MLB News: Betting the odds
3DW View: Sunday was a bit of an unusual day for baseball bettors, particularly those that like to plays the numbers. Each season, teams have extended winning or losing streaks, but for the most part there are not that many series sweeps compared to winning a series in a best two of three.
Yesterday, there were eight teams in position to execute a series sweep and for the bettor playing the odds; they were able to show profit. In all, five of the eight Major League squads that could have been swept were able to fashion one victory in the series, which netted a profit of +2.02 units overall.
MLB News: Already falling into place
3DW View: San Diego, Minnesota and the Chicago Cubs are all in last place in their respective divisions and don’t be surprised if they still there awhile or even if they even taken up permanent residence for 2012.
MLB News: Good vibe leads to great start
3DW View: As was mentioned the other day, The Los Angeles Dodgers have played 10 games against San Diego and Pittsburgh, which has contributed to their lightning quick 9-1 start. The Dodgers have won all eight contests in which they were favored, taking full advantage of their situation.
The entire atmosphere has changed around the team with the sale to Magic Johnson and his group, pulling away the pall that has hung around like a marine layer from the Pacific Ocean over this club. Having two anchors like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw doesn’t hurt and if Andre Either and James Loney can stay healthy and play to their skill levels, this could be the surprise team from the National League.
No question the schedule has been a big help for the boys in blue, but manager Don Mattingly did not let this club lie down when it could have in the second half last year and he has matured on the job.
MLB News: They are who we thought they are
3DW View: The above title always has to give credit to former Arizona Cardinals head coach Denny Green after a memorable Monday night post-game tirade, but his eloquent observational skills were right on target. Green’s observations also apply to baseball teams like Texas, Detroit and St. Louis, who are in first place in their divisions, each with a strong runs scored/runs allowed ratio to begin the year.
NHL News: Who picked the Penguins to win it all?
3DW View: When the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, Pittsburgh was the favorite to win Lord Stanley’s trophy, finishing with the fourth most points in the league and its main stars, all apart of teams from two prior championships just a few seasons ago.
Yet, despite this apparent talent on hand, consider the Pittsburgh Pirates are 1-5 in their last six games, they have given up fewer runs (19) in twice as many games as the Penguins have allowed goals (20).
Here is Pittsburgh check-list of failures…..
*Lack of discipline in every facet of their game – Check
*Inability to hold onto leads – Check
*No defensive structure to curtail any Philadelphia offense – Check
*Poor goaltending – Check
*Special teams annihilated – Check
*Evgeni Malkin suffering a meltdown – Check
*Complete mental and physical breakdown – Check
The Pens have turned into a selfish and unruly bunch and despite the talk of “playing one game at a time” to get back in the series, Pittsburgh is all but finished. In Game 1, the Penguins had a 3-0 lead and couldn’t hold it. They had four leads in Game 2 and lost 8-5. After their defense collapsed yet again in Game 3, Pittsburgh went all Hanson Brothers and showed no poise and how desperate they had become.
Malkin has been throughly ineffective on either end of the rink for the Pens and goalie Marc-Andre Fluery can charitably be described as tentative. Fluery has now been in net for six straight postseason defeats for the Black and Gold and this organization had never permitted 16 total goals in consecutive playoffs games, until yesterday.
Pittsburgh’s special teams have been a complete embarrassment. Their 3 for 12 numbers on power plays seems adequate, until you consider they have conceded three short-hand goals, negating any positive suggestions. When the Penguins are down a man, forget it, Philadelphia has six goals in 10 tries, giving the Flyers a net edge of +6 just in special teams play.
One can only surmise the team as a whole has decided to tune out coach Dan Bylsma and is going to go down in flames their way.
NHL News: Quick has Vancouver in quicksand
3DW View: One of the most obvious clichés of playoff hockey is – A hot goalie is a great equalizer. However shallow and lacking insight that statement seems to have, the fact is its true and the Los Angeles Kings are living proof.
Before the Canucks and Kings started this series, L.A. was given a punchers chance because they Jonathan Quick between the pipes and their physical-style of play might bother Vancouver. In three games, Quick has faced 115 shots, stopped 110 of them (95.6 percent) and his offensively-challenged teammates have scored nine goals to build a 3-0 series lead.
It was believed the Canucks would overcome the loss leading goal scorer Daniel Sedin, but that has not occurred and the more aggressive Kings are crowning Vancouver by winning the skirmishes in the corners and in the neutral zone, with Quick doing the rest.
If you go back to the Canucks leading Boston 2-0 in the Cup Finals, they have lost seven of eight times in the postseason and they are about to become the fourth President’s Cup winner (most points for the regular season) in the past seven years to lose in the first round.
NBA News: Changing of the guard?
3DW View: Kobe Bryant is has missed five games in a row and is more than halfway to 34-years old. Kobe is still a remarkable player, but is no longer the best player in the NBA. Lakers’ fans have dreaded the day when Bryant’s skill start to deteriorate because who would take over as the leader? That question is starting to be answered.
Andrew Bynum at this moment is playing as well or better than any center in the Association. Bynum is the Lakers go to guy with Bryant out of the lineup and is the reason they are 4-1 and covered three straight with Kobe in a tailored suit.
Bynum struggled with his shot the first three quarters against Dallas on Sunday afternoon, but was clutch when it counted. However, Bynum rising value is found in other ways, since he now demands a double-team, which opens up the weak-side for his Lakers teammates and recent acquisition Ramon Sessions, has the speed and quickness to exploit the open floor, not seen by a Lakers guard since Kobe was at least three years younger.
Bynum still has to learn to control his temper, but the future for the Lakers is brighter with the big man a true force.