13) Dodgers traded Matt Kemp/Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood to the Reds, making it obvious they’re clearing roster/payroll space to go after free agent Bryce Harper.
Not sure what the Reds are thinking, unless they’re going to flip Puig to a contender.
12) Washington Nationals signed P Anibal Sanchez, Cardinals signed reliever Andrew Miller.
11) Pac-12 basketball teams are 5-27 vs spread as underdogs so far this season. That is a hard stat to believe, but I checked it twice. They don’t have any teams in KenPom’s top 40, which pretty much means the conference tournament winner might be the only Pac-12 team in the NCAA tournament in March.
10) A’s traded for 2B Jurickson Profar in a 3-way deal with Texas, Tampa Bay. Profar was one of five American Leaguers LY with at least 35 doubles, 20 home runs, 75 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
— A’s traded two prospects, a draft pick and international bonus money for Profar.
— Texas got four prospects and international bonus money
— Tampa Bay got two pitching prospects and a draft pick.
9) Rick Pitino will coach EuroLeague powerhouse Panathinaikos in Greece, starting Thursday. His team is currently in 10th place with a 6-7 record- his roster has Giannis Antetokounmpo’s younger brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, former Kings big man Georgios Papagiannis, and ex-NBA point guard Nick Calathes.
The team’s owner is notorious for being a volatile human who once threatened to kill the refs, so this could be interesting.
8) Couple years ago I spent this week at the Aria hotel, which is very nice but the pizza I had there was lame. Last night, I gave the same pizza place a second chance and it was very good. Not really sure why there was such a difference; they probably just had a bad day back then.
Will probably be there again Sunday watching NFL games, so more pizza is in the offing.
7) New Jersey Jets have thrown 58 passes this season that went 20+ yards downfield but completed only 17% of them, which isn’t good.
Bills/Packers have both thrown 78 such passes, most in the league, Buffalo completing 27% of them, Green Bay 35%. Giants have thrown 57 of them, completing 44%.
6) FIU 35, Toledo 32— First underdog to win a bowl game this season; this was the 9th bowl.
5) BYU 49, Western Michigan 18— Cougars were down 10-7 at halftime, then dominated the second half. Both teams finished the season 7-6. Favorites are 8-2 vs spread in bowls so far.
4) Rockets’ PG Chris Paul has a hamstring issue, is expected to be out 2-3 weeks. Houston is 0-5 without Paul this season.
3) Six former G-League head coaches have become NBA head coaches; 40% of players on NBA rosters played at one time or another in the G-League. 74 other G-League coaches have moved up to the NBA as an assistant.
2) Buffalo Bulls of the MAC split a couple road games with Syracuse/Marquette this week, but more impressive than that is this: Buffalo was a small underdog in both games, getting 3.5 points at Syracuse, 2 points at Marquette- thats the oddsmaker telling us that Buffalo is at least as good as their more brand-name opponents.
Buffalo hammered Arizona in the NCAA’s last year; they’ll likely be a force this March, too.
1) Looks like the Oakland Raiders will play home games at AT&T Park in San Francisco next year, where the baseball Giants play. Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020 and the city of Oakland is suing them, so the Coliseum is out for next year.