With Dead Period lasting until this Saturday, it’s a good time to look at what’s going on around the sports world nationally.

The MLB is in the last week before the All-Star break sets in next Monday.

Cincinnati is sitting at 43-40 and is currently second in the NL Central.

The Reds just came off of a sweep against Chicago to take hold of the second place spot in the division.

The Reds will have a series with Kansas City and Milwaukee before the All-Star break.

The Reds need to play well and win both of those series.

Cincinnati currently sits at seven games behind the Brewers, so if the Reds can cut into that lead before the break, it will give them a ton of momentum going forward.

Speaking of the Reds and All-Stars, two of the three starting National League outfielders will be Reds.

Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have both been named starters and rightfully so.

The duo have been on fire all season.

Winker is hitting .310 with 19 home runs, 49 RBIs and 56 runs scored.

Castellanos is hitting .339 with 16 homers, 53 RBIs and 54 runs scored.

The duo are a big part of the Reds’ success this season.

If they keep it up in the second half of the season, Cincinnati should be in the playoff race for a second straight season.

The NBA finals will start Tuesday night at Phoenix.

The Bucks and Suns probably wasn’t a championship series that most people didn’t envision at the begging of the season.

The Suns have a young exciting team focused around former UK guard Devin Booker.

Booker was a shooter at UK. He has developed into one of the most prominent scorers in the league and he is only 24 years old.

He has a cagey veteran backcourt mate in Chris Paul.

Paul is in his 16th season and is just making his first finals appearance.

In the Western Conference finals against the Clippers, Paul took over in the close out game and made sure the Suns secured a finals spot.

Looking at the Bucks, everything is centered around Giannis Antentokounmpo, but he is injured and his status remains questionable.

If Giannis doesn’t play, the Suns should have a big advantage because Giannis is one of the top players in the league.

If he plays and plays like he’s 100 percent, look for the Bucks to have a legit shot at winning the championship.

Just outside looking in, I think the Suns will win because of the injury to Giannis.

Daring take, right?

Another big sporting event going on this weekend is UFC 264: McGregor vs. Poirier 3.

In other words, Mixed Martial Arts’ biggest star Connor McGregor will fight Dustin Poirier for the third time in their careers.

McGregor won the first fight in 2014 at the 145 pound division.

Poirier won the rematch at the 155 pound division back in January.

This will only be McGregor’s fourth MMA match since fighting Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match in 2017.

Since his return, McGregor is only 1-2 since his fight with Mayweather.

He was submitted by Khabib Nurmagoedov, he followed it with a TKO against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and then he was TKO’d by Porier in January.

In the January fight, McGregor hurt Poirier in the first round, but the leg kicks that Poirier landed against McGregor took some of his power away and eventually led to Poirier winning by TKO in the second round.

Should be a good fight.

Prediction?

MMA is hard to predict.

But if I had to pick, I’d go Poirier because he looks bigger and stronger than McGregor at 155 and he fights in the cage on a more regular basis.

But it’s always hard to bet against McGregor because he makes magic happen when he’s on his game.

So, who knows?

I don’t.

I know that we have a loaded week of sports nationally, until local high school and college start to pick up next week.

Look for plenty of seven-on-sevens and football previews to start coming as the 2021 season inches closer.

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