The baseball trade deadline made the Houston Astros the World Series favorites, in my opinion. The pickup of Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks was big. The depth in the rotation of starting pitching for Houston will be tough in October. The Astros only gave up four prospects in the deal.
The Detroit Tigers said goodbye to Nicholas Castellanos, who is now a Chicago Cub. The Cubs needed some offense and he should help the Cubs. The Atlanta Braves needed bullpen help and the Tigers helped them by sending Shane Greene to Atlanta. It will be a good follow in October watching these two players trying to win a World Series for their new baseball teams. The Tigers helped the Houston team win a World Series sending Justin Verlander to Houston. So I ask, will it work out again for Shane or Nick? We shall see in October.
Big Ten college preview
The college football season is getting closer and I want to preview the Big Ten Conference for you. Let’s start in the Big Ten-West. The Nebraska Cornhuskers are receiving a lot of noise with new coach Scott Frost. I’m not buying all the noise, personally. The Huskers have a solid quarterback in Adrian Martinez. I admit that. The fact the West side of the bracket is pretty weak also helps the sexy pick of Nebraska. However, the defense is still suspect at best and that will make for numerous high-scoring games.
The Purdue Boilermakers lost a quarterback in David Blough, but Elijah Sindelar has experience starting eight games in 2017. I say the same thing here in Purdue, as at Nebraska, a ton of points will be scored by the offense. However, the sorry defense will also be giving up numerous points.
The Badgers have running back Jonathon Taylor back, which is good. The bad is that the offensive line is young and inexperienced, which is unusual in Badger land. The defense will be stingy, as always, though. The schedule is not favorable, though, as they play Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan in the East.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and third-year coach P.J. Fleck will be an improved team. The Golden Gophers played a lot of young players and it should pay off in 2019. They will need to find an efficient signal caller to have a successful season.
The Northwestern Wildcats look like about a .500 team this season. The new quarterback, Hunter Johnson, and how he will perform is a key question.
The Iowa Hawkeyes and coach Kirk Ferentz returning for his 21st year will have one of his longer seasons in Iowa. I don’t see many victories for them in 2019. The Illinois Fighting Illini will be awful once again under coach Lovie Smith. How Lovie received a contract extension until 2023 is a true head scratcher. The West will be a wide open race in 2019 and I can’t even predict the winner, to be honest.
The East Division is once again loaded with good football teams. The real bad teams will be Rutgers and Maryland. Enough said.
The Indiana Hoosiers will contend for a bowl game and be competitive in most games. The problem is, the division is just too tough for them to make any waves to the top.
The Penn State Nittany Lions have lost numerous key players from the 2018 team. The main ones are Trace McSorley, the quarterback, and three top performers on defense. I still see them finishing in fourth place in the East.
The Michigan State Spartans will hang their helmets on the defensive side of the ball as usual in East Lansing. The defensive line will be one of the best in college football in 2019. The offense is the problem for Sparty, as they averaged 18.7 points last season. The offense needs to improve on that number, and, improved play from Brian Lewerke and the offensive line is a must. I see Sparty finishing behind Michigan and Ohio State.
The Wolverines no longer have to deal with Urban Meyer, yet, Jimmy Harbaugh has to deal with a 0-4 record so far against Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have new coach, Ryan Day, but the Scarlet and Gray is loaded with talent.
The Wolverines have a new offense and Shea Patterson returned at quarterback, which is huge for Michigan. The East will come down to Michigan or Ohio State in 2019. firstname.lastname@example.org.