Seahawks versus Cardinals Preview
The Seattle Seahawks were fit to be tied after seeing their four-game winning streak come to a halt last week following three missed field-goal attempts and a season-high 16 penalties. Speaking of ties, the Seahawks return to the site of a rare draw last season when they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. The Seahawks versus Cardinals will be broadcast at 8:25 pm on NBC. Play this game as part of Thursday GoW cross sports contest starting at 7:30pm ET.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw multiple touchdown passes for the third straight week and fifth time in six games in Sunday’s 17-14 loss to Washington. The 28-year-old tossed four scoring strikes in a 34-31 setback against Arizona last season on Christmas Eve after both teams were limited to field goals in a 6-6 tie on October 23, 2016. Adrian Peterson was not a member of the Cardinals for those contests, but the 32-year-old is making up for lost time in a hurry with a career-high 37 rushes for 159 yards in Sunday’s 20-10 victory over winless San Francisco.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (5-3)
Blair Walsh had reason to hang his head after missing field-goal attempts of 44, 39 and 49 yards versus the Redskins, but coach Pete Carroll didn’t want those misfires to lead to the 27-year-old kicker worrying about his job security either. Doug Baldwin, who made a career-best 13 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown in the last encounter with Arizona, has 22 receptions on 34 targets for 254 yards and two scores over his last three games.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (4-4)
Drew Stanton traditionally has stepped up when called upon, and the 33-year-old did precisely that by extending his winning streak to four starts – albeit spread over nearly three years – by tossing two touchdown passes versus the 49ers. J.J. Nelson rolled up 132 receiving yards in his last encounter with Seattle but has made just three catches for 54 yards in his last three overall games.
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NFL Games of the Week
Sunday’s lives for NFL Football and FanPicks has your fantasy football fix. Usually the Green Bay Packers are unstopable with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but this Sunday Rodgers is out and the New Orleans Saints are in town. . With eight games in line, there will be no shortage of draft picks. Check out our Saints versus Packers preview along with all other 1pm games below and join the action for cash prize!!! >>>Click here to join the game<<<
New Orleans Saints vs Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers is sidelined with a broken collarbone, and that leaves all eyes on quarterback Brett Hundley when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday (1 p.m. ET on FOX). Hundley will be making his first career start and must upgrade his play after throwing three interceptions in relief of the injured Rodgers in last Sunday’s loss to Minnesota.
ABOUT THE SAINTS (3-2)
The Saints have rattled off three straight wins after an 0-2 start. Quarterback Drew Brees tossed his first two interceptions of the campaign and compiled a season-low 186 yards in last Sunday’s win over Detroit, but he has been superb this season with 1,321 yards and 10 touchdowns. Running back Mark Ingram (284 yards) started slowly but revved up his game against the Lions with a season-best 114 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. The defense allows 23.2 points per game (21st in the NFL), but defensive end Cameron Jordan has registered five sacks as he looks to reach double digits for the third time in his career.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-2)
The chatter all week has been about Green Bay falling apart without Rodgers due to now having a novice at the helm. But Hundley has performed superbly in the preseason during his three years with the Packers, and he says the squad’s playoff aspirations shouldn’t take a hit with Rodgers lost for at least two months. Second-year inside linebacker Blake Martinez (team-best 48 tackles) has excelled, but the defense has struggled against the run as it is allowing 119.8 yards per game (24th in NFL).
New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have won two straight following back-to-back ugly defeats, including a 20-6 loss at New York. Miami pulled off an incredible comeback to win 20-17 at Atlanta last week after trailing 17-0 at halftime. The Jets had their unlikely three-game winning streak snapped with a 24-17 setback against New England last week. They squandered a 14-0 lead but were hurt when an apparent touchdown was ruled a fumble and a touchback on a controversial call.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Buffalo Bills
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston sustained a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder on a sack in last week’s loss at Arizona and appears headed for a game-time decision. Ryan Fitzpatrick came off the bench and rallied for the Bucs from a huge deficit last week in a 38-33 setback. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has yet to throw for more than 224 yards in any game this season and posted a career-low yards per attempt in a 20-16 loss last time out at Cincinnati. Buffalo coach Sean McDermott, however, told reporters earlier in the week that Taylor retains his full confidence.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts
With 1,209 yards passing, Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has played fairly well in Andrew Luck’s stead, but the former Patriot backup has thrown just three touchdown passes on the season. The Colts have also coughed up three second-half leads and have fallen into last place in the division. Jacksonville hopes to have rookie sensation Leonard Fournette in the backfield for Sunday’s game. Fournette left last week’s 27-17 loss to the Rams in the second half after suffering a leg injury and he has missed two practices during the week.
Baltimore Ravens vs Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings seem to have found an answer to their injury woes at quarterback with Case Keenum excelling in place of Sam Bradford (knee), and Jerick McKinnon has put up big numbers in two games since rookie running back Dalvin Cook was lost for the season. Minnesota has the benefit of leaning on one of the league’s best defenses, which has been especially tough against the run. Baltimore is coming off a bad loss – 27-24 in overtime to visiting Chicago – and has plenty of problems on both sides of the ball. The teams are meeting for the first time since 2013.
Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams
The 32-year-old running back Adrian Peterson, who was acquired from New Orleans for a draft pick on October 10, gave a huge boost to a Cardinals ground attack that was averaging a mere 51.8 yards per game and this week will be facing a run defense that ranks 29th in the league (139.5 yards). Los Angeles is coming off its third win in four games, a 27-17 victory at Jacksonville that featured a 103-yard touchdown return by Pharoh Cooper on the opening kickoff. The Rams have a rushing threat of their own in Todd Gurley, who is fourth in the NFL with 521 yards and tied for first with seven TDs – including three of the receiving variety. Both teams also can get things done through the air, as Arizona’s Carson Palmer (1,856) is second in the league in passing yards while Los Angeles’ Jared Goff (1,484) ranks seventh.
Carolina Panthers vs Chicago Bears
The Bears haven’t asked too much of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky in his first two starts, as he has passed for only 241 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while primarily focusing on handing off to Jordan Howard. Leaning on the ground game might not be a viable option against the Panthers, who rank fifth in the NFL against the run and allow just 3.4 yards per carry. Carolina had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 28-23 loss to Philadelphia last week.
Tennessee Titans vs Cleveland Browns
Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer watched from the sidelines as Kevin Hogan threw three interceptions and is heading back out on the field ready to limit his own mistakes and hold himself accountable. Kizer is completing 50.9 percent of his passes and owns nine interceptions to go with just three touchdowns. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota sat out a 16-10 loss at Miami on October 8 with a hamstring injury but returned on Monday with limited mobility and threw for 306 yards in the 36-22 victory over Indianapolis while working from the pocket.
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NFC West biggest needs in the 2017 NFL Draft
Every team in the NFL’s worst division has serious question marks
The Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams and 49ers collectively finished the 2016 NFL season – playoffs included – with a combined 24 wins. To put that in perspective, the New England Patriots won just seven fewer games than the entire NFC West combined. As you might have expected, the NFC West was easily the worst division in the league from a win-loss standpoint. All four teams are in need of a overhaul if they want to compete for a Super Bowl appearance anytime soon. Step one is making the right decisions on April 27th in what looks to be a fairly loaded NFL Draft.
The Cardinals finished with a disappointing 7-8-1 record after entering the season as the top pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. A pedestrian season from Carson Palmer combined with injuries on the offensive line was enough to doom Arizona’s season. The Cardinals are a good mix of experience and youth, but it’s beginning to look like the championship window might be closing on its veteran core. For starters, it’s time to find Palmer’s successor at quarterback. There are plenty of guys available in this draft with the potential to be a franchise quarterback after some time on the sidelines to get settled. Arizona also needs help on the offensive line – specifically at guard. Getting younger at receiver is another priority.
First-round pick: No. 13 overall
Potential picks: The Cardinals are going to take a long look at Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson if he’s still around when they are on the clock. That said, if one of the top two receivers – Clemson’s Mike Williams or Western Michigan’s Corey Davis – falls to them, both will be hard to disregard.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were bad enough to get Jeff Fisher fired and subsequently bring in the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. They finished 4-12 in their first year back in Los Angeles, averaging a league-worst 14 points per game. The Rams also were among the worst teams in the league when it came to getting after the quarterback, collecting less than two sacks per contest. The Rams will need to be patient and rebuild from the ground up. They need depth at every position on the offensive line and more playmakers at wide receiver. They may even need to draft another quarterback, despite taking Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick last year.
First-round pick: None
First pick: No. 37 overall
Potential picks: You’ll likely see the Rams go with the best player available at this point. Matching that with their biggest needs, you could see them go with Indiana guard Dan Feeney, Penn State receiver Chris Godwin or Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers ended the season 2-14 amidst the Colin Kaepernick kneeling controversy. What really did them in was a defense that couldn’t keep anyone out of the end zone, as they allowed 480 points (30 points per game) on the year. There is some young talent scattered around the depth chart, but like the Rams, the 49ers appear to be a couple of year away from being taken seriously. A franchise quarterback is a priority for the team. They need a line that can protect that quarterback. They need receivers who can consistently get open and catch passes from that quarterback. The need talent everywhere on defense so that quarterback doesn’t need to win a shootout every week.
First-round pick: No. 2 overall
Potential picks: You’d be hard-pressed to find many mock drafts that don’t have San Francisco taking Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. If the new regime defies the experts and go another direction, it will maybe be North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Tribusky or Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.
Another year, another trip to the playoffs for Seattle. That said, this was not the dominant Seahawks team that played in back-to-back Super Bowls not too long ago. They were very inconsistent, struggling with the Rams and 49ers while defeating the Patriots on the road. The running back position was a revolving door and Doug Baldwin seemed to be the only receiver you could count on each week. Seattle needs reinforcement at both guard and offensive tackle if it wants to keep Russell Wilson healthy for the better part of the next decade. The Seahawks also need to get younger quickly in all three levels of their defense.
First-round pick: No. 26 overall
Potential picks: The wise move would be to select the best available offensive lineman at this point, which could be Utah tackle Garrett Boles. Seattle also could decide to go in a different direction and take Washington cornerback Kevin King or Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt. All three would be safe picks.
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Cardinals (1-3) vs 49ers (1-3)
The Arizona Cardinals are plagued by turnovers of late. Backup quarterback Drew Stanton will start Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers (Enter contests). With veteran Carson Palmer ruled out due to concussion, Stanton will be left looking to conjure the magic that saw him pull a 5-3 mark out of his hat during a stint in 2014.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
Stanton struggled mightily in taking over for the concussed Palmer on Sunday, completing just 4-of-11 passes in a 17-13 setback to Los Angeles and his two interceptions upped Arizona’s turnover total to nine during its two-game skid. Arizona has not scored in the first quarter this season and was blanked over the first 15 minutes of a contest in six straight dating to 2015.
David Johnson (64 carries, 300 yards, three TDs) leads the NFL with 510 yards from scrimmage and has recorded 100 or more total yards in all four contests this season and eight of his last nine games. Johnson amassed 124 from scrimmage (83 rushing, 41 receiving) versus the Rams, but the workload was decidedly different in last year’s season series with San Francisco (15 carries, 46 yards). The 24-year-old is spelled by Andre Ellington, as veteran Chris Johnson (groin) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Tyvon Branch is also placed on injured reserves. Fellow safety Tyrann Mathieu will temporarily move to the slot while D.J. Swearinger plays in nickel packages. Cardinals LBs Chandler Jones and Markus Golden each have recorded a sack in all four contests this season.
ABOUT THE 49ERS
The 49ers had no such issue against the Rams with a 28-0 season-opening shellacking, but the defense of Chip Kelly’s club summarily has been shredded to the tune of 458.3 yards and 35.7 points per contest during its three-game losing streak. To add injury to insult, four-time NFL All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman sustained a torn left Achilles in Sunday’s 24-17 setback to Dallas and will miss the rest of the season.
San Francisco collected eight takeaways in its first three games to provide a helping hand for the NFL’s 28th-ranked offense, which scored a league-best 45 points off the turnovers after mustering an NFL-worst 25 for the entire 2015 season. The 49ers failed to force a turnover versus the Cowboys on Sunday and Blaine Gabbert’s fourth interception of the season ended his team’s bid for an upset. Carlos Hyde (73 carries, 299 yards, NFC-best five TDs) is averaging 4.9 yards per rush over his last two games, but got limited to just 51 yards in a 47-7 loss at Arizona on Sept. 27. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, who had six receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown last week, leads the team in catches (18) and receiving yards (202).
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Yankees vs Red Sox
Alex Rodriguez will make his final appearance at Fenway Park and has a chance to lead the New York Yankees to a series win this Thursday. Rodriguez, who is set to play his final game for the Yankees at home on Friday before being released, got into Wednesday’s win as a pinch hitter and is expected to play a bigger role in the finale. He flied out in his lone plate appearance on Wednesday but New York managed to even the series at one win apiece by picking on the Red Sox bullpen for five runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth en route to a 9-4 triumph.
The Red Sox need to win every game at this point to keep pace in the American League East and AL wild card races and may be without All-Star slugger David Ortiz. The veteran designated hitter had to be helped off the field after fouling a ball off his right leg in the ninth inning on Wednesday and was sent for x-rays.
Angels vs Indians
Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 14 games in impressive fashion, collecting two singles and a double for his third straight multi-hit performance in Wednesday’s 7-4 setback at Washington. The 23-year-old Dominican is batting .391 with runners in scoring position but is hitting just .188 (6-for-32) in 10 career encounters with the Angels. Los Angeles saw its offense limited to just one run for a third consecutive contest and sustained its season high-tying sixth straight loss with Wednesday’s 3-1 setback against the red-hot Chicago Cubs. Mike Trout is 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts in his last three games, and his 1-for-11 performance versus Thursday starter Corey Kluber doesn’t inspire much confidence, either.
Astros vs Twins
The Astros made a bold personnel decision by designating Carlos Gomez for assignment and hope the transaction can be looked back on as a courageous factor in their wild-card push. Houston, who trail Boston, Detroit and Seattle in the battle for the American League’s second wild card, decided they no longer could live with the sub-par performances of Gomez. The two-time All-Star center fielder made two key defensive miscues on Monday in his final start for Houston and batted a disappointing .210 with five homers and 100 strikeouts this season. Minnesota has won seven of its last 10 games and Brian Dozier is on a tear with six homers and 13 RBIs during the stretch.
Cardinals vs Cubs
Chicago’s pitching staff has been dominant of late, allowing two or fewer runs in 10 of the last 13 games as the Cubs have gone 12-1 over that stretch. Left-hander Jon Lester looks to continue that trend as he takes on hard-throwing right-hander Carlos Martinez. Lester is 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 10 home starts, while Martinez has excelled on the road, going 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in nine outings.
White Sox vs Royals
Left-hander Danny Duffy routinely has brought smiles to the faces of his teammates, and for good reason, considering that the Kansas City Royals have emerged victorious in each of his last eight trips to the mound. The 27-year-old looks to win his third straight start and improve to 7-0 in his last nine outings on Thursday.
Royals Rookie Cheslor Cuthbert had an RBI double in Wednesday’s 3-2 win in 14 innings and is 10-for-27 during his six-game hitting streak. The 23-year-old Nicaraguan is 15-for-46 in 12 career encounters versus the White Sox and 1-for-3 against Thursday starter Miguel Gonzalez. The right-hander has had his troubles, however, with Jarrod Dyson, who tripled to lead off the 13th inning on Wednesday and is a blistering 8-for-10 in his career versus the hurler. Chicago’s J.B. Shuck continued his strong series by highlighting his second two-hit performance with a solo homer to improve to 19-for-52 in his career versus Kansas City.
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Padres vs Pirates
Out of the starting lineup for three games due to a sore shoulder, Gregory Polanco provide a jolt in his return for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Polanco’s three-run homer was the decisive blow in Tuesday’s 6-4 triumph for Pittsburgh against San Diego. Penciled in at the cleanup spot for the first time in his career, Polanco continued his breakout campaign with his 16th homer to keep the Pirates 2 1/2 games behind Miami for the second wild card in the National League. Andrew McCutchen showed signs of breaking out of his funk by reaching base four times, including a season-high three via the walk.
Padres rookie Jabari Blash went 2-for-4 with a homer on Tuesday and is 7-for-24 since his recall from the minors after batting .120 during his first stint with the team earlier in the season. San Diego sents Edwin Jackson to the mound to oppose Ryan Vogelsong in a matchup of veteran right-handers.
Rays vs Blue Jays
J.A. Happ has provided quite the return on the Toronto Blue Jays’ investment this season. Signed to a three-year, $36 million deal in the offseason, Happ puts his string of a career-high nine straight victorious decisions on the line Wednesday versus the Rays. The 33-year-old’s 15 wins this season have comfortably surpassed his previous best total in 2009, although none have come at the expense of Tampa Bay. Happ settled for a pair of no-decisions versus the Rays in April before getting shredded for a career high-tying eight runs on seven hits in a 13-2 shellacking on May 16. Evan Longoria, who is batting .385 in his career against Happ, collected three hits and as many RBIs in Tuesday’s 9-2 victory over Toronto. The 30-year-old is 6-for-15 with two homers, five RBIs and four runs scored in his last four games.
Yankees vs Red Sox
The Yankees are trying to balance moving the youth onto the roster while gracefully shuffling the veterans out the door, and Alex Rodriguez did not get into the game on Tuesday. The 14-time All-Star, who is set to be released by New York after Friday’s game, is expected to at least play on Thursday and could get an at-bat or two on Wednesday.
Reds vs Cardinals
Billy Hamilton is running wild on the basepaths and looks to increase his major league-leading steals total. The speedy Reds center fielder has stolen nine bases over his last three contests, including five in the first two games of this series, to increase his season total to 48. Hamilton, who is 6-for-11 with four walks and six runs scored during his three-game spree, is an astounding 20-for-22 stealing against Cardinals star Yadier Molina, who is considered one of the top throwing catchers in the game. Hamilton reached base four times and scored three runs to fuel Tuesday’s 7-4 win, which occurred one day after St. Louis staged a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to post a 5-4 victory. Molina went 2-for-4 with a homer on Tuesday to improve to 7-for-14 over his last four games and has reached base in each of his last 22 contests.
Rockies vs Rangers
Prince Fielder, in his third season with the Rangers, is walking away from the game after undergoing neck surgery on July 29. It is the second surgical procedure on his neck in a 26-month span. The Rockies were without right fielder Carlos Gonzalez for the past two games. He’ll likely be held out once again on Wednesday.
Angels vs Cubs
Jason Hammel will be activated from the bereavement list to make the start and looks to improve upon his 6-1 record and 2.24 ERA at home. He has won four straight starts to set a career-high for wins after tossing six shutout innings against Miami on Aug. 2. The 33-year-old has allowed four runs and 16 hits in 24 innings during the winning streak and hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start since July 1. Hammel is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Angels, with the last meeting in 2013.
Astros vs Twins
Dallas Keuchel tossed his first shutout of the season in his last turn and looks to post a second consecutive strong outing. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner gave up just three hits in a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers while recording his fourth career shutout. Keuchel has experienced a bumpy campaign and was rocked for seven runs in five innings by Detroit in his previous turn. Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve went 4-for-4 in Tuesday’s 7-5 victory over the Twins after being rested Monday to end his consecutive games streak to 202. Minnesota has won seven of its last 10 games behind the red-hot Brian Dozier, whose solo shot and two RBIs on Tuesday gave him six homers and 13 RBIs during the stretch.
Braves vs Brewers
Braves Erick Aybar carries a 14-game hitting streak. He has provided a breath of fresh air for his cellar-dwelling club. Aybar collected two singles in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory for Atlanta, which has won four in a row and six of seven overall. The 32-year-old Dominican traditionally has struggled versus the Brewers, going 8-for-36 in nine career encounters and 0-for-3 versus Wednesday starter Chase Anderson. Ryan Braun went deep on Tuesday for the fourth time in seven outings, during which he has recorded 11 RBIs.
White Sox vs Royals
Jose Quintana has won nine games in each of the last three seasons and will look to reach double-digit victories for the first time against the Royals. He lost six consecutive starts while receiving a total of eight runs of support earlier this season, but he is 4-0 since July 3 thanks to some increased offensive support. Losers of 12 of its last 17 overall, Kansas City sends Ian Kennedy to the mound to face Quintana.
Orioles vs Athletics
Baltimore had just three hits in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss with the run coming on a homer by center fielder Adam Jones, who has five hits in the series and is 11-for-22 during a five-game hitting streak. Orioles All-Star right fielder Mark Trumbo, who is tied for the major-league lead with 31 homers, is just 7-for-57 with one blast over his past 15 contests.
Tigers vs Mariners
Two former American League Cy Young Award winners will square off in Seattle. Detroit sends 2011 winner Justin Verlander, who also was the AL MVP that season, to the mound against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who captured the Cy Young the previous year. Verlander has won each of his last five decisions and recorded at least nine strikeouts in four of his last five outings overall, while Hernandez is 2-0 in four turns since returning from a calf injury that landed him on the disabled list.
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Angels vs Cubs
The Cubs’ John Lackey and Angels’ Jered Weaver (Tuesday’s starters) were Los Angeles teammates during Weaver’s first four major league seasons (2006-09), with Lackey serving as his mentor. Lackey received a no-decision in his third straight quality start after yielding three runs and seven hits while striking out eight in seven innings of the Cubs’ 5-4 victory over Miami last Wednesday.
Braves vs Brewers
Center fielder Matt Kemp is endearing himself to his new team with some spirited play of late. Kemp had an RBI single in the fourth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the 12th of Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Brewers. The veteran is 5-for-13 with a homer, four RBIs and three runs scored in his last three games and 7-for-14 with a homer and five RBIs in his career versus Tuesday starter Wily Peralta. He isn’t the only one swinging a hot bat, as teammates Ender Inciarte and Erick Aybar are carrying respective 19- and 13-game hitting streaks into Tuesday’s tilt. Veteran Ryan Braun is doing fine in his own right with hits in 15 of 18 games since the All-Star break for the Brewers, who have dropped four of their last five contests.
Astros vs Twins
Houston’s Jose Altuve received his first day off this season in the series opener against Minnesota. The second baseman leads the major leagues with a .356 batting average. He’s played in 202 consecutive games before Monday’s rest. It was the the longest current playing streak in baseball. Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario collected three hits in the opener to improve to 14-for-28 during his seven-game hitting streak.
Reds vs Cardinals
Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the opener after being removed from Saturday’s contest and sitting out on Sunday due to an injured oblique. Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton stole two bases on Monday and is tied for most in the majors with 45. He’s 17-for-19 against St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, which is the most steals by anyone against the respected receiver.
White Sox vs Royals
White Sox left-hander Chris Sale will make his fifth attempt for his 15th win. He’ll oppose right-hander Edinson Volquez, who’s been rocked for the second straight outing at Tampa Bay last Wednesday.
Orioles vs Athletics
All-Star third baseman Manny Machado has four homers and nine RBIs over the past two games. The recent display has increased Machado’s round-tripper count to 26, nine shy of his career high set last season. Oakland left fielder Khris Davis has matched his career best of 27 homers but has just one blast and one RBI over the last nine games.
Tigers vs Mariners
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera notched one of the five singles Monday, giving him at least one hit in seven of his last eight contests. Teammate Ian Kinsler improved to 12-for-27 during a hitting streak that reached seven games. Trailing Cleveland by 2 1/2 games for first place in the AL Central, Detroit are sending Daniel Norris to the mound against Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc in a battle of left-handers.
Phillies vs Dodgers
In a season when the Los Angeles Dodgers have placed a total of 26 players on the disabled list, rookie shortstop Corey Seager has emerged as their most reliable and dangerous offensive threat. The 22-year-old belted two homers in Monday’s series-opening 9-4 win and is batting .326 with nine doubles, four home runs, and 13 RBI over his last 20 games. Seager has taken a commanding lead in the National League rookie of the year race with 21 home runs while serving an invaluable role atop the batting order for Los Angeles.
Philadelphia has struggled over the last two months, but may have found their right fielder of the future in Aaron Altherr. The German born player missed the season’s first 103 games with a wrist injury, but has provided surprising pop from the second spot in the order. Altherr is expected to receive regular playing time even after Peter Bourjos returns from the 15-day disabled list to join a crowded outfield later this week.
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Rays vs Blue Jays
Scheduled Monday Rays starter Jake Odorizzi has not allowed a run in three straight games spanning 20 2/3 innings. Tampa Bay shortstop Brad Miller is 8-for-21 with three homers and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
Giants vs Marlins
National League Cy Young Award candidates Johnny Cueto of the Giants and Jose Fernandez of the Marlins are scheduled to square off. They have combined to hold the opposition to two or fewer runs in 28 of their 43 starts this season, although neither managed to win his last time out. Miami saw an high-profile chase come to an end in Sunday’s victory over the Rockies, as Ichiro Suzuki became the fourth player born outside the United States and 30th in major-league history to reach 3,000 hits.
Braves vs Brewers
Brewers rookie center fielder Keon Broxton reached base nine times in the series and is hitting .387 with seven walks, three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in his past 12 games. Milwaukee leads the majors in stolen bases (116). They are led by Jonathan Villar, who stole two bases Sunday and opens the week tied with Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton for the major-league lead (43).
Astros vs Twins
Former top prospect and Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has endured an up-and-down campaign in his first full season in the majors but led the offense with a pair of home runs in Sunday’s 6-3 victory in Tampa Bay.
Reds vs Cardinals
The Reds are highlighting individual successes in an otherwise disappointing campaign and got three hits and four stolen bases from center fielder Billy Hamilton on Sunday. Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips is also red hot going 12-for-19 with eight RBIs in the last five games.
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Blue Jays vs Royals
The Toronto Blue Jays have won three games in a row and eight of 11 to pull within a single percentage point of the number one spot in the American League East. The surging Blue Jays look to continue their torrid stretch, opening a three-game series versus the reeling Kansas City Royals.
Braves vs Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are getting healthy but are looking for a push in their battle for a National League wild-card spot against the Atlanta Braves. Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter is expected to participate in the opener after missing 29 games with a strained right oblique. They’ve already had backup earlier this week, when infielders Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss came off the disabled list.
Marlins vs Rockies
The Miami Marlins have had a day off to recover from a catastrophic defeat and will try to turn things around against Colorado Rockies. The Marlins kicked off their six-game road trip with three straight losses to the Chicago Cubs, none as bad as Wednesday’s 5-4 defeat.
Brewers vs Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks want to end a disappointing run of pitching performances. They’ll host the Milwaukee Brewers for the next few day’s in three-game series set. The bottom-place Diamondbacks have given up 46 runs during a four-game losing streak. Their opponents, on the other hand, recorded nine tallies per contest over the last seven.
Cubs vs Athletics
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell once dreamed of playing at Oakland Coliseum. Dream will become a reality for him when his squad begin a three-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics. A former A’s prospect, Russell has blossomed into a key player for the major league-best Cubs. Chicago has now four straight victory and won seven of their last eight.
Red Sox vs Dodgers
The Boston Red Sox are set on closing out a 11-game West Coast trek with a winning record. They will be begin a three-game series against the host Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston is 4-4 on the trip. Versatile Brock Holt delivered the tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning of Thursday for a 3-2 victory over Seattle, which split even the four-game series.
Angels vs Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are seeking to make up ground in the American League wild-card race. They are entering a stretch in which seven of their following 13 games are against the soaring Los Angeles Angels. Seattle is just 2-4 versus the Angels this season and Los Angeles is a 12-7 since the All-Star break.
Phillies vs Padres
Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson was a prime candidate to be moved prior to Monday’s trade deadline, but the veteran right-hander will be staying around after-all. He’ll take the ball in Friday’s three-game series opener against the Padres in San Diego. Hellickson stretched his unbeaten streak to three starts (2-0) despite giving up three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 victory in Atlanta on Saturday.
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Tyrann Mathieu staying put for a while!
The Arizona Cardinals star defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has agreed to a 5 seasons contract extension valued at $62.5 million. It includes a guaranteed $40 millions. The news broke on Tuesday from the Associated Press by an anonymous source, since the new deal as yet to be announce by the team.
Mathieu will touch the jackpot even if he was bothered by major injuries to both his knees, during 2 of his first 4 seasons in the NFL. The contract is also a testament of remarkable development after being expelled from the Louisiana State University program due to his infractions linked to marijuana consumption. He was considered as a high-risk, high-reward type of player when the Cardinals picked him in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. The 24 year-old took the high road. He became one of the best players in the team and leader within his teammates. He’s been able to avoid all transgressions outside of the playing field. It seems good behavior pays well.
Trent Richardson back on the market!
The Baltimore Ravens waived running back Trent Richardson Tuesday. The move allows the team to make room for wide receive Chuck Jacobs. Richardson had to deal with multiple injuries over the last few months. The Ravens placed him in the physically unable to perform list before the start of training camp, because of an knee scope suffered in June. The Third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft played four seasons for the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. He hasn’t competed since 2014. The 26 year-old athlete collected 2,032 yards and 17 touchdowns in 614 carries. In his first season within the Goodell circuit, Richardson got 950 yards in 267 carries, while crossing the end zone 11 times. This might have been the former first-round pick last opportunity to return to the NFL.