Monday Morning Coffee

April 1, 2024

The Dodgers took 3 of 4 with Cardinals to open their home schedule this weekend. That’s pretty good, but the really good news is their starting pitching. Yoshinobu Yamamoto had a really nice bounce back outing on Saturday. I don’t really know if he’s going to be elite yet, but he’s showing signs of a guy who is capable of making adjustments, and has a very high ceiling at only 25 years old. That’s a relief given the investment they made in him. Tyler Glasnow has looked great so far in his first two starts, and Bobby Miller was excellent as well. You put a healthy and effective Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in this rotation later in the year, and this is going to be a very tough rotation come October. However, this is not a flawless team. Their infield defense outside of Freddy Freeman is questionable at every position. Not having Mookie Betts in their outfield severely weakens their defense there. They are also lacking some lefty options in their bullpen middle relief as well, which was exposed Saturday night. Nevertheless, there’s time to sort these problems out one at a time. As for the Shohei betting scandal, let it die until the MLB finishes their investigation. But in the meantime, I’d like to know who he’s taking in the Final Four next week.

Then there’s the Angels, who lost 2 out of 3 to the Orioles over the weekend. This has an extremely predictable feel to it. Mike Trout looks like the only capable dude in the lineup. Anthony Rendon can’t hit his way out of a paper bag, and the starting pitchers look like they should be serving In-N-Out Burgers instead of starting an MLB game. We’ve always known the pitching wasn’t good, but everyone wrongly assumes that the Halos will score runs. That would be assuming that Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and Logan O’Hoppe all develop into productive Major Leaguers. However, betting on player development with the Halos is like betting on the lottery. There’s very little reason for optimism after just three games.

To the NBA, where the Lakers dominated the Nets yesterday. Lebron was making three-pointers like he was Larry Bird, and poured in a career-high 40 points and the Lake Show has now won 6 of 7. They are feverishly trying to catch the Kings or Suns for the 7th or 8th seed to make their play-in tournament path slightly easier. With 8 games left and Darvin “hands in his pockets” Ham still coaching them, I’m skeptical they can get there. Nice to see Gabe Vincent back in the lineup yesterday though. Not sure he is going to contribute much, but he can play defense when he’s in shape. As long he doesn’t bang his knee on another coffee table.

As for the Clippers they’ve righted the ship for the time being by beating up on bad teams. The latest was Charlotte yesterday. However, if you look at the standings, here come the Mavs, who are now tied for the 5th seed with the Pelicans. They are also 2 games back of the Clips for 4th. Part III of Clippers vs Mavs in a playoff series would be compelling, but given how the Clips are playing, might not be a series you would feel so great about if you’re a Clippers fan. There’s also continuous rumors now about whether or not Paul George will work out an extension with the Clippers. It’s taking an awful long time, and the Philadelphia 76ers are practically screaming from the mountain top that they are ready to pounce, like a dude courting a girl who has had a long-term boyfriend. However, I still can’t imagine PG-13 leaving LA, where he is from, for Philadelphia. I think this is a leverage play.

How is March Madness going for you? NC State, Alabama, UCONN, and Purdue. I’m sure that’s how we all predicted it right? UCONN and Purdue would be a great final, and NC State and Alabama are obviously massive surprises. However, I’m sure everyone is more delighted to see Duke lose to anybody than they would be to see ISIS lose any war. Zach Edey is a complete beast and looks like he’s just playing volleyball out there and not basketball. I’d love to see him go up again UCONN Center Donovan Clingan.

Finally, the LA Kings have 9 games left. They’ve lost their last two critical road games against division rivals, and they are hanging on to dear life to the last playoff spot. However, I for the life of me cannot figure out why this team absolutely hates young players. You cannot possibly tell me that this team wouldn’t be better off and with a higher ceiling with Brandt Clarke, Arthur Kaliev, and Alex Turcotte in the lineup every night instead of Andreas England, Alex Laferriere, and Trevor Lewis. This is the reason why the Kings can’t get any closer to Stanley Cup contention. It’s because their franchise is being run by foolish coaches and a foolish front office. Unless they somehow get Vancouver in the 1st round of the playoffs, they’ve got no shot of advancing in the playoffs, and that’s if they are lucky enough to get there.

CALGARY, ALBERTA - MARCH 30: Jonathan Huberdeau #10 of the Calgary Flames skates.

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