Odell Beckham: “Feels Like I Can Go For A Thousand Yards”

Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the players that needs to step up big time for the New York Giants. It’s not that Beckham has been bad. Far from it. There’s not a team in the league that would turn down the services of Beckham, if they could somehow add him to their roster without the salary cap coming into effect.

But we don’t live in a world without a salary cap, and the Giants are expecting more out of Beckham because of the massive extension that he signed earlier this year. That contract gives Beckham more guaranteed money than any receiver in history, and through he first four weeks, Beckham hasn’t put up the numbers of someone who will make that much.

The point isn’t to bash Beckham, it’s that higher paid players need to make more contributions to make their contracts worth it. Beckham has 331 yards so far, but despite the numbers not looking bad on the surface level, he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet and that’s the main point brought up by his critics at this point.

Beckham has had double-digit touchdowns in every season except for his last one, where he was injured early on when he had three touchdowns. But going into the game against Carolina, we’ll be past the mark where Beckham was injured last year, and he’ll enter the game without scoring. Still, despite having three less touchdowns than he did at the same point last year, Beckham is confident.

“That’s just the way I’m built, that’s just my mentality is I always feel like I can do the most, feels like I can go for a thousand yards every game, not literally, but it’s just how I feel. I don’t feel like I’ve been stopped,” the receiver said recently. “I just don’t feel like I can be covered. I’ve worked an entire offseason to be able to bring the best me to this team, and I just want to be able to do that.”

It’s a bold claim, but if Beckham can back it up against the Panthers, the Giants will have a much better chance of winning. After all, his two best statistical games were a close loss and a win, while the two losses where Beckham didn’t put up more than 100 yards weren’t very competitive. If the Giants pull out a win, the early season trends say that Beckham will have 100 yards or over.

But will that happen, or while the star receiver be covered well by a secondary that will certainly have a focus on him? We’ll see. It depends on whether or not the Giants passing attack can exploit every opportunity that does manage to come around. After all, that’s what Beckham himself said about how the Giants can improve.

“There’s opportunities, there’s not opportunities. It’s just about taking advantage of the opportunities that are there.”

Giants’ Damon Harrison Reacts To Return Of Olivier Vernon

The return of New York Giants‘ top pass rusher, Olivier Vernon, will surely provide the boost they need on defense to create some much needed turnovers on Sunday against the Panthers. Week 5 will present virtually the Giants’ last chance at climbing back into the NFC East race. Surprisingly, they’re only one game out from the Eagles (2-2), Cowboys (2-2), and Redskins (2-1).

If the rest of the division loses, which is certainly possible as the Eagles play the Vikings, Cowboys the Texans, and Redskins the Saints, the Giants will be in a solid position moving forward. But, again, they must win the next game against GM Dave Gettleman’s former club.

What New York Giants’ Damon Harrison had to say about Olivier Vernon:

Defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison made it very clear that having Vernon back will be a game-changing reality, according to the NY Post:

“It’ll be a nice surprise for the Panthers, if we can get him back,” the Giants tackle said Thursday. “That [means] everything. That’s the Terminator. [He] can do it all. … That’s not a discredit to the other guys, but [he’s] just a different animal.

Vernon has been out with a high ankle sprain since August 26, and his absence has been felt. Rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill has been the Giants’ best pass-rusher to date, and not to discredit his success thus far, but Vernon is in a different stratosphere in terms of ability.

In the past two years with Big Blue, Vernon has amassed 101 tackles and 15 total sacks. He’s one of the league’s most efficient pass-rushers in terms of QB pressures and hits, despite his sack totals being questionable. After making the transition to outside linebacker in the 4-3 defense, it’s expected that he will have more sack production off the edge. Hopefully, that assumption will be true in his first live action.

New York Yankees: ALDS Preview Versus The Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

You can breathe now New York Yankees fans. They beat Oakland in the AL Wild Card Game and now have an ALDS matchup against Boston starting tomorrow. I’m here to break it down.

Pitching: In what came as a surprise to nobody, J.A Happ was announced to be the Starter for Game 1 against Chris Sale and the Red Sox and Masahiro Tanaka in Game 2 against David Price. The rest of the rotation hasn’t been announced yet, but I think Wild Card Stater Luis Severino will start on regular rest against Rick Porcello, and C.C Sabathia in Game 4 against former Yankee, Nathan Eovaldi.

Happ has a great track record against Boston with a career 2.98 ERA against the Red Sox and a 3.27 ERA in Fenway. Sale has established himself has one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, but struggled in the postseason last year and saw his velocity dip in every start since coming off the DL. Tanaka has struggled against the Red Sox this year, but he has a 1.44 ERA in four career playoff starts.

Price has struggled both against the Yankees and in the playoffs with a ERA’s close to five. Severino pitched four shutout innings allowing only two hits against Oakland and Porcello has a 5.47 career playoff ERA. Porcello also has mixed result against the Yankees. He has pitched good against them overall, but struggles at Yankee Stadium. This year he pitched 18 innings of one run ball in three starts against the Yankees at Fenway, but gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings in his only start at Yankee Stadium.

Eovaldi has dominated the Yankees this year with a 1.93 ERA in four starts against the Yankees. C.C has been shaky against the Red Sox this year but overall pitches better at Yankee Stadium.

The pitching matchups could change depending on the first two games. If it is 1-1, we might see C.C pitch Game 3 so the Yankees can save Severino for Game 4. If the Red Sox down 2-1, you could see them bring back Sale on short rest, or at least make him available out of the bullpen.

The Yankees also have a better bullpen. There bullpen has a 3.38 ERA, while Boston’s bullpen only has a 3.74 ERA. Aroldis Chapman is back in the Closer role for the Yankees. After letting up a home run in his return from the DL, he has pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. They have a solid bridge featuring Zack Britton, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Chad Green. The Red Sox have an elite closer in Craig Kimbrel, but their bridge is not as strong.

Advantage: Yankees

Offense: The Yankees and Red Sox have two of the most prolific offenses in Major League Baseball. The Yankees broke the record for single season home runs and the Red Sox are led by MVP candidates J.D Martinez and Mookie Betts.  The Red Sox have other good offensive players like Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts, but the Yankees have a deeper lineup overall.

The stars Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Martinez, and Betts are going to hit. Stanton and Judge have hit a combine .360 with 10 HR’s and 27 RBI’s against Boston. Bets and Martinez have a combined 7 HR’s and 35 RBI’s. The X-Factor’s for the series are Gary Sanchez and Steve Pearce. Sanchez has slumped this year, but batting .303 with 8 Home runs in 18 career games at Fenway. Pearce is a Yankee killer. He is hitting .288 with 15 career home runs in 64 games against the Yankees.

Advantage: Yankees

Fielding, Base running, and Managing: Managing is almost even.  Both teams have rookie managers and won over 100 games. The have the clear advantage in baserunning. Three of their regulars have more stolen bases than Brett Gardner, who leads the Yankees in stolen bases with 16.  However, the Yankees have a big advantage defensively. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Red Sox are last among all playoff teams with -26 defensive runs saved. That is 50 less than the Yankees who have 24.  The biggest culprits are Bogaerts, Eduardo Nunez, and Rafael Devers are a combined -51. Nunez and Devers will like platoon, as will Ian Kinsler  and Brock Holt at second.

Advantage: Yankees Fielding, Red Sox baserunning, managing even

Prediction: I think overall the Yankees matchup better against Boston than any of the other teams in the American League playoffs. They lost the regular season series 10-9, but they are 8-6 with Judge in the lineup against Boston and would have avoided the four game sweep in early August had Andujar made a good throw to first in the 9th inning on Sunday night. I think most of the pitching matchups favor us, especially since Chris Sale doesn’t appear to be physically right.  While I like the matchup, I think Betts will end his postseason struggles and winning 108 games is hard. I think the two teams will return to Yankee Stadium tied at one and the Yankees make the most of their home field advantage games 3 and 4.

Result: Yankees in 4