Cody Bellinger has Historic April

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Los Angeles Dodger’s star, Cody Bellinger, had arguably one of the best opening months in MLB history. The OF/1B for the Dodger’s tied Albert Pujols (2006), Alex Rodriguez (2007), and Christian Yelich (2019) for the most home runs hit before May 1st, each having 14. Bellinger though broke, and now holds, the all-time records for RBI’s (37), hits (44), and total bases (96) before May 1st.

Bellinger is on fire right now. He’s tied for the MLB lead in home runs and has sole possession of first in RBI’s, runs, hits, on-base percentage, slugging, and batting average, with a ridiculous .427 average. His plate discipline has also greatly improved so far this season. His strikeout rate is at 11.7 percent, cut down from the 23.9 percent he had in 2018, and his walk rate is 14.1 percent, also an increase from 2018, showing that this start is no fluke.

The Dodger’s are in first place in the NL West and the first team to reach 20 wins, Bellinger being the driving force for that. He not only is contributing on offense, but he’s also making highlight reel plays out on the field. After a breakout rookie year in 2017, awarded with the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year Award, Bellinger’s production dipped a bit in 2018, and whatever adjustments the 23-year-old made have paid off, as he is now a front-runner for the NL MVP award.

The season is still young, and there’s a long road ahead, but Bellinger and the Dodger’s are again looking like early favorites to reach the World Series.

 

Each First Round Draft Pick From The 2019 NFL Draft

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That’s it! The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is over and some of the biggest names are officially off the board. Here are every draft pick from the first round:

Selection No. 1 – Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray

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Selection No. 2 – San Francisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa

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Selection No. 3 – New York Jets: DT Quinnen Williams

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Selection No. 4 – Oakland Raiders: DE Clelin Ferrell

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Selection No. 5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LB Devin White

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Selection No. 6 – New York Giants: QB Daniel Jones

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Selection No. 7 – Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Josh Allen

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Selection No. 8 – Detroit Lions: TE TJ Hockenson

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Selection No. 9 – Buffalo Bills: DT Ed Oliver

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Selection No. 10 – Pittsburgh Steelers (Via Broncos): LB Devin Bush

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Selection No. 11 – Cincinnati Bengals: OT Jonah Williams

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Selection No. 12 – Green Bay Packers: DE Rashan Gary

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Selection No. 13 – Miami Dolphins: DT Christian Wilkins

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Selection No. 14 – Atlanta Falcons: G/T Chris Lindstrom

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Selection No. 15 – Washington Redskins: QB Dwayne Haskins

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Selection No. 16 – Carolina Panthers: OLB Brian Burns

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Selection No. 17 – New York Giants (Via Browns): DT Dexter Lawrence

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Selection No. 18 – Minnesota Vikings: C Garrett Bradbury

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Selection No. 19 – Tennessee Titans: DT Jeffery Simmons

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Selection No. 20 – Denver Broncos (Via Steelers): TE Noah Fant

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Selection No. 21 – Green Bay Packers (Via Seahawks): S Darnell Savage

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Selection No. 22 – Philadelphia Eagles (Via Ravens): T Andre Dillard

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Selection No. 23 – Houston Texans: T Tytus Howard

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Selection No. 24 – Oakland Raiders (Via Bears): RB Josh Jacobs

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Selection No. 25 – Baltimore Ravens (Via Eagles): WR Marquise Brown

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Selection No. 26 – Washington Redskins (Via Colts): DE Montez Sweat

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Selection No. 27 – Oakland Raiders (Via Cowboys): S Johnathan Abram

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Selection No. 28 – Los Angeles Chargers: DT Jerry Tillery

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Selection No. 29 – Seattle Seahawks (Via Chiefs): DE L.J. Collier

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Selection No. 30 – New York Giants (Via Seahawks/Packers/Saints): CB Deandre Baker

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Selection No. 31 – Atlanta Falcons (Via Rams): T Kaleb McGary

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Selection No. 32 – New England Patriots: WR N’Keal Harry

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Top 10 Greatest Saints To Ever Play

Johnathon Vilma, Pat Swilling, Mark Ingram. All dominate Saints players yet they didn’t make the cut for my personal top 10 Saints players. Here is my top 10 Saints players.

Number 10: DE Will Smith

Super Bowl winning DE Will Smith was murdered tragically April 9th, 2016. Will Smith’s greatest play, in my opinion, was Tracy Porter’s game-sealing interception as he laid a key block on Peyton Manning.

Number 9: QB Archie Manning

Although it was another era when Saints fans typically wore paper bags over their heads, there was a shining star at QB by the name of Archie Manning. He gave the Saints hope yet we were typically considered the “laughing stock of the league.”

Number 8: WR Joe Horn

WR Joe Horn was not only a great receiver, he was a hilarious personality to have around New Orleans. He’s iconically know for his cell phone celebration after a touchdown.

Number 7: LB Sam Mills

LB Sam Mills passed away August 3rd, 2005 after a battle with colon cancer. Mills was inducted into the Saints and Panthers Hall of Fame. Mills is the inspiration behind the Panthers’ slogan “Keep Pounding.” He was in “Dome Patrol.” The “Dome Patrol” was a nickname for the Saints linebacking corp.

Number 6: OL Willie Roaf

OT Willie Roaf, aka “Nasty,” played for the Saints and Chiefs for thirteen seasons. He was such an exceptional tackle, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Number 5: RB Deuce McAllister

DEUCEEEEE!!! Deuce McAllister is the greatest running back in Saints history. He was drafted out of Ole Miss in the first round and spent eight seasons with the Saints.

Number 4: WR Marques Colston

WR Marques Colston, the greatest WR to never make a Pro Bowl. After drafted in the seventh round out of Hofstra, he was never looked at tremendously. He has just under 10,000 career yards (9,759) and 72 touchdowns.

Number 3: K Morten Anderson

K Morten Andersen is one of the greatest kickers ever after just being passed by ageless K Adam Vinatieri. Andersen ended his career with 2,544 points. He was inducted into the 2017 Hall of Fame class.

Number 2: LB Rickey Jackson

HOF LB Rickey Jackson was inducted into the 2010 class. Jackson was the leader of the “Dome Patrol.” The “Dome Patrol” consisted of Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson and Pat Swilling.

Number 1: QB Drew Brees

Although this may be obvious, I placed Brees as the greatest Saint ever because after Hurricane Katrina, the Saints, and quite frankly, the whole city of New Orleans was in desperate need of a hero. The Saints were rumored to be relocated to San Antonio if NOLA couldn’t recover. Within a few years of being signed, Brees brought a Lombardi to NOLA.


Photo Credits : Canal Street Chronicles {#10-3}{Cover Photo}, Pro Football HOF {#2}, NY Times {#1}

Jayrone Elliott: Saints Best AAF Prospect

Former San Antonio Commanders’ LB/DE Jayrone Elliott would add great depth to the Saints’ defensive line and linebackers.

Elliott, who led the AAF in sacks with 7.5 in just 8 games, was a Packers linebacker a few years back and already spent time in New Orleans during the preseason.

With the Saints losing DT Sheldon Rankins for the beginning of the season due to a torn achilles and the lack of depth at the linebacker position for us, Jayrone Elliott could supply us with “breathing room” per se. Elliot is a great pass rusher and for him to learn with one of the game’s best in Cam Jordan can be very beneficial for him.

The 6’3″, 255lbs linebacker nearly missed the 53-man roster cut off and had to sign with the AAF in the meantime.


Fun Fact: LB Jayrone Elliott, CB Marshon Lattimore, WR Ted Ginn Jr, and ST/CB Justin Hardee all attended Glenville High School in Cleveland, OH.

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MLB and MLBPA Announce Rule Changes

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Thursday, March 14, 2019, may end up becoming a huge day in Major League Baseball history as the MLB and the MLB Players Association announced some major rule changes that may take place in the 2019 and 2020 MLB seasons.

The changes are being made to shorten the overall game length. In 2019, mound visits will be dropped from six to five per team, and the time between innings will be shortened from 2:05 minutes to 2:00 minutes.

Also, many roster move options will be altered. There will now only be a single trade-deadline on July 31st, eliminating the second deadline on August 31 which required players to first go through waivers.

On some better news for baseball fans, in 2019, the Home Run Derby will feature a $1 million reward prize for the first place winner, with $2.5 million going out to top placers in total. This should spark more interest and provide more incentive for players to participate in the derby. Also, there will be changes to the All-Star game regarding its voting and prizes along with extra inning rules.

For 2020, there have been additional proposed changes that may occur, which are the ones that can affect the game as a whole much more.

The active roster for the regular season will now feature an extra player, making 26 in total, and on September 1st, teams will be able to add another two players onto the roster, making 28 in total for the playoff runs. This is a big change as the previous total teams could have after September 1st was 40, and was an opportunity teams took to call up top prospects in their farm system to get them major league experience without weakening their major league roster. There will also be a new limit on the number of pitchers teams can have on their rosters and the minimum amount of days pitchers must remain on the injured list.

Another controversial requirement that may be added in 2020 is that newly entered pitchers must face at least three batters. Now, this rule will have some exceptions such as injuries and the end of innings but never the less, this will change the current game of baseball drastically as it basically eliminates some of the strategy managers use with their bullpen.

Whether or not we agree with the rule changes or whatever our opinions may be, the MLB seems to be set on changing the game and we must be ready to embrace a new age of baseball.

The official announcement can be seen below

Top 10: MLB Pitchers 2019

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Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals

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1. Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals: Max Scherzer is walking filth. He is in the Cy Young conversation every year, winning it three times and coming in second last year, some even argue he should’ve won. Scherzer finished last season with a 2.53 ERA, 220 IP, and joined the 300 strikeout club for the first time in his career, meaning he is not slowing down even at age 34. Expect Scherzer in the Cy Young convo once again as he continues to be one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. 

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2. Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets: Don’t let Jacob deGrom’s 10-9 2018 record blind you from the fact that he had one of the greatest pitching seasons in MLB history last year. deGrom led the MLB with a 1.70 ERA and also put up 269 K’s, a .91 WHIP, with 217 IP which led him to win the NL Cy Young award. The only thing holding him back from the top spot on this list is his track record, but if deGrom can build off of last season on a new and improved Met’s team, expect him to be the number one pitcher heading into the 2020 season.

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3. Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox: Chris Sale may be the hardest pitcher to hit off of in the MLB. His delivery combined with his stuff is filthy. Sale has produced top tier results his entire career. At 29 years old, he is the all-time MLB leader in K/9, is apart of the 300 strikeout club, and has finished top 3 in strikeouts each of the last 4 seasons. With a career 2.89 ERA, and coming off a World Series win, there’s no doubt in my mind Sale will continue his dominance.

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4. Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies: Aaron Nola is one of the games brightest young pitchers. At 25, Nola is coming off his breakout year in which he finished 3rd in NL Cy Young voting with a 2.37 ERA, 224 K’s, and the second highest overall WAR in baseball. The Phillies are new and improved after making several huge roster moves this offseason which will only benefit Nola in the run support category, so look for him to build off of last season and lead the Phillies rotation to the playoffs.

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5. Justin Verlander, SP, Astro’s: Justin Verlander’s move to the Houston Astro’s before the 2017 playoffs was a sort of rejuvenating move for his career. After helping lead the Stro’s to the World Series title in 2017, Verlander dominated in 2018. The former MVP had 290 K’s in 214 IP along with a 2.52 ERA. He is entering his age 36 season but I don’t see his play dropping off significantly this coming year. Expect him to lead the already loaded Astro’s rotation back to the playoffs this season as he tries to add another ring to his hall of fame resume.

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6. Blake Snell, SP, Rays: Blake Snell is coming off a breakout season. Snell came out of nowhere and won the AL Cy Young award and came top ten in MVP voting. Snell had a 1.89 ERA, .97 WHIP, 21 wins, and 221 strikeouts in 180 IP in 2018. Snell turned 26 over the offseason and as long as he keeps up a level of play at least near this stellar season, expect him to crack the top 5 of this list sooner rather than later.

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7. Corey Kluber, SP, Indians: Corey Kluber is a 2 time Cy Young Award winner who hangs with the best of them. He last won the award in 2017 and came in third in voting in 2018. Kluber is coming off a season where he struck out 222 in 215 IP and had a 2.89 ERA. Entering his age 32 season, Kluber shouldn’t show signs of regression and expect him to be in the Cy Young race once again.

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8. Gerrit Cole, SP, Astro’s: The next three pitchers on this list could be ranked anywhere through the 8-10 spots but Gerrit Cole gets the nod for the 8 spot this year, and deservingly so. After a move to the Astro’s, the former #1 overall pick finally put it all together in 2018 with 276 strikeouts in 200 innings pitched with a 2.88 ERA, leading him to a fifth-place finish in Cy Young voting. Still only 28, if Cole can prove his stellar season won’t match with his inconsistent past, he will see himself in the Cy Young race again.

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9. Luis Severino, SP, Yankee’s: In his two full seasons in the MLB, Severino has been nothing short of absolute filth, showing promise as a rising superstar. Entering his age 25 season, Severino is coming off a year where he recorded 220 strikeouts in 191.1 innings pitched, had a 3.39 ERA, and finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting for the second consecutive year. Severino is only going to get better with time, and the Yankee’s have their ace of the future so expect him to rise up this list in the coming years.

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10. Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians: You could move Trevor Bauer up this list one or two spots and I wouldn’t argue with you. Bauer never finished with an ERA below 4.00 before last season which is why I have him at #10, but in 2018, Bauer was nasty. Finishing with a 2.21 ERA and 221 K’s in 175 IP, Bauer showed out. He finished sixth in Cy Young voting and third in K/9. If Bauer can build off of his breakout season, the Indians will be in the conversation for the best rotation in baseball, and Bauer will find himself in the Cy Young voting once again.

Honorable Mention Relief Pitchers:

Edwin Diaz, Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel, Blake Treinen 

Top 10: MLB Position Players 2019

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Image via AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

1. Mike Trout, OF, Angels: Mike Trout may be on pace to be the greatest baseball player to ever play the game. In 7 full seasons in the MLB, Trout has displayed unparalleled consistency and MVP caliber play every season. A career .307 hitter who, in his 7 full seasons, averages 166 hits, 34 home runs, and 90 RBI’s along with a .994 fielding percentage, Trout is an all-around superstar. Winning the MVP award twice and finishing second four times and still only 27, Trout isn’t slowing down any time soon.

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2. Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox: Mookie Betts made his case for arguably the best player in baseball last season. Winning the AL MVP and the MLB batting title with a .346 average along with a .996 fielding percentage and joining the 30-30 club with 32 home runs and 30 steals, Betts brought it on offense and defense, eventually leading to his first World Series ring. Still only 26, Betts only has room, and time, to improve.

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3. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies: Nolan Arenado is a perennial NL MVP candidate who is arguably the best offensive and defensive player at his position, and who is also, at times, overlooked because of the hitter-friendly park he plays in. Since 2015, Arenado has put up serious numbers, averaging 40 home runs, 180 hits, and 126 RBI’s a season. That along with his career .970 fielding percentage, Arenado is a no-debate, top 5 player in baseball.

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4. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians: Turning 25 over the offseason, Francisco Lindor is one of the games brightest young superstars. In his 3 full seasons, Lindor has finished top 10 in MVP voting every year. He is a career .288 hitter, who put up 38 home runs, 98 RBI’s, and 183 hits last year. His offensive numbers speak for themselves and some may even argue he is just as good if not better defensively. Expect Lindor to be on this list for years to come.

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5. Christian Yelich, OF, Brewers: In his first season with the Brewers, after a blockbuster trade from the Marlins, Christian Yelich did not disappoint. Yelich won the NL MVP, batting title, and nearly won the triple crown, falling two homers and one RBI short. Still only 27, the Brewers got themselves a franchise cornerstone for years to come.

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6. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians: Jose Ramirez exploded onto the scene in 2017 and only kept it going in 2018, batting .270 with 156 hits, 39 home runs, 105 RBI’s, and 34 stolen bases. Finishing 3rd in AL MVP voting in 2018 and still only 26, the Cleveland Indians have arguably the leagues most dynamic duo in him and Lindor.

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7. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros: Before last season, Jose Altuve had four straight seasons with 200+ hits along with an AL MVP award in 2017. He has led the league in hits four times and stolen bases twice, making him a deadly top of the order threat for the already loaded Houston Astro’s. Coming off of what some say is a “down” year for his crazy high standards, a year in which he had 169 hits, 84 runs, and bat .316, Altuve is still a top 10 player in baseball.

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8. Manny Machado, 3B, Padres: Manny Machado is one of the best all-around players in baseball. One of the hardest hitters in baseball who possesses a rocket for an arm, Machado holds down 3B and a top 3 spot in the lineup with the best of them. In five full, healthy MLB seasons, Machado averages 31 homers, 91 RBI’s, and is a career .282 hitter. After signing a record-breaking deal with the Padres this offseason, Machado will take his talents to San Diego in hopes of turning the franchise around.

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9. Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros: Alex Bregman would be higher on this list if he had a longer track record. Nevertheless, in 2018, Bregman was a star. Batting .286 with 105 runs, 31 home runs, 103 RBI’s, and leading the league with 51 doubles, Bregman finished fifth in AL MVP voting. Turning only 25 two days after opening day, look for Bregman to improve on his already stellar play.

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10. Bryce Harper, OF, Phillies: Bryce Harper is inconsistent, he will slump, but don’t let that blind you from the fact that he is still one of the best players in baseball, and before last season he would have been much higher on this list. Harper is 26 with basically 7 years of MLB experience, winning the NL MVP at 22 years old. He is a career .279 hitter who averages 26 home runs, 75 RBI’s, and 132 hits a year. After signing his record-breaking deal this offseason, we are set to see how the superstar performs in his new home.