MLS Picks: Playoffs Edition

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MLS Playoffs First Round

Wednesday, October 28th

(4) D.C. United vs. (5) New England Revolution

Think of the worst possible way you could end your season heading into the playoffs. Now multiply that by 10 and you get D.C. United. Their embarrassing 5-0 loss to Columbus to close the season will do them no favors as they host the Revs in this one-game playoff. New England backed into the playoffs, but have the attacking firepower to beat anyone. With Jermaine Jones finally healthy, they go to D.C. and knock them out of the playoffs.

Winner: New England Revolution

Confidence Rating: 60%

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(4) Seattle Sounders vs. (5) LA Galaxy

What a crazy season it’s been for the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. They began slow, made a slew of great roster additions and became the best team in the league. Somewhere along the way, they lost their focus and slipped all the way down to the fifth seed in the West. This means they must go to possibly the most intimidating atmosphere in MLS for a one-game playoff. Seattle isn’t exactly clicking on all cylinders either, but with the home crowd behind them and Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, they pull it out in the end.

Winner: Seattle Sounders

Confidence Rating: 55%

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Thursday, October 29th

(3) Montreal Impact vs. (6) Toronto FC

All hail Didier Drogba. He is the new king of MLS and we all shall bow to him. What an unbelievable turnaround it’s been for the Impact since they signed the former Chelsea legend. His two goals on Sunday helped them beat TFC. With Toronto’s defensive struggles and Montreal’s impressive home field advantage, it’s hard to see anything different happening when the two face off again on Thursday.

Winner: Montreal Impact

Confidence Rating: 70%

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(3) Portland Timbers vs. (6) Sporting Kansas City

SKC snuck into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and have been in some atrocious form of late. The Timbers are hitting their stride at the perfect time with Fanendo Adi and Darlington Nagbe leading the way. Their 9 goals in their final two regular season games are a cause for optimism. They continue their hot streak in front of the raucous Timbers Army and advance.

Winner: Portland Timbers

Confidence Rating: 65%

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MLS Playoffs Conference Semifinals

Sunday, November 1st

Highest Remaining Seed vs. (1) New York Red Bulls

The Supporters’ Shield-winning Red Bulls will take on the highest remaining seed in the East after the one-game playoffs. According to my prediction, that team would be the New England Revolution. No matter who they end up playing, be careful with this pick. Playing away during the first leg of a two-legged playoff is a tricky task. RBNY could play it safe and attempt to sit back and counter for the away goal. A draw is likely, but a narrow win for the Revs is not out of the question.

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Highest Remaining Seed vs. (1) FC Dallas

Western Conference champs Dallas will take on the highest remaining seed in the West. That would be the Seattle Sounders if I’m correct. This would be a very difficult match-up for Dallas. In this first away leg, Seattle would be the pick thanks to their amazing home support. Same goes for if they end up playing the Galaxy. The only club they’d be favored over away from home is Sporting KC.

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Lowest Remaining Seed vs. (2) Columbus Crew

The Crew would match-up against Montreal if my predictions are accurate. Columbus is a difficult team to judge. They always play well in the regular season, but seem to struggle in the postseason. Montreal is the pick if that pairing occurs. If they play D.C., then it’s the Crew.

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Lowest Remaining Seed vs. (2) Vancouver Whitecaps

Is a Cascadia Derby match-up on the cards? If my picks are correct, Portland would take on the Caps in the conference semifinals. What a tasty pairing that would be. Both offer talented attacking players and solid overall teams. Portland would have to be favored at home. If it happens to be Seattle they play, the same goes. Pick the home team.

 

Rob Usry, Easy Streak contributor

@RobUsry

MLB Tips: Playoffs Edition

MLB Tips: Playoffs Edition
Here’s a quick sneak peek of the weekly tips that Easy Streak subscribers receive every Thursday!  As soon as you subscribe, you’ll receive 1-3 sports articles with tips + predictions to assist you in making the best picks in the contests on our app.

Remember, on Easy Streak, you pick which real teams will win real games; it’s NOT fantasy and you don’t need to do any research to pick players for a fantasy team.  We do the research on the teams for you, thanks to our expert sportswriters!

Without further adieu, here’s the latest by one of our MLB sportswriters.

*Predictions based off of current scheduled/projected pitching matchups

BLUE JAYS vs. RANGERS

The Blue Jays’ league leading offense is just too powerful for the Rangers’ pitching staff. Though they added an ace (Hamels) at the trade deadline, the Rangers are the only team remaining that ranks in the bottom half (23rd) in the Majors in ERA. The Jays’ lumber and hot pitching at the top of their rotation should be enough to defeat the Rangers pretty handily.

Prediction: Blue Jays win series 3-0 (games 1, 2, and 3)

ROYALS vs. ASTROS

Both teams are very good at their home ballparks, but the Astros are the worst road team in the AL, which could put their backs against the wall as they play the first two games in KC. The Royals’ post-season run from last year should help guide them over a young Astros team that has poor road play and lacks October experience.

Prediction: Royals win series 3-1 (games 1, 2, and 4)

DODGERS vs. METS

Tied for best home record in the Majors, the Dodgers will benefit greatly with home field advantage and being led by two amazing Cy Young candidates (Kershaw/Greinke). The Mets pitchers scheduled to start in LA in games 1-2 (DeGrom/Syndergaard) fare much worse on the road and could show some fatigue as they are in uncharted territory in innings pitched.

Prediction: Dodgers win series 3-1 (games 1, 2, and 4) 

CARDINALS vs. CUBS

For this series, it’s all about momentum and it’s all in the Cubs’ hands with 9 straight victories, including the Wildcard win over the Pirates. Meanwhile, the Cardinals took their foot off the gas in the final week and were swept by the lowly Braves. When in doubt, go with the hot team.

Prediction: Cubs win series 3-2 (games 2, 4, and 5)

 

Jason Kwok, Easy Streak contributor

@TheBackwardsK

DraftKings and FanDuel Scandal

The Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) feud between DK and FD and all the advertising the American people have had to suffer through, reminds me of another 2 party system that bombards us with ads at a certain time of year. I think we are all just as sick of these DFS ads as we are of the political ones.

In this funny video, it says the two companies have spent $100 MILLION on 30,000 commercials that aired. They are “carpet bombing” us. These two companies in a couple of years have been valued at over $1 billion dollars which is an impressive ascent, or at least it seemed impressive until we learned that these companies are saturated in scandal and corruption.

Even the personality in this video WHO IS A SPONSOR OF FANDUEL admits to never winning. We now are starting to see why. It was just discovered that the two companies have employees using their insider information to win on each other’s sites and there are people with huge bank rolls equipped with algorithms which seems fishy on its own. When you see the breakdown of the percentage of people that win (the far left column) and how much they make (the ROI on the right column) it starts to look even more suspect.

DFS Economy

Source: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2015/07/27/Opinion/From-the-Field-of-Fantasy-Sports.aspx

ONLY 1.3% (OR ABOUT 1 IN 100) WIN MONEY (SHOWN AS POSITIVE ROI ON THE CHART)

That is why I’m so excited about Easy Streak and our Model!

WE LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD:

  1. We’re not pay to play (People with large bankrolls don’t have the advantage)
  2. You pick teams not players (Everyone has access to the insider info via Vegas Odds)
  3. 1 Entry Per Person (Everyone has an equal chance of winning the daily and monthly cash prizes)

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Play on,

Matt