07/13/2012 12:39 PM
12 mid-- West Virginia @ Gonzaga
2am-- Davidson @ New Mexico
4am-- Houston Baptist @ Hawai'i
6am-- Stony Brook @ Rider
8am-- Northern Illinois @ Valparaiso
10am-- Harvard @ UMass
Noon-- Temple @ Kent State
2pm-- Detroit @ St John's
4pm-- Butler @ Xavier
7pm-- Michigan State vs Kansas, in Atlanta
9:30-- Duke vs Kentucky, also in Atlanta
Armadillo: Friday's List: Mid-season grades for American League teams
Orioles-- 45-40, A-. 29-14 in games decided by 1-2 runs, 16-26 otherwise, as Showalter milks every win he can out of surprising team. Doubt pitching will hold up in second half. Get Markakis back from DL Friday.
Red Sox-- 43-43, C-. $32M for Crawford/Lackey, who haven't played and might not all year (Lackey won't). Valentine has alienated everyone east of Worcester, and closer Bailey got hurt and hasn't pitched yet.
White Sox-- 47-38, A+. New manager Ventura is 23-16 on the road, 24-22 at home; Youkilis is hitting .347 with 14 RBI in 13 games since coming over from Boston, providing a spark. Sale has been terrific on mound.
Indians-- 44-41, B. Allowed 29 more runs than they've scored. Detroit is a half-game behind them, despite scoring 6 more runs than they've allowed. 23-14 in games decided by 1-2 runs, but 1-4 in last five.
Tigers-- 44-42. C-. 22-20 at home, 20-20 on road, but did win last five tilts before All-Star break. Hoping to get Victor Martinez back before season is over, which helps offense. Rumored to be after Marco Scutaro for 2B.
Royals-- 37-47, C. Bruce Chen was their Opening Day starting pitcher, so if you expected the Royals to be better, why? Just 14-23 at home. Rumor is they're bringing up big prospect Myers, but he plays RF, doesn't pitch.
Angels-- 48-38, B. Awful start, but once they brought Trout up and traded for reliever Frieri, things clicked in and now they're on roll. If they can get Haren healthy, they have formidable rotation for short playoff series.
Twins-- 36-49, C-. Got their new stadium, paid their stars big money, but team has gotten worse. Like KC, the Opening Day starter was Carl Pavano, not the stuff of championship teams. Liriano has pitched better lately.
Bronx-- 52-33, A. Bullpen has been mostly solid, even with Rivera gone for season. Swisher is knocking in 17.6% of baserunners, which is better %age than any of his much higher-paid teammates. Closer a key in October.
A's-- 43-43, B+. Crisp/Weeks at top of order drives me nuts, since neither one can hit, but Cespedes is a star when healthy and pitching has been very excellent. Inserting Cook at closer took a while, but solidified team.
Mariners-- 36-51, D-. Ichiro is in serious decline, team just can't hit, though they've scored 18 more runs than A's (allowed 49 more runs). Wonder how long before King Felix gets frustrated and asks to be traded?
Rays-- 45-41, B-. Miss Longoria badly; he hasn't played since April 30, so they're 15-8 with him, 30-33 without. It is similar scenario to A's nine years ago; things have to go perfectly for small market team to sustain success.
Rangers-- 52-34, A. Pitchers are banged up, but Hamilton has knocked in an amazing 23.4% of baserunners this year, his walk year. They lead Angels by four games, in race to avoid dreaded one-game Wild Card playoff.
Blue Jays-- 43-43, C. 80% of starting rotation got hurt, but somehow they are still at .500. Who knew Edwin Encanarcion was this good? 5-12 record in one-run games means they could show improvement.
Thursday's List: Mid-season grades for National League teams
D'backs-- 42-43, C+. Score lot of runs at home, but are just 21-19 there. Are 8-13 in 1-run games, so room for improvement there. Injury to Drew hurt, but he is back in lineup now.
Braves-- 46-39, B+. Beachy's injury has exposed fact that Delgado/Teheran aren't quite ready for big leagues yet. Return of Jurrjens is encouraging, and emergence of young SS Simmons has boltstered defense, though he got hurt right before break (pinky).
Cubs-- 33-52, D-. Could be complete fire sale later this month, with LaHair, Dempster, Soriano, Garza likely to hit road. Wee Bears rebuilding around Rizzo/Castro and maybe Samardzija.
Reds-- 47-38, B+. 21-13 in games decided by 3+ runs, a good sign. Batters been walked intentionally 32 times, five more than any other team, sign that Votto could use some protection in lineup.
Rockies-- 33-52, F. Pitching is so horrific they're down to a 4-man rotation, with 75-80-pitch limits; injuries to de la Rosa/Chacin have crippled rotation. Tulowitzki's injury hurts, but not sure what their plan is.
Astros-- 33-53, D. Seem to be holding open tryout for position players, as they prepare for move to AL next year. Their NY-Penn league team is here in Troy; I am told this year's prospects are best they've had in years.
Dodgers-- 47-40, B Everyone said Kemp/Ethier were carrying team, but the degree they fell off map after Kemp's injury was startling. Rumored to be in negotations to buy off some of Cubs' spare parts.
Marlins-- 41-44, D. Where do I start? D is for disaster. Bell has been brutal closing games, starting pitching is shaky, Bonifacio/Stanton are hurt now. Reyes has been healthy but ordinary, same for Ramirez.
Brewers-- 40-45, C-. Departure of Fielder obviously hurt, so dropoff isn't huge surprise, but Axford has been a disappointing closer. Aoki has been a help coming over from Japan, but Weeks is having dismal season.
Mets-- 46-40, B+. 3rd in NL in runs scored. Got way more than expected out of Santana/Dickey in rotation, but now Gee might be done for year, so it becomes a big decision: bring big prospect Harvey up or not?
Phillies-- 37-50, F. Injuries to Utley, Howard, Halladay have contributed to this unmitigated disaster, but they've been awful since Utley came back, so this could be lost season. Will they dump Hamels/Victorino for prospects?
Pirates-- 48-37, A+. Haven't had winning season since '92, so imagine how excited Pirate fans must be, in first place despite an offense with an OB% of .300, lowest in the National League.
Cardinals-- 46-40, B. Tough duty for Matheny, taking over world champs in year Pujols walked away with no big league compensation. Beltran has been a godsend. Cards are 4th in majors, 1st in NL in runs scored.
Padres-- 34-53, D. Still paying for horrendous Adrian Gonzalez trade. Hurt by Cashner's inability to stay healthy, since he seems like a potential ace. Scored 12 less runs than any other teams in baseball.
Giants-- 46-40, C+. Tied with mostly Kemp-less Dodgers with 51 HRs, least in MLB. Contending despite disasterous '12 from Lincecum, who is looking bewildered on mound. Vogelsong has picked up slack.
Nationals-- 49-34, A+. Davey Johnson is enhancing Hall of Fame resume as a manager. Interesting to see if they stick to word and shut Strasburg down when he hits his innings limit. Will they save innings for October?
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: