Nats - Evan Vucci - AP

National League Rundown

Last week we took a brief look at each American League Division. It’s time now to see who is making their playoff push and who is falling out of the pennant race in the National League.

National League East

NL East Standing Courtesy of MLB.com
NL East Standing Courtesy of MLB.com

Overall, the National League East has been a weak division this year. Atlanta started hot but has a losing record since the beginning of May. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals are 15 games over .500 over the same time frame. Entering play Friday, the Nationals have a six game lead over the Braves and it doesn’t look like they will give that lead up. The Nats are finding ways to win games late and Anthony Rendon looks like the real star of this team.

The Braves are competing for a Wild Card spot at this point but the rest of the division, minus Philadelphia, is in rebuilding mode. Atlanta’s final home stand ends with four games against the Pirates, which could have a huge impact on the NL Wild Card race.

National League Central

NL Central Standing Courtesy of MLB.com
NL Central Standing Courtesy of MLB.com

The central division is home of the closest race in the league with Brewers 1.5 games in front of the Cardinals and four games ahead of the Pirates. The Brewers started the season red hot and have been able to hold off everyone else in the division. However, St. Louis has narrowed the gap this month by a couple games despite giving up more runs than they have scored in August. This race could come down to the health of a couple of stars. Yadier Molina is working his way back from a thumb injury while Ryan Braun of the brewers is battling a thumb injury of his own.

The Cardinals are about to start a stretch of 30 games in 31 days that includes eight day games after night games. They also have eight games head to head against the Brewers so this race is far from over. The Pirates slipped up recently but are in the thick of the Wild Card race at just two games behind the leader. That four game set in Atlanta, who is half a game ahead of Pittsburgh, could make or break the Pirates. Cincinnati played themselves out of contention this month by winning only 10 of 25 games. The Cubs are still the loveable losers but they are getting their top prospect some valuable playing time down the stretch. An exciting race is on deck for the two Central frontrunners

National League West

NL West Standing Courtesy of MLB.com
NL West Standing Courtesy of MLB.com

The West is not very wild this season. The Dodgers and Giants are the only teams with a chance to make the postseason but the Giants have given ground in the month of August. The Dodgers currently lead the Giants by 4.5 games after San Francisco has played .500 ball in August. The teams play each other six times in September and the Giants have to win those series to claim a division title this year.

There is not much to say about the Padres, Diamondbacks and Rockies. They are bad teams than can only play the role of spoilers down the stretch. Expect LA and San Francisco to take advantage of these guys in the final month.

My Predictions:

NL East Champion: Washington Nationals

NL Central Champion: St. Louis Cardinals

NL West Champion: Los Angeles Dodgers

NL Wild Card (1): San Francisco Giants

NL Wild Card (2): Atlanta Braves

Follow Dave on Twitter: @BirdmanBelt

*Featured image credit: Evan Vucci, AP

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Williams-Brice Stadium is one of the toughest venues for visiting teams in the nation.

Texas A&M at South Carolina: Quick Review

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Kenny Football? Doesn’t have the same ring to it but he played like he deserved it last night. On a big stage with a wild crowd in his ear, he delivered. On the other hand South Carolina missed several big opportunities. It definitely seemed as if Texas A&M was more prepared and ready to play. Here are some quick points that I picked up from the game last night.  Continue reading

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals

AGSH NFL Preview: NFC West

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And last but certainly not least. Saving the best for last or any other cliche you can think of will work for this preview. AGSH has previewed every conference in football ending with the NFC West.

A few years ago, this division was the laughing stock of the NFL. But now after a few great coaching hires, franchise quarterbacks and stellar defenses this division is the cream of the crop.

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Breaking The Huddle: Pregame Huddle Week 1

Yes, its finally here! College Football has graced us with its presence and I couldn’t be more excited. Week one is no pushover either with several great matchups that you don’t need to miss. We may even be blessed with an upset or two. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in shall we.

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Exploiting the Non-Expert Draft

The wide world of fantasy football is one where the vast majority of people play to have fun.  They play in home leagues, they play in office leagues, they play in public leagues… they DON’T play in expert leagues.  There in lies a great conundrum among much fantasy advice floating around out there.  It’s simply a bias that most fantasy analysts fall victim to, in the fact that they don’t compete in the same types of leagues in which 99% of people out there compete.  They play in expert leagues, the big money leagues, and the tournaments, thus they sometimes have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.  Their advice and draft strategies tend to lean toward playing other experts.  Now I’m not saying we throw the pre-ranks out with the baby and the bath water, but there are some fallacies in gearing 99% of drafts out there towards what experts would do in their own leagues.  So, first let’s identify some things from the common man’s draft compared to an experts.

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Phoenix Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings

Breaking: EXPANSION

The fact of the matter is we have no expansion process we are going through. It is not something we envision happening anytime soon, if at all. I know there is a lot of speculation and, yes, there is a lot of interest and we are getting a lot of interest from multiple parties in multiple places, but it is not anything yet that we are prepared to deal with on a formal basis. We are listening to the expressions of interest. We have not decided what if anything to do with it.

-Gary Bettman, March 2014-

Well well well. What do we have here? HIGH DRAMA! We all knew that Bettman was a lying pile of rubbish. The guy is only any real good when he’s negotiating. Why do you think we have lockouts every single time the CBA is up? Then we get to hear the nonsense flowing from his mouth throughout the ordeal. Never take anything this guy has to say seriously. There is a 98% chance that it is the furthest possible thing from the truth. And judging from the quotes above and the title of this article….EXPANSION IS REAL and it is coming to the NHL!

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AGSH Top 25

With college football season starting this weekend, we at A Good Sports Hang decided it would be a good idea to try and create our own version of the Top 25 poll. Using the AP and USA Today polls as guidelines, myself, Stu ShoemakeKeith Harkins, and TL Grubbs emailed back and forth for the past week debating how we would rank the Top 25 coming into the season. Here’s what we came up with:

The Top Five

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1. Florida State
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. Gus Malzahn
5. Oklahoma Continue reading

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Pro-Wrestling’s biggest misses and near misses of the 90’s: Aldo Montoya

AGSH

Justin Credible is considered by many fans of ECW to be a legend. However, not all fans know that without a previous stint in the WWE, (in arguably one of the worst gimmicks ever devised by a wrestling organization) he may have never come to prominence. That’s why Aldo Montoya,was a huge miss for the WWE.  Continue reading

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