JOIN THE BRACKET CHALLENGE!

Enter the ESPN 97.5 BRACKET CHALLENGE 2020

Photo by Getty Images.

It's that time again, ESPN 97.5's 2nd annual Bracket Madness presented by Bud Light Seltzer, supported by Four Roses Bourbon & Boost Mobile. We'll be giving prizes to 97.5 winners…..Yep the point five winner is the penultimate winner – second to last in the whole bracket. And did we mention this is all FREE?!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: https://www.runyourpool.com/join/pool_info.cfm?id=130926&p=espn975

Prizes include a custom Texas Mattress Makers custom queen size mattress, Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, $50 gift cards to Roosters Men's Grooming Center, iRace Entertainment, El Tiempo, Pitch 25, Heights Bier Garten, Holman Draft Hall, concert tickets, ESPN 97 .5 Listener Appreciation Party tickets a Zummo meat basket and lots more. And last but not least, the PENULTIMATE prize is an authentic autographed Carlos Correa Bat. Prizes being updated daily.

And of course, come hang out with us during the tournament as we broadcast live 11am-7pm from these locations

March 19th: Over Under Sports Bar 1416 FM 528 Rd ste D, Webster, TX 77598

March 20th: Revelry on Richmond 1613 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77006

March 26th: World of beer Cypress 9945 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress, TX

March 27th: iRace Entertainment 24984 Katy Rand Rd, Katy, Tx

April 6th: Belle Station 207 Gray St, Houston, TX 77002

ESPN 97.5 Houston BRACKET CHALLENGE 2019
Official Contest Rules

A complete copy of these rules can be obtained at the offices of radio station KFNC, ESPN 97.5FM, owned and operated by Gow Media LLC (collectively, the "Stations"),5353 W. Alabama, Suite 415, Houston, TX 77056, during normal business hours Monday through Friday or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the above address.

The Station will conduct the ESPN 97.5 Houston Bracket Madness (the "Contest") substantially as described in these rules, and by participating, each participant agrees as follows:

  • No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited. All federal, state, and local regulations apply.
  • Contest is open only to legal U.S. residents age 21 or older with a valid Driver's License at time of prize pick up. Employees, agents, representatives, or affiliates of the Station, Gow Media., its affiliates, participating sponsors, other radio stations, television stations and print advertising companies serving the metro area, and their immediate family members and household members are not eligible to participate. The term "immediate family members" includes spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, children, grandchildren and cohabiting significant others.
  • An individual may win an on-going contest only once per 30-day period unless otherwise specifically stated. An individual may win other seasonal or one-time contests only once for the duration of the contest.
  • The contest will begin on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and will run through Monday, April 6, 2020 (the "Contest Period").
  • All of the ways to enter and/or participate in the contest (e.g., entry forms, call in, online, etc.)
  • ENTRY PAGE. To access and/or enter the Promotion, log-on to the Men's Tournament Challenge homepage and click the link: https://www.runyourpool.com/join/pool_info.cfm?id=130926&p=espn975
  • You must complete your entry by creating a username and password and completely filling out your bracket.
  • HOW TO PLAY.
    • General. The objective of the Promotion is to accumulate the most points by correctly selecting the "winning pick" for each of the sixty-three (63) match-ups associated with the Tournament.
  • ENTIRE Bracket must be filled out to be considered eligible for the ESPN 97.5 Bracket Madness
    • Scoring. A correct pick in a given round is shown below:
      • Round 2: 2 points per pick
      • Round 3: 3 points per pick
      • Round 4: 4 points per pick
      • Round 5: 6 points per pick
      • Round 6: 10 points per pick
      • Championship: 17 points per pick
    • In the event a Tournament match does not occur as scheduled (e.g., due to cancellation) no points will be awarded.
    • Lock-time. All picks will lock at the scheduled tip off time of the Tournament currently scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2020. Your picks for the matchups must be submitted, received and recorded by Sponsor's computer by the scheduled locktime. Selections submitted after the deadline are considered invalid. Sponsor's computer is the official time-keeping device for this Promotion.
      • Ties. Entrants may, but are not required to, submit a predicted score for the championship game (the "Tiebreaker Game Score"). This prediction is used for tiebreaker purposes only. If no predicted score is submitted for an entry, it is given a default prediction of zero (0) points to zero (0) points.
  • If it is determined that the candidate is not eligible to receive prizes, in the Station's sole judgment and discretion, another candidate will be selected for eligibility consultation and this process will continue until such time as an eligible candidate is found. In the unlikely event that no candidates are found to meet the specifications, then the prize will go un-awarded. In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by and at the Station's sole discretion.
  • 97.5 + the penultimate prizes will be awarded to the top 97.5 finalists + the penultimate winner in the ESPN Bracket Challenge. There will technically be 99 winners total and 99 prizes total.
    • All Prizes are valued at $50 or more.
    • Prizes will be awarded to winners based on placement in the ESPN Bracket Challenge.
      • For Example: If you finish in 36th place in the ESPN 97.5 Bracket Challenge, you will win the 36th prize.



Prizes are as follows:

Prizes are updated daily:

Prize 1: Texas Mattress Makers Custom Queen Mattress

Prize 51: $100 Aesthetica MD Spa Gift Card

Prize 2: ESPN 97.5 Listener Appreciation Party Tickets

Prize 52: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 3: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 53: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 4: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 54: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 5: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 55: $50 iRace Entertainment Gift Card

Prize 6: $50 iRace Entertainment Gift Card

Prize 56: $50 Burger Joint Gift Card

Prize 7: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 57: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 8: Rudy's $50 gift card

Prize 58: Rudy's $50 gift card

Prize 9: Pair of Shinedown Tickets on 5/2

Prize 59: Pair of Shinedown Tickets on 5/2

Prize 10: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 60: ESPN 97.5 Listener Appreciation Party Tickets

Prize 11: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 61: Pair of Ron White Tickets on 5/12

Prize 12: $50 Pitch 25 Gift Card

Prize 62: $50 Pitch 25 Gift Card

Prize 13: $50 Burger Joint Gift Card

Prize 63: $50 Burger Joint Gift Card

Prize 14: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 64: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 15: Pair of Ron White Tickets on 5/12

Prize 65: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 16: $50 World of Beer Gift Card

Prize 66: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 17: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 67: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 18: $100 Aesthetica MD Spa Gift Card

Prize 68: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 19: $50 El Tiempo Gift Card

Prize 69: $50 Pitch 25 Gift Card

Prize 20 Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 70: $100 Aesthetica MD Spa Gift Card

Prize 21: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 71:

Prize 22: $50 iRace Entertainment Gift Card

Prize 72: $50 Heights Bier Garten Gift Card

Prize 23: $50 Heights Bier Garten Gift Card

Prize 73: $50 El Tiempo Gift Card

Prize 24:

Prize 74: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 25:

Prize 75: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 26: $100 Aesthetica MD Spa Gift Card

Prize 76:

Prize 27: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 77: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 28: Rudy's $50 gift card

Prize 78: Rudy's $50 gift card

Prize 29:

Prize 79:

Prize 30:

Prize 80: ESPN 97.5 Listener Appreciation Party Tickets

Prize 31: $50 El Tiempo Gift Card

Prize 81: $50 Pitch 25 Gift Card

Prize 32: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 82: Pair of Shinedown Tickets on 5/2

Prize 33: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 83: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 34: $50 Burger Joint Gift Card

Prize 84: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 35: Pair of Ron White Tickets on 5/12

Prize 85: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 36: $50 Holman Draft House Gift Card

Prize 86: $50 iRace Entertainment Gift Card

Prize 37: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 87: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 38: $100 Aesthetica MD Spa Gift Card

Prize 88: $50 Burger Joint Gift Card

Prize 39:

Prize 89: Pair of Ron White Tickets on 5/12

Prize 40:

Prize 90: $50 Holman Draft House Gift Card

Prize 41: $50 Pitch 25 Gift Card

Prize 91: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 42: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 92: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 43: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 93: $50 Pitch 25 Gift Card

Prize 44: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 94: Rudy's $50 gift card

Prize 45:

Prize 95: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 46: Pair of Ron White Tickets on 5/12

Prize 96: $50 Rooster's Men's Grooming Gift Card

Prize 47: Sam Houston Race Park Winners Circle Dinner for 2

Prize 97: Four Roses Bourbon

Prize 48: Zummo Meat Basket

Prize 97.5: El Tiempo $50 Gift Card

Prize 49: $50 iRace Entertainment Gift Card

Penultimate Prize (2nd to last): Autographed Carlos Correa Bat

Prize 50: Four Roses Bourbon

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

The numbers show a concerning trend. Composite image by Brandon Strange

Michael Brantley signed a two-year, $30M deal with the Houston Astros prior to 2019 to little fanfare. The then 32 year-old was coming off of yet another injury riddled season with the Cleveland Indians, and the signing was seen as a safe gamble (if there is such a thing). Brantley would produce if healthy, but would he ever be healthy?

Brantley went on to have two of the healthiest seasons of his career, putting up big numbers for the Astros. Across two seasons, Brantley slashed .309/.370/.497 with a 134 wRC+. The Astros got the best version of Brantley, who had slashed .295/.351/.430 with a 114 wRC+ during his tenure with the Indians.

Brantley is set to hit the market once again, and the Astros face a couple of questions. One, is Brantley worth bringing back? Two, is Brantley worth a qualifying offer?

Hard Hit % - 37.3%

Barrel % - 4.9%

K % - 15%

BB % - 9.1%

Chase % - 20.1%

(All numbers from 2020)

Brantley's greatest skill is controlling the strike zone. He forces pitchers to come to him, and he's only getting better at it. His chase % was the best of his career, and it was 6% better than his 26% mark in 2019. Brantley was t-19th in MLB in chase % with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Yasmani Grandal. Brantley combines this enviable level of plate discipline with another enviable trait: he doesn't swing and miss. His 16.4% whiff % was in the 93rd percentile of MLB. By comparison, Acuña and Grandal were in the 29th and 26th percentiles respectively. Those two don't chase often because they keyhole one spot that they know they can drive. Brantley forces pitchers to come in the zone similar to those two, but he usually doesn't swing and miss when the pitchers do come to him.

However, there are some alarming trends for a hitter now well onto the wrong side of 30.

His 15% K% was the highest it's been since 2011, when he was a 24-year-old in his first full big league season. It was a 4.6% increase in K% over last season. Brantley's 16% whiff % is far and away the worst it's been in his career, and it's 5.6% worse than it was in 2019. That 5.6% is the difference between swinging-and-missing the second least in MLB and swinging-and-missing the 11th least. That's a steep drop over one season. Remember, Brantley chased pitches outside the zone the least he ever had in his career. That increase in whiff % mostly came on strikes. His contact % on strikes dropped 4.8% from 2019.

A big indicator of age is the inability to catch up with the fastball. Brantley's 13.2% whiff rate against fastballs in 2020 was the worst it's been in his career. The second worst? 7.5% back in 2011. On the surface, Brantley performed fine on fastballs in 2020. He batted .295 with a .438 SLG against them. But it gets a little uglier just one level deeper. Brantley's xBA on fastballs was .242. His xSLG was .410.

Compared to his 2019 performance against fastballs, it was quite the downturn. Brantley batted .320 against fastballs in 2019 with a .311 xBA. He slugged .501 with a xSLG of .506. Lastly, Brantley had an 89.3 average exit velocity on fastballs in 2019 compared to 87.4 in 2020. The downturn in fastball productivity is alarming.

Brantley performed great against breaking balls and offspeed pitches in 2020, but once pitchers realize that he can't stay on the fastball like he used to, Brantley will be setup for failure, not success.

Brantley doesn't run well either. His average sprint speed of 26.2 ft/s was in the 34th percentile in MLB. Brantley did perform well defensively by nearly every metric, but he was in the 39th percentile in outfielder jump. He really can't afford a downturn defensively, and with Yordan Alvarez returning as the full time DH next season, they won't have the ability to give Brantley the occasional day off his legs at DH

The qualifying offer has been set at $18.9M for the 2020 offseason. Considering Houston's lack of draft picks due to their punishment for technological sign-stealing, recouping some of that draft capital would be helpful for the club. $18.9M would represent a $3.9M raise for Brantley, which is exactly the price of not being able to bring back Brad Peacock.

It's unlikely that Brantley will regress so quickly that he'll be unplayable in 2021. He will likely be a productive ballplayer. Considering that the Astros can afford to pay the raise in salary if he accepts the qualifying offer, it is worth giving it to him. If he declines the QO, however, it isn't worth giving him a multi-year deal. There are too many signs of regression, and anything more than one year is a risk. If Brantley demands a multi-year deal, the Astros should let him walk and take the draft pick compensation.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome