In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Malcolm Luck asked our panel of three experts — Ethan Lott, Jake Chiavelli and Miguel Gonzalez — three questions: 1. Will the New York Mets win the NL East this year? 2. Who should be the NBA’s rookie of the year? 3. Are the Los Angeles Rams the team to beat in the NFC after all of their free agent signings?
1. Will the New York Mets win the National League East this year?
Ethan: Although the Mets are on a tear right now, I do not believe that they will win the National League East. I personally think that the division is going to become more competitive as the season goes on with the young talent in both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. No one can sleep on the Washington Nationals either. With that said, the Mets will eventually cool down and I think that the Nationals will win the division with a tight race between the other teams in contention for a wild card spot. The Miami Marlins are a lost cause.
Jake: Honestly, I think the Mets will win it. I think a lot of different things have to go right, but it can happen. First, they need to stay healthy, considering they have a lot of veteran guys and a pitching staff that is prone to getting hurt. They could have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball when healthy. As for their lineup, the veteran presence along with some of the younger guys such as left fielder Yoenis Céspedes is showing competitiveness. Ultimately, their pitching staff will keep them in games, but their lineup will win them. I love third baseman Todd Frazier and I think he was a huge reason why the New York Yankees were able to go so far last year. I think he will bring the same energy to the Mets and be a pivotal player for them as the season goes on. Assuming they stay healthy, I think this team has what it takes to beat out the Washington Nationals for the division.
Miguel: The Amazin’ Mets are exceeding expectations in Queens, New York. Outside of the Big Apple, I feel like no one pays attention to the Mets because of some guys in the Bronx. Granted, the Mets didn’t have much media coverage after a lackluster season in 2017. Pitcher Matt Harvey has dealt with injuries. Former pitching coach Dan Warthen couldn’t utilize a good lineup. So what’s different about this year’s Mets? They have returned to their 2015 form. With third baseman Todd Frazier grinding out at-bats, left fielder Yoenis Céspedes securing the outfield and pitcher Noah Syndergaard electrifying the mound, these Mets are stacked. Just kidding, the Mets will always play second fiddle to the Yankees. With rising teams like the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets will need to go through the process to win the weak National League East.
Jake receives 3 points for breaking down the key components of the Mets. Miguel receives 2 points for mentioning Dan Warthen. Ethan receives 1 point for alluding to the weak Marlins.
2. Who should be the NBA’s rookie of the year?
Ethan: Point guard Ben Simmons should without a doubt be the NBA’s rookie of the year. Yes shooting guard Donovan Mitchell has had an incredible season, but you cannot forget about the things Ben Simmons has done. He had double-digit triple doubles in his rookie season and has been a huge part of the Philadelphia 76ers’ success this season. Not only have the Sixers made the playoffs as a very good team, but during their 16-game winning-streak at the end of the season, Simmons averaged a triple double. I am not discrediting Mitchell in any way, but I believe it is silly to have to debate about this topic.
Jake: I would say Ben Simmons just from his big impact. The 76ers haven’t been in a place like this in a long time and I think the biggest reason is the addition of Simmons. I think he has the potential to be a star and I think he deserves to be the league’s rookie of the year.
Miguel: Lonzo Ball all day, every day! The point guard from Chino Hills, California has led the Los Angeles Lakers to greatness this season. As the Lakers wrapped up their proud 35-47 season, Ball balled hard to be the top rookie of the NBA. With impressive statistics like 10.2 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game, Ball shows the potential to be greater than Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant. How could you not like him? He’s sponsored by the greatest sports company of all time, the Big Baller Brand. With amazing products like their mysterious Lithuanian mineral water and $500 sneakers, Ball has established himself as a basketball icon like Michael Jordan. It’s not like the NBA has many talented rookies this year anyway, right?
Ethan receives 3 points for mentioning Simmons’ triple-double ability. Miguel gets 2 points because the Big Baller Brand never takes L’s. Jake receives 1 point for alluding to the 76ers’ lack of recent success without Simmons.
3. Are the Los Angeles Rams the team to beat in the NFC after all of their free agent signings?
Ethan: Coming from a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan who is still on a high from the Super Bowl win, I am frightened by the moves that the Rams have made. Through free agency, they have restructured their entire defense, turning it into a lethal weapon. They still have an incredible offense that they displayed in the 2017 season and added wide receiver Brandin Cooks on top of that. I do believe the Rams, as of right now, are the team to beat in the NFC. But don’t sleep on them Eagles. Go birds!
Jake: I still think the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC. I think the Rams have plenty of potential. However, they have to prove it can work first before I think they are the best. The Eagles still have a great defense and quarterback Carson Wentz coming back is huge for them. I think the Rams are a very scary team coming into the season because of their potential. I think it will be very interesting to see both teams down the stretch if they both stay healthy.
Miguel: I never understood why the Los Angeles Rams left St. Louis, Missouri in the first place. Back then, the Rams were known as the “greatest show on turf” with amazing players like quarterback Kurt Warner. Now, the Rams are led by 32-year old Sean McVay, who could be mistaken for a newlywed husband ready to embark on a long marriage. I was impressed how McVay carried a whole new team and lead it to the NFC wild card game. I’m not sure who the Rams exactly traded for, but I’m going to assume that they are already better than the Chargers. The Rams’ only obstacle next season will be the San Francisco 49ers, who be will led by Tom Brady’s worthy apprentice, Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s probably not worried about the Rams since he’s been swimming in gobs of cash this offseason.
Ethan receives 3 points for mentioning both sides of the ball. Jake receives 2 points for talking about Carson Wentz’s return. Miguel receives 1 point for roasting McVay.
Ethan wins ATD 7-6-5
“Wanna give a shoutout to Ma. Without her none of this would be possible … well really dad.”