Dodgers’ crazy Joe Kelly curses out Houston Astros after being suspended

Dodgers, Joe Kelly

About two weeks ago, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly threw at the heads of Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. What ensued was a benches-clearing situation that went against MLB protocols regarding COVID-19.

As Kelly was walking off the mound, he stuck his tongue out at the Astros bench and mocked them. This has been a consistent trend across the league, as most players believe the Astros deserve some sort of consequences for their cheating actions that subsequently won them a World Series title. The players didn’t receive any suspensions, snitching their way out of the situation, Kelly would express on Ross Stripling’s the “Big Swing Podcast.

For throwing out their heads, Kelly was suspended eight games, which social media and players took personally, considering the lack of consequences for the Astros’ players.

“I think I’ll be irritated forever.”

The players subsequently sacrificed their coaches to walk away scott-free.

Despite rumors, Stipe Miocic not planning on retiring after UFC 252

MMA, Stipe Miocic

Tomorrow night, Stipe Miocic (19-3) will defending his heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC). The trilogy fight at UFC 252 will settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in the promotion’s history.

While Cormier has said that tomorrow night will be his last fight, there have been rumors about Miocic. Stipe will turn 38 years old just days after UFC 252. Many have speculated that he could ride off into the sunset with a victory tomorrow night.

If you look at Miocic’s career, there wouldn’t be much left for him to prove if he beats Cormier again. However, Miocic made it clear at the pre-fight press conference that win or lose, he’s not planning on walking away yet.

What would be next in the UFC?

“I think about retirement. But I love what I do. The moment that it starts to feel like a job, I’m out. But right now I’m good and I’m happy,” Miocic told the media.

The next fight in the UFC‘s heavyweight division is very clear. Assuming Miocic sticks to his word that win or lose he’s not retiring, the next title fight should already be setup regardless of tomorrow’s outcome.

The clear number one contender in the heavyweight division is Francis Ngannou (15-3). The Predator has knocked out four straight opponents in a combined time of 2:42. Miocic has already fought and defeated Ngannou once.

A rematch between the two men would be highly anticipated. Ngannou looks to be a completely different fighter than he was before their first fight. Miocic humbled him extremely which has fueled a fire within Ngannou.

Another big fight out there for Miocic would be the showdown with Jon Jones. Jones’ career is in limbo right now while he continues to try to work things out with the UFC. Dana White said he is waiting to hear back, but Jones might be fighting before the end of 2020.

If Miocic wins at UFC 252, the move should be the Ngannou rematch. If he wins that, there should only be one fight left for him. A massive showdown against Jon Jones.

If Miocic can go out by beating Cormier and Ngannou both a second time then going on to defeat Jon Jones, he would have an argument as the GOAT. What we do know is that the heavyweight champion isn’t planning on walking away just yet.

New York Yankees: Chad Green has been underappreciated so far this season

New York Yankees, Chad Green

The New York Yankees are currently 12-6 and are comfortably sitting atop the American League East in first place. Although their starting pitching (besides Cole) would make fans think they’d be somewhere around .500, the team has found a way to score a ton of runs every game to keep them winning.

There have been several players that have flown under the radar so far who have been helping the Yankees a ton and Chad Green is the biggest of them all. I don’t think Yankee fans realize how solid a reliever Green is and he doesn’t get enough credit. The only time fans are talking about him is when he has a bad outing.

Take a look at his game logs up until this point in the season:

7/26 vs. WSH: 2.0 IP, 7 BF, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K

7/29 vs. BAL: 1.0 IP, 4 BF, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K

7/31 vs. BOS: 2.0 IP, 6 BF, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K

8/3 vs. PHI: 0.2 IP, 2 BF, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K

8/5 vs. PHI: 2.1 IP, 7 BF, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K

8/8 vs TB: 1.1 IP, 6 BF, 0 H, 1 ER, 2 K

8/11 vs. ATL: 0.2 IP, 2 BF, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K

8/12 vs. ATL: 1.0 IP, 3 BF, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K

These numbers speak for themselves. Green has been absolutely dominant for the Yankees so far and not enough people are talking about him. In eight outings and 11 IP, Green has allowed just two hits and one earned run. Every time he comes into a game, he consistently pounds the zone and gets guys out. In that time on the mound this year, Green has only issued three walks and has struck out 15 batters.

One of the biggest reasons why Green is so effective on the mound is his ability to throw strikes consistently and get a ton of swing and misses. According to FanGraphs, when Green is in the zone, hitters z-contact % is 77.8% and the average is around 87%. Although he doesn’t get a ton of guys to chase out of the zone, his hard four-seam fastball blows by hitters.

Chad Green has been everything and more for the New York Yankees this season. With a struggling and inconsistent starting rotation, it’s crucial that the bullpen picks up the slack. Green has been doing it all for the Yanks, and fans should expect to without hesitation.

UFC will have a light heavyweight title fight before 2020 is over per Dana White

UFC, Jon Jones

For the last few months, the UFC‘s light heavyweight division has been in a state of limbo. The current champion and pound-for-pound top fighter in the world, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) has been in a dispute with the UFC.

The dispute had to deal with fighter pay. Jones expressed interesting in moving up in weight to fight Francis Ngannou in a super fight, but he wanted a little more money. The UFC said no, and then the public dispute started.

There was a ton of back and forth where people were being called liars. Jones even called for his UFC release due to the talks. Many were left wondering if the UFC would release Jones or at least strip him of his title.

Earlier this week, Dana White said that the promotion had no plans on stripping Jones anytime soon. Recently he also said the promotion would work things out with Jones. He shed a little more light on that with an interview with ESPN.

The UFC’s GOAT returning in 2020?

“We’re making moves on that (the light heavyweight division)… We’re actually waiting to hear back from Jon Jones right now,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

White was later interviewed by The Schmo where he was asked about Jones’ future at light heavyweight. “If he stays at light heavyweight, he’s got to fight Reyes again. You have to see that fight again,” White told The Schmo.

It’s very clear what the UFC‘s plan is if Jon Jones returns to the division he’s reigned over for so long. It appears that the promotion will try to make the rematch with Dominick Reyes (12-1) happen.

The two men fought at UFC 247 back in February and the fight was razor close. Many people didn’t think Jones won the fight. In fact, 14 of 21 journalists scoring the fight, had the fight for Dominick Reyes.

The big question will be if Jones returns to light heavyweight. Maybe Jones just wants to be done with the division. There are plenty of options for him at heavyweight whether it be a fight with Ngannou or a potential fight with Stipe Miocic.

If Jones were to vacate the light heavyweight title, Reyes would be fighting for the vacant title. Reyes would likely take on Jan Blachowicz (26-8) if there were to be a vacant title fight.

Either way, we should see the light heavyweight title contested in the UFC before the end of the year. My guess is that we will see Jon Jones make his return to light heavyweight. I think it’ll be another year before we see a potential move to heavyweight. There’s always that Israel Adesanya fight that’s potentially just a year away at 205.

New York Yankees History: Great Yankee first baseman throughout the years, who is your choice?

The New York Yankees in their rich history have had some really great players.  Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, just to name a few that have been impactful players in the Yankees 117 year history.  Over the years, the Yankee has had no shortage of fine first baseman. He are a few of my top choices.

1. Lou Gehrig:

Lou Gehrig is generally recognized as the Yankee’s most excellent first baseman of all time.  Gehrig for 17 years from 1923-1939 graced first base at Yankee Stadium.  Known for his fine hitting and durability at his position, he was called the “Iron Horse.”  He hit 493 home runs and had 1,995 runs batted in with a career batting average of .340. He still has the highest ratio of runs scored plus runs batted in per 100 plate appearances (35.08) and per 100 games (156.7) among Hall of Fame players.  Gehrig was not just a hitter; he provided stellar defense at first throughout his career.  At one point in his career, he played in 2,130 consecutive games.

Gehrig, as great a player he was for the Yankees he is also known for Lou Gehrig disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  His 1938 stats were well of his 1937 performance, and he knew something was wrong, He was tired.  After a series of tests at the Mayo Clinic, the bad news was delivered to Gehrig.  On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig said goodbye to over 60,000 fans in the stands with his famous “I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech.  The Hall of Fame Gehrig passed away at his home in the Bronx section of New York on June 2, 1941.  Career stats: 17 years .340 with 493 home runs.

2. Don Mattingly

Donny Baseball is one of the most popular Yankees ever, and my pick as the Yankees 2nd greatest first baseman. Don Mattingly spent his entire baseball playing days at first base at Yankee Stadium.  For fourteen years, he snagged balls and defended them at first base.  He made his Yankee major league debut in September of 1982.  He became the full-time first baseman in 1984, a position he held until 1995.

Many thought Mattingly would become the Yankees manager.  That didn’t happen as Joe Torre was selected to manage the Yankees for the next eleven years.  Mattingly did manage, though.  He was a special instructor for the Yankee until 2007.  Before the 2008 season, he was hired to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers, a job he held for seven years.  In 2016 ex-Yankee Derek Jeter selected Donny to manage the Miami Marlins, where he still manages today.  Career stats:  14 years .307 with 222 home runs.

3. Tino Martinez

Constantino “Tino” Martinez is my pick for third-best New York Yankee first baseman.  Tino was not solely a Yankee; he played for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1990 through 2005.

Tino was an excellent defender at first base.  From 1996-2001, the dynasty years, Tino was one of the most impactful players on the team.  He helped the team to four World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.  In 1997 he won the All-Star home run derby.  In 2002 Tino joined the Cardinals, and in 2004, he played a year with the Rays.  In 2005 Tino re-joined the New York Yankees.  During that year, at one point, hi hit five home runs in five consecutive games. Career stats: 16 years .271 with 339 home runs.

4. Mark Teixeira

Mark “Tex” Teixeira held down the first base position from 2009 to 2016.  Not only was he stellar at first, but he was also one of the most proficient switch hitters in baseball history.  In his first year with the New York Yankees, he led the team to their 27th World Championship.  Although he got them there, he didn’t play well in the Series, but in Tex style, he was clutch winning game 2 with a walk-off home run.

In 2009 he led the American League in home runs. On May 8, 2010, he became the second Yankee in history to hit three home runs in the same game. In 2011 he hit his 300th home run.  In 2015 Teixeira was named to his third All-Star game. In 2016 his final year before retirement, he hit two home runs in a game that also represented the 400th home run of his career.  Citing injuries and wanted to spend more time with his family, he retired after the 2016 season. Career stats:  14 years .268 with 409 home runs.

5. Chris Chambliss

Chris Chambliss is one of the most popular of Yankee’s first baseman.  Chambliss played for the Yankees from 1974 to 1979.  An excellent defender at first, he is mostly known for his walk-off home run in the 1977 World Series.  His walk-off was one of the most iconic moments in Yankee history.  Immediately after his World Series-winning hit, Yankee fans stormed the field making it impossible to reach home base.  When he reached the clubhouse, he donned a field worker’s raincoat and ran out to touch home plate. Career stats:  17 years .279 with 185 home runs.

Honorable mentions go to Bill Skowron 1954-1962, Jason Giambi 2002-2008, Joe Pepitone 1962-1969, Johnny Mize 1949-1953, and Wally Pipp 1915-1925.  I have excluded Mickey Mantle from this list.  Even though he was a fine first baseman, he was noted more for his outfield performance throughout his career.

The Yankees have one glaring weakness through 18 games

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

The New York Yankees currently sit at 12-6 on the season, putting together some solid baseball performances thus far in the 2020 campaign. Going into the year, the Yankees expected to have Luis Severino and Domingo German at some point in the season, but the former underwent Tommy John surgery, and German’s suspension was too lengthy to clear the revised regular season.

Before the MLB shut down operations, things were moving smoothly, and the Yankees had Gerrit Cole ready to take over as the team’s premier pitcher.

However, things changed rather quickly. Despite the interruption in play, the Yankees are still dominating offensively, as they currently host the third-best record in baseball. Aside from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton picking up injuries, the Yankees have managed to supplement deficiencies with a bevy of different players. Whether it be Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman, or Mike Ford, calling upon reserve options doesn’t seem to be a problem for manager Aaron Boone. The roster is littered with talent waiting to be utilized, but when it comes to starting pitching, things begin to fall off quickly.

Aside from Cole, who currently has three wins with a 3.22 ERA over 22 innings, the Yankees have scarce consistently in the starting rotation. After Masahiro Tanaka took a 112 mph comebacker off the head, expectations for his performance were surrounded by caution. However, through 11 innings, he has a 2.31 ERA.

Ultimately, Cole and Tanaka can’t carry the Yankees to a World Series appearance. The team needs their starters to last more than four innings if they wish to push the limitations. That hasn’t been the case for pitchers like James Paxton, JA Happ, and even Jordan Montgomery.

The New York Yankees have time, but can’t sit idly by and watch their started struggle:

Paxton, who underwent lower back surgery earlier this year, hosts a 7.84 ERA with nine runs allowed over 10 innings. He has been problematic with a decrease in velocity. Happ has thrown only seven innings, earning a 10.29 ERA with eight runs allowed. This is his second consecutive season of inconsistent play, and I imagine the Yankees will let him walk in free agency next season because of it. The issue is, with his performance declining in quality, the Yankees continue to look to the bullpen to try and replace his lost production.

Fatigue in the bullpen will undoubtedly become a factor if they have to utilize more than two relief pitchers per game.

However, the starting pitching woes don’t end there. Montgomery has a 5.17 ERA over 15 innings and three starts. He is currently playing the best of the three, but still only scratching the surface of average. The Yankees have survived because of their offense, but pitching wins championships, and the Bombers simply don’t have enough of it.

The starting pitching unit is by far the weakest link on the team, and while the trade deadline will likely be quiet this year, the Yankees should consider making a move to bring in a proven starter.

UFC 252 Preview: Will Stipe Miocic or Daniel Cormier walk away as the heavyweight GOAT?

Tomorrow night, UFC 252 will see the conclusion of arguably the greatest trilogy in the history of MMA. Stipe Miocic (19-3) and Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC) will go to war for the third time to once and for all settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

The card is absolutely stacked with fights that should have UFC fans feeling the goosebumps already. Let’s take a dive into the main card for some previews and predictions.

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title

The main event of the evening is a fight that is one year in the making as the heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, takes on the former champion, Daniel Cormier, for the third time.

Both of these men have won a fight against the other by knockout. This fight will truly determine the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

For Cormier, there has only been two men in his career who have gotten the best of him. That would be Miocic and Jon Jones. Jones beat him twice although one was overturned due to Jones failing a drug test.

After Jones was stripped of his title following the second fight being overturned, Cormier resumed life as light heavyweight champion. He defended the title once before moving up to challenge Miocic for the heavyweight title.

DC knocked Miocic out in the first round. He had become a two division champion. He’s defeated the best that light heavyweight and heavyweight have had to offer. However, he would go on to lose to Miocic in the rematch.

If Cormier were to lose again, the only two men to have ever beaten him, would have both done it multiple times. That will be tough for DC the competitor to take. The Olympic wrestler is one of the greatest fighters of all time, but he needs this win to cement himself.

Miocic is the only heavyweight in UFC history to defend the title three times successfully. Stipe had to work for everything during his career. After back-to-back knockouts of Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski back in 2015/2016, Miocic demanded he get a shot at the title.

He went to enemy territory and knocked out the champion, Fabricio Werdum. Miocic then went on to defeat Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou before losing the title to Cormier at UFC 226.

The second fight was a back and forth war that DC was controlling. He was landing more strikes and found some success wrestling. However, Stipe made adjustments just like a champion should.

In the fourth round, Miocic found success going to the body. After going to the body over and over, Miocic was able to transition to a head combination that put DC out.

These are clearly the two best heavyweights in the world. They both have knockout power, they both have good grappling, and they both know how to grind and fight their way through wars.

This is just a tough fight to predict. Despite both men having finished the other, I don’t think this one is going to end early. I think this will be the first of their three fights to see the scorecards.

I believe that this fight is going to be razor close because these two men are so equal in their skill. If it does go to the cards, I’m leaning towards Cormier. Especially rounds 1-3, DC’s hand speed and wrestling will really give him an advantage.

I see Stipe being a lot stronger as the fight goes on, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Stipe ended up winning rounds 3-5. However, I think DC will do enough to take the first three rounds and survive the onslaught from Stipe near the end. DC will walk away as heavyweight champion on Saturday, but nothing would honestly shock me.

Prediction: Daniel Cormier by Split Decision

Sean O’Malley vs Marlon “Chito” Vera

The co-main event of the evening will feature the Suga Show. Arguably the UFC‘s brightest young star, Sean O’Malley (12-0), will be facing off against Chito Vera (15-6-1).

O’Malley was featured on just the second episode ever of Dana White’s Contender Series. That night, you realized there was something special about O’Malley. Since then, the guy has been like a rocket ship in terms of popularity.

2020 has been incredible for O’Malley. After issues with USADA that kept him out for two years, O’Malley has returned looking like a completely different fighter. He looks so much better than he did a couple of years ago.

His performances show that as he’s knocked out Jose Alberto Quinonez and Eddie Wineland both in the first round. Suga’s very long for the division and his striking is incredibly crisp.

We’ve also seen how tough he is when he fought Andre Soukhamthath. O’Malley broke his foot in that fight and couldn’t even stand. However he hopped around for the final round and gritted it out for a decision victory. O’Malley is the real deal.

Chito Vera is a very tough test for O’Malley. Vera is coming off of a loss to Song Yadong in a fight that some believe that he won. That fight snapped a five fight winning streak for Vera.

Chito has really good striking, and he’s got very good skills on the ground. One of the biggest knocks on Vera is his slow starts. Sometimes Vera can be a bit gun shy out of the gate.

That could be a massive problem fighting a guy like O’Malley. He cannot let himself stay on the outside being too patient or he will be picked apart. For Vera to win, he’s got to be aggressive early and he has to make it an ugly fight.

I’ve been on the O’Malley hype train since day one and I’m staying on it. I believe that O’Malley has that Conor McGregor vibe to him. While Vera will definitely be game, I think O’Malley’s precision and power are just going to be too much.

Prediction: Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 2

Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

The third fight of the main card features two top six UFC heavyweights as former champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-7), takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1).

This is a massive fight for the former champion, Dos Santos. Dos Santos has lost back-to-back fights by knockout. Those losses coming after Cigano had won three consecutive fights.

After losing the heavyweight title back in 2012, Dos Santos has been on a mission to get back to the UFC title. He’s fought for the title twice since losing it and both of those fights he lost by stoppage.

Since the first war with Cain Velasquez, Cigano has been finished five times. Despite that, Dos Santos still possesses arguably the best pure boxing in the heavyweight division.

For Bigi Boy, he’s looking to rebound after a rough first round loss to Francis Ngannou. Rozenstruik came into that fight undefeated, but was finished in just 20 seconds. Had Rozenstruik won that fight, he would have been next in line for the title.

Rozenstruik has tremendous striking with incredible knockout power. He also has shown tremendous heart as shown in the Alistair Overeem fight. Overeem had clearly been winning the fight, but Bigi Boy put him out in the final ten seconds of the fight.

This fight is so interesting because both men bring tremendous striking to the cage. Cigano has beautiful boxing while Rozenstruik has very good kickboxing.

Most people think that this fight won’t go the distance, but I’m in the minority that thinks it will. I think Rozenstruik will be a little more cautious after getting finished by Ngannou in his last one. I think Cigano’s boxing will allow him to score more points over three rounds.

Prediction: Junior Dos Santos by Unanimous Decision

John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili

The second fight of the evening pairs a couple of top 15 UFC bantamweights as former title challenger, John Dodson (21-11), takes on Merab Dvalishvili (11-4).

Dodson was able to prove to everyone in his last fight that he’s still a very powerful fighter at 135 pounds. The Magician got a third round TKO win over Nathaniel Wood. That win came after Dodson had lost three out of four.

Now, I will give Dodson a break considering those three opponents are all in the top seven and one is the current champion, Petr Yan. Dodson is going to come at you with ridiculous speed looking to put your lights out.

Dvalishvili on the other hand is going to look to take you down and smother you. The Machine is known for his dominant wrestling and that was on full display at UFC on ESPN 10.

Dvalishvili took on Gustavo Lopez and set a UFC bantamweight record in takedowns with 13. His main training partner is top contender Aljamain Sterling, so you know that Dvalishvili is going to be ready.

When it comes to the prediction, it’s a matter of where the fight takes place. The speed and accuracy of Dodson will win him the fight if he can keep it on the feet. That’s a giant if.

I think that Dvalishvili is going to be able to get Dodson down particularly in the last two rounds of the fight. I expect Dodson to have moments, but Dvalishvili’s wrestling to be too much in the end.

Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision

Herbert Burns vs Daniel Pineda

Kicking off the main card of UFC 252 is a featherweight fight between Herbert Burns (11-2) and the returning Daniel Pineda (26-13, 2 NC). Pineda is returning to the octagon after six years of fighting in other promotions.

Burns, who is the younger brother of top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns, will be making his third appearance in the octagon. He earned himself a contract after a triangle armbar victory on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Burns has won his first two UFC fights by first round stoppage. One by KO and one by submission. The Blaze is elite on the ground just like his brother. Burns competes in top level Jiu Jitsu tournaments all over the world when he’s not fighting.

Daniel Pineda was having himself quite the 2019. Pineda entered PFL’s featherweight tournament and had two first round finishes. Elevated testosterone levels did change those two victories to non contests.

If you would have counted those, Pineda would have been returning to the octagon on a five fight first round finish streak. All 26 of Pineda’s wins have come via finish.

In looking at this fight, I’m struggling to find Pineda’s advantage. I don’t see him being the better striker, and he’s good on the ground (18 submissions), but he’s not Burns good. Burns is world class on the ground.

I think that Burns is going to have the clear advantage in this fight, and the odds speak to that. I’m going with Burns, but I think he’s going to win by showing off his superior skills on the ground.

Prediction: Herbert Burns by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

UFC 252 Outlook

This main event and card gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. We are seeing arguably the two greatest heavyweights of all time fighting for the third time to settle once and for all, who is the baddest man on the planet. UFC 252 is going to be a night to remember for fight fans everywhere.

Projecting the New York Giants’ secondary for the 2020 season

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants’ defense has been shaken up this off-season due to legal issues and draft capital spent to improve the talent pool. Securing Xavier McKinney in the second round of the NFL draft provides another option at safety after the Giants featured Antoine Bethea in the defensive backfield in 2019. Ultimately, the unit needed upgrades across-the-board, finishing as the 30th ranked defense in the NFL.

With the Giants hosting seven rookies starters in 2019, a year of experience under their belt should provide an elevation in production and efficiency. However, names on paper and practice film don’t equate to winning on the football field. Without a preseason to utilize, the Giants will undoubtedly have hiccups along the way during the 2020 season.

The Giants have been proactive in the secondary:

The secondary has been a focal point for general manager Dave Gettleman, as he drafted a bevy of young players in 2019. Ranging from Corey Ballantine to DeAndre Baker, the secondary was completely different, aside from Janoris Jenkins, who was the seasoned veteran of the group. Gettleman then traded Odell Beckham Jr. away to the Cleveland Browns, in which the Giants received Jabrill Peppers and draft capital in return.

With the injection of new talent in the secondary, the unit is unpredictable and unestablished.

Projecting the New York Giants’ secondary:

CB1: James Bradberry

The Giants signed Bradberry to a three-year deal this off-season, passing over Byron Jones for the second-best option on the market. Last year, Bradberry tallied 65 combined tackles, 12 passes defended, three interceptions, a 59.8% completion rate against, and allowed just one score. He’s an above-average covered corner who can hold his own on the boundary and in the slot. He will shadow the opposing team’s No.1 receivers.

CB2: Darnay Holmes

The Giants attempted to sign Ross Cockrell over the weekend, but the deal fell through. Subsequently, the Giants went out and signed undrafted free agent Prince Smith instead. He does not hold the same immediate starting value that Cockrell does, so we have to imagine the Giants will look to their youth to supplement the CB2 spot.

I believe fourth-round pick Darnay Holmes holds the talent to compete and win the job, as it contains a similar frame to Janoris Jenkins. Holmes has elite athleticism and a worker’s mentality, which should allow him to adapt quickly to the NFL, but again, starting a mid-round rookie at an important position is never an ideal scenario.

FS: Xavier McKinney

Last year, Antoine Bethea was a liability in coverage. While he played well against the run, he fit more of a strong safety role, rather than playing in the backfield. Drafting Xavier McKinney should allow the Giants to utilize cover-1 more effectively and feel confident contesting deep passes.

McKinney has some of the best game speed at the position entering the NFL. He racked up seven turnovers with Alabama last year.

SS: Jabrill Peppers

Jabrill Peppers missed five games last season after going down with a season-ending hip injury on a punt return. In 2019, Peppers made the transition to strong safety from free safety. He had remarkably similar stats in five fewer games compared to the 2018 season. His 76 combined tackles, three forced fumbles, and one interception promote his evolution on defense.

If he can continue his development, peppers can be a staple on the Giants defense.

Slot CB: Julian Love

While Holmes was projected as a nickel corner in the NFL, the New York Giants desperately need to fill the CB2 position. Love enjoyed playing time at multiple positions on defense in his rookie season, including slot corner.

While he doesn’t have that quick-twitch ability, he is a highly intelligent player who can hold his own in coverage. Having played cornerback at Notre Dame, he has the experience to fill in if need be in the slot. He also played well against the run at strong safety after Peppers went down in 2019. I prefer Love fill the spot over Grant Haley, who is more of a run-stopping corner then a coverage option.

New York Yankees Previews: Yankees open a four game set tonight with the Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

At 7:05 pm tonight, at the Stadium in the Bronx, the New York Yankees will open a four-game set with it’s traditional rival Boston Red Sox. Without fans in the stands, the excitement level, is a little less than normal, but any games with the Red Sox are one of the most popular events in sports. The Yankees met the Red Sox back on July 30 for a three-game set, that the Yankees swept 19-10. This game tonight will be the first time that Gerrit Cole will face the Red Sox in a New York Yankee uniform.

The Boston Red Sox have not at the time of this writing announced who will be pitching tonight. We do know that it won’t be Perez, Godley, Hart, or Eovaldi, outside of that it could be almost anyone.  The Red Sox pitching rotation is in an absolute mess.  The Red Sox are coming off a loss where the Tampa Bay Rays scored 17 runs off them.  Their bullpen isn’t very good either.

From the Red Sox 2018 championsip year, they have lost pitchers Hector Velazquez to the Astros, Rick Porcello to the Mets, Drew Pomeranz to the Brewers, and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  That leaves Chris Sale who is on the IL, Eduardo Rodriguez that is out for the year with heart issues, resulting from a bout with the coronavrus.  The only remaining quality pitcher, from that year is Nathan Eovaldi, who will be starting Saturday’s matchup with James Paxton.

The New York Yankees will start ace Gerrit Cole. The Yankees have won all four of the games started by Cole.  The surprise is that the Yankees have not really seen the dominate Cole from last year’s postseason, when he was an Astro.  Cole has stuggled a bit in all of his starts, but being the quality pitch that he is, he has made the necessary pitches to keep the Yankees on the winning side of the ledger. In his last outing against the Tampa Bay Rays he went 4.2 innings and 107 pitches in the 8-4 Yankee win.

The Yankees are coming off their third sweep of the season, sweeping the Orioles, the Red Sox, and the Atlanta Braves. On Saturday the Yankees will again meet the Red Sox when James Paxton will face Nathan Eovaldi. On Sunday J.A. Happ is scheduled to start, however with as poorly as he has been pitching it might become a opener game.

The Yankees will start tonight’s matchup without Giancarlo Stanton who has a grade one hamstring injury.  They may also start out without slugger Aaron Judge who was pulled earlier in the week with lower muscle tightness.  Manager Boone said he thought that Judge would return on Friday night.  Even if he doesn’t, Clint Frazier, filling in for Judge, has already made his presence known by, going 3-3 Wednesday night, only a triple short of the cycle.  He hit a 400′ long shot into the visitors bullpen in his first at-bat.

Projection: Yankees 7-2.