Hump day hot takes: NFL tackling penalties ruin the Christmas spirit, NHL teams go on a run and more

The holiday season is a time for giving. So, I’m giving you my hot takes as a belated Christmas gift.  Continue reading Hump day hot takes: NFL tackling penalties ruin the Christmas spirit, NHL teams go on a run and more

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Just the Stats: Peaking Interest

The following statistics are completely true pieces of information. Use them at your own risk. Results may vary. As always, follow @StatTardiff on Twitter for more insights.

Did the Best Team in NBA History Peak Too Early?
The NBA season is about 30 games deep, and to the surprise of no one, the Golden State Warriors are the league’s best team at 27-5. After opening the 2015-16 campaign with 24-straight victories, many wondered if the Warriors peaked too early last season. The thing about a really good team, is that even when they’re not peaking, they’re still really good. In any 20-game stretch in 2015-16, Golden State was never worse than 16-4 and was outscoring opponents by 142 or more cumulative points in those games. From Game 20 through Game 82, there was one instance where Golden State had 300 more points than their opponents in their previous 20 games. Already in 2016-17, the Warriors have five such instances.

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Rest for the Weary in the NFL Playoffs?
As the NFL approaches their postseason, four teams will receive a first-round bye. Does the week off help teams rest up for the Divisional Round, or does it leave teams rusty entering their first win-or-go-home matchup? There’s a similar phenomenon to the Warriors, in the sense that the teams receiving first-round byes are the best teams in the league; teams that usually win. To that effect, top-two seeds are 21-7 in the Divisional Round since 2010, including a perfect 4-0 mark in 2016. That’s good news for the New England Patriots, receiving their seventh-consecutive first-round bye, and the Dallas Cowboys, who clinched home-field advantage in the NFC after Week 16.

Sports Day

The NHL’s Hottest Teams Are…Who?
If you hit the parlay that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild would have concurrent winning streaks of 10-plus games, our hats are off to you. If there’s one thing the casual hockey fan can grasp about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that a hot goaltender can get you to June; the same is true about December for these two clubs. The Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky (league-leading 21 wins) has posted a perfect 1.000 save percentage while his team is shorthanded (23 saves), and Devan Dubnyk of the Wild leads the NHL with a 1.57 GAA, .948 save percentage, and five shutouts. The netminders are getting it done for the Midwestern teams, and (dare I say) could be getting it done against each other in the summer of 2017.

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Matt Tardiff is the resident stat head at Chin Music Pod, and is fully aware of the proper spelling of ‘pique’ and the use of puns. For more wordplay on statistics in the world of sports, follow @StatTardiff on Twitter. As always, check back next Tuesday for more stats.

Hump day hot takes: It’s time to revamp the college football bowl system, the Rams did Jeff Fisher a favor and more

Two football takes open the column, but the other sports get in their lumps after.  Continue reading Hump day hot takes: It’s time to revamp the college football bowl system, the Rams did Jeff Fisher a favor and more

Just the Stats: Holiday Shopping

The following statistics are completely true pieces of information. Use them at your own risk. Results may vary. As always, follow @StatTardiff on Twitter for more insights.

As we enter the holiday season, it’s time to look at some deals across the world of sports.

Red Sox Pay Full Price on Chris Sale, And It’s Worth It
Chris Sale’s Sox are turning White to Red, as the Boston Red Sox dealt two of the best prospects in baseball to Chicago, in return for the man whose 1133 strikeouts are the most in the American League since 2012. Tack on Sale’s 74 ERA- in 1015.2 IP since his first full season in 2012, and you’re looking at the guy who has tore up the American League more than any other pitcher. He’s the only pitcher with an active streak of four-consecutive seasons of 200-or-more strikeouts and 50-or-fewer walks, and he’s joining the only other pitcher with such a streak of three-consecutive years in David Price. Look out, AL. The Red Sox are coming. (Just keep those throwback uniforms in the closet.)

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Le’Veon Bell’s 2016 in a nutshell.

Bell and Brady, Bargain Bin Brilliance
Alliteration aside (ha, you see what I did there), if you scooped up Le’Veon Bell and/or Tom Brady a few picks/rounds later than usual, kudos to you. Their three- and four-game suspensions, respectively, likely dropped them a round or two lower in fantasy drafts, but they are first and fourth on FanDuel and Draft Kings, respectively. Bell currently has the highest career yards from scrimmage per game in the history of the NFL (128.5 ypg), and Tom Brady is first among quarterbacks in QB Rating in 2016 (113.6).

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NBA Presents on Christmas Day
It is a privilege to be considered to play in the NBA’s slate of Christmas Day games, and we’ve been treated with some memorable performances over the years. My Christmas lineup? Rajon Rondo and his 18.3 ppg, 9.5 apg, 2.8 spg at the point; Tracy McGrady and his absurd 43.3 ppg on Christmas Day, easily the most all-time; Kevin Durant and his 5.2 threes per game (on 45.2% shooting); Patrick Ewing and his 24.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg (we’re going big with this lineup); and DeAndre Jordan and his 3.8 blocks per game on December 25 (we’re going really big with this lineup).

Matt Tardiff is the resident stat head at Chin Music Pod, and all he wants for Christmas is for you to follow him on Twitter. You can do that @StatTardiff. As always, check back next Tuesday for more stats.

Monday Morning Update: December 12, 2016

The Canadiens strike back, who’s nice and naughty on the Bronx Bombers, and the Giants defense grows to new heights

Continue reading Monday Morning Update: December 12, 2016

Chin Music Podcast Season 2 Episode 3

Continue reading Chin Music Podcast Season 2 Episode 3

To Santa, With Love, From: The New York Yankees

What are the Bronx Bombers hoping to find under the tree this year?

Continue reading To Santa, With Love, From: The New York Yankees

Hump day hot takes: What is the Boston Red Sox direction with the Chris Sale trade, the College Football Playoff got it right and more

The Red Sox made the biggest splash of the offseason, and I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. I couldn’t just be happy, of course.  Continue reading Hump day hot takes: What is the Boston Red Sox direction with the Chris Sale trade, the College Football Playoff got it right and more