Things are happening in the world of sports! Chelsea has yet to win a match under the watchful eye of their rabid fan base. Denny Hamlin is making it tough on teammate Kyle Busch. The Yankees and Dodgers remain dominant in Major League Baseball even though neither made a move before the trade deadline. Check out what’s happened in sports this past week!
Weekend Sports Update – August 19th Edition
Hamlin Climbs to Second Place in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Standings
Those who have followed NASCAR during the past decade know what a great driver Denny Hamlin is. Hamlin, a Joe Gibbs Racing pilot, won the night race at Bristol this past Saturday on August 17. It was Denny’s second victory in the last four Monster Energy Cup Races. It was his fifth straight Top 5 finish: fifth at Kentucky, second at New Hampshire, first at Pocono, third at Watkins Glen, second at Michigan, and first at Bristol.
With Hamlin moving into second on the Monster Energy Cup Standings, Joe Gibbs must be feeling pretty good right now. Kyle Busch, Hamlin’s teammate, remains atop the standings with 932 points. Oh, but, wait! There’s even better news for Joe Gibbs. Not only does Gibbs Racing hold the top two spots in the standings, they also hold the third spot.
Martin Truex Jr. also drives for Gibbs. No excuses this year, right? Anything less than a Monster Energy Cup victory would be a disappointment.
Preparation Week for 2019 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament
Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic are readying themselves this week for the 2019 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. The final major of the year takes place starting next Monday on August 26.
Djokovic won the U.S. Open last year. The world’s number one has continued to play great although he did lose to Daniil Medvedev at the Western and Southern Open Semifinals over the weekend.
Last year’s women’s winner, Naomi Osaka, hasn’t been nearly as sharp. She did win the Australian Open, but since then she’s struggled. Osaka has a lot to prove starting next week while Djokovic should do what he always does, make it to the final weekend in a major tournament.
Lampard and Chelsea Still Looking for First EPL Victory
After the 0-4 loss to Manchester United to open the Frank Lampard Era, the Chelsea coach most definitely got his team to step it up at the UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea battled Liverpool tough, only losing via penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation.
However, over the weekend, Lampard’s strategic decision to keep Chelsea front-foot forward while their fullbacks hang back with a 1-0 lead against Leicester City led to another draw. Leicester City tied it up at minute 66.
Unless Lampard changes the strategy, most soccer analysts believe he should push his fullbacks forward or keep his forward players more back, Chelsea could continue to have trouble. One thing to note is that when he did push his fullbacks forward against Man U, Marcus Rashford got an easy breakaway goal.
There’s no easy answer. The Blues fans aren’t happy, but Lampard did make the right moves against Liverpool while Chelsea did have a great shot of beating Leicester. It could only be a matter of time before Chelsea starts playing like one of the better teams in the English Premier League.
New York Yankees and L.A. Dodgers Maintain Best Records in Baseball
The Yankees and Dodgers continue to dominate their MLB competition even though the two World Series contenders did pretty much nothing to improve their squads before the trade deadline. By far, the more impressive team has been the L.A. Dodgers.
Los Angeles has a true Cy Young contender in Hyun-Jin-Ryu. The South Korean pitcher’s 1.64 ERA, .94 WHIP and 12-3 record are close to mind-boggling. Ryu’s road ERA is 2.55. He’s improved mightily in that area. Although the Dodgers might not have the bullpen to win in the postseason, Dave Roberts could get creative and use pitchers like Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda to support Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler. Maybe, it’s wrong to write off the Dodgers so quickly.
It’s probably not wrong to write off the Yankees. The bullpen is good, but the starters aren’t great. Once the postseason rolls around, the Yankees should be in some trouble.
College Football Week 1 Starts on August 24
College football starts on Saturday, August 24 when the Miami FL Hurricanes take on the #8 Florida Gators at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. Miami isn’t expected to be a great team this season. Florida could challenge Georgia for the SEC East title.
In the second game on Saturday, Hawaii battles Arizona. Arizona is a -11 favorite. Don’t expect the Wildcats to dominate the Warriors. Let’s just say that Arizona has some major issues while Hawaii looks like an up and comer.
We go more in depth regarding both games this week.
Raiders Already Tired of Antonio Brown’s Antics
Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock said that it’s time for Antonio Brown to either “be all in or be all out”. Since becoming an Oakland Raider, AB has lived up to the wide receiver diva moniker. That’s pretty much all he’s done since arriving to Raider’s camp in a hot air balloon. Oakland is tiring of AB’s antics already.
Sorry to say, most NFL fans are now blaring, “We told you so!”
Saints’ Quarterback Situation Looking Strong
While the Raiders are having trouble with their most high-profile player, the New Orleans Saints are looking strong with the most important position on the football field. One of the biggest storylines heading into the 2019 NFL Season is if or when Saints future hall of fame quarterback Drew Brees’s immense skills will decline. Articles have been written ad nauseum about whether Brees can maintain his excellence.
The Saints already have pieces in place for when that happens, or if Drew decides to retire. First, they resigned Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is a former starter in the NFL. He’s got talent. Second, they continue to develop Taysom Hill.
Hill gets on the field about 3 to 5 times per game as a slash player. He’s a tremendous athlete. His quarterbacking skills have really improved. In the Saints’ second preseason game, he went 11-of-15 for 136 yards and threw a couple of touchdown passes. Hill and Bridgewater give New Orleans a couple of backups who should battle each other for the starting job once Brees decides to call it quits.
That’s awesome news for Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Saints Nation.
Have a great week!
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