Title: MLB American League contenders
Author: David Marotta
Date: April 6, 2022

Apr 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) is congratulated by New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) as he scores a run s2i against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the leading contenders for the American League Pennant, along with the odds according to BetMGM.

Toronto Blue Jays +450
Last season Toronto won 91 games but ended up being the team with the best record to not qualify for the postseason. Even though the Blue Jays lost some key players from last year’s squad, including Marcus Semien, Randal Grichuk, and Robbie Ray, the roster still has plenty of offensive firepower, led by triple crown threat Vladimir Guerrero. They also upgraded their bullpen, which was a weakness last season. Only time will tell if Toronto is worthy of being the AL favorite.

Houston Astros +475
The Astros are favored to win the American League West and will be in contention again for the AL crown. Houston lost Carlos Correa and Zack Greinke in free agency, but this team is still loaded. Houston led all of MLB in runs scored last season and returns seven of their top eight position players. Houston also re-signed Justin Verlander, who was impressive in Spring Training after missing the entire 2021 season.

New York Yankees +550
Every season is World Series or bust for the Yankees, and with the current roster built to win now, the trend of five straight playoff appearances should continue. The lineup is loaded, and the Bronx Bombers will head into the opening day with 16 pitchers, led by their ace Gerrit Cole.

Chicago White Sox +550
After losing their opening playoff series in consective years, the White Sox are favored to repeat as AL Central Division Champions, but with the current roster, the expectations are to win contend for the World Series crown. The White Sox are probably the most balanced amongst all the contenders. Chicago finished second in the AL in ERA last season.

Although they lost Carlos Rodon in free agency, with a rotation led by Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, and Lucas Giolito, the White Sox will be a tough matchup for any team in the AL playoffs. Chicago’s offensive depth also rivals any team in the league,

Tampa Bay Rays +650
Regardless of what the roster looks like on paper, the Rays always find a way to contend. The Rays won 100 games during the regular season in 2021, and, with their young core still intact, Tampa Bay is a great value bet in what should be a competitive AL race.


Correa to Twins, doesn’t feel right

After making five straight appearances in the ALCS, which includes winning a World Series in 2017, Carlos Correa decided to leave the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 for the Minnesota Twins this off-season. After reports stating that Correa had turned down a five-year $160 million deal with the Houston Astros, I was surprised to hear that the two-time All-Star decided to sign with the Twins for (only) three years and 105.3 million. With Scott Boras representing him, I believe this has alot to do with the option to opt out after only one season and then test the free-agent market again next season.

Mar 27, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa (4) returns
to the dugout after the first inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox during spring training at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros have been great at rebuilding and likely wanted to plan for the future. I’m sure the Astros would have loved to have had Correa back on the five-year deal, but going through this again with Correa next season as a free agent is not something the Astros had an interest in. Nevertheless, as a fan of the game, seeing Correa sign with the Twins was disappointing to me, but due to the terms of his contract, a reunion between Correa and the Stros in 2023 is not impossible.

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Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons Preview for Wednesday April 6, 2022

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The Detroit Pistons will host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday as the NBA regular season continues to approach the finish line. Dallas is preparing for a playoff run, and the Pistons are rebuilding mode with the lottery in their future. Dallas protected its home court beating Detroit 116-86 in the only head-to-head match-up this season on February 8.

Dallas is in the playoffs, but final seeding has not been settled

There are three games left on the regular-season schedule, and Dallas is fourth in the Western Conference. The Mavericks are just one game behind Golden State for the third spot and two games ahead of the fifth-place Denver Nuggets.

Against the spread, Dallas is 44-34-1, and their over/under record is 29-49-1.

Dallas is has won four of its last five games and is coming off a 118-112 road win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 32 points and 15 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. He has now led the team in scoring in the last six games and averages 28.3 ppg, which is fourth in the NBA, and 8.7 assists which ranks fifth.

The Mavs are 26th in scoring averaging 107.2 ppg, 20th shooting 45.8% from the floor, and 23rd making 34.5% from three. On defense, Dallas is second holding opponents to just 104.8 ppg. Opponents are shooting 45.8% against them which ranks 5th, and 34.1% from three which is fifth.

On the injury report, Maxi Kleber (7 ppg, 5.9 rebounds) is questionable for Wednesday.

Pistons going for 4th straight win

Detroit has the third-worst record in the NBA but has not given up. The Pistons are on a three-game winning streak after beating the 76ers 102-94, Thunder 110-101, and Pacers 121-117 on Sunday. Saddiq Bey led the victory over the Pacers with 31 points. Bey is the only Piston player who has played in all 79 games this season and is averaging 16.3 ppg.

Straight up, the record is not impressive, but the Pistons have performed very well against the spread with a 45-34 record, which includes coverage in their last five games in a row. The team’s over/under record is 37-39-3.

The Pistons are 28th in scoring averaging 104.8 ppg, and 29th shooting 43.1% from the floor and 32.8% from three-point range. They are 13th making 78% from the free-throw line. Jerami Grant (19.2 ppg), the team’s leading scorer, is out of the rest of the season with a calf injury, and the team’s second-leading scorer Cade Cunningham (17.3 ppg), is questionable for Wednesday. The Pistons also have three other role players who are questionable: Luka Garza, Cory Joseph, and Marvin Bagley III.

Full-Game Side Bet

Rating: 4 out of 5

Detroit has lost alot of games, but they are 20-12-1 against the spread as a home underdog this season. Detroit has also been sensational down the stretch, regardless of the situation covering the spread in 19 of their last 22 games overall. Expect the Pistons to keep this game competitive as well and cover.


Here are the favorites to contend for the 2022 World Series crown, along with the odds according to

Los Angeles Dodgers +500
The favorite to win it all has made five NLCS appearances in the last six seasons, including winning the World Series in 2020. The starting rotation is strong again, and offensively, this should be the best team in baseball.

Toronto Blue Jays +900
The East Division is highly competitive, but the Blue Jays are the favorite out of the American League despite finishing in fourth place last season. The Blue Jays led all of MLB with 262 home runs last season, and with triple crown threat Vladimir Guerrero leading the way, this team is a force to be reckoned with.

Houston Astros +1000
You can’t overlook the team that has been to the ALCS five straight years and appeared in the World Series three times during that stretch. The Astros led all of MLB in runs scored last season. According to WAR, they also return seven of their top eight position players and ranked third in MLB with 76 team defensive runs saved in 2021.

New York Mets +1000
The Mets finished eight games below .500 last year but will be much better this season. New York finished ninth in ERA last season, despite Jacob deGrom only making 15 starts due to injury. After adding Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt to their starting rotation, if the Mets can stay healthy, they can beat any team in a series.

New York Yankees +1100
The Bronx Bombers have made the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, and that trend should continue. The Yankees are loaded with talent and have a front office that will not be afraid to take chances to upgrade the roster during the season.

Chicago White Sox +1100
Chicago has a good balance. In 2021 the team finished fifth in ERA and seventh in runs scored. Defensively there is room for improvements, as they finished 28th in team defensive runs saved.

Atlanta Braves +1200
They lost Freddie Freeman in the offseason, but after winning the World Series without Ronald Acuna Jr due to injury, the Braves are a contender to repeat with Acuna Jr back and healthy.

Others to watch:
Tampa Bay Rays 1400, Milwaukee Brewers 1600, San Diego Padres 1600

| Title: MLB World Series Contenders and Odds
| Author: David Marotta
| Date: April 1, 2022

2022 NCAA Tournament Cinderella’s to watch

By David Delano Marotta

The 68 team field for the 2022 NCAA Tournament is set. Every year, there are some upsets and teams that go further than expected. Last year was no different. Leading the Cinderellas was No. 11 seed UCLA who went to the final four, and No. 12 seed Oregon State that went to the elite 8. You also had No. 11 seed Syracuse and No. 15 Oral Roberts both making it to the Sweet 16.
As you are filling out your brackets for this latest addition of madness, here are my favorite sleeper teams to watch out for.

Virginia Tech

Mar 12, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Hunter Cattoor (0) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Duke Blue Devils during the first half of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament final at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC Tournament champions are only a No. 11 seed, but they are rated 23rd in the nation overall according to KenPom. They are also 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency and sixth in the nation shooting 38.8% from three-point territory, which makes them a tough matchup for Texas. The Hokies opened up as only a one-point underdog in their first-round matchup and could be a threat to go all the way to the Elite-8.

The No. 13 seed in the West Region is 15th in the nation shooting 48.6% from the floor and also strong from three-point range and the free-throw line. Leading the way is a senior duo of Ryan Davis and Ben Shungu, who both average better than 16 ppg, and shot above 41% from three. If Vermont can get past Arkansas, they also have a legit chance to beat the UConn/New Mexico State game-winner.

Loyola Chicago
What list of Cinderalla’s would be complete without the Ramblers? This program went all the way to the Final Four in 2018 as a No. 11 seed and to the Sweet 16 last year as a No. 8 seed. This year, Loyola comes into the tournament as a No.10 seed, but 24 overall according to KenPom. They also rank 10th in the nation shooting 48.9% from the field and eighth hitting 38.8% from three. The Ramblers opened up as a 1.5-point favorite for their first-round matchup against Ohio State and are a team to watch out for.

Richmond Spiders
Since 1985, there have only been five years where no No.12 seeds pulled off an upset, so you should pencil in at least one No.12 to get out of the first round.
If the Spiders can pull off the first-round upset of Iowa, they have a solid chance to get to the Sweet 16. The Spiders are playing well right now and ran the table as the No. 6 seed in the Atlantic-10 Tournament, upsetting VCU, Dayton, and Davidson, to punch an automatic bid. The Spiders have tremendous size and experience and should not be overlooked.