The best strategies for drafting closers

We’re still more than a month away from the start of the MLB season … so how do you approach drafting bullpen arms at this time of year?

For the rest of the bunch, I’d play the follow the leader game. If someone picks Mark Melancon, I’ll grab Sam Dyson. If Jeurys Familia gets drafted, I’ll pounce on AJ Ramos. For one thing, the more lottery tickets I draft in this fashion, the more chances I have that at least one of these closer competitors will come out on top come April. Plus, say my Carl Edwards Jr. ends up as the Cubs’ go-to guy. That opens a big door for me to call the guy who put all of his eggs into Brandon Morrow’s basket and name my price.

Ferdinand Dahl posed a 76.40 in his second run, improving from his 42.20 in the first round. Elias Ambuehl of Switzerland posted a 71.60, improving on an 18.80. James Woods had a huge second run, putting together two separate triple corks, improving on a 29.20 with a score of 91.00, good for second place in the finals, behind Braaten.

Gus Kenworthy struggled n his second, with a 20.00, so he’ll have to rely on the third run. Teal Harle of Canada also struggled in both of his runs. Nick Goepper of the United States posted a 69.00, improving on his 59.00, but not nearly enough.

Ale Beaulieu-Marchand pushed countryman McEachran out of the podium spots with his second run, which scored a 92.40. Oscar Wester, the leader from the qualifying rounds, scored just a 62.00 in his second run. Oystein Braaten, already in gold position, fell in his third run so he didn’t improve, but was still in first from his opening run.

Lewis, 33, who caught 24 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns in 2017, ranks second in franchise history in receiving touchdowns (33) and third in receptions (375) and receiving yards (4,502). The next game he plays will tie him with receiver Jimmy Smith for second place on the franchise’s list of most games played (171), behind center Brad Meester (209 games in 14 seasons).

Lewis played in all 16 games in 2017 for just the second time since 2012.

The team also announced it was picking up options on reserve offensive linemen Josh Wells and Tyler Shatley. Wells has played in 32 games with three starts, all in 2017. Shatley has played in 46 games with eight starts.

Alex Bowman is leading the Daytona 500, passing defending race-winner Kurt Busch. Bowman did not race in the Cup Series last season and is making his first start on a restrictor-plate track since October 2016 at Talladega Superspeedway.royals_012

Earlier this month, Katie Sowers became just the second woman hired by an NFL team as a full-time coach.

The offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers made more history Tuesday, when she came out publicly as a lesbian in a report by Outsports, making her the first openly LGBT coach in league history.

“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers told Outsports. “There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation.”

What is happening as the season enters its home stretch? The day-after conversations now center on fights over necklaces and nasty hits, with Monday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals the most recent example. Vontaze Burfict was stretchered off the field to undergo concussion evaluation after an illegal hit by JuJu Smith-Schuster, who taunted him as he stood over him. Not long after that, George Iloka of the Bengals drilled Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the face mask on a game-tying touchdown. All of which came after the sobering sight of a Steelers player being immobilized and carted off, to be hospitalized overnight with a spinal contusion.

The NFL swiftly punished Smith-Schuster and Iloka, suspending each for one game for “violations of safety-related playing rules.”

“With Katie’s announcement, athletes around the league and throughout sport will have a better understanding of how their words and actions impact those around them, only furthering the effort to make sport inclusive and accessible for everyone — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Hudson Taylor, the executive director of Athlete Ally, said in a statement.

“While we’ve seen a growing number of athletes come out over the past 5 years, we’ve failed to see that progress on the coaching front, which makes coach Sowers’ decision especially heartening. We’re hopeful that her announcement will open the door for other coaches to follow in her footsteps.”

“I think teams make big mistakes in the draft, and look I’ve been a part, Lord knows I haven’t been perfect in the teams I’ve been on, we’ve all made mistakes,” Ballard told reporters at his news conference. “But I don’t ever want to pass up a really good player that I think has a long career in this league that fits our criteria of what we want.”cowboys_373

it was Westbrook and his August 2016 contract extension, which preceded his historic MVP season.

Playing on the Jets’ fourth line has done little to smother Perreault’s scoring spirit since returning from a knee injury. Three games in following his nearly five-week absence, the versatile forward has four goals (one assist), including two with the man advantage. It won’t be long before the 29-year-old pushes his way into a more prominent scoring position at even strength. Fantasy owners in deeper leagues should scoop him up before it gets to that point.

Rookie netminder Maxime Lagace has been better than good in three of his past four starts, simply awful in the fourth, and solidly sub-mediocre through most of his previous appearances for the Golden Knights.

That should provide some food for daily fantasy thought, particularly ahead of the Kings’ two tilts in 24 hours later this week (in Arizona Friday, then back home to host the Ducks on Saturday). It’s guaranteed that the club’s red-hot No. 2 earns a start in one of those two matches.

Just last week we expressed concerns about Krug getting banged about too much, and now the defenseman is projected to miss his third straight game with an upper-body injury. Look for rookie Charlie McAvoy to continue subbing in on the Bruins’ No. 1 power play in Krug’s place.

Headphones on, Durant stepped off a bus and walked into Chesapeake Energy Arena last February for the first time as a visitor. The headphones stayed on as he took the court for warm-ups, but around him the noise swelled, with chants and boos from screaming fans.steelers_027