June 10th, 2012
The Los Angeles Kings could be just one win away from their FIRST ever NHL Stanley Cup win.
The Kings lost 1-2 against the Devils last night, making the New Jersey Devils the third team in the history of the NHL to change their luck from being 0-3 in a seven game finals to winning two games, ensuring game 6.
The Kings have proven that they will do everything they can to end the series once and for all tomorrow night with the home-court Staples Center advantage once again playing in their favor!
Regardless of who wins the Stanley Cup this year, NHL History will be made:
•The Los Angeles Kings are looking for their first Stanley Cup in the team’s 45-year history.
•The Devils, should they win the next two games, would become the first team in 70 years to win a Stanley Cup after being down 3-0 in the series.
The Kings would also become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings pulled it off in 1997 to win the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals on the road and then win the title.
Since the 2000 playoffs, there have been 135 series played (not counting the 2012 Stanley Cup finals), according to CBS Sports. In 29 of those series, the road team won the first two games of the playoff series. In 23 of those 29 series, that road team went on to win the series and advance to the next round.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what playoff round had the most series where the road team won the first two games of the series (since 2000):
Conference Quarterfinals: 15 (those road teams won the series 10 of the 15 times)
Conference Semifinals: nine (those road teams won eight of the nine series)
Conference Finals: five (those road teams won the series each time)
The Kings are also the first road team to win the first two games of the series in each of four rounds of a playoff. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim won the first two games of the first three rounds of the 2003 playoffs as the road team. In the finals, however, they lost Games 1 & 2 to the New Jersey Devils.
In 1949, the Toronto Maple Leafs won Games 1 and 2 as the road team in the semifinals and the Stanley Cup Finals. Whereas the Maple Leafs accomplished this feat in two rounds of the playoffs, the Kings accomplished it this year in four rounds of the playoffs.
The Kings are the 12th team to win Games 1 and 2 of the finals as the road team in a seven-game series. Of the previous 11 teams to accomplish this, nine went on to win the title. Will the Kings follow suit?
Here’s a look at the road teams that won Game 1 and 2 of a seven-game Stanley Cup finals:
Year, Road team wins games 1 and 2 (series outcome)
2012 L.A. Kings (?)
1997 Detroit Redwings (won Cup over Philadelphia Flyers)
1995 N.J. Devils (won Cup over Detroit)
1990 Edmonton Oilers (won Cup over Boston)
1983 N.Y. Islanders (won Cup over Edmonton)
1970 Boston (won Cup over St. Louis Blues)
1968 Montreal (won Cup over St. Louis)
1966 Detroit (lost Cup to Montreal)
1952 Detroit (won Cup over Montreal)
1949 Toronto (won Cup over Detroit)
1945 Toronto (won Cup over Detroit)
1942 Detroit (lost Cup to Toronto)
March 27th, 2012
Aaron Michael Harang
The Los Angeles Dodgers now have the unbelievable talent and experience of veteran starting pitcher Aaron Harang in their rotation as they start their 2012-2013 Dodgers Season campaign. Despite having been sidelined in recent years by various health issues that put him on the disabled list multiple times, the veteran right-hander is coming off a rebound season, going 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA in 170.2 innings pitched.
The Dodgers are hopeful that Harang can stay healthy and keep up his performance as they finally landed the prolific pitcher late last year after having pursued Harang heavily in the past. The 33-year-old was signed to a 2-year, $12 million, free-agent contract with a mutual option for 2014 to help fill in the team after the departure of Hiroki Kuroda, slotting in as the Dodgers’ fourth starter.
“It made it more enticing, knowing it wasn’t something just spontaneous, like, ‘Let’s just go after this guy,’” Harang said. “It’s been in the back of my mind that they’ve wanted me a while. That made it an easier decision, knowing people want you and have been working at something for multiple years.”
For Harang, one of the added attractions of signing with the Dodgers was the proximity to home and playing at the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium. The San Diego native was born on May 9, 1978 in San Diego, California and continues to reside in the area with his family. While pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium is not quite as spacious as Petco Park – or as much as a veritable oasis for pitchers of any quality – the 6-foot-7, 260-pound right-hander is confident that his addition to the Dodgers rotation is a good fit and believes there is a very good chance that the Dodgers will contend this season.
“I’m excited about the opportunity I have here. This is a really good ballclub here. We definitely have a shot to be there at the end.”
Harang was first drawn into professional baseball after being selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 22nd round of the 1996 MLB Draft (661st overall) but he did not sign with the team, opting to finish college. Following his graduation from San Diego State University, Harang was drafted and signed by the Texas Rangers in the 6th round of the 1999 MLB Draft (195th overall), kicking off a solid career that has seen him soar into the Major Leagues and develop into a top-caliber pitcher.
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March 25th, 2012
As the basketball season winds down, the excitement heats up as another NBA Playoff season kicks off for a battle to win the national championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers may undoubtedly be one of the greatest franchises in the history of professional sports. The Lakers have made an astounding 47 playoff appearances, captured the division title 27 times, made 25 NBA Finals appearances and won the NBA championship 11 times throughout their LA Staples Center history.
The team won its first championship in 1972 thanks to the remarkable play of Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich and Jerry West. The Lakers would later enjoy their most impressive run during the 1980s, when they ascended to dynasty status by capturing the NBA championship in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.
After a period of rebuilding, the Lakers would return as a top contender with the pairing of All-Stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to capture five championships in the 2000s. The team capped off their 50th season in Los Angeles with yet another championship win in 2010, laying the groundwork for several more decades of playoff success.
Of course, some of the greatest contributors to the team’s postseason success are the stellar coaches and players who have made their mark in the history of NBA lore. Coaching greats Pat Riley, Bill Sharman and Phil Jackson have led Laker squads to several championship wins, and legends such as Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have sported the yellow and purple in many a playoff game.
The 2012 NBA Playoffs are scheduled to start on April 28th, 2012 with the last possible 2012 NBA Finals date scheduled for June 26th, 2012. They seeding rewards the teams that have the best record. There are some caveats; however, as a divisional winner is guaranteed to be seeded no worse than #4. The other tiebreakers that are used to determine the seeding for the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
There were six coaching changes made prior to the start of the 2011-12 NBA season. Of note is the LA Laker’s coach, Phil Jackson, heading into retirement again after failing to make the NBA finals in his final season.
Just like past years, the 2012 NBA Playoffs will feature 8 teams in each conference. Divisional winners earn automatic playoff spots and the five teams with the best records after the division champs earn the right to play in the post season. The teams are seeded based on record and matched up according to seed. For example, the #1 seed in each conference will play the #8 seed from that same conference. Each round of the playoffs consists of a best of 7 series with a total of four rounds in the tournament culminating with the 2012 NBA Championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers are overall favorite to win the 2012 NBA Championship, beside Miami Heat. These two teams are on a collision course towards meeting in the Finals which will definitely not disappoint.
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March 4th, 2012
Kings Vs Ducks
March 3rd 7:30pm
KINGS Vs DUCKS 4, 2: Jeff Carter scored twice in his home debut and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves as Los Angeles moved to within one point of a playoff spot and damaged the Anaheim Ducks postseason chances.
Carter, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to the trade deadline, broke a 1-1 tie when he roofed a rebound early in the second and wired a wrist shot past Jonas Hiller later in the period to make it 3-1.
Captain Dustin Brown scored in the first period, Mike Richards notched three assists and Anze Kopitar added an empty-netter for Los Angeles, which has won three of its last four games.
Rookie Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman Sheldon Brookbank scored for the Ducks, who remain seven points out of eighth place with 16 games to play.
Smith-Pelly beat Quick with a low wrist shot to the stick side 13 seconds after Carter’s second tally.
Brown collected the puck near Hiller’s pad after a shot by Alec Martinez and patiently found room inside the right post at 12:15 for his sixth goal in the last six games.
Brookbank tied it 3:27 later when his shot from the point fluttered through traffic and over Quick’s right shoulder.
Hiller stopped Brown’s shorthanded breakaway early in the first period.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Brookbank has three goals in 261 career games, two in the last nine. … The Los Angeles Kings have won four of the first five meetings this season. … Hiller made 16 saves and increased his franchise record with his 25th straight start. He is 15-6-4 during that span. … Los Angeles improved to 80-0-6 in its last 86 games when leading after two periods. … The Kings are 19-0-2 this season when scoring three or more goals.
Next up for the Los Angeles Kings are the Detroit Red Wings on March 13th at the Staples Center. You can purchase Red Wings Vs Kings Tickets today. We stock Kings Tickets for all home and away games.
March 3rd, 2012
Preview: Ducks at Kings
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, March 3, 2012
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
THE STORY: The Los Angeles Kings made arguably the boldest move prior the NHL trade deadline when they acquired center Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Carter will make his home debut when the Kings host the even more desperate Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. Carter didn’t register a point in his first two games as a King, but will have to start scoring soon if Los Angeles is to make the playoffs. The Ducks defeated the Calgary Flames in dramatic fashion 3-2 on Friday.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FS West
ABOUT THE DUCKS (28-27-10): If Anaheim somehow completes its improbable rally and reaches the playoffs, it will look back at Friday’s game as a big reason. Ryan Getzlaf scored his first goal in 18 games with 46 seconds left to keep the Ducks seven points behind San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars, who are tied for seventh. Anaheim was 20 points out of the playoffs on Jan. 6. Corey Perry snapped a three-game goalless streak with his 31st of the season and Jonas Hiller made his franchise-record 24th straight start Friday. He is 15-5-4 during that span. The Ducks are 5-4-0 in the second of back-to-back games this season. Anaheim plays nine of its last 17 games on the road.
ABOUT THE KINGS (29-23-12): Los Angeles is three points out of playoff position. The Kings are last in the NHL at 2.09 goals scored per game, a key factor in obtaining Carter for talented defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick. Carter averaged 28 goals in his last four seasons in with he Philadelphia Flyers, but had only 14 in 54 games with Columbus this season prior to the trade. Jonathan Quick has done his best to keep Los Angeles in the race with a 1.92 goals-against average and .932 save percentage, both third among goaltenders who have played at least 10 games. The Kings begin a four-game road trip Tuesday in Nashville Preditors, where they lost 2-1 on Monday.
1. The Kings have won three of four meetings this season, including 3-2 in a shootout in the last encounter Dec. 22.
2. The under is 6-0 in the last six meetings in Los Angeles.
PREDICTION: Kings 3, Ducks 1
Ducks Vs Kings Tickets are still available for tonight.
February 27th, 2012
Kobe Bryant got the scoring record, Kevin Durant the MVP, and the West got the win – barely.
Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant scored 36 points to lead the Western Conference All-Stars to a 152-149 victory against the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, earning MVP honors in the process. The game proved to be about as dramatic as one without any lead-changes can be, as the East rallied from a deficit that reached as many as 20 points in the final period to draw to within one point twice in the final two minutes, only to come up short. LeBron James had 36 points, six rebounds, and seven assists for the East, while Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade posted a 24-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.
James and Deron Williams helped lead the East’s comeback effort as each hit a pair of three-pointers in the final period. Williams ignited the Amway Center crowd by stealing a Durant inbounds pass under the basket and laying the ball in to bring the East to within a point. After forcing a LA Lakers Kobe Bryant miss, the East had a chance to claim its first lead of the game on a fast break, but Wade lost the ball out of bounds on what should have been an easy layup attempt.
And, in a twist that’ll be debated throughout the media in the days ahead, James turned the ball over with two seconds left and his team trailing by two points. Williams’ go-ahead three-point try missed the mark, but New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony made an impressive back-tap to keep the ball alive for the East. James recovered the ball, but fumbled it away before the East could call timeout or get anything going. It was the 19th turnover of the night for the host conference, which was one of the factors that contributed to its defeat: the West scored 30 points off the East’s turnovers.
The game got off to a horrid start, with the East somehow managing to shoot 43.3 percent in the first period of an All-Star Game. The silliness progressed from there, as one might expect, given the low-intensity, low-stakes nature of the event. The West’s 88 first-half points set a new record for All-Star scoring in a half, which is as good an indicator of the quality of play through the first 24 minutes as any.
But in the third quarter, the game turned and all the players on both sides seemed to wake up. James hit three three-pointers in the first three minutes after halftime, helping the East cut the West’s lead from 21 to 12. Wade’s hard foul of a driving Bryant at the 8:48 mark–it drew blood! in an All-Star Game!–signaled the East meant business, and would not be content to let the West continue to pile up the points. Bryant declined to address the media after the game due to a headache he suffered on that foul.
Durant had plenty of help in leading the West to its second consecutive victory. Bryant scored 27, though he shot just 4-of-11 after the first period, while Russell Westbrook scored 21 points in 28 minutes off the bench, giving the East fits with his speed and leaping ability. Kevin Love scored eight of his quiet 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the West hold off the East.
In all, the players rewarded the City of Orlando with an All-Star Game for the ages, despite the low-energy first half. Several records fell: Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the career All-Star scoring list; the East made 14 three-pointers; the teams combined for 301 points; Wade tallied the third triple-double in All-Star history; and Durant and James nearly broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record for single-game All-Star scoring (42 points).
February 27th, 2012
Latroy Hawkings Angels
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is a team with a lot of outstanding players. One of these players is LaTroy Hawkins.
LaTroy Hawkins is a 6 feet five inch relief pitcher who is a right-handed thrower and also a right-handed hitter. He used to play baseball when he was in high school in Westside Gary, Indiana. It was in 1991 when he was drafted in the 7th round by the team of Twins in the amateur draft. He signed with the team on June 7, 1991. By then, he has his next four years playing in the team’s minor league system. In April 29, 1995, he has his first appearance in the Major League Baseball and it was challenging for him as the team faced the team of Orioles. However, over the next few years, LaTroy Hawkins was able to bounce between the big league club and Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League, finally landing in his team’s bullpen permanently in 1998. And he was the opposing starting pitcher in the perfect game by Yankees pitcher David Wells on May of 1998.
LaTroy Hawkins of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was born on December 21, 1972 in Gary, Inidana. After eight seasons with the Minnesota Twins, LaTroy Hawkins moved to the teams of Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers before joining the team of Angels of Anaheim. It was one of the great career opportunities for Hawkins. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and veteran reliever Hawkins agreed to a one-year deal worth three million dollars in December 2011. He was 39 years of age then when he signed with the team of Angels of Anaheim, entering his 18th Major League season. His past two years was spent with the Brewers, posting a 2.42 ERA in 52 appearances in 2011 becoming a key figure in the team’s runaway division title in the National League Central.
LaTroy Hawkins continues to flourish with the Angels of Anaheim. In fact, this right-hander pitcher spends his time in the camp with the team of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim which is his ninth team in ten glorious years. According to LaTroy Hawkins, joining and spending time with the Angels of Anaheim team is really fun among all of his stops along the way in his journey in the world of Major League Baseball. In addition to this he also stated that he is moving around the game, he’s playing with the greatest players in the world, and what excites him the most is the fact that he is almost forty years of age and playing a kid’s sport, anyone can’t beat that according to him. LaTroy Hawkins really enjoys being with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team. Age does not matter indeed when you will embrace your passion and follow your dreams…LaTroy Hawkins saw this opportunity to flourish with the Angels of Anaheim.
We have Angels Tickets for all home games at Angels Stadium.
February 27th, 2012
THE STORY: It is crunch time for the Los Angeles Kings and they will bring that urgency to the Music City on Monday when they clash with the Nashville Predators. The Kings are ninth in the Western Conference, two points behind the Dallas Stars for the last playoff spot. This is the second of four meetings this season, with the Kings winning the first game 4-3 at home.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS West (Kings), FS Tennessee (Predators)
ABOUT THE KINGS (28-22-12): With trade rumors running rampant around Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown, he is certainly doing what he can to make the decision to keep him easier than to trade him. Brown scored a hat trick and added an assist Saturday to lift the Kings to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. “I’ve been a King my whole career, and I expect to be a King beyond the next few days,” said Brown, who has four goals and two assists in his last three outings. “With all the rumors flying around, it’s my responsibility to prepare myself to be the best I can.” The four goal outburst was an oddity for the Kings, who are last in the NHL with an average of 2.08 goals per game.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (36-19-7): Monday’s trade deadline could be interesting in Nashville. The Predators – with 79 points – appear secure in their chances of making the playoffs. Therefore Monday could be about adding depth for a deep playoff run. That might be all Nashville needs. The Predators, who are 3-0-1 in their last four games, are built from the net out with All-Star goaltender Pekka Rinne. He has made an NHL-high 56 starts and leads the league with 34 wins, and is a certainty to be nominated for the Vezina Trophy – and possibly the Hart.
1. Kings center Jarret Stoll tied a career-high with three assists Saturday.
2. Martin Erat has a goal and three assists in his last three games for Nashville.
3. Mike Fisher leads the Predators with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 30 home games.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Kings 2
Predators Vs Kings tickets for tonights game are still available. We stock Kings Tickets for all home and away games.
February 26th, 2012
Friday night the NBA hosted a number of events, none more interesting than the 2012 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (5 p.m. | ESPN) and BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (7 p.m. | TNT).
Back in my day All-Star Friday night would be a place where they’d just talk to the All-Stars on camera, live, and get Karl Malone mad. The Celebrity Game and “Rookie” game have both gone through a number of changes over the years. This year in the Celebrity game they augmented the rosters with some former NBA-All Stars (passed their prime), and one WNBA notable (Tamika Catchings). The coaches for the two teams (somehow separated into “East” and “West”) were Orlando Magic Dwight Howard and Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant respectively. I really had no idea who the celebrities in the celebrity game were except for the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Kevin Hart.
There were even more changes in the Rookie game. This year they put all the rookies and sophomores into a pool, and had Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley alternate picks to fill out the two teams. The rosters used to only be 8 players strong, but because Jeremy Lin is a huge story right now, they increased the roster size to 10 players. In the older format it was very rare for the rookie team to beat the sophomore team. This way seems a bit more interesting though; you know, provided that the people making the picks actually know what they are doing. Ex Los Angeles Lakers Shaq’s first two picks, LA Clippers Blake Griffin and Jeremy Lin, both hardly played at all during the game. On the other hand, Chuck’s first two picks dominated when they were in the game. Early on DeMarcus Cousins was dunking on everybody, and his first pick Kyrie Irving won the MVP of the game (He went 8-8 from downtown). Also the two teams had every uneven coaching. Shaq’s team was coached by an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls and Steve Kerr (TNT). The Chicago Bulls assistant was coaching in a game where no one played defense, so he was wasted; and Kerr was a GM but never a coach. On Charles’ team the two coaches were Maurice Cheeks (Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach), and Mike Fratello (TNT). Mo Cheeks and The Czar were both NBA head coaches — and Mike was totally into the game actually coaching.
I’m having difficulty finding an actual Box Score of the game, but Gordon Hayward finished the game with 14 points, a pair of blocks, and countless nice passes. His outside shot was still missing; however he got to do a little bit of everything and he looked like he was having fun. I was particularly impressed with his defensive rebounds — which he snagged due to his length and athleticism, I would like to see more of that for the Jazz. Derrick Favors also added 14 points, in 14 minutes according to John Hollinger. He made pretty much all of his shots, including all of his free throws — and he was the only guy out there on Chuck’s team who failed to convert his thinking into “Exhibition Game Mode”. In a way, he was the analog to Shaq’s team’s dour blue collar bigman Greg Monroe. They both played back to the basket, had some dunks, but many more of their finishes were fundamentally sound. And they both played post defense, instead of just letting people dunk it. Monroe, of course, stole the game and the highlight of the game when — in super-duper garbage time, actually disrupted a potential John Wall Jam, and turned it into a full court assist with seconds left on the clock.
Both of our guys played well off the bench, and seem to be enjoying themselves. Hopefully they can get more playing time together in the second half of the season. I think the last time I watched the rookie game was when Andrei Kirilenko was a sophomore, and he was the only guy playing defense for his team. Nice to know that few things have changed for the mentality of our players.
February 25th, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers Season Preview – 2012
Analysis of the 2011 season
The Dodgers were a gloriously average team last year, finishing the season 82-79 and coming in 3rd in the NL West. In many of the main statistics the Dodgers were also in the middle of the pack, including batting average (12th in the league), on base percentage (14th), and saves (16th). That said the Dodgers also have a lot of things that went well last season to build off of. They committed only 85 errors on the season (5th best in the league) and had a team pitching ERA of 3.54 (5th). Where the team seemed to fall short was on offense however, only scoring 644 runs (21st in the league). While this is far from the worst in the MLB (and earned them a +32 in runs differential), it’s also something that, if improved significantly, will make the Dodgers a playoff team in 2012.
Analysis of the offseason
Overshadowed by the cross-town success of the Angels this offseason, the Dodgers still made some significantly good moves without changing the successful core of their team. The signing of star OF Matt Kemp to an 8-year deal was perhaps the biggest win for the Dodgers as Kemp is a guaranteed superstar hitting the prime of his career. Resigning Andre Ethier and James Loney were also good moves, and the 2-year deal reached with pitcher Clayton Kershaw (their best arm) was vital to keeping the Dodgers’ fantastic pitching staff intact. Signing Aaron Harang from free agency, a past strikeout and wins champion in the National League, was probably the biggest splash they made out of resigning players.
Analysis of the 2012 season
There are a few tough stretches that will determine the success of the Dodgers this year. In late June they’ll have to go on the road for two series, first against the Angels and then against the rival Giants, that will be key to keeping or regaining momentum for the heart of the season. 4 or 5 wins from those 6 games will go a long way to helping the Dodgers’ confidence as they go up against the reeling Mets and Reds after that. Wining those initial series would mean almost a month of wins and playoff implications that could be the make or break part of the year. The last 3 series for the Dodgers are on the road at San Diego, at home against the Rockies, and at home against the Giants again. A strong finish may just mean a wildcard berth in a tough division led by the Diamondbacks.
As mentioned, Matt Kemp is the star of this team. The leader in batting average, home runs, rbi’s, on base percentage, stolen bases and hits, Kemp’s signing means that the Dodgers not only believe that he will be successful in the future but also the cornerstone of their franchise. Kemp has publicly said that he intends to steal 50 bases and hit 50 home runs this season, something that has never been done in the MLB before. If can somehow accomplish this (or even come close) the Dodgers will be looking at a much better season this year as opposed to last. Kershaw is also an invaluable member of the team, leading the team in ERA, wins, and strikeouts. His performance may just be the key for the pitching of the Dodgers to become one of the best staffs in the league.
The Dodgers are largely going to be the same team next year and, due to their young age and decent performance last season, will probably be a bit better in 2012. With the man that could be the league MVP on their side and a year of keeping the core of their players together I don’t foresee a fantastic team, but a team that will win more 5-10 more games than last season. This might win the NL West if the D-Backs and Giants both underperform, but I don’t think it will.
Prediction = 87-75, 2nd in the NL West
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