way to go a lot of interesting facts have come to the surface.  Fist of all lets look at an analysis of the winners from the last 30 years and how they played in the first round.

1.  Only Tiger Woods (2005) had the outright lead (1 shot) and one.  Only three other men: John Daly (1995), Greg Norman (1993) and Tom Watson (1980) have had a share of the lead after the first round and won.  This is probably due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to deal with the pressure of leading the British Open from the start.

2.  The average first round score of the eventual winner is 69.


3.  Of the 27 players that trailed after the first round the average number of shots behind is 3 (but from the graph below the median is 2).



4.  No player has shot more than 74 and won (Harrington, 2008; Norman, 1993, 1986).

5.  The lowest first round score by a winner was 65 (Oosthuizen last year).

Fantasy Baseball sleepers for Thursday

Only 7 games today but if you are looking but I have a couple of potential sleepers if you need them.  I classify a sleeper as a player that is ranked above 200 and owned by less than 30% in yahoo fantasy baseball.  Therefore there is a good chance you could pick them up on the waiver wire.
Nyger Morgan (Brewers, OF) yahoo rank 293; % owned 17
Good record in last 10 games : 12 hits, 6 RBIs.  Also has a good record vs Jimenez (7AB, BA 0.571)who is having a bad year particularly at Coors field.

Danny Valencia (Twins, 3B) yahoo rank 262; % owned 26
Good record in last 10 games : 14 hits, 2HRs, 10 RBIs. Great record v Bruce Chen (Rangers, P) : 9AB, BA 0.667

My final 8 players that will be in the hunt for the 2011 British Open

Narowed my list of 20 players to these 8:

Adam SCOTT, Australia
Ben CRANE, USA
Bubba WATSON, USA
Darren CLARKE, Northern Ireland
Hunter MAHAN, USA
Martin KAYMER, Germany
Phil MICKELSON, USA
Zach JOHNSON, USA

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My 2011 British Open picks and why I picked them

Finally I have narrowed down my 20 to a handful of potential winners.  In the end my choices were influenced by the fact that Royal St Georges quite often produces winners that were a bit of an underdog.  Hence my selection of Hunter Mahan over one of the main favourites Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.  Let's see how my secret formula pans out!

Here are some of the main statistics that I noticed from an analysis of the British Open winners from the last 30 years.

1.  Only Tiger Woods (2000), Tom Watson (1982), Lee Trevino (1971), Ben Hogan (1953) have won the US Open in the same year as the British.  Both of these players had won majors before.  I know a lot of people are picking Rory McIlroy to win and he is in top form but may not have the expereience to get it done.

2.  Only 2 players in the last 30 years have not won a tournament in the previous 18 months and won the British Open - recent winning expereince counts for a lot.

3.  Back to back winners are fairly rare : only Harrington, Woods and Watson have done it recently.

4.  Only 2 players did not play in the previous year at The Open and won : Ben Curtis (the only debut player to win) and Tom Lehman.

This narrowed down the field to about 20 players (see my previous post).  From here I used some other criteria which I will reveal later (need to keep some secrets!)

MY PICK FOR WINNER : Hunter Mahan (USA)

Runners up or in contention : Martin Kaymer (Germany), Bubba Watson (USA), Zach Johnson (USA)

Best chance for British Win : Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland)

Best Australian Chance (who I want to win) : Adam Scott (Australia)

Long shot to win : Alvaro Quiros (Spain) (note he doesn't conform to my analysis above but there have been winners outside those criteria before!)

Position players that could struggle in Thursday's MLB games

Nick Markakis (Orioles, RF) - vs Masterson 16AB, BA 0.125
Adam Jones (Orioles, CF) - vs Masterson 11AB, BA 0.091
Asdrubel Cabrera (Indians, SS) - vs Guthrie 9AB, BA 0.111
Billy Butler (Royals, 1B) - vs Liriano 21AB, BA 0.190
Josh Hamilton (Rangers, OF) - vs Vargas 10AB, BA 0.100
Elvis Andrus (Rangers, SS)  - vs Vargas 16AB, BA 0.125

Interesting pitching matchups for Thursday's MLB games

Only seven games tomorrow after the all star break but I picked out a couple of interesting pitching matchups that may be of interest.

Justin Masterson (Indians) v Orioles
Masterson (7-6) has had a decent year and his last game against the Yankees was a good one (3 hits) and he has won his last 2 starts.  His record against the Orioles is not great (3-3 overall and 1-3 with the Indians) and he his record against at Camden Yards is also not great (0-2, has not pitched there this year). But he has had some success against the heart of the Orioles order : Guerrero (17 AB, BA 0.176), Markakis (16AB, BA 0.125) and Adam Jones (11 AB, BA 0.091).  The Orioles also just got ruffed up by the Red Sox (4 game sweep) so their confidence is down.  This could be a good game for Masterson.

Yovani Gallardo (Brewers) v Rockies
Gallardo is having a great year for the Brwers (10-5).  However he is a much better pitcher at home (7-1) than away (3-4) and he is pitching at Coors Field on Friday.  Some key Rockies players have good batting records against him : Todd Helton (13 AB, BA 0.385), Troy Tulowitzski (12AB, BA 0.333), Carlos Gonzalez (11 AB, BA 0.455), Ian Stewart (8 AB, BA 0.500), Ryan Spillborghs (8AB, BA 0.375).  This could be a high scoring game (see Jimenez below) and the batting looks like it will dominate.

Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies) v Brewers
After a great year last year (19-8) Jimenez is struggling this year (4-8).  Even more amazing are his struggles at home (1-5 this year compared to 9-2 last year).  These stats alone don't look good for his matchup against the Brewers at Coors field this Friday.  However a number of Brewers have great records against Jimenez as well including Ryan Braun (17AB, BA 0.353), Prince Fielder (14 AB, BA 0.286), Rickie Weeks (11 AB, BA 0.545), Nyger Morgan (7AB, BA 0.571).  Doesn't look good for Jimenez and the Brewers could really rack up some runs against him on Friday.

What's on my sports radar this week

Middle of July, middle of summer in the northern hemisphere, winter in the southern, plenty of sports action.
The British Open golf championships starts on Thursday, an event I never miss watching.  This year it is being played at Royal St Georges in Kent, England, weather forecast doesn't look good which is not unusual for The Open.  The Open is famous for producing long shot winners and particularly on this course with bad weather an underdog could get up for a win.  Plenty of Aussies in the field including Adam Scott, Jason Day, Robert Allenby.

Check out my list of 20 players I think can win the British Open this year (based on my secret formula):
http://lostroadworld.blogspot.com/2011/07/narrowed-my-list-of-british-open.html
The Tour de France heads into the second week and into the high mountains for the first time on Thursday.  Plenty of action in the first week with some big names already crashing out but Aussie Cadel Evans and Luxembourgian Andy Schleck in good position but Alberto Contador has been plagued by crashes so far.  Once they get to the mountains the battle will be on for sure and Contador is sure to launch attacks to test out the field.

MLB returns to normality after the all star break and teams will be heading into the second half of the season will the aim to reach the playoffs.  The Red Sox start the second half in first place (one game lead over the Yankees) and play the Rays this weekend. Now I pay a lot more attention to the other teams in the AL East that are in the race for the Division title and the wild card.  Therefore I now get game alerts from the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays!

After an amazing State of Origin rugby league win by Queensland over New South Wales the NRL competition get back to normal (no more byes!).  Full complement of games this weekend and teams are sorting out into finals contenders now with 7 rounds to go until the finals.  As always I wil be following my childhood team the Cronulla Sharks and all the Queensland teams, Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans.

For an explanation of my rugby league allegiences check out this previous post:
http://lostroadworld.blogspot.com/2011/06/expanation-of-my-rugby-league.html

After an amazing Super Rugby season and win by my team the Queensland Reds the international rugby season starts culminating in probably the biggest sporting event of the year the Rugby World Cup in September.  This weekend is the first game of the year for the Australian Wallabies team v Samoa.  Should be an easy win for the Wallabies but will be interesting to see who is picked and their current form.  Later in the month the Tri Nations series (vs South Africa and New Zealand All Blacks) will be contested which will be a true warm up before the world cup.  From now on I will be checking the form of all the World Cup contenders including England, France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

This week in tennis there are a couple of ATP 250 tournaments in Stuttgart and Bastad, Sweden. No Aussies are playing and many big names are sitting this week out.  For the women there are tournaments in Bad Gastein, Austria and Palermo, Italy.  Aussie Jarmilla Gajdosova (who was the second seed) was knocked out in the first round at Bad Gastein by Johanna Larson.

Check back later in the week for how it all panned out!

Rory McIlroy winning the British Open will be an upset in my books

There is no denying Rory McIlroy is an amazing golf talent - possibly the best talent since Tiger Woods.  From a study of the British Open winners over the last 30 years (since 1980) and number of trends are apparent.  Only 2 men have won the US Open before the British Open in the same year (the US Open is about 4 weeks before).  Only Tiger Woods (during his amazing year in 2000) and Tom Watson (1982 another amazing year for Watson) have accomplished the feat.  Here are some of the reasons I think why this feat is so difficult:

1.  The British Open is played on a links course, the US Open is not often played on this style of course.  While the pros can play any style and any type of shot on any given day it is a huge change from the style of play at the US Open.  Obviously if they won at the US their game is well suited at that time for that style.

2.  The weather and the course is a great leveler.  The British Open and particularly those played at Royal St Georges are notorious for producing upset winners (Louis Oosthuizen last year, Ben Curtis in 2003, Todd Hamilton in 2004 and John Daly in 1995).  This has been even more pronounced in the last 10 years.  Part of the reason for this could be that even though a player is in great form and hitting great shots they may be more likely to have some bad luck due to the weather or a rough bounce.

3.  The relief of winning a major could lead to some relaxation for a period of time due to the feeling of less pressure.  Some may say that playing with less pressure is better, I also think this is true but maybe in subsequent seasons, at least after a longer period of time after the win.  Of the players that have won the US and British Open in the same year since WWII (Tiger Woods 2000, Tom Watson 1982, Lee Trevino 1971, Ben Hogan 1953) all of them had won majors in previous years.

Rory McIlroy absolutely destroyed the US Open field and is a pleasure to watch play golf.  He is an incredible talent and as a golf fan I am rooting for him to do well.  He has the potential to win many majors and I think he will.  But if he wins the British Open this year he will do something that no other golfer has done.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Narrowed my list of British Open winners to 20

This Thursday the 3rd golf major of the year the British Open will be played at Royal St Georges in Kent England.   The British Open is famous for long shots winning the title including Louis Oosthuizen last year, Ben Curtis in 2003, Todd Hamilton in 2004 and John Daly in 1995 in recent years.  Part of the reason is that the tournaments are played on links style courses, often with high winds and bad weather which can cause unpredictability in play.

This year I am going to stick my neck out and make some predictions on who I think will win.  I have narrowed down the field of British Open players to 20 using my secret formula.  Tomorrow I will make my picks including long shots, who I want to win etc.

Feel free to comment good or bad!

Adam SCOTT, Australia
Ben CRANE, USA
Bubba WATSON, USA
Darren CLARKE, Northern Ireland
Dustin JOHNSON, USA
Ernie ELS, South Africa
Graeme McDOWELL, Northern Ireland
Henrik STENSON, Sweden
Hunter MAHAN, USA
Ian POULTER, England
Jason DAY, Australia
Justin ROSE, England
Lee WESTWOOD, England
Martin KAYMER, Germany
Matt KUCHAR, USA
Phil MICKELSON, USA
Robert ROCK, England
Ross FISHER, England
Steve STRICKER, USA
Zach JOHNSON, USA

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's on my sports radar this week

Another huge sports week coming up!  Hockey is now officially over so now its time to pay attention to the summer sports in the northern hemisphere (and the winter sports in the southern hemisphere).

Now that the Bruins season is over and we have had the parade Boston can now focus totally on the Red Sox.  And Boston will not be disappointed.  The Red Sox are the hottest team in baseball at the moment and are scoring like crazy.  The Red Sox crushed the Padres last night 14-5 thanks to a 10 run 7th inning.  Nobody is hitting the ball like Adrian Gonzalez at the moment, he has 12 RBIs in the last 10 games and 67 for the season (league high).  Oh wait a minute maybe there is someone hitting just as well lately, David Ortiz, he also has 12 RBIs in the last 10 games and 17HRs for the year.  The amazing fact is though that even with the Red Sox playing so well lately they only lead the Yankees by 1.5 games.  The Red Sox finish off their series against the Padres on Wednesday, then head to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates over the weekend.  meanwhile the Yankees finish off their series with the Reds then play the Rockies at Yankee stadium this weekend.  Got a feeling it will come down to wire between these 2 again this year.

One of my favourite sporting events of the year is on this week - Wimbledon tennis championships from London.  All the big guns for the men and women are here to compete for one the most prized trophies in tennis and sports.  After Federer's inspirational win over Djokovic to break his unbeaten run he has proven that he still has a lot left in the tank.  The usual suspects Nadal, Djokovic, Murray will also be in the mix.  The women's side is a lot less predictable as most of the majors have been this year.  Can Wozniacki win her first major?  Na Li just won the French but can she win on grass?  Does Sharapova still have the game to win another Wimbledon?  Lots of questions but sure to be a great tournament.  I'll be following all the Aussies closely and hoping they can make some noise in both draws!

The Super 15 rugby tournament finals start this week after 18 weeks of preliminary matches.  This weekend the New South Wales Waratahs play the Auckland Blues and the Canterbury Crusaders play the South Natal Sharks.  The Waratahs come into the finals in good form.  My team the Reds will play next week as will the 2nd place team the Western Stormers.

After the big State of Origin game last week the Australian rugby league competition resumes with a full complement of games.  This will be week 16 of 26 as teams head towards the finals.

Check back throughout the week for updates on these events and more!

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STEP 1 : Pick a player or match (can pick multiple):

NADAL, Rafael (ESP) [1]    _____
DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB) [2]  _____
FEDERER, Roger (SUI) [3]   _____
MURRAY, Andy (GBR) [4]   _____
SODERLING, Robin (SWE) [5]   _____
BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE) [6]   _____
FERRER, David (ESP) [7]  _____
RODDICK, Andy (USA) [8]  _____
MONFILS, Gael (FRA) [9]  _____
FISH, Mardy (USA) [10]  _____
MELZER, Jurgen (AUT) [11]   _____
TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) [12]  _____
TROICKI, Viktor (SRB) [13]  _____
WAWRINKA, Stanislas (SUI) [14]  _____
SIMON, Gilles (FRA) [15]   _____
ALMAGRO, Nicolas (ESP) [16]   _____
GASQUET, Richard (FRA) [17]   _____
YOUZHNY, Mikhail (RUS) [18]  _____
LLODRA, Michael (FRA) [19]  _____
MAYER, Florian (GER) [20]   _____
VERDASCO, Fernando (ESP) [21]  _____
DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr (UKR) [22]  _____
TIPSAREVIC, Janko (SRB) [23]  _____
DEL POTRO, Juan Martin (ARG) [24]  _____
CHELA, Juan Ignacio (ARG) [25]  _____
Another player in draw _____



WOZNIACKI, Caroline (DEN) _____
ZVONAREVA, Vera (RUS) _____
LI, Na (CHN) _____
AZARENKA, Victoria (BLR) _____
SHARAPOVA, Maria (RUS) _____
SCHIAVONE, Francesca (ITA) _____
WILLIAMS, Serena (USA) _____
KVITOVA, Petra (CZE) _____
BARTOLI, Marion (FRA) _____
STOSUR, Samantha (AUS) _____
PETKOVIC, Andrea (GER) _____
KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana (RUS) _____
RADWANSKA, Agnieszka (POL) _____
PAVLYUCHENKOVA, Anastasia (RUS) _____
JANKOVIC, Jelena (SRB) _____
GOERGES, Julia (GER) _____
KANEPI, Kaia (EST) _____
IVANOVIC, Ana (SRB) _____
WICKMAYER, Yanina (BEL) _____
PENG, Shuai (CHN) _____
PENNETTA, Flavia (ITA) _____
PEER, Shahar (ISR) _____
WILLIAMS, Venus (USA) _____
CIBULKOVA, Dominika (SVK) _____
HANTUCHOVA, Daniela (SVK) _____
All round of 16 games _____
All quarter final matches _____
All semi finals matches _____
Final _____

All Australian players _____
All Russian players _____
All American players _____

STEP 2: Pick the scores you want and when you want to get them (can pick multiple):

At the end of each game _____
At the end of each set _____
At the end of the match_____

Once a day in the morning (9am) _____
Once a day in the evening (6pm) _____

Another score update : _____

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NOTE:  We can send you scores from almost any pro baseball (and maybe some amateur teams) in the world!  Send us an email with your enquiry!

1.  Fill out this form (mark the space on the form)
2.  Cut and paste it and email to lostroadrunner@gmail.com
3.  We will email you back a confirmation email, send back the confirmation code.
4.  Get the updates you want, how you want them!

STEP 1 :  Pick a team or player (can pick multiple)

MLB Teams -
Arizona Diamondbacks   _____
Atlanta Braves                _____
Baltimore Orioles           _____
Boston Red Sox            _____
Chicago White Sox       _____
Chicago Cubs               _____
Cincinnati Reds             _____
Cleveland Indians         _____
Colorado Rockies        _____
Detroit Tigers               _____
Florida Marlins             _____
Houston Astros            _____
Kansas City Royals     _____
Los Angeles Angels     _____
Los Angeles Dodgers  _____
Milwaukee Brewers     _____
Minnesota Twins          _____
New York Yankees     _____
New York Mets          _____
Oakland Athletics        _____
Philadelphia Phillies      _____
Pittsburgh Pirates         _____
San Diego Padres        _____
San Francisco Giants   _____
Seattle Mariners           _____
St. Louis Cardinals       _____
Tampa Bay Rays          _____
Texas Rangers             _____
Toronto Blue Jays        _____
Washington Nationals  _____

TOP 25 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball players:

Justin Verlander (Det - SP) _____
Adrián González (Bos - 1B) _____
José Bautista (Tor - 3B,OF) _____
Jered Weaver (LAA - SP) _____
Prince Fielder (Mil - 1B) _____
Ryan Braun (Mil - OF) _____
Matt Kemp (LAD - OF) _____
Ryan Howard (Phi - 1B) _____
Paul Konerko (CWS - 1B) _____
Justin Upton (Ari - OF) _____
Albert Pujols (StL - 1B) _____
Robinson Canó (NYY - 2B) _____
Carlos González (Col - OF) _____
Roy Halladay (Phi - SP) _____
David Price (TB - SP) _____
Joey Votto (Cin - 1B) _____
Miguel Cabrera (Det - 1B) _____
Matt Holliday (StL - OF) _____
Álex Rodríguez (NYY - 3B) _____
Cliff Lee (Phi - SP) _____
Brian McCann (Atl - C) _____
Curtis Granderson (NYY - OF) _____
Mark Teixeira (NYY - 1B) _____
CC Sabathia (NYY - SP) _____

Player name : _______________

STEP 2:  Pick the scores or stats you want and when you want to get them

Team scores (can pick multiple):

End of each inning   ____
End of 3rd inning      ____
End of 6th inning    ____
End of 9th inning      ____
End of game            ____
When a run is scored  ______

Once a day in the morning (9am)  _____
Once a day in the evening (6pm)  _____

Another score update :  _____

Player stats (can pick multiple):

When they hit a HR  ____
When they drive in a run (RBI) _____
When a run is scored against a pitcher  ____
When a pitcher completes an inning  _____
(with the stats for the inning)     ______

Once a day in the morning (9am) _____

Once a day in the evening (6pm) _____

Another stat update :  _____

STEP 3 :  Games you want the update

For the next game _____
For the season   _____
Other schedule   ______

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cronulla Sharks beat the Bulldogs!

Day 18 Sports fan challenge. Early this morning the Sharks upset the Bulldogs inspired by NSW captain Paul Gallen who backed up and played a big role in the win.

Beautiful day on Cape Cod. On the boat from Harwichport to Monmonoy Island to see some seals. Rockin the Sharks hat!

Friday, June 17, 2011

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Great win by the Broncos and Red Sox rolling on

Day 17 Sports fan challenge

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What an amazing year to be a Bruins fan!

Day 16 of the sports fan challenge is obviously dedicated to the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Champions!  What a ride through the playoffs it was, an amazing experience.  For those of you that don;t know I am originally from Australia but I have lived in Boston for 13 years (the only US city I have ever lived in) and I have grown to love this city and it's sporting teams as if I have lived here all my life.  I am a firm believer of supporting your home town sports teams.  This year I was lucky enough to have a share of season tickets and went to 12 regular season games, 3 playoff games and a Stanley Cup final game.  I feel very happy for my wife's family particularly her father, and her uncles some of who have been fans for over 60 years!  We had so many great memories throughout the year, going to games, watching games together, talking about the Bruins at family parties.  A part of me is relieved that it is all over and the Bruins won but another part of me is sad that it has come to an end.  But it was an amazing season, one I will never forget and as a true sports fan one I will never forget!

To celebrate a great season here are a few photos from games this year (sorry for the quality of some I was so fired up at times I was shaking)









Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Game 7 Stanley Cup Finals Bruins v Canucks: can't get a bigger hockey game than this!

Tonight is the biggest game in Boston hockey history for 40 years and for most hockey fans in this town is a once in a lifetime experience.  The Boston Bruins are playing for the Stanley Cup and they have the attention of the whole city.  And the hopes of a championship.

It has been an amazing ride throughout the playoffs and into the finals and it is amazing that it will all come to an end tonight.  It is safe to say that not many people thought the Bruins would get this far and to be so close to winning the Stanley Cup is an amazing achievement.  They did win a Game 7 in the playoffs against the Canadiens and Lightning but this time they will be away from home.  The three times they have played in Vancouver it has been close and there is a feeling that they could win one there and they have one more chance to close it out.

As I have been all season I will be watching intently, this time at home with my family and close friends.  Some of whom have been Bruins fans all their lives and can feel a Stanley Cup within grasp. 

Here's to the Boston Bruins and bring home the Cup boys!!!! We will be here waiting for you to return!!!

State of Origin this morning : Queensland v New south Wales rugby league


Early this morning (5:30am EST) Game 2 of the State of Origin rugby league series between Queensland and New South Wales was played.  The photo was taken before the game and I have on my maroon jersey and pants in support of my hometown team Queensland.  Queensland has dominated the series in the last 5 years winning each year and NSW are desperate for a series win.  Game 2 was played in Sydney the NSW Blues made a few key changes.   I headed over to my mate's place to watch the game shown live on Fox Soccer Channel.  He was from NSW but also lives here in South Boston so it made for some interesting watching.
It was a hard close game as most of the Origin games are but in the end NSW won.  Disappointing for Queenslanders but there will be one more game on July 6 to decide the series.  I will have the maroon on that day as well looking for series win number 6 in a row.

If you are not familiar with the State of Origin Rugby League series check out this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_origin




Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nothing like a nice relaxing game of baseball of calm everyone down

Last night was a frenzied night for sports fans here in Boston.  All  the hype before Game 6 Stanley Cup finals built up throughout the day (really throughout the weekend since Friday night) and culminated in a great game for the Bruins.  The result is a Game 7 on Wednesday night in Vancouver which is sure to be hockey overload.  In a good way.

But the reality is that after Wednesday we will only have baseball to contend with as both the NBA and NHL finals will be over this week.  Last year in Boston we had the Celtics in the finals which went into June (I remember well because Game 7 was 2 days before my wedding).  This year we have had an inspiring run by the Bruins well into June.  For many years in Boston there was not a lot of competition for the Red Sox in June.  But after Wednesday all the attention will be on the Red Sox and they are in great shape heading into the mid-season.

Tonight the Red Sox play the Rays at Tropicana Field and they will be playing for their 10th straight win.  What a relaxing way to wind down after an intense hockey game last night and before a super intense Game 7 tomorrow night (with the State or Origin game in the morning as well).  Red Sox are now 2.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East.  They are 4.5 games ahead of the Rays and can really hurt them with a series win this week.

So tonight I will be watching a nice relaxing Red Sox game, resting up for a big Rugby League game in Australia in the morning (live at 5:30am) and the biggest hockey game ever (well at least for me) in the evening!

State of Origin Game 2 tomorrow! Maroons going for series win!

Got to mention as well that early tomorrow morning 6am US EST is the 2nd State or Origin Rugby League match, Queensland v New South wales. This is one of the biggest events of the Australian Rugby League season and also on my sporting calendar.  I grew up in Brisbane, Queensland a die hard Queensland rugby league supporter and the rivalry with the state to the south, New South Wales has always been intense.  Game 1 was a win for Queensland in the the minutes of the game after the scored a try to seal victory.  If they win tomorrow it will make it 6 series wins in a row for Queensland, they have been completely dominant in recent years.

So I will be up early and heading over to my mate's place (a New South Welsh man) here in South Boston at 5:30 am to watch the game which is being televised live on Fox Soccer Channel this year.  Not quite the same as sitting in my the living room of my parents' house in the north of Brisbane, middle of winter (although the winters are very mild in Brisbane) on a Wednesday night, hanging on every play with my family and friends and hoping for a Queensland win.  But I will be there in spirit and heart.

GO MAROONS!!!!

If you are not familiar with the State of Origin Rugby League series check out this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_origin

My treasured Queensland Maroons State of Origin jersey

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday morning in my sports world - Red Sox, Brisbane Broncos, golf and more

Good morning all!  Weather is a little crappy here in Beantown today, few showers.  But a lot happened yesterday and early this morning in sports.  For those of you that don't know I am an Australian (from Brisbane) that is now living in Boston therefore I follow all the Boston sports as well as the Australian teams with a bias towards the Queensland teams.  Here are my sources for sports news if you want to check other teams:
Baseball : mlb.com
Rugby League : nrl.com
PGA golf :  http://www.pgatour.com/

The Red Sox continue their winning ways and the bad start to the season seems a long way away.  Yesterday they pounded the Blue Jays 16-4 for their 8th straight win.  Everybody in the starting lineup got a hit except Jed Lowrie (who officially had an RBI after he got hit with the bases loaded).  Ortiz (16HR for the year) and Varitek had home runs, all the starters had an RBI including league leading RBI man Adrian Gonzalez (58 for the year).  In games in the AL East, Yankees win over the Indians and the Rays win over the Orioles.  Therefore the Red Sox maintain their 2 game lead in the division.
 For a full wrap of the Red Sox game:
Boston - Toronto game report
(I get all my MLB news at mlb.com, check it every day!)

In Australian rugby league played today (early this morning US EST) and the Brisbane Broncos won by a point over the Canberrra Raiders thanks to a field goal by Peter Wallace in extra time.  Broncos were without a lot of their star players who were kept out of the game as they will be playing in the State of Origin game on Wednesday night.  I still think this is unfair and I would prefer if they would just give every team a bye during those weeks.  They only play 3 games a year.  So the Broncos sent out a team with young up and coming players who performed admirably against a Canberra team that is struggling at the bottom of the table.  Broncos are firmly entrenched in the top 8 and will have their full complement of players next week.
For other rugby league scores and news go to nrl.com.

The leaderboard at the PGA event the Fedex st Jude Classic is dominated by Swedes with the leader Robert Karlsson and fellow countrymen Frederick Jacobsen and Karl Petersson also in contention.  With one round to play I consider in contention to be within 6 shots as this is the largest deficit that has been overcome before in PGA history.  Karlsson has a one shot lead over Harrison Frazer (USA) and a 3 shot lead over John Merrick (USA).  There are 11 players within 6 shots of the lead.  Unfortunately no Aussies in this groups but Greg Chalmers had a great round yesterday to put him at 3 under.
For other scores and news including shot tracker which I use to follow scores go to http://www.pgatour.com/)

Later on today the Mavericks look to close out the NBA finals v the Heat down in Miami.  The Heat of home court for the finals 2 games just like the Lakers last year who managed to close it out.  Can the Heat hold on or will the Mavs win their first title?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday morning recap - Bruins, Red Sox, rugby league and more

What a crushing loss for the Bruins last v the Canucks in Stanley Cup game 5.  Yet another close loss in Vancouver and the goal was scored in the 3rd period by the annoying (if you are a Bruins fan) Lapierre who has been an agitator all series (only his 2nd goal of the playoffs).  Tim Thomas played great in goal but so did the Canucks' goalie Luongo after a couple of embarassing losses in Boston.  Now the Bruins must win back in Boston to save the series on Monday night and go back to Vancouver on Wednesday and win there which they have not done yet. (I get all the NHL news at nhl.com)

The Red Sox are on a roll lately and racked up their 7th straight win against the Blue Jays last night.  Gutsy effort by Bucholtz sealed the win and another 2 RBIs by Adrain Gonzalez sealed the 5-1 win.  Pedroia and Ellsbury also chipped in with 3 hits.  Yankkes also win so they are still 2 games behind in the AL East while the Rays loss causes them to slip 4 games behind the Red Sox.
(I get all the MLB news at mlb.com)

Early this morning US EST the North Queensland Cowboys were beat by the Manly Sea Eagles in Australian rugby league action.  Disappointed that the Queensland team lost but it is a tough week for teams with State of Origin players (which is on Wednesday) particularly NQ who has 2 key players, Jonathan Thurston and Matt Scott that did not play.  I really can't understand why the NRL teams play during these State of Origin weeks, not really fair for those teams that have a lot of players such as the Broncos and sSt George.  But the NRL wants the money from those games I guess. The Brisbane Broncos play the Canberra Raiders tomorrow without a host of players including Lockyer, Thaiday, Hannant, Parker, Yow Yeh.  Anyway both the Broncos and Cowboys have had decent seasons to date and look to be in good position at this stage to make the final 8.
(I get all my rugby league news at nrl.com)

Currently watching the Reds game against the Force and the 2nd half has just started.  Reds are behind by 2 pts and I have to say they are lucky it is that close.  With the Super rugby finals only a couple of weeks away the Reds had better sharpen up if they have any thoughts of taking the title this year.
(I get all my rugby news from http://www.superxv.com/)

The Fedex St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis heads into the weekend and the final 2 rounds.  A bunch of Aussies have made the cut but only Nick O'Hern is in touch with the leader Robert Karlson at this stage (6 shots behind).  But today will be an important day to sort out who can get into contention.
(I get all my PGA golf news from http://www.pgatour.com/)

Friday, June 10, 2011

What's happening in my sports world this weekend -- Bruins, Red Sox, Reds, Broncos, Cowboys and more

By far the biggest event this weekend is going to be tonight's Stanley Cup game 5 Bruins v Canucks in Vancouver.  I am so fired up for this game!!!!!  A Bruins win will put them in a great position for Monday night's game back in Boston.

Red Sox have really hit their stride lately and are coming off an impressive sweep of the Yankees.  The play the Blue Jays in Toronto this weekend.  Tonight's game may be tough to see much of with the Bruins game on, will watch the first hour though starting at 7pm until the Bruins game starts.  Saturday and Sunday's games are at 1pm.  Yankees play the Indians while the Rays play the Orioles.

Only 2 rounds to go in Super 15 Rugby and the Reds have had a great season.  Tomorrow morning EST they play the Western Force in Perth so it is at the US friendly time of 8am.  I will probably be up early anyway to watch the North Queensland Cowboys play Manly Sea Eagles in Rugby League action at 5:30 am (maybe the 2nd half).  Will have to set up the computer and headphones for that one.  The Brisbane Broncos play the Canberra Raiders on Sunday, my hometown team Brisbane will be without many of their stars who will be playing for Queensland on Wednesday.

In the NBA finals the Heat under all sorts of pressure now that the Mavericks have a 3-2 lead in the series.  On Sunday the Mavs will look to close out the series.  We all know that Wade has what it takes but can he get any help from LeBron and Bosh to save the series?  Game not to be missed on Sunday night!

Today is moving day at the Fedex St Jude Classic and players are scrambling to make the cut and play on the weekend.  As it stands right now it looks like a bunch of Aussies will make the cut inlcuding Allenby, Senden, Ogilvy, Pampling, Chalmers, Price, O'Hern, Percy.  Of these guys maybe O'Hern who is at 3 under and 6 shots behind the leader Karlson may have a chance.  But stranger things have happened on the tour thats for sure!

Quick mention about a big cycling race that happening in France the Critérium du Dauphiné which is considered a warm up race for the Tour de France.  Aussie Cadel Evans is currently in second place overall behind Bradley Wiggins.  Only 2 stages left and the race ends on Sunday.  Could this be Cadel's year to win the Tour de France?  It may be one of his last chances.

These are teams that I will be watching this weekend: Bruins, Red Sox, Reds,  Brisbane Bronocs, NQ Cowboys.  Check back on Monday for a video report on how they performed!

On my sports calendar today - Bruins, Red Sox, Gold Coast Titans and more

Another beautiful day here in Boston!  Not as hot as yesterday but sunny.  Not happy that the thunderstorm last night caused the cancellation of our touch rugby games.

Another HUGE game for the Bruins tonight.  They really have some momentum now after 2 wins at home and they head out to Vancouver full of confidence for game 5.  I'll be glued to the TV screen tonight and cheering for a Bruins win.

The Red Sox now have the lead in the AL East after a sweep over the Yankees!  Nothing better than beating the Yankees and to sweep is just the best.  Even better is the fact that it is the second sweep of the year.  Hard to find too much fault in the Red Sox these days, after a rough start they have really hit their stride.  Still quite early but the Red Sox have a 2 game lead over the Yankees and 3 games over the Rays in the AL East.  Sure it will be a battle for the rest of the year.  David Ortiz with 15HR so far this year is really benefting from having Adrain Gonzalez in the line up who has a league tying 55 RBIs so far this season.

Got to mention a great win by the Gold Coast Titans over the St George-Illawarra Dragons early this morning Boston time.  Managed to get up early enough to catch the second half and was great to see the Titans get up for a win.  The Titans have struggled this year while it is only the second loss for St George who are on top of the table.

Right now I am watching Aussie Lleyton Hewitt play Kohlschreiber in the QFs at the Gary Weber Open in Halle, Germany.  Still in the first set and looks like a tight game.  Hewitt got a break in the first round, he was scheduled to play Federer who withdrew.

Another full sports day with the main event definately the Bruins v Canucks later tonight.  GO BRUINS!