Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cubs Opponents in 2016 MLB Playoffs | Ticket King

Cubs playoff ticketsAs you may have already heard by now, the Chicago Cubs are the odds-on favorite to win the World Series this season, and for good reason. Before they make that far, they have to face NL teams in the playoffs.  For Cubs playoff tickets, see Ticket King. The Cubs stand at 89-49, and are on pace for baseball's best record since the 2001 Seattle Mariners. But who are the Cubs biggest threats?

New York Mets- The Mets have the Cubs number. After disposing of them in four games in the 2015 NLCS, the Mets have turned right back around this season and went 5-2 against the Cubs this year. As long as that offense continues to produce, the Mets will make the postseason, and these Mets are the last team the Cubs want to see in October.

San Francisco Giants- It appeared for the entire first half, as well as early in the second half, that the Cubs and Giants were headed for a titanic showdown in the NLCS in October. An August fade by the Giants has changed all of that. Still, the Giants hold the first Wild Card spot, and if they can remember who they are, they are baseball's most dangerous team in October.

St. Louis Cardinals- We're not sure, but there is something about this Cardinals team that just smells of a late-September surge. They haven't been very good all season, yet here they are, tied for the second Wild Card spot. We're not sure they can hang with the Cubs in five or seven games though.

Washington Nationals- If you look at this from a rational perspective, this is the team most suited to take on the Cubs in a seven-game series. The Nationals have a strong balance of rotation and offense to match the Cubs right hook for right hook.

Cleveland Indians- The Indians are surging, are have the talent to play with anyone. That rotation, even though they are young and very inexperienced, have the ability to completely just shut down this mighty Cubs offense. Questions, do they believe they can?

Texas Rangers- This team is hanging in their without Prince Fielder. The Rangers are doing this with a total team effort, and may very well be headed for a World Series showdown with the Cubs. They can be the Cubs, but I don't think they will.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Entire 2016 NFL Team by Team Outcome | Ticket King Inc.

All NFL teams have cut their rosters down to 53 players, and with that the 2016 season is officially upon us. Carolina and Denver get us started Thursday night. Here is our annual preview, the 2016 edition, and it shows us how one injury can flip the whole NFL universe on its head. Let's begin with the AFC.

AFC East
1. New York Jets (10-6) - The Tom Brady suspension and the return of Ryan Fitzpatrick gives us something we rarely get to see- A season in which the Patriots don't win the AFC East.
2 New England Patriots (10-6) - Tom Brady had his suspension put back into place this summer, and gave up the fight. Good, that man needed to be taught a lesson that he is not above the game.
3. Buffalo Bills (8-8) - Another Rex Ryan team, another 8-8 finish.
4. Miami Dolphins (7-9) - New head coach Adam Gase was brought in to help Ryan Tannehill get to the next level. That is going to take some time, and it won't happen this season.

AFC North
1. Cincinnati Bengals (14-2) - This is the best team in the National Football League going into 2016. Last season, this bunch was an Andy Dalton broken hand away from winning the Super Bowl. But can they be trusted this time come January?
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) - The season long suspension of wide receiver Martavis Bryant is going to hurt, but this is still a loaded team.
3. Baltimore Ravens (11-5) - There is no way the Ravens are as bad as their record tells us they were in 2015. Joe Flacco returns from injury, and that will be the difference.
4. Cleveland Browns (2-14) - Another season, another last place finish in Cleveland. Hopefully they have themselves going in the right direction. I also hope Paul DePodesta finally gets the NFL to embrace "moneyball" as well.

AFC South
1. Indianapolis Colts (12-4) - I still believe in these Colts. All they need to do is keep Andrew Luck healthy. If they can do that, they can get right back on tract.
2. Houston Texans (10-6) - The Texans are a quarterback away from being a great team. But is Brock Osweiler the answer? Time will tell.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) - Slowly, but surely, the Jaguars are scratching, crawling, and climbing their way back into relevance.
4. Tennessee Titans (6-10) - I like these young Titans, but they have a long way to go.

AFC West
1. Oakland Raiders (10-6) - Yes, you are reading this correctly. The Oakland Raiders are going to win the AFC West. They have a loaded young team, and Derek Carr is the NFL's next big superstar quarterback, and I mean top five megastar. He has MVP's in his future. Is one of those this season though?
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8) - The Chiefs have too many quarterbacks. There is no reason for Alex Smith to still be the starter. Still, this issue is going to cost them the division title.
3. San Diego Chargers (6-10) - There is ongoing friction in San Diego between Phillip Rivers and management. After you know what happened, and until you know what else happened, which I of course will talk about later, I thought Rivers was headed to Minnesota in the offseason,
4. Denver Broncos- (3-13) - 2015 was a dream for Denver. 2016 is going to be a nightmare.


NFC East
1. Washington Redskins (11-5) - Now that the dust has settled, and Robert Griffin is gone, watch Kirk Cousins really settle in, and take another step forward in 2016.
2. New York Giants (9-7) - The Giants were a defense away from the Super Bowl in 2016. That's a big blanket statement though. The Giants spent the offseason buying themselves a new defense via free agency and the draft. Can that defense come together fast though? I will say this, this is a DANGEROUS team lurking right here.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12) - The Eagles are finally headed in the right direction. It's going to take a while for them to get there though.
4. Dallas Cowboys- (3-13) - Skip Bayless and everyone else can shut up. No matter which way you spin it, these Cowboys stink, and Dak Prescott is not the answer long term. The Cowboys will go quarterback hunting in 2017.

NFC North
Oh how different this divisional forecast looks from a week ago.

1. Green Bay Packers (12-4) - A week ago I was all set to predict the Minnesota Vikings to win this division at 11-5, winning the tiebreaker with the Packers, also at 11-5, due to out of conference record. Yes, it was that close. Now, the Teddy Bridgewater injury changes everything. The Packers pick up an extra win, and win this division at 12-4. This injury affects way more than just the division. You will see shortly. A lot of “experts” are saying 14-2 for these Packers. I respond to that with a no. There is no 14-2 team in the NFC this season.
2. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) - Oh what a week it's been for this franchise. First thing is the devastating injury to Teddy Bridgewater. Due to that injury I went back and recalculated the Vikings season. I dropped them down from 11-5 to 6-10 as a result. Then the Sam Bradford trade happened. Insane overpay, and I will go into that in a different post. For now though, to make a long story short, the Bradford trade gives them one extra pointless win.
3. Detroit Lions (6-10) - This will be the first season without Calvin Johnson for the Lions. As a result, Matthew Stafford will go one of two ways. Either he FINALLY becomes the great quarterback we all expected, or he goes backwards and the Lions may have to start thinking if he is the long term solution or do they need to join the list of teams quarterback hunting. 
4. Chicago Bears (3-13) - The Bears are going to have a miserable year, and Jay Cutler will be unable to save his job at the end of the season. Chicago will be on the hunt for a new quarterback in the 2017 draft.

NFC South
1. Carolina Panthers (12-4) - The Panthers are a still a great team, but 2015 for both the Panthers and Cameron Newton is one of those once in a lifetime experiences. Newton sill has a great season, but he won't equal his historic 2015 production.
2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) - The Falcons may have finally gotten Matt Ryan right this offseason. But it's going to take a while to get back up there.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) - The Buccaneers made some puzzling decisions this offseason such as drafting a kicker in round two. However, the biggest decision was the firing of Lovie Smith, who had finally seemed to shape up Jameis Winston the man. Still, this is a good young team. 
4. New Orleans Saints (5-11) - This is 2016's old team. Drew Brees needs to call it a career and go home to Austin, Texas.

NFC West
1. Arizona Cardinals (12-4) - The Cardinals are a great team, but they are an old team on their last legs. Can they all have the glorious season they all wanted and ride off into the sunset Super Bowl champions?
2. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) - The Seahawks are not the feared team they were three years ago. Still, they are a good team, and a force to be reckoned with.
3. Los Angeles Rams (6-10) - The Rams first season back in Los Angeles won't be a good one. Still, this is a young team with all the pieces to be a great team three years from now.
4. San Francisco 49ers (3-13) - Am I the only person who can see through Colin Kaepernick's stunt to the real reason why he is doing this? This protest of his has nothing to do with race or social issues. He threw a two-year-old temper tantrum all offseason because he didn't get his way, and now he is trying everything in his power to make the 49ers release him.

League Awards
Coach of the Year: Jay Gruden/Washington Redskins- Gruden will continue to lead his young Redskins out of the wilderness and into relevance this season as Kirk Cousins takes the next step forward.

Executive of the year: Ted Thompson/Green Bay Packers- Another season, another Executive of the Year award for CIA Ted. Yawn. And still, some Packers fans want to hang this man by the nearest tree.

Defensive Rookie: Karl Joseph/S/Oakland Raiders- Joseph will get plugged in early and will become a force in a Raiders secondary by the end of the season that badly needs one.

Offensive Rookie: Will Fuller/WR/Houston Texans- That big young arm of Brock Osweiler mixed with the game breaking speed of Will Fuller= success.

MVP: Ben Roethlisberger/QB/Pittsburgh Steelers- Even without Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger picks up his first MVP award.

AFC Playoffs

Seeds: 1. Cincinnati Bengals 2. Indianapolis Colts 3. Oakland Raiders 4. New York Jets 5. Pittsburgh Steelers 6. Baltimore Ravens

Wild Card
Raiders 38, Ravens 21- This isn't the fabled Ravens defense of past, and the Raiders young offense puts on a show, and moves on.

Steelers 34, Jets 17- The Steelers move on with relative ease.

Divisional Playoffs
Steelers 27, Bengals 20- Wow. The Bengals are the best team in the regular season, but until they prove us otherwise, they can't be trusted in January.

Colts 30, Raiders 23- The Colts win a hard fought solid game on both sides of the ball with a team effort, and move on.

AFC Championship
Steelers 31, Colts 24- The Steelers run the table in the AFC anchored by their MVP-winning quarterback, winning three road games to make the Super Bowl.

NFC Playoffs
Seedings: 1. Green Bay Packers 2. Arizona Cardinals 3. Carolina Panthers 4. Washington Redskins 5. Seattle Seahawks 6. New York Giants

Originally I had a two-way tie at 12-4 between the Panthers and Cardinals. The Panthers won that tiebreaker and were the number one seed as a result. The Vikings were the three seed as well at 11-5 and I had the Vikings actually winning their Wild Card game this time against Seattle before losing to Arizona the next week. The Packers were the five and I had them losing the divisional playoff again, this time in Carolina. With that now-famous injury, the Packers bump up to 12-4, and make it a three-way tiebreaker at 12-4. Remember, I predict every single game before the season starts, which is how I come out with these specific records, and the Packers win this three-way tiebreaker based on conference record. This three-way tiebreaker drops Carolina down from one to three, bumps the Seahawks up to five, and brings the New York Giants in at six. Got all of that? Alright, here we go.

Wild Card Game
Giants 31, Panthers 23- Instead of being the one seed, and making it to another Super Bowl, this time winning it as I originally had them penned to do, these Panthers now find themselves the three seed due to the Teddy Bridgewater injury. This rowdy, smash mouth, fearless bunch from the Big Apple is the last team the Panthers wanted to see in this game. This is a bad matchup for Carolina without Josh Norman. Giants pull the upset.

Redskins 30, Seahawks 24- The Redskins win their first playoff game since the Clinton Administration and move on to round two.

Divisional Playoffs
Packers 30, Giants 17- Football is all about matchups, matchups, matchups, matchups, MATCHUPS. Did I mention matchups? What makes the Packers more prepared to deal with these Giants than the Panthers? They have a better secondary. They are one of the best in the business. The Giants feature their tight end in the passing game. The Packers have a safety named Micah Hyde who is a tight end/tailback coverage specialist.

Cardinals 34, Redskins 16- An easy smooth win for the Cardinals.

NFC Championship Game
Packers 31. Cardinals 27- These two teams in a head-to-head match up are almost impossible to separate. The home field makes the difference here. One of the better games in recent memory takes place a cold day in January at Lambeau Field as Eddie Lacy (The dump truck they thought there were drafting) plows his way through the Cardinals defense to the tune of 28 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns. This is what the Packers drafted Lacy for, to be that runaway freight train in cold weather. Rodgers has a solid day, throwing for about 200 and a pair of touchdowns in the redzone.

Super Bowl
Packers vs Steelers
The game: Super Bowl 51. The Prize? Not just the Super Bowl, but the two best quarterbacks of Generation Y, who both, are at this moment, 60 minutes from Canton, Ohio. Winner punches his ticket there.

Packers 38, Steelers 31- A rematch of Super Bowl 45 sees the two best of their generation go head to head in an epic battle. Rodgers, with a talented young receiving core that has finally matured and is showing us how good they can be, gets the best of Ben Roethlisberger as he finds Jared Cook back-left of the end zone with 35 seconds left on the clock to bring the Lombardi Trophy home. All of this has happened, because of one freak injury.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Packers Preseason Game Recap | Ticket King Inc.



Packers 2016 Preseason game
NFL football fans here in Wisconsin can now say that the season is underway. Yes, the first game of the year was quite “underwhelming.” The final score was had the Packers on top, 17-11, and to be honest, the game really wasn't that interesting, aside from the fact that there were three safeties in the game.  

The Packers played only two quarterbacks in this game, the two guys fighting for the third string job. Joe Callahan started the game, and had a decent outing, going for 16-24 for 124 yards and a touchdown. That lone touchdown pass was a two yard toss to running back John Crockett in the second quarter. Marquise Williams took over in the second half, and he fared favorably worse. Williams finished the game just 6-14 for 55 yards, and an interception. Callahan already had the leg up to begin this competition, and after this game, it's going to be almost impossible for Williams to win the third quarterback job.

Mike McCarthy said he wanted to commit to running the ball more this preseason. Eddie Lacy, whose weight issues have been well publicized and so has his weight loss this offseason, carried the ball the first four plays of the game, for a total of 24 yards, and then his night was over. James Starks, entered the game for Lacy and carried the ball five plays for 13 yards. Then the third running back job competition got underway. Brandon Burks wants that job, and he had the best night of any running back on the team, carrying the ball nine times for 45 yards. Yes John Crockett had the touchdown catch, but as far as running the ball is concerned he had a very ineffective night, carrying the ball six times for just 17 yards.

The Packers really didn't move the ball through the air that much in this game, but when they did, most of the work was done by the tight ends, specifically the two competing for the third tight end job. Justin Perillo stood out, catching the ball five times for 52 yards with a long of 18. Kennard Backman had three for 28 including his own 18 yard catch.

The Packers defense had a great game as a unit. They sacked the Browns quarterbacks four times, and picked up two fourth quarter safeties. Safety Kentrell Brice, who has absolutely no chance of making the 53 man roster, had himself a strong game, six tackles, and one for loss, making his case for the practice squad. Christian Ringo, Reggie Gilbert, Kyle Fackrell, and Datone Jones (all of course who will make the team except Gilbert,) had the four sacks.

The only other non-controversial, controversy was the fact that McCarthy sat out Rodgers, who is reportedly having one of his best camps in years.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Brewers Farm System Update | Ticket King Inc.

Brewers Tickets
The current status of the Milwaukee Brewers is “All About Tomorrow”. We thought Ticket King should take a look at where the farm currently stands. To be honest, some of us at Ticket King think the farm system needs work. Specifics are listed below.
The Brewers prized prospect, shortstop Orlando Arcia, is not having as good of season as the club would have liked. To this point in the season, Arcia is batting just .267 with 8 home runs and 53 RBI's in Triple A, and remind you, the Brewers Triple A affiliate is in Colorado. Still that didn't stop him from being called up last week. Through his first week of play for the Brewers, Arcia is batting just .208. To be honest, I don't understand this at all. The Brewers are going nowhere in 2016. Why start his service clock for no reason at all, especially when he isn't having that great of a season? Makes no sense. The Brewers second best prospect just got here a week ago. Outfielder Lewis Brinson, who came over in the Jonathan Lucroy trade from Texas, is primed to be an important piece for this club heading into the future. He struggled to start the season, but the Brewers have put him in Colorado Springs anyways, and he is off to a monster start. Through his first week, Brinson is batting .480.

The Brewers third best prospect, outfielder Corey Ray, is having a nightmare 2016. Ray, who is thought of as a rare five-tool player, is batting just .216 with one home run and nine RBI's through 34 games in the Florida State League. The Brewers best pitching prospect, Josh Hader, had a terrific start to the season in the Southern League. Hader started 11 games in Double A, going 2-1 with a 0.95 ERA. Recently the Brewers moved him up to Colorado Springs, and it has not gone well. Hader has started nine games for Colorado Springs, and is 0-3 with a 5.44 ERA. It's not all doom and gloom though. Starting pitcher Marcus Diplan started 11 games in Class A-Short season, posting a 6-2 record with a 1.80 ERA before moving up to Class A-Advanced.

Outside of Diplan, the rest of them, that is pretty much the story for most Brewers prospects right now. This is why you have to be patient with prospects, and give them time. If they are as good as we think they are, they will figure it out.