Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly underwent a 12-hour surgery on Wednesday to remove cancer from and to reconstruct portions of his jaw. On Friday, Kelly’s surgeon provided an update on the former Bills quarterback’s progress.

Eduardo Rodriguez (L), 19 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Rodriguez is set to make his 2018 debut after recovering from knee surgery last August. The setup couldn’t be any better, facing the offensively challenged Rays on one of Tampa Bay’s bullpen games … following a game in which Tampa’s bullpen was taxed. Boston’s relievers, on the other hand, are well rested.

Reynaldo Lopez (R), 16 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers: Michael Kopech and Lucas Giolito get more attention, but Lopez is just as much a part of Chicago’s future. Last season, Lopez struck out only 30 in 47.2 frames with the White Sox, though he’s off to a good start in that department, whiffing six Blue Jays in six innings in his 2018 debut. The largely right-handed Tigers give Lopez another chance to rack up some punchouts.

While nearly half of all teams are on track to come in within three games of their RPM projection using actual minutes, there are an unusually large number of significant outliers this season. And, unsurprisingly, the list of Coach of the Year candidates mirrors the top of these rankings.

Because of Gordon Hayward’s absence and other injuries, the Boston Celtics’ projection — already too low entering the season — dropped all the way to 38 wins using actual minutes, so the Celtics will have the largest difference in absolute terms. But the Toronto Raptors have overperformed their projection more in terms of point differential, with the Indiana Pacers not far behind Boston.

“The Cleveland Cavaliers are 18 games over .500 yet have a scoring margin of less than plus-1.0. I have to imagine that such a imbalanced record vs. scoring margin is a fairly uncommon occurrence in NBA history. Is that true?”
flames_002