Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 Wisconsin Badgers Roster and Schedule | Ticket King Inc.

Badgers 2017 Schedule
The summer is upon us, which means it is time to begin discussing the upcoming football season. For the Wisconsin Badgers, it should be another solid year. The first order of business for the Badgers will be replacing their departed players. The Badgers ended up with three players drafted into the NFL, and several others who signed as un-drafted free agents. The first to go was quarterback Bart Houston, who went un-drafted and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, departs. Alex Hornibrook now takes over full time. Hornibrook was inconsistent a year ago. He will need to shore that up. The Badgers ended up with two players being drafted in the first round this year. First to go was outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who went to the Steelers late in round one. The other was offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk, who went to the Saints with the last choice in round one. The other Badgers draftee is outside linebacker Vince Biegel, who was the Packers first choice in round four. They will also have to replace the departing running back Corey Clement, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after the draft.

Badgers 2017 Schedule

In 2017, the Badgers begin the season at home against Utah State on September 1. That game will will be broadcast on ESPN, so it’s a good chance to see the “new look” Badgers on national television. Eight days later, they take on Florida Atlantic at home. The following week, they hit the road for the first time, heading to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Badgers have an off week and then they come home for their Big Ten Conference opener, against Northwestern on Sept. 30. The Wildcats will be looking to build on their 7-6 record from a year ago. The following Saturday the Badgers hit the road for the first time in conference play, heading to Nebraska. The following week they come home to take on Purdue.

The second half of the schedule is where it gets testy for Wisconsin. After a home game against Maryland on Oct. 21, they hit the road to take on Illinois. That is not always an easy game for this bunch. The following week they stay on the road to take on Indiana. The final three games of the season is where the Badgers could face their biggest challenges. The first of those three games is at home against Iowa. The second of those two games is also at home against Michigan. Their final game of the season, as always, is at Minnesota.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Who Will Win the NL Central in 2017? | Ticket King Inc.



NL Central Ticket King
Who's Going To Win This Airtight NL Central? Four games. That is all that separates all five teams in the National League Central at the moment. The question must be asked, who's going to win this airtight NL Central?

Milwaukee Brewers
Why they will: The Brewers are off to one of the most surprising starts in baseball so far this season. Milwaukee currently sits at 33-31, 1.5 games out in front. The Brewers have reached this point with a stunning season so far from Eric Thames, timely hitting, and a bullpen that is performing well above expectations. That will continue, and the Brewers will shock the world by winning the NL Central.

Why they won't: Every year we have a few teams that jump out to starts like this that aren't supposed to. This one shouldn't be any different. That bullpen will come back down to earth and Eric Thames will continue to fade.

Chicago Cubs
Why they will: The Cubs are the defending World Series champions, and have played above average baseball so far this season. That overpowering rotation of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and Kyle Hendricks have pitched, at best, below average to this point in 2017. They will get it going, and when they do, look out.

Why they won't: The Cubs may have won the World Series a year too early. When a team races to the top ahead of schedule like the Cubs did, they get a little too big for their own britches before they are ready for it. The Cubs ego as a team is through the roof right now, and they are paying for it on the field.

St. Louis Cardinals
Why they will: To get straight to the point, the Cardinals have played like garbage so far in 2017. That offense is stalled in the parking lot of Walmart and can't get their car started. The bullpen has been bad, and that rotation has been spotty at best. They just lost seven in a row as well. Yet here they sit at 29-32, 2.5 games out of first place. You just wait.

Why they won't: That Yadier Molina contract extension was the worst decision this organization has made in goodness, nobody knows how long. It's been a while. That is going to affect them for the rest of the season. Sorry Cardinals fans, their will be no second half surge in 2017.

Cincinnati Reds
Why they will: Raise your hand if you thought the Cincinnati Reds would be 29-33, three games out of first place on June 12. Liars. Our man T.J. Bryce had them pegged for less than 60 wins on the season. The clubhouse is real loose right now, and they are letting it all hang out.

Why they won't: Much like the Brewers, these kinds of starts from these kinds of teams don't last. Expect a major second half fade from this bunch.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Why they will: The Pirates have not been the Pirates so far in 2017. Their offense has been miserable, even for their standards, that bullpen has been awful, and Gerrit Cole is pitching like a number five starter. They are also playing without Starling Marte, who was suspended 80 games for drugs. He will return soon, and provide a boost to this offense. The Pirates are about to get hot, and will climb to the top of this division at some point during the summer.

Why they won't: Sometimes, you just have these sorts of seasons, where no matter what you do, you can't figure out what's wrong, or how to fix it. The Pirates were about to start moving players anyways, so they might take this as an opportunity to begin trading players now instead of during the offseason.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brewers Holding On to First Place, but Not For Long | Ticket King Inc.

Brewers nl central
The National League Central has experienced intense parity in 2017. Or, you could also say that the NL Central is just a very mediocre division. At least that is how the records show it to be. Let’s take a moment to run down three NL Central teams, and take a look at where they stand at this moment.  

The Milwaukee Brewers currently sit on top of with a record of 27-25, but they are going through their worst stretch of the season, winning just two of their past nine games. Many experts are wondering if this is the beginning of the Brewers fade. After all, the Brewers record is one of the bigger surprises of the season so far, and the fact that they are in first place, heading into June is almost shocking. Specifically, it's been the pitching that has let them down over the last nine games. In total, Milwaukee has given up a total of 48 runs in the last nine games, including 42 in those seven losses. Outside of one of the two wins, their offense sputtered, scoring just 21 runs in the seven losses, and six of those runs came in one game. Eric Thames, who was “The Story” early in the 2017 baseball season, has really cooled off. After hitting 11 home runs in April, he has really struggled in May, hitting just two home runs, both of which came earlier in the month. Thames last two runs were back on May 9. He has hit just .203 for the month as well, and his average overall has dropped from .345 at the start of the month to .278 as of the morning of May 31. He needs to pick it up if the Brewers are going to stay in first place. The Brewers schedule doesn't get any easier either. After they finish up this series with the Mets, they have three at home this weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles is one of the hottest teams in baseball at the moment, having won six in a row, and have surged into first place in the National League West. After that, they Brew Crew has four more games at home against the San Francisco Giants, whose struggles so far in 2017 have been well documented. But, they are the Giants, and they could come to life at any moment. After that long home stand, they hit the road for seven games. The first three games are against the Diamondbacks, and the next four will be against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Cubs In Disarray

Fortunately for the Brewers, the Chicago Cubs aren't doing any better at the moment. The Cubs currently sit at 25-26, good for second place, and have lost five in a row. For the Cubs, that high-priced, overpaid starting rotation, has failed miserably to this date. Jon Lester is not what he once was, and Kyle Hendricks is not dominating like he did a year ago. Jake Arrieta is too focused on his upcoming free agent contract negotiations, led by the well known and highly criticized super agent Scott Boras. During their five-game losing streak, all of which have been on the road, the bats have gone dead silent for the Cubs. They have scored just eight runs in the last three games, and in their first two they were shut out. Kris Bryant, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, is really struggling. He was batting just .130 over the last week. After they finish up their series in San Diego, the Cubs get to come home for 10 games. The first three are against the Miami Marlins, the next three are against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the last four against the Colorado Rockies.

Cardinals Need Spark

Then we have the St. Louis Cardinals a team who’s offense has been stuck in park for the first two months.  As for pitching, their rotation has been spotty at best, and their bullpen has been on and off. Yet, here they are, sitting at 24-25, just 1.5 games out of first place. How do they manage that? If you look at their game by game record so far this season, they rarely lose close games. That is the mark of an organization that keeps the faith, as the innings run down. However, one can’t ignore that they are just 3-10 in their last 13 games. Nobody is hitting. Their best hitter, Matt Carpenter, is batting just .226 for the season, and Randall Grichuk, who they expected to take a big jump, is batting just .222 with four home runs and 19 RBI's. They need to start hitting, or they will find themselves way behind the Cubs or Brewers. At the time of this post, they have two more games against the Dodgers, and then the Cardinals hit the road for seven. The first three are against the Cubs, and the next four are against the Reds. This “parity” is short lived. One of these teams will break from the pack. Most likely, the Cards and Cubs will be the two teams to rise above the rest of the NL Central. For now, Brewers fans should celebrate. Heck, we might even see them keep the pace until the All Star Break, but don’t bet on it. Two powerhouse teams can’t be held back for too long.