New York Giants: Evan Engram Receives Big Praise From NFL Scout

Which player on the New York Giants is the best one outside of Saquon Barkley? The answer isn’t very clear cut – the Giants have a lot of potential impact makers this season but don’t quite have a lot of star power outside of their running back, who looks to be one of the most popular and respected running backs in the league despite only having one year of experience under his belt.

With players like Landon Collins and Damon Harrison gone from the defense and Odell Beckham Jr. notably gone from the offense this season, it’s hard to project just where the team’s stars are outside of Barkley. After all, many players expected to step up this season such as Sterling Shepard on offense and Lorenzo Carter on defense are still relatively unproven when compared to other players who have more preexisting success.

According to one veteran NFL scout who spoke to NJ Advance Media, however, the best player on the Giants outside of Barkley isn’t someone at a position that one might expect, and it’s not Shepard, even if Shepard did sign a big four year deal to become the team’s arguable top receiver.

The best player on the team other than Barkley is a tight end, specifically Evan Engram, according to this scout.

“It’s Evan Engram. He’s a playmaker. He’s got speed and great hands,” the scout elaborated.

It’s something of a strange choice considering the tight end’s history, following up a promising first season with a second season that saw production slashed and usage in the lineup drop, but to Engram’s credit, much of the problems last season were because of injury.

With the Giants receiver group having a lot of potential to either rise or flop this season, there is room for Engram to take advantage of the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. depending on just how well the receivers live up to that task this year. But Engram will have to compete with receivers Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate for chances to catch the ball, and will have to get in the lineup in the first place, which could be a challenge if the coaching staff continue to prefer other options as they did during the back end of last season.

We’ll see soon whether or not Engram takes a step forward this season or not – whether he does could impact his future with the team.

The New York Yankees Only Have A Shot At Acquiring Marcus Stroman

Are the New York Yankees interested in trading for Blue Jays pitcher, Marcus Stroman?

It is very likely that the New York Yankees will be making a move by July 31st to acquire a starting pitcher. Rumors have been swirling around, but the only pitcher the Yankees could possibly get is Marcus Stroman.

Seven strong

On Friday against the Detroit Tigers, Marcus Stroman had another good outing, showcasing his talents. Yes, the Tigers are the worst team in baseball, but Stroman blanked them over seven innings, allowing six hits and punching out five.

He threw 101 pitches, and he averages about 100 pitches an outing.

If the Yankees got him, they wouldn’t need him to do nearly as much. All they would need is six solid innings, and he could get away with making a few bad pitches and giving up a few runs. With him being on a team like Toronto, there becomes more pressure on your pitcher to pitch well.

Stroman now has an ERA of 3.06 on the season.

Why not other guys?

There has also been interest surrounding guys like Madison Bumgarner, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Minor.

It seems that Bumgarner and Bauer may be off the table for any trades, period. Both the Giants and the Indians are playing better baseball of late, and could be in contention for a wild card spot So, those two teams wouldn’t be selling at the deadline, they would try to buy.

The Rangers are also in position for a possible wild card spot, but are more open to trades. Minor has struggled in July, so maybe the Yankees should put Minor on the back-burner.

There is only one pitcher that the Yankees have a shot at acquiring, and it’s Marcus Stroman. Other teams just aren’t in the right position to sell at the trade deadline.

 

 

 

New York Knicks players in FIBA World Cup

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks will have some participants in the upcoming FIBA basketball World Cup this August to September.

Third year guard Frank Ntilikina will participant for the France national team and RJ Barrett should play for Canada.

Both players are projected to start for their national teams.  This will be good for both of these players to get more play in before the NBA season starts.

It will especially good for the development of both players.

Barrett struggled in his first couple games in the Vegas summer league, but showed promise down the stretch, averaging a double-double.  However, his shooting percentage was very sub-par.

Ntilikina continues to work this off-season and appears to have gotten taller and has improved his dribbling and shot. While all the videos of Ntilikina look great, fans, especially myself, need to see Frank perform in the game.

Fans are very happy that the Knicks did not trade Ntilikina. Why trade Ntilikina for a second round pick when he continues to put the work towards getting better.  It was a wise decision to keep Ntilikina.

Playing in FIBA basketball World Cup is going to be a positive for these two young developing Knicks.  Fans have very high hopes for Barrett and are praying Ntilikina can finally break through and perform like we all envision.

New York Yankees: Aaron Judge Has Been Dynamite Since All-Star Break

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge has been on an absolute tear since the all-star break. He has been leading the team on both offense and defense, and the team continues to win because of it.

Hard Singles

Aaron Judge hasn’t been doing a lot of damage when it comes to home-runs, but he continues to just mash singles. He is batting 10-for-24 since the break, a .417 average. He has one home run in the past week, and it happened to be a go-ahead two-run shot against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

Judge has an OPS of almost 1.100, and that stat just proves his dominance. The rule of thumb is that if you have an OPS greater than .800, you’re doing something right. His is almost .300 points higher.

He has also been playing fantastic defense. Despite the fact he missed two months, he has a perfect fielding percentage with three outfield assists, including one this past week on a throw to third base.

He throws the ball so easy and it doesn’t even look like he’s trying, almost confusing base-runners. But, when he throws it, it comes out spicy and it gets the runner in trouble.

And not just that he is playing well, but Judge also has a leadership role in the clubhouse. He needs to be prepared to be an even bigger leader next year once CC and Gardy are both likely gone, and Judge could even end up becoming the first captain since future hall-of-famer Derek Jeter.

Aaron Judge has played fantastic since the all-star break and needs to continue to play at that high level.

New York Mets: The Loss From Thursday Night

The 16-inning thriller between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants ended up in bitter disappointment for the Mets. After Pete Alonso drilled a solo home run in the top of the 16th, the Giants responded with two runs in the bottom half to steal the victory.

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This certainly was the most heartbreaking loss of the season. The game did not finish until 2:32 in the morning on the East Coast. Much like their 18 inning loss in Milwaukee earlier this season, they had to trust an unproven pitcher to close the game out.

Last Man Standing

Chris Mazza was the last man left in the Mets bullpen and had the job of closing out the Giants. He threw two innings the previous day and already pitched a scoreless 15th inning. Mazza looked gassed in the 16th, in which he failed to record a single out. The Mets were also short a reliever because Jacob Rhame was serving his one game suspension for throwing at Rhys Hoskins earlier in the year.

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The Mets bullpen was great Thursday night, regardless of Mazza’s performance. They held the Giants scoreless for 8 straight innings before they broke through to win. The bullpen Mets rose the challenge ahead of them all night, but unfortunately Mazza did not have enough gas to finish it out.

There is Still Hope

A lot of the criticism says Jacob deGrom could have pitched out of the bullpen, but I do not think there was any reason for him to come in. Possibly for the 17th, if it went that far, but the right choice was to give Mazza the opportunity to finish the game out. The Mets are better off trying to rebound and win today with deGrom on the mound and fully rested.

The result yesterday sucks, but they have a great opportunity to rebound tonight. deGrom is facing a pitcher with an ERA over five and deGrom has pitched great over his last few starts. Tonight is a 100 percent a must win for the Mets. They will not be dead in the water if they lose, but the road back to get a split in the series will be a long windy road.

What role will Ignas Brazdeikis play with the New York Knicks this season

New York Knicks, Ignas Brazdeikis

While the New York Knicks selection of R.J. Barrett attracted almost all the fanfare for the Knicks during the NBA Draft on June 20th, 2019, there was also the selection of Ignas Brazdeikis in the second round with the 47th pick.

Brazdeikis, a forward, averaged 15-5-1 on 46/39/77 in his one season of college ball for the University of Michigan basketball team.

Where will the New York Knicks feature the pair?

Many have speculated where Barrett will play, will he play more shooting guard or small forward, and will he start to open off the season or will Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier or Wayne Ellington start at the 2 on opening night.

Here I will examine the answers to those questions but for the Knicks other draft pick, Brazdeikis:

At Michigan, Brazdeikis was utilized as more of a power forward but it is generally believed that he will be more of a small forward in the NBA, mostly due to his build and 6’7 height. However, it is also believed he could play sporadic minutes at power forward, like Kevin Knox.

So how do the New York Knicks stack up at the forward positions where Brazdeikis plays? At Brazdeikis’ secondary position, Power Forward. In maybe the most notable development in the 2018-19 Knicks season, the Knicks traded away star power forward Kristaps Porzingis in a deal that also saw Tim Hardawy Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and two first-round picks.

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This left the Knicks with a hole at that position going forward. As the Knicks let the other power forward on the 2018-19 team, Noah Vonleh and Luke Kornet walk, power forward was to be a major need for the Knicks to fill in free agency, the Knicks marquee signing was Julius Randle, who is a lock to start at the 4 for probably the next two seasons if not more.

Then the Knicks also signed Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris. While the Knicks were mocked by some for signing a high number of power forwards, only Gibson looks to be a lock on play most of his minutes at the 4, as Portis is likely to backup Mitchell Robinson at center, and while Marcus Morris has logged the vast majority of his minutes for the Celtics at Power Foward, he was mostly a small forward the previous four seasons for the Suns and Pistons, which leads the door for him to potentially start for the Knicks at small forward this season.

Speaking of small forward…that is projected as the primary position Brazdeikis will play in the NBA. So how do the Knicks stack up there? Well, 3 players on the Knicks played the majority of their minutes at the 3 last year, Kevin Knox, the team’s first-round draft pick and Damyean Dotson, 2017 second-round pick, and Mario Hezonja, who is now on the Portland Trail Blazers.

Besides that, Reggie Bullock has logged 53% of his career minutes at the 3, but he may miss part of the season and play shooting guard (same for Dotson) when he comes back. (All position playing totals are according to Basketball reference)

So where does that leave Brazdeikis? Well, Randle, Morris, and Knox are definitely ahead of him along with Dotson if the Knicks play him at the 3, and Bullock probably too. That leaves Brazdeikis at best as probably the third-string option behind 4 players to start the season, and there is a possibility he spends some time with the G-league Westchester Knicks.

Both of those things aren’t necessarily bad though, as many second-round picks start off in the same situation. It is imperative that if Brazdeikis gets increased minutes due to Bullock’s injury, he could capitalize on those minutes to put himself in front of Bullock in the pecking order when he returns from injury.

The Role that Ignas Brazdeikis will play for the Knicks in the 2019-19 season is going to be an interesting development to watch and in my opinion, will be one of the more interesting things to watch out for in this season.

 

New York Giants Fans Actually Care, Show Up, And Pack The Stadium At One Of The Highest Rates

The New York Giants‘ fan base has received a shot from one of the NFL’s brightest young stars. 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Baker Mayfield decided to criticize Giants Nation on Wednesday while discussing his new receiver, Odell Beckham Jr.

Baker Mayfield had this to say about the New York Giants fan base:

“He’s here to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is.” – Baker Mayfield

Mayfield seemed to heavily imply that Giants fans do not care, do not show up to every game, and do not pack the stadium. This is not true at all. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

New York Giants Fans Near The Top Of The Attendance Rankings

It is a well-documented fact that the Giants consistently rank near the top of the league in attendance every year. Even over the past two seasons, Giants fans have made their way out to the games, despite their team being well below-average.

In 2017 the Giants went 3-13 and saw multiple star players miss the majority of the season with an injury. Despite this, the Giants still had the third-highest attendance total in 2017. 2018 features more of the same.

The Giants finished the 2018 season a measly 5-11. Still, Giants Nation was strong. New York had the second-highest attendance total in 2018. Through the toughest of times, the Giants play in full stadiums.

Outside of total attendance, the Giants still ranked high in average attendance. 2017 Giants games averaged 77,179 fans per game (4th in the NFL) and 2018 Giants games averaged 76,940 fans per game (4th in the NFL again).

Giants fans show up to every game AND every practice. Weekend practice training camp tickets sold out in less than 3 hours upon release and every ticket was sold out in only three days. This is in 2019, while football fans around the country are trying to claim that the Giants are losing fans and have no future.

There will be plenty of Giants fans excitedly attending training camp next week, showing up, caring, and packing the practice fields. Just like Giants Nations will show up, care, and pack MetLife Stadium this season. Just like they did last season, the season before that, and every season before that.

The Giants are not a premier football team right now. But this does not matter to Giants Nation. Through thick and thin, our Giants Pride stands strong and losing one player will not change that. Giants fans record high attendance rates every season, and that will not change in 2019.

New York Yankees: Why is Luke Voit struggling so much at the plate?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Reasoning Behind New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit’s Struggles at the Plate:

Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. As legend Ted Williams once said, “They throw you a round ball and give you a round bat and tell you to hit it squarely.” Williams made this statement when the average speed of a fastball wasn’t 92.8 mph like in today’s game.

Now, imagine trying to hit a 92.8 mph round ball with a round bat squarely AND being fresh off the injured list. That’s what Luke Voit’s daily task entails and from what it looks like, it’s not easy.

The power-hitting first baseman was injured overseas when the Yankees were battling the Red Sox in MLB’s first games ever to be played in Europe. He left the first game of the two-game set with pain in his lower left abdomen and was placed on the 10-day IL.

Voit was recently reinstated from the IL and has not been his productive self at the plate. He’s only recorded 5 hits in his last 23 at-bats and has one home run since returning. Some may say that Luke Voit doesn’t deserve the #3 spot in the star-studded lineup but all good things take time and moving him down in the lineup could lower his confidence. 

The timing of Voit’s injury was unfortunate considering the Yankees’ upcoming schedule at the time. Not only did the team have to fly across the pond back to New York, but they also traveled to Tampa to take on the Rays the following weekend.

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Voit’s bat also made him a prospective participant of this year’s Home Run Derby in Cleveland during All-Star weekend, (which he obviously could no longer participate in) adding a few extra days for the Missouri native to simply sit and wait. 

This time away from the game could really impact a hitter’s performance at the plate and that’s precisely what happened to Voit. It’s unfair to consider his struggles as a slump when the sample size of at-bats is so small since returning. Seeing pitches and getting re-accustomed after his time off is key for his success at the plate. Yankees fans can expect to see balls bounce off the bat of Luke Voit and back into the seats in the near future. Until then, leave the crazy assumptions about him in your Twitter drafts. 

New York Yankees: How has Clint Frazier been doing?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Ever since the New York Yankees controversially demoted Clint Frazier to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he has batted just .231 with two home runs. He is slugging .396 with just a .276 on-base percentage. With his short time in the majors, Frazier batted .283 with 11 home runs while slugging .513 and a .330 on-base percentage (Baseball Reference). Did the demotion to Triple-A hurt the young slugger’s confidence?

Following the news of Frazier’s demotion on June 16th, he met with media saying, “Yeah, pretty surprised,” Frazier said, adding, “It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s never fun especially with how much I’ve felt like I’ve contributed to this team this year.”

It is apparent that the young slugger is not playing the way he usually does down in the minors. He is batting .158 over his last ten games. Until last night, Frazier had gone 90 at-bats without hitting a home run.

Frazier’s future with the Yankees

General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that the club intends to add at the trade deadline. They could be targeting Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, or someone else. Among other Yankee prospects, Clint Frazier has been the hot topic in trade rumors for the Bombers. An MLB scout ranked 10 Yankee prospects and Clint Frazier landed himself at #2 on the list. Other teams would definitely be interested in acquiring Clint Frazier, as he gives youth and a strong bat in a full-time role.

I personally believe if the Yankees are truly intending to add a starting pitcher at the deadline, Clint Frazier will be traded away. Emotionally, this hurts. Logically, it all makes sense. The Yankees already have so much outfield depth, having a 6th or 7th outfielder won’t do the team any good.

Will the New York Knicks Go Over 27.5 Wins in 2019?

New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr.

The 2019-20 over/under for each NBA team has been set, with Summer League coming to a close. According to the BetOnline AG sportsbook, the New York Knicks’ over/under is set at 27.5. In order to get to 28 wins, and thus, hit the over, the team would have to win 11 more games in 2019-20. Can they do that?

With the signings of Reggie Bullock and Marcus Morris becoming official, New York’s fifteen-man roster is likely set.

Here is that first fifteen for the New York Knicks:

Point Guard: Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina

Shooting Guard: RJ Barrett, Allonzo Trier, Wayne Ellington, Damyean Dotson

Small Forward: Kevin Knox, Reggie Bullock, Ignas Brazdeikis

Power Forward: Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson

Center: Mitchell Robinson, Bobby Portis

With this team, the Knicks clearly lack starpower, but will hope to make up for it with depth.

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Prediction

I think the Knicks will likely hit the over, but not by much. With such a deep team, many of the players are of similar caliber, and so it will be difficult for Coach David Fizdale to manage his rotations. 

That said, New York has a lot of depth, and combined with the young talent, it should push the team to about 30 wins. Part of that will be determined by the play of said youngsters.

If RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson can take a step forward and become legitimate NBA players, this team will get to 30 wins and might push for 40.

It will certainly be interesting to watch the Knicks this year as they unfold what has become known as “Plan B” after the team missed out on the summer’s big free agents.