BETTING THE GAMES

Week 2 standings for the Gow Media show host gambling challenge

Week 2 standings for the Gow Media show host gambling challenge
The Gow media competition. Gow Media

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Show host            Selections                                                                        Record

1. B. Laminack        Wake Forest -17.5-W, New England -6.5-W                            3-0

2. Jerry Bo               Miss. St. -8-W, OU/UCLA O60-W, Denver -3-P                 2-0-1

2. Josh Jordan         Georgia -10-W, Miss. St. -7-W, Denver -3-P                        2-0-1

4. Fred Faour           FIU -1- W, Detroit -6.5-L                                                             2-1

4. Jong Lee                Hawaii -17.5-L, Cleveland +4- W                                              2-1

4. Joel Blank              OU/UCLA O64.5-W, NE/HOU O51-L                                    2-1

4. Charlie Pallilo        Kansas St. +8-L, LA Rams -4-W                                             2-1

4. Tyler Scott               Ohio St. -35-W, Cincinnati +3-W                                          2-1

4. R. Ramzanali          UNLV -24-W, PIT/CLE O45.5                                               2-1

4. Jermaine Every      Ala. -37-W, Clemson -13-L, LA Rams -4.5-W                     2-1

11. John Granato         UNLV -23.5-W, Denver -3-P                                               1-1-1

11. Lance Zierlein        Mizzou -18.5-W, Denver -3-P                                              1-1-1

13. AJ Hoffman            Liberty +10-L, Atlanta +3-L                                                   1-2

13. Patrick Creighton  Nevada +11-L, LA Rams -4-W                                                1-2

15. Nick Sharara          Kansas St. +7.5-L, Pittsburgh -4.5-L                                     0-3

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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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