JT’S MONDAY BRUNCH

GIBLETS SZN Stop me if you’ve heard this before…but Run Pure Sports’ co-founder Big T won another bucket of cash thanks to Scottie Scheffler this weekend. Just added another cool $130,000 or so to this year’s tally. It was a great golf weekend all around once again as members birdiemonster ($200,000+), earwig ($5,000+) and several other members padded their pockets thanks to RPS’ golf experts. Congrats to all on a very profitable weekend!

 

PEACOCKS SLIPPER SHATTERS The ride ended Sunday for the St. Peter’s Peacocks as they fell to North Carolina, 69-49, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. It was great to see this small, Jesuit college from Jersey City, New Jersey put the NCAA heavyweights to the test over the last few weeks – apologies to Kentucky backers – and gain the underdog following reserved for March Madness. For as much love as the Gonzagas and Baylors of the sport garnered coming in to the tournament, it will be the storied programs of Duke, North Carolina, Villanova and Kansas battling for the national championship. The major storyline next weekend will be whether or not Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke team will send him out as a champion once again, and while I’m a little tired of seeing Mrs. K crawl into his arms and shuffle him to the locker room workbench after every game of this tournament, I’ll admit that the guy is just an outstanding coach and mentor to these kids and deserves this spotlight for his contribution to basketball and American sport.

THAT METS ROTATION With baseball a little more than a week away, starting pitchers are rounding into form. The sight on Sunday for National League East hitters was downright scary: a complete game victory wherein Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer pitched the entire game for the Mets. Jake started and dominated the first three innings while Max finished off the last six, looking equally dominant. Now, I still believe that there are significant injury concerns for some of the older Mets’ pitchers – remember, Scherzer was removed from last year’s National League Championship Series game due to fatigue and DeGrom dealt with a mystery arm injury all season long – and free agents, but if they do manage to stay healthy they will be formidable.

THE HUMIDOR EFFECT Last season we had to hunt for information to discover the list of ballparks where Major League Baseball added humidors. Now, thanks to The Athletic’s Eno Sarris and ESPN’s Boog Sciambi, we know that MLB has taken the humidor craze a step further and added humidors to every ballpark.

 

Now, as this tweet thread suggests, there is some discussion that humidors do not suppress offense. We’ll find out for sure this season, but considering MLB’s own park factor ratings for offensive production over the last three seasons, it’s pretty evident that humidors do, generally, result in reduced offense. Consider that only two humidor parks, Coors Field in Denver and Fenway Park in Boston, ranked in the top 10 for offensive production during that time frame. The bottom 10 features six parks – home to the Cardinals, Mariners, Blue Jays, Marlins, Rangers and Mets – with humidors. Of course it’s extremely humid in Boston during the summer and Coors Field sits at the highest altitude and thinnest air of any park in the game, so it’s understandable humidors there have reduced impact. What does this mean for people playing DFS? I think most importantly it means that targeting games with a weather edge for hitters is going to be even more important in 2022. We’ll look more closely and have more to come as the season gets underway.

SPRING TRAINING SIGHTINGS I had a chance to head out to Arizona last week and check out some spring training games, catching the Cubs-Angels game Thursday afternoon and the Dodgers-Padres game on Friday night. The Cubs game was an absolute yawner as they refused to pitch to Shohei Ohtani, walking him twice like it was the fucking World Series. The Dodgers game produced a lot of fireworks including Freddie Freeman’s first home run in a Dodgers uniform, a blast by his teammate Will Smith, and  monster shots from Padres’ catchers Aaron Nola and Jorge Alfaro – no humidors in spring training, obviously. The best part of the trip was watching some Dodgers throw in the bullpen before the game, including Walker Buehler, Mitch White and DraftCheat doppelgänger, and new Dodger, Andrew Heaney. This Dodgers team is loaded, and has to be the favorite to come out of the National League as the season opens. It was also great getting to shake the hand of my favorite MLB manager, Dave Roberts, congratulate him on his new contract and tell him how big a fan I am. I can not wait for the season to start!

 

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