13) Of the 24 guys who played in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, only seven are still on the same team now that they were back then, only 2.5 years ago.
12) If you follow the NFL, play fantasy football or wager on games, I highly recommend Warren Sharp’s 2019 Football Handbook, which you can get on Amazon. Tremendous amount of good NFL knowledge.
If you watched the 4-part series Showtime did on sports gambling last winter, Sharp is the brains behind the football wagering of pro gambler Bill Krackomberger, who was featured in the series. If you’re betting $3,000 a game, you better have some serious knowledge on your side, and Sharp possesses that knowledge.
11) Starting August 1st, Aria, Vdara and Bellagio are increasing their resort fees from $39 a day to $45 a day, as MGM increases all their resort fees.
Resort fees are an artificial way of ripping off tourists; it’d be less offensive if they just added $45 a day to the damn room rates.
Those three hotels are expensive enough; people like myself are going to stop heading west for vacations if the airlines and hotels keep jacking up their rates.
10) Baseball at the All-Star break:
Most profitable team to bet: Rangers +$1,408
Least profitable team to bet: Royals -$1,915
Most profitable starter: Cashner +$1,050
Least profitable starter: Sale -$947
Favorites: 798-545 (+220)
Overs: 655-622-65 (+777)
9) Interesting article on the Interweb this week about how NBA trainers believe that kids who play basketball year-round, with no breaks, are more likely to break down physically as they get older. Parents are more and more having their kids specialize in one sport at an earlier age; there are varied opinions on whether this is a good idea.
Guys who were trainers 20-30 years ago were saying how players back then would take a few weeks off after the season to re-charge, and also do non-basketball conditioning stuff during the summer, rather than just be in the gym every day.
8) Alex Bregman needed four stitches to close a cut on his chin after he took a bad-hop single to the face in Thursday night’s loss to the Rangers.
7) Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul late Thursday; Rockets also sent two protected 1st-round picks (’24 and ’26, both protected Nos. 1-4) and two pick swaps (’21 and ’25) to the Thunder, who should probably host the draft for the next several years.
Oklahoma City is already working on trading Paul, undoubtedly for more draft picks. For the record, Paul (34) is four years older than Westbrook.
Bad news for the State Farm Insurance people, who now have to shoot a whole new set of commercials with Paul off the Rockets.
6) Clemson’s basketball team went overseas and won the gold medal at the World University Games, an excellent experience for Brad Brownell’s Tigers.
5) First-round matchups in November’s Battle for Atlantis basketball tournament:
4) First-round matchups for November’s Myrtle Beach Invitational:
3) First-round matchups for November’s Wooden Legacy:
Providence/Long Beach State
2) First-round matchups for November’s Charleston Classic: Florida/St. Joe’s
1) So far this season, 60.5% of the runs Justin Verlander has allowed came via home runs; if that holds up for the season, it’ll be the highest percentage in major league history. Last week, Verlander went off loudly on this year’s baseballs being juiced. He should know.
Verlander has earned $226,515,000 in his career, with $66M more coming in 2020-21; he is also married to Kate Upton, so it is possible he has forfeited the right to complain about anything, even juiced-up baseballs, for a very long time.