Weekly Nickel 8-15-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ervin Santana (pictured above) and the Angels pitching staff need to come up big in a crucial series against the lethal Texas Rangers offense this week.

By Josh Kramer

Last week was another great week in the wide world of sports.  This week promises to be another good one too.

Here are the main items you should be keeping an eye on.

5.  We are in the midst of the continued Big 12 shakeup, or are we?  A&M appeared headed for the SEC but was rejected (at least for now).  False alarm I guess.  And there were also rumors about Missouri, Clemson, and Florida State heading to America’s best football conference as well.  Even with yesterday’s false alarm, it still appears that the landscape of college sports could be on the verge of a major makeover in the near future. 

4.  College football practice continues around the country.  It is hard to believe, but opening night is just 17 days away.  Will we see a 6th straight National Champion out of the SEC?  Will Notre Dame once again rise to prominence?  Can Nebraska take the Big Ten by storm in year one?  All of these questions and more will begin to get answered in just 17 days.  These final few weeks of practice will play a large part in the teams you see on the field this year.

3.  I have never been the biggest fan of NFL Preseason football.  But watching games the past few nights has me excited I must say.  I think there is a general perception amongst the public that football is not being taken for granted.  Many realize that we were very close to missing a good part of the season or not having one at all.  Therefore, all parties involved are enjoying American’s most popular sports league to the fullest.  Ratings are way up for the preseason and do not expect that momentum to slow down when the season opens on September 8th, when the defending Super Bowl champion Packers take on Drew Brees and the exciting New Orleans offensive attack.

2.  Tennis almost hit number one on the list for the first time since Wimbledon.  We are in the midst of the always fun six-week US Open Series.  The tour just concluded the Canadian week of the series at the Rogers Cup, and now heads to Cincinnati.  Cincinnati always proves to be an exciting event where we get a much better idea of whats in store for the US OpenCan an American emerge?  Guys like Mardy Fish, John Isner, and more are doing all in their power to bring America that star who can win Grand Slams.

1.  There are just over 40 games left in the season.  Pennant races are heating up.  October is nearing.  What teams will run away with their divisions?  Which teams will collapse?  Who will emerge as the MVP?  Who will take home the Cy Young?

The matchup of the week occurs on the West Coast this week.

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels:  Nobody expected the Angels to hang with the Rangers the way they have this year.  Never doubt a team that possesses a great pitching staff though.  These are two teams that win in completely opposite fashions.  But they share two commonalities.  They each play in the AL West and they both find ways to win ball games.  Los Angeles has not won the West since 2009, with the Rangers not only winning the division last year, but also representing the American League in the World Series.  The Rangers were arguably the biggest winner at the trade deadline this year, or at least the biggest winner in the American League.  But you can never count an Angels team out that has the luxury of Weaver, Haren, and Santana at the top of their rotation.

Texas lucks out in this series though.  They avoid both Weaver (who did struggle in his last outing) and Haren.  Plus the Angels are not a dominant home team either, only sporting a record of 32 and 25 in the friendly confines of the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.  In addition, Los Angeles is supposedly a team that wins via small ball.  Sadly for the Angels though, they lost their 11th game of the year in walk off fashion yesterday.  They have not been all that great in close games.  Expect the Rangers to expand their lead out West by taking two of three in this very important AL West Showdown.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s