Men's final prediction at the Championships of Wimbledon, World Cup Final prediction

Wimbledon Final

8 AM CT, ESPN

This one is interesting featuring Novak Djokovic (Serbia) versus South Africa's Kevin Anderson. Anderson defeated American John Isner in the fifth set yesterday, 26-24. Wow. It was a marathon 6 1/2 hour match, and too long quite honestly. John McEnroe is pleading for a tiebreaker in the fifth set now. I agree. The matches go far too long, it wears the players out for their next match and it held up the Djoker-Nadal match, which finished up this morning with Djoker prevailing over the ultimate warrior Rafa, 10-8, in the fifth. Djoker looks tough right now. He looks like the relentless player who has captured 12 Slams.

But I'm going to take Anderson in an upset. He had today to rest and Djoker going into extra innings with Nadal was the best thing to happen to the 32 year old Anderson. I like Anderson over Djoker. This will be a spectacular final.

Anderson 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 7-5, 9-7

 Anderson over Djoker in 5 sets (Photo, www.bbc.co.uk

Anderson over Djoker in 5 sets (Photo, www.bbc.co.uk

Ladies Final

In the Ladies final, Angelique Kerber of Germany defeated Serena, 6-3, 6-3. Quite an upset, but, quite frankly, Serena hadn't played 1 player seeded in the top 10 the entire tournament. All the 10 were eliminated by the quarters. Angelique was the 11th seed but showed her major winning prowess in defeating Serena. This was Kerber's third major championship victory. She also won the 2016 Australian and U.S. Opens. 

World Cup prediction

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, 10 AM CT, FOX

I'll go with Bo Jackson's team, that France thing. Goalkeeper and team captain Hugo Lloris and his Les Blues teammates bring the cup home to Paris. This would be the French's second Cup after winning it in 1998.

France 2, Croatia 1

 Captain Hugo Lloris and France over Croatia (Photo, Daily Mail).

Captain Hugo Lloris and France over Croatia (Photo, Daily Mail).

 

 

 

A Military Tribute at the Greenbriar, Irish Open predictions

Greenbriar

Old White Course TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West VA. 7,286 yards, par 70

Defending champion: Xander Schauffele, shot a final round 67 to finish -14, one shot clear of Robert Streb.

Key hole

No.18, 175 par 3

Sets up for a classic finishing hole. Pretty interesting having a par 3 as a finishing hole. There are 4 bunkers around the green. Stuart Appleby sank a 10 foot putt here in 2010 to shoot a 59. Schauffele hit a pitching wedge to 3 feet last year to close out the tournament. Four bunkers surround the green, but this is an excellent birdie opportunity that could clinch it on Sunday for the leader or the guy in pursuit if the leader falls back. 

TV: Thursday-Friday, 2:30-5:30 PM CT, Golf Channel

Saturday-Sunday, 12-1:45 PM CT Golf Channel, 2-5 PM CT CBS

Weather looks good overall. Maybe some rain tomorrow, but sunny Saturday and Sunday with highs in the high 70's. Wind 5-7 MPH.

Who I like to win

I'm going with the 31 year old from Chickasha, Oklahmoma by way of Kansas State University to capture the title at the Greenbriar. He shot 32 on the backside in 2015 putting with his 56 degree sand wedge as he had accidentally broken his putter on No.9. He converted 5 birdie putts on the back and shot 66 to earn a spot in a 4 way playoff, which he eventually lost to Danny Lee. Then last year he finished 2nd. I like this guy to break through. He's won once on tour at the MCGladrey Classic in Sea Island in 2014. I see him getting the job done this week.

Robert Streb

 Going with Streb at the Greenbriar (Photo, Heavy.com).   

Going with Streb at the Greenbriar (Photo, Heavy.com).

 

Sleeper

Taking the 27 year old from Los Angeles by way of San Diego State. He has threatened all season. He's ready to break through.

J.J. Spaun

 See J.J. making a run this weekend (Photo, Zimbio).   

See J.J. making a run this weekend (Photo, Zimbio).

 

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Ballyliffin Golf Club, Gladhedy Links, Donegal, Ireland, 7,220 yards, par 72

Defending champion: Jon Rahm, won at Portstewart Golf Club

TV: Golf Channel, 4:30 AM-12:30 PM CT today on Golf Channel, Friday, 4:30 AM-12:30 PM CT, Golf Channel, Saturday-Sunday, 6:30-11:30 AM CT, Golf Channel

Weather: Good for most all of the weekend. Some rain maybe tomorrow, but sunny on Saturday and Sunday, wind 7-10. 

Winner

I'm going to take a little bit of a reach with Rahm and Rory in the field as the European players hone their games for the 147th Open Championship in 2 weeks at Carnoustie in Scotland. I'll take the 26 year old Belgian who is one of these guys who is on the verge of making a statement globally in golf.

Thomas Pieters

 See Piethers breaking through this week in Ireland (Photo, Golf Channel).   

See Piethers breaking through this week in Ireland (Photo, Golf Channel).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Championships at Wimbledon

The Championships at Wimbledon is the penultimate tournament in professional tennis just edging out the U.S. Open. I'd put the French and Australian right after that in order of importance of Slams. Every player in their childhood dreams wants to win at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club.

The grass is going to be drier as there hasn't been a lot of rain unusually in London and the forecast is for good weather during the fortnight. ESPN will televise with the women's final on Saturday July 14th at 8 AM CT and the men's final on Sunday, July 15th at 8 AM CT. ESPN, ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel will provide coverage throughout the 2 weeks every day. 

Men

Everybody is looking at Roger Federer to capture his 9th Wimbledon championship and record 21st Slam in his illustrious tennis career which looks like it's going to keep cookin for a while with the kind of shape Fed keeps himself in. Key competitors are Rafa Nadal, who is coming off his 11th French Open title and 17th major, which is something in itself. Rafa chose not to play on the grass in preparation for the Championships, so his ability to win it all is a question mark, though the great Nadal won here in 2008 and 2010. Other key competitors are Marin Cilic, who was a finalist here in 2017, losing to the great Federer. He won the U.S. Open in 2014. Alexander Zverev, the 21 year old German, is a factor as well as he keeps challenging now for majors. Juan Martin del Potro is always a contender. His power game is perfect for the grass. And you can't count out Novak Djokovic. Djoker has won Wimbledon 3 times, in 2011, 2014 and 2015 and has 12 Grand Slam championships on his resume.

With that said, here's who I'll go with to the 36 year old from Bottmingen, Switzerland. Like the King of grass to get it done over the 31 year old Spaniard. I see it as a classic Federer-Nadal match, one that'll be remembered for a while.

Fed over Rafa 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

I think it'll be a classic Federer-Nadal match, one we'll remember for a while.

 The King of Grass wins in a classic over Rafa (Photo, The Independent).

The King of Grass wins in a classic over Rafa (Photo, The Independent).

 Rafa gives it a heroic fight (Photo, Tennis World USA).

Rafa gives it a heroic fight (Photo, Tennis World USA).

 

Women

On the women's side, it's always interesting to see who is ready to play. Serena is still not in the greatest shape, so I see that hurting her when she gets to the fourth round. Both Petra Kvitova, the 28 year old from the Czech Republic who won here in 2011 and 2014, and 27 year old Caroline Wozniacki, who turns 28 during the fortnight on July 11th, are playing very good tennis right now, with Kvitova winning on the grass at Birmingham, England 3 weeks ago and Caroline winning in Eastbourne, England 2 weeks ago, so both are playing well on this surface. I'll go with the birthday girl to capture her first Wimbledon Championship and her second major in her career with the first coming at the Australian Open this year. I have Serena losing to Caroline in the quarters. 

Wozniacki over Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 8-6

This should also be a classic. Looking forward to an electric fortnight in London. Hope you enjoy it as well. 

 Wozniacki captures her second major this year (Photo, Australian Open).

Wozniacki captures her second major this year (Photo, Australian Open).

Looking forward to an electric fortnight in London. Hope you enjoy it as well. 

Clemson tonight at 6, MLB report

Our No.2 seeded Vanderbilt baseball team will play No.1 seed Clemson tonight in the Clemson Regional at 6 on the SEC Network. 

 The rest of our team needs to hit like Philip Clarke tonight (Photo, The Tennessean).

The rest of our team needs to hit like Philip Clarke tonight (Photo, The Tennessean).

Clemson is likely to throw sophomore left hander Jake Higginbotham, who comes into our game with a 6-1 record and a 3.27 ERA. Higginbotham has walked 30 and struck out 62. We have 4 left handed bats in our lineup, so J.J. Bleday, Philip Clarke, Ethan Paul and Stephen Scott need to be locked in at the plate. I'm sure those hard workers will be. Corbs is looking at 2 options that I know of right now for a starter tonight, though neither coach has announced. Patrick Raby is our Saturday Night guy and is 4-5 with a 3.47 ERA, 28 walks and 52 K's. The other option is freshman right hander Mason Hickman who carries a 7-2 record with a 4.96 ERA. Mason has struggled as of late, but his stuff is very good. Raby seems to be coming along now after a stellar year last year. 

Clemson's leading hitter is catcher Kyke Wilke who hits .319 with 4 homers and 36 RBIs. Right fielder Seth Beer brings some serious lumber. He hits .313 and has pounded out 21 homers and knocked in 53. Shortstop Logan Davidson hits .293 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs. First baseman Chris Williams is hitting .276 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs. They're only hitting .262 as a team, but they obviously make those hits count. Second baseman Jordan Greene, who hits .256 with 5 hrs 21 RBis, stroked the game winning single last night in the bottom of the 10th in a Tigers 4-3 victory over a scrappy Morehead State team. 

The Tigers head into our game at 46-14. We are now 32-25.

So we'll need to pitch. Hoping to have pitching matchups later this afternoon. 

I think we also need to hit better. We've struggled recently with the bats with runners in scoring position. We'll need to improve there, our pitchers need to keep the ball in the ballpark, and our defense needs to be stellar. We committed 2 errors yesterday, so we don't need that. Philip Clarke continues to hit well as he had an RBI double in the first inning yesterday to get us on the scoreboard and finished 2 for 3. Philip is hitting .306 for us. 

 

MLB guys excelling once again

Sonny Gray

Sonny had an awesome night on the hill last night going 6, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, with 0 walks and 6 K's. When Sonny has his control going he is an exceptional pitcher. And he did last night. Sonny threw 90 pitches with 55 for strikes against 35 balls. But he made his strikes count. His fastball hit 94 several times and stayed at 93 and his curve and changeup were tough. Super outing by the man, as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 4-1. Sonny moved to 4-4 and now has a 5.50 ERA. Really awesome effort by Sonny. He pitches again Wednesday at Toronto.

Tony Kemp

Tony was called up to the Astros on May 16th to play left field mostly, and he's reached base in 14 of 16 games that he's played in and has also played stellar defense. Maybe Tony has finally gotten the shot he's so richly deserved. The Astros sent down one of their outfielders, who was struggling, and Tony, who was hitting .335 with a 20 game hitting streak part of it at Triple A Fresno, earned his shot. He had a base hit last night into right field when he came in as a replacement late. I really want the Astros to give Tony every opportunity to start for them. They will be happy they did. Here's a play that Tony made from center field a week and a half ago. 

As you can see Tony is playing tremendously. Really proud of him.

Mike MInor

Mike pitched 5 innings at the Seattle Mariners Thursday Night, he gave up 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, with 2 walks and 2 K's in a 6-1 loss. Mike threw 96 pitches, 56 for strikes against 40 balls. His fastball was hitting 93-94, and his breaking stuff was pretty solid. Got hurt on the long ball once, but had his team seemingly out of the inning when third baseman Isiah Kiner-Faleta made a great stop of a ball that was headed for left field and looked to be able to turn an inning ending double play. But Isiah's throw got away from second baseman Roughned Odor, and a run scored, and that was a tough break for Mike. It was a great stop by Isiah, he just couldn't complete the throw. But, overall, I was encouraged with how Mike pitched. He was pretty solid and looks to be on a good trajectory. He'll pitch again Wednesday against Oakland at Arlington.

David Price goes against Astros great Justin Verlander in a colossal matchup tonight at 6:15 on FOX. The Red Sox are 39-19, a half game in front of the Yankees, and the Astros are 37-22 and 1 game up on the Mariners. David comes in with a 5-4 record and a 4.04 ERA and has posted 2 encouraging starts recently including a complete game victory over the Orioles a week and a half ago. The great Verlander is 7-2 with a 1.11 ERA. So a major assignment for Dave and the Bosox, who have lost the first 2 @ Houston. Maybe Tony will get to start for the Astros. That would be pretty cool. 

Walker Buehler squares off with German Marquez of the Rockies at Denver as the Dodgers keep trying to catch up to the division leading Rockies. The Dodgers at 27-30 are creeping their way back in the division after a slow start. The Dodgers are 3 back of the Rockies which stand at 30-27.

Finally, this highlight by Dansby Swanson is a must watch. With the Braves leading just 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh against the great Stephen Strasburg, Dansby faced a 1-2 count with runners on first and third and one out. Here's what Dans did on Strasburg's 103rd pitch. Please click on Dansby link below. There might be a short commercial before it. Hope you enjoy it. 

Dansby

 

 

Dansby has a flair for the dramatic. It's just how he rolls.  Braves won 4-0 and are now 34-23 and lead the Nats by 1.5 games, as the Nationals are 32-24. Braves are playing superbly right now.