New York Mets: Jacob deGrom’s Chase for a Back to Back Cy Young

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom has quietly walked his way back into the Cy Young conversation. After the Yankees hit around Hyun-Jin Ryu over the weekend, the Mets ace has a good chance to take home the award over the final month of the season.

Since May started, deGrom has thrown 136 innings with a 2.12 ERA and 162 strikeouts and only allowed 10 home runs. deGrom has turned it on when the Mets really needed it during the second half of the season. He has a 1.04 ERA, only allowed one home run and opposing hitters are slugging .228 against him.

How Can He Win the Cy Young?

deGrom is currently pitching better than the 2018 deGrom who won the award. He has been doing it against good competition too. If he can lead the Mets into the postseason and continue to pitch at his current rate, deGrom will put himself in a good spot to win a Cy Young award for the second straight season.

deGrom had gained ground in the race thanks to back to back rough starts from Ryu. Ryu is still the front runner for the award, but September will ultimately decide who the winner is. Max Scherzer’s stints on the IL takes him away from the front of the race. Mike Soroka is more of a dark horse, the same way Aaron Nola was last season. Soroka will likely finish in the top three but will not win the award.

Clayton Kershaw has also brought himself back into the race, but Ryu’s consistency outshines Kershaw’s resurgence. The Cy Young race will seem to be a two man race between Ryu and deGrom through the season’s end and both are trending in opposite directions heading towards September.

New York Giants: Division Rival Starting Receiver On The Trade Block

The New York Giants are no stranger to busted first-round draft picks. Ereck Flowers and Eli Apple are two from recent memory, but the list goes on through the franchise’s lengthy history. Draft busts are obviously not exclusive to the Giants though.

Some teams refuse to give up on their draft picks, despite lackluster production. In fact, one team within the Giants’ division has been going through this dilemma over the past couple of years. However, seems like the Washington Redskins have finally given up on Josh Doctson.

Josh Doctson Stats And Highlights

The Washington Redskins are looking to trade Josh Doctson after a disappointing start to his career. Doctson was the 22nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. So far, Doctson has not lived up to the hype.

The 6 foot 2-inch wide receiver out of TCU has not been the premier receiver that Washington hoped he would evolve into. Doctson has dealt with injuries in his career, playing in only 2 games during his 2016 rookie season. In a healthier past two seasons, Josh still has not reached primary receiver production.

In 2017, Doctson caught 35 of his 78 targets and totaled only 502 yards with 6 touchdowns. He received the same number of targets in 2018 and improved to a catch total of 44. He also improved his yardage total with 532 receiving yards in 2018 but was not in the end zone as often with only 2 touchdowns.

Josh Doctson was a dominant force in college. In his 2015 senior season, Doctson caught 78 passes for 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns. He deserved the first-round selection but has not demonstrated this talent in the NFL. Could a change of scenery get Doctson to live up to the college hype?

Should The Giants Trade For Him?

The Giants had a rocky start to training camp with wide receivers dropping like flies. Corey Coleman tore his ACL on the first day of practice, ruling him out for the season. On that same day, Sterling Shepard broke his thumb. Then, only a couple of weeks later, Golden Tate was suspended for four games.

The Giants will be without Tate to start the 2019 season. Many fans suggested that the Giants sign a veteran receiver to fill in for Golden Tate, but the team made no such move. Instead, the Giants decided to stick with their current receiver depth chart through the preseason.

The Giants’ receiving corps has looked like one of the team’s strengths in the preseason. In addition, Sterling Shepard has had a strong recovery from his thumb injury and will be ready to play week one. With a healthy Shepard coming back soon, and plenty of talented backup receivers like T.J. Jones and Bennie Fowler, the Giants are unlikely to make this trade.

Josh Doctson had tons of potential coming out of college. Unfortunately for him, he has not been able to transform into the star receiver that Washington hoped he would. The Giants might not have Odell Beckham Jr. anymore, but they are not desperate for receivers like some might think. Plenty of young guys have made plays in the preseason and Cody Latimer has proven to be a serious deep threat. The Giants receiving corps has enough depth to get through the 2019 regular season.

New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr.’s 3rd Year Leap

Dennis Smith Jr. could be the potential future at point guard for the New York Knicks.  Smith Jr. has been putting in work this off-season to be that guy.

The biggest concern was his shot.  Smith Jr. has working on his shot to improve his shooting percentage, which was less than 40% from the field.  Correcting his shot was the first step in being the Knicks future point guard.

This summer there has been multiple videos of showing Smith Jr.’s progress with this shot.  Through all the videos, you can see that his shot looks more polished.  His right arm is tucked and the release looks clean, getting good air under the shot.  There was a hitch in his shot, which appears to be corrected.

Recently, Smith Jr. played in a Pro-Am, along with Aaron Gordan, where he dropped 50 points.  The video shows Smith Jr. with a lot of hop in his game, while also showing his ‘new-improved’ jumper.  Yes, it is only a pick-up game, but it is good to see that his hard work seems to be paying off.

Fans know that he has the potential to jump out of the gym and display some ‘wow’ moments.  But, putting those corrections into a real game will be the test.

Some point guards make this ‘third year jump or leap’, as some would like to call it.  Russell Westbrook made that jump in his third year improving his points from 16.1 to 21.9 and his field goal percentage from 41.8 to 44.2.

With all of the potential fixes in his game, Smith Jr. is ready to make that third year leap.  If he is able to carry those corrections to the court this year then he can certainly begin to transform into one of the young elite point guards in the game.  The athletic ability is there, now Smith Jr. needs to perform when it counts.

New York Jets: Could Jachai Polite be Released?

The New York Jets drafted Jachai Polite in the third-round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Earlier this summer I did an article raving about Jachai Polite of the New York Jets and how eventually he would be looked at as a brilliant move by the old front office regime. As the cut day looms, there is a chance that just like the regime that drafted him, Polite could be on his way out. It seems so crazy, but there are a few reasons why Polite has seen such a sudden fall in his career.

Attitude

One of the biggest problems that multiple scouts noticed with him was his attitude. “He seemed almost as though he thought he was better than everyone else when he wasn’t” was a sentiment often alluded to by scouts. Polite seems to lack passion and drive and that’s a poor thing to lack because at some point as he is seeing, it will shine through and outshine his play. However with all these concerns the Jets still took a shot on him yet, even now he seems to lack a fire to fight for his spot. Attitude needs to improve in the long haul for Polite.

No Loyalty

This aspect isn’t really about Polite but about the powers that be. When Polite was selected it was by the old regime as I have reiterated. That means Joe Douglas and the new front office regime don’t have any ties to Polite. He had to truly prove his worth despite being an early pick. Ultimately he hasn’t shined enough to move up from the third team but according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, he may not even have done enough to make the roster. It’s tough starting with a clean slate it can be a nightmare or a major benefit. It has been a nightmare for Polite.

Performance

Ultimately, all doubts can be dispelled with a strong performance. Polite just hasn’t done that yet. I do believe he deserves more of an opportunity to prove himself but if his play has really been that much of a disappointment to the front office and coaching staff then he may be leaving the New York Jets before he even got comfortable. He needs to step up soon and dispel all doubt and give himself time to improve his skillset and become the pass rusher I and much others think he could be.

What must the New York Knicks do to make the playoffs next season?

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks made significant efforts to bolster their team this offseason by signing Julius Randle and Marcus Morris, but the catalyst to success during the 2019-20 season is ultimately rookie, RJ Barrett.

The Duke star enters the team with high expectations, despite struggling during Summer League play. He’s a prolific scorer that will earn starting minutes in hopes of him adapting to the speed and physicality of the NBA. Struggles are imminent, and he will see his fair share throughout the regular season, but his influence needs to be positive for the Knicks to reach the playoffs.

Is it too optimistic to believe the Knicks can realistically make a playoff appearance next season? Or are we doomed for another lackluster display of inefficient scoring and lousy defense?

Aside from Barrett succeeding being an absolute necessity for the Knicks to have a good year, multiple other factors must align for them to make a surprise postseason appearance. The most significant is that their youth players must take a considerable step forward.

Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, and Dennis Smith Jr. must all have productive campaigns. Both Robinson and Knox look prepared to elevate their game, and Smith Jr. has worked tirelessly to improve his jump shot and perimeter efficiency. Trier has refined his three-point shooting and will look to attempt more shots from behind the arc next season.

The improvement of these five players will ultimately be an essential part of the Knicks winning games consistently. Another crucial piece to the puzzle will be Julius Randle, who the knicks signed not only to be their most effective scorer but a de-facto leader as well.

As the consensus best player on the Knicks, Randle has plenty of expectation to live up to, and it will start on the offensive side of the ball. The Knicks have the talent to be a playoff-caliber team, but they have too much inexperience and youth to guarantee they can be a contender.

New York Yankees: The Main Concerns Heading into October

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees just came off a huge statement series win against the Los Angeles Dodgers where they took two out of three games from them. They proved that they really are the best team in baseball. However, there are a few lingering concerns heading into October.

Injuries

Not a surprise here, but the injuries have been apparent all season long. It’s gotten to a point where it’s expected to have at least one player go down every series. The New York Yankees will want their guys Edwin Encarnacion, Giancarlo Stanton, and Luke Voit consistently in their lineup. Luis Severino’s return would be huge for the Yankee pitching staff, regardless of what role he falls into. Dellin Betances’ return would also give the already-strong Yankee bullpen even more depth.

The lineup

There have been so many players who have contributed this year that making a lineup for the postseason will be a challenge for manager Aaron Boone. Guys like Mike Ford and Mike Tauchman took the team by storm this season where they showed out offensively. It’ll be tough getting those guys at-bats while keeping the stars and veterans in as well.

Triple-A callups

Yes, basically the whole current team is triple-A call-ups due to injuries. However, the New York Yankees will be allowed a 40-man roster once September 1st passes so that means they’ll have to analyze more potential callups. Guys like Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia, and Kyle Higashioka are some of the big names for a possible September promotion. Take a look at this article, where I evaluated two players who I think should definitely be on the roster come September 1st.

New York Knicks: Top 3 positives Julius Randle brings to the Knicks

New York Knicks, Julius Randle

The New York Knicks might have struck out on superstars like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this offseason, but they did manage to convince several quality veterans to join the ranks.

Players such as Marcus Morris and Julius Randle highlighted the slew of signings made by the desperate Knicks; a team packed full of youth and inexperience. However, the newfound veterans are already leaving their mark, especially Randle.

Taking a look at the top 3 positives New York Knicks’ Julius Randle brings to the team:

1.) Leadership

Right off the bat, Randle has been an excellent leader, talking with positivity and aspirations for the 2019-20 season. He’s been working hard this offseason to help prepare himself and his teammates to compete in one of the most intimidating places in the league — Madison Square Garden.

Recently, Randle promoted young center Mitchell Robinson and his potential in the NBA.

“‘When we played I was like, ‘who is this kid?’ Cause every time I went to the basket he was coming out of nowhere. I’m like, ‘Yo, what’s going on?’” Randle told Ian Begley of SNY. “I had no clue who he was. He has so much potential now he’s only scratching the surface and I’m excited to get, on the court with him.”

As a five-year veteran, the former New Orleans Pelican brings plenty of experience and knowledge to the Knicks. He will not only be a leader but a mentor as well.

2.) Scoring production

Randle immediately becomes the Knicks top offensive player. Last season, he averaged 21.4 points per game in a secondary role behind Anthony Davis. The Knicks are expecting him to be a premier player in that facet, and that’s precisely what he will be.

Averaging 30.6 minutes per game, I expect that number to increase in New York, and Randle has been training for that expectation. More minutes, in theory, equals more points.

3.) Franchise image

Not only is Randle a leader and mentor, but he’s a humanitarian. He’s a perfect face for the franchise, as he’s always found giving back and doing good for society. That’s an underrated factor that New Yorkers love to see, second to winning.

Just last week, the Knicks’ marquee signing was handing backpacks to kids at a festival in the iconic Harlem Park. Being a part of the culture and society of NYC is essential for a big-name player, and Randle has taken the bull by the horns and stepped right into the concrete jungle with confidence.

New York Giants: 3 surprise roster cut candidates

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

The New York Giants are inching closer to their final preseason game of the year against the New England Patriots. While that’s a great thing for fans patiently waiting for the start of the regular season, fringe-roster players are still playing for their livelihoods.

Here are three surprise cuts for the New York Giants:

1.) CB Sam Beal

The Giants’ Supplemental Draft pick from 2018 has yet to play in a regular-season game let alone a preseason matchup this year. He missed all of his rookie season with a predisposed shoulder injury that required surgery. Now that his shoulder is healed, his hamstring has been acting up.

His lack of experience in a live-action setting could force the Giants to cut him and allocate the roster spot towards a player with actual, proven value. This would undoubtedly be a surprise but justifiable.

2.) LB B.J. Goodson

At this point in Goodson’s career, he seems to be losing value with every passing day. Injuries have hurt his development and consistency, and Ryan Connelly, the rookie out of Wisconsin, has taken full advantage of that.

Connelly has been working with the starting team in the absence of Alec Ogletree, and Goodson has been seeing time with the second and third-string defense. His influence last year isn’t noteworthy, and it seems as if his time as a Giant could be coming to an end. The only reason head coach Pat Shurmur would keep him around is because of the lack of depth at the linebacker position and his familiarity with DC James Bettcher’s scheme.

3.) RB Paul Perkins

With 546-yards rushing to his name, Perkins is a glorified scat-back. His minimal power and high injury risk make him a waste of a roster spot. This might not be a surprise cut, but his value is next to none on a Giants team with plenty of talent at the running back position.

Behind Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman, Perkins and Rod Smith have been battling it out for a third-string roster spot. Smith is the more wise choice that can help Gallman and Barkley refine the mental aspects of their game, which makes him a more valuable option.

Perkins once had a ton of potential, but his production would come from the passing game, and the Giants don’t need him with Barkley and Gallman more than capable of succeeding in that facet.

New York Yankees: J.A Happ Produces a Quality Start in Monday’s Victory Over the Mariners

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

Well, this article is going to begin rather awkwardly. If you haven’t obtained the opportunity to read my article from earlier, I’ll fill you in. J.A. Happ has severely struggled this season for the New York Yankees, which isn’t a surprise to anyone. Happ has had major issues remaining consistent and has performed at a mediocre level at best. However, he proved many individuals wrong on Monday night, including myself.

While wins and losses don’t signify any importance, especially when a pitcher’s stats are below average, Happ bounced back from his last outing and pitched adequately. Through 5 solid innings of work, Happ gave up 2 hits, 3 runs, walked 3 and struck out 7 on 95 pitches. Although his 2.69 BB/9, 2.15 HR/9 and 20.3 % HR/FB remain a constant concern, this was an excellent performance from Happ, compared to a signification amount of starts in the past.

The offense, on the other hand, powered in 5 runs, including a pair of home runs collected by Mike Ford and a solo shot collected by Gleyber Torres. The Bronx Bombers released their inner domination in the top of the 2nd. Torres led the charge at T-Mobile Park, absolutely obliterating a solo homer to deep center field, traveling 438 feet with an exit velocity of 108.5 MPH. If that’s not the pure definition of a moonshot, I’ll just stand in my corner and remain speechless. Austin Romine recorded the 2nd run of the inning, driving in an RBI single to left field. Ford, easily the MVP of Monday night’s game, hammered a 2-run blast to right field, traveling 339 feet with an exit velocity of 91.0 MPH.

Happ endured a minor blow in the bottom of the 2nd, giving up a 3-run homer off the bat of Dylan Moore, cutting the deficit to a 1-run ballgame. The Yankees tacked on their last run of the game in the top of the 4th. Ford absolutely destroyed his 2nd home run of the game to deep right field, traveling 399 feet with an exit velocity of 97.9 MPH. The Mariners recorded 1 more run in the bottom of the 7th. Nestor Cortes Jr. was responsible for giving up a solo homer off the bat of Mallex Smith, cutting the deficit yet again to a 1-run ballgame.

Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman completed the job per usual in the 8th and 9th innings. Kahnle flashed his filthy, unhittable changeup, while Chapman pumped gas and utilized his disgusting slider. Combined, they allowed no hits and struck out 4 on 23 pitches.

With a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees possess an 86-47 (.647) record, which is the best in the American League and tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best in the MLB. On Tuesday night, Masahiro Tanaka will battle Yusei Kikuchi (both Japanese-born players) and on Wednesday night, James Paxton will battle Justus Sheffield (poetry at its finest.)

New York Giants News, 8/27 – Giants lose rookie WR to injury again

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

I wish I had better news on a Tuesday Giants fans, but rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton has once again tweaked his previously injured hamstring.

As if it wasn’t enough to miss the first two games of the preseason, Slayton figured he would re-injure his hamstring just in time for the showdown versus the New England Patriots. Maybe he’s smart given his automatic spot on the roster and desire to stay healthy for the regular season.

The more likely reality is he’s simply injury prone and has a nagging hamstring ailment, a muscle grouping that’s very difficult to heal while under consistent strain.

Luckily for the Giants, top pass-catcher Sterling Shepard is finally without a splint on his fractured thumb and seems to be working his way back nicely. He should have the green-light to suit up against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington week one. However, at this rate, it seems as if Slayton could be left behind, which could give alternatives like Brittan Golden and Allonzo Russell a shot at redemption.

Both Golden and Russell are battling it out for a reserve spot on the roster, but it seems as if the former has the advantage given his punt-returning abilities.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ position-by-position breakdown: Assessing the 90-man roster as cuts loom

Zach Braziller (NY Post) – This may be Giants’ last look at Daniel Jones before team is his

Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) – Preseason grades, Week 3: Daniel Jones rolls, Kyler Murray solid

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Darius Slayton, Sam Beal not practicing as cuts loom