FreePlays.com Handicapper Blog » Nevada Sharpshooter

By Razor Sharp Sports

The NFL Preseason is winding down and now it is time for our experts to make their predictions. Let’s see who everyone likes and feel free to send your predictions in to compare to our handicappers. We had eleven of our handicappers give us their picks. Of the 11, four of them have the Atlanta Falcons taking home the Lombardi Trophy, while 3 others took the Falcons division rivals, the New Orleans Saints. Interestingly, no one picked the Vegas favorite and defending champion Green Bay Packers to repeat. We did have 2 teams with a complete sweep of the division picks. Both the Chargers (AFC West) and the Green Bay Packers (NFC North) were selected by all 11 handicappers to win their division.

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By Nevada Sharpshooter

I know the Rangers have only won 1 playoff game in their history, but don’t think they are not a serious contender to advance in the playoffs. Playoffs are about pitching and the Rangers have a better staff then people give them credit for. Let’s compare starters between the Rangers, Twins, and Yankees. The #1 starters are Rangers Cliff Lee, Yankees CC Sabathia, Twins Carl Pavano, clear advantage for Rangers and Yankees over Twins. I for one believe Lee will pitch much better when the temps come down in the fall and he has shown in the past he can shut down the Yankees. #2 starters Rangers C. Wilson 13-5 3.02 ERA, Yankees Phil Hughes 15-6 4.12 ERA, Twins F Liriano 12-7 3.41 ERA, advantage Rangers. #3 starters Rangers T Hunter 10-2 3.68 ERA, Yankees AJ Burnett 9-11 4.80 ERA, Twins Scott Baker 11-9 4.63 ERA, advantage Rangers. #4 starters Rangers C. Lewis 9-10 3.40 ERA, Yankees J. Vasquez 9-9 4.96 ERA, Twins Kevin Slowey (if healthy) 11-6 4.39 ERA, advantage Rangers. Although the Yankees and to a lesser extent Twins have an edge in playoff experience the Rangers definitely have the talent to be a serious contender to go to the World Series.

Apr
06

1. How appropriate for Hank Aaron to throw the 1st pitch to Jason Heyward.  Minutes after the ceremonial pitch, the young phenom hits a home run in his first at bat.  By the way, the answer to the future trivia question is Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

2. Congrats Shawn Marcum, even though the Blue Jays eventually lost the game Marcum who missed all last season did not give up a hit until the 7th inning against a powerful Texas lineup.

3.  In a time when 20 game winners are rare don’t you think Roy Halladay may get around 25 wins in Philly.  How scary are Phillies with Halladay on the mound.

4. Pittsburgh is tied for 1st in NL Central.  Enjoy it while you can.

Lets start with what it may take to be in contention for the playoffs. Last season the the Cardinals won the central with 91 wins, while the wild card winner Colorado had 92 wins. In 2009 the Brewers had 80 wins so the question becomes can they improve by 11 or more wins. The Brewers starting pitching staff was the biggest problem last year with a National League worst ERA of over 5. What kept the Brew Crew afloat last year was the offense, most notably the outstanding performance of the #3 and #4 hitters Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. This Brewer team will have some new faces this year on offense and on the mound. Let’s start with the pitchers, the main additions are starters Randy Wolf and Doug Davis plus reliever Latrell Hawkins along with pitching coach Rick Peterson. Wolf along with holdover Yovani Gallardo provide the foundation for the starters, #3 starter should go to Doug Davis while the #4 and #5 spots are open to competition. My guess is #4 will go to Manny Parra based on his upside especially if new pitching coach Peterson can improve his consistency, while #5 spot will be fought out between the highly paid and under performing Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush, Bush pitched well until taking a line shot off of his elbow and was ineffective after that. I will pencil in Bush for now.
The offense also has new faces, most notably OF Carlos Gomez, SS Alcides Escobar and catcher Greg Zaun. It is debatable that Gomez and Escobar can replace the production of departed players Mike Cameron and JJ Hardy. Cameron is a consistent 20+ HR hitter and while Hardy struggled last year he also has shown the potential for 20+ HRs. What Gomez and Escobar bring though is a ton of speed, and Manager Macha will need to let them run if they are to realize their full potential. Another source of offensive improvement may be the return of 2B Rickie Weeks who was having a breakout year before a wrist injury sidelined him for the season.
So what does this all mean. The pitching staff should be definitely be improved with the addition of Wolf and has the potential to be vastly improved if pitching coach Peterson can help Parra avoid the meltdowns that have plagued him in the past. Offensively the Brewers should be able to maintain their high level of production if Macha is willing to let his young speedsters loose on the basepaths. With that said my conclusion is yes the Brew Crew will be able to contend for a wild card berth.

Feb
05

By Nevada Sharpshooter


The small market Cincinnati Reds surprised the baseball world when they won the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes. The acquisition of Chapman, the 100mph throwing lefty from Cuba, shows the Reds are ready to make the effort to be a contender. While it is unlikely Chapman will be ready for opening day I would not count him out as a mid season call up. On paper the Reds now appear ready to compete.

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By Nevada Sharpshooter

What has the NFL come to? While on one hand you have the excitement of the high powered New Orleans Saints and the successful comeback of Brett Favre in Minnesota, you have the absolute dismal display of football from several teams. No less than 7 teams have been getting beaten by an average of 10 points or more every week. Believe it or not, at years end we could have close to 7 teams with 3 wins or less.

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With just over 48 hours before the NFL kicks off for real in Pittsburgh here is what some of the experts on FreePlays.com see for the upcoming NFL season. We got opinions from 8 of our handicappers. We asked them to pick a winner in each of the NFL divisions, the wildcard teams and their Super Bowl. The 8 services that gave their opinions were Razor Sharp Sports, Mike Wynn Sports, Big Time Sports, #1 Sports, Hawkeye Sports,Dark Horse Sports, The Nevada Sharpshooter and The Vegas Steam Line. Here is what they said…

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By Nevada Sharpshooter

The Cowboys travel to Philadelphia for a matchup full of playoff implications.  Here is the bottom line, if Dallas wins they are in, if the Boy’s lose they are out.  Philadelphia though needs a win and help.  If Philly wins, Tampa loses and Minnesota or Chicago loses, then Philly is in.  Tampa, Chicago and Minnesota all play at 1 eastern time, while Philly plays at 4:15 eastern which means Philly will know if they playing for a playoff spot at kickoff time or shortly after.  I cannot help but believe that if Philly knows that their season is over, that they will have the intensity to beat the Cowboys.  While it is very possible that Chicago or Minnesota could lose, it is highly unlikely that Tampa will lose at home over Oakland.  Assuming that Philly will be eliminated from playoff contention before thier game is underway I like the Cowboys to get the win, so take Dallas +1.5 over Philly.

By Nevada Sharpshooter

The 10-2 Golden Hurricane of Tulsa will host the 8-4 East Carolina Pirates in the Conference USA Championship game.  Tulsa’s high powered offense features QB David Johnson who has thrown an amazing 42 TD passes compared to just 13 interceptions.  His main targets are possession reciever Damaris Johnson with 44 receptions and 9 TDs and deep threat Brennan Marion, 39 catches and 8 TDs.  On the ground  the Hurricane rely on RB Tarrion Adams who has almost 1200 yards rushing while averaging 6 yards per carry.  Adams has also crossed the goal line 9 times.  Defensively though Tulsa has struggled giving up over 30 points 5 times this season.

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By Nevada Sharpshooter

The 6-5 Broncos travel to New York to take on the 8-3 Jets.  The Broncos struggled badly against a bad Oakland team last week in a 10-31 loss.  Having to go without injured CB Champ Bailey the defense let the normally ineffective JaMarcus Russell connect on 10 of 11 pass attempts.  Once the Raiders had the lead they just ground it out and wore out the Bronco defense.  Offensively the Jay Cutler had a poor outing, failing for the first time all season to throw for a touchdown.  The Jets on the otherhand were giant killers as they handed the Titans their first loss of the season.  The Jets have been solid in all aspects of the game.  While the attention has been on Favre, the Jet defense has been playing well all season.  Add a good running attack to the mix led by Thomas Jones and you have a team that is looking to go far in the playoffs.  The Jets are also riding a 5 game winning streak.

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