Yankees vs. Red Sox odds 2017: AL East rivals begin key series at Fenway on Friday

The Boston Red Sox are 11-2 through their first 13 games in the month of August. The Red Sox will try to keep their roll going at home against the New York Yankees in a three-game series starting on Friday night.

Boston is a -140 home betting favorite in the series opener at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Drew Pomeranz will get the start for the Red Sox facing Jordan Montgomery and the Yankees as +120 road underdogs.

The Red Sox have won each of their last five series including taking two of three games in the Bronx from the Yankees last weekend. Since the start of its current 12-2 run, Boston is averaging 6.07 runs per game on offense while giving up only 3.57 runs per game.

Even with David Price sidelined for most of the season with an injury, the Red Sox starters have managed to post a 4.03 ERA, good for third best in the American League behind Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

Reynosa, Mexico and Maracaibo, Venezuela are the two teams that get things started on the international side of the bracket, with a 1 p.m. ET game at Volunteer Stadium, representing Mexico and Latin America, respectively.

The U.S. side of the bracket starts at 3 p.m., with Holbrook Little League Marcus Williams Jerseys
from Jackson, NJ — representing the Mid-Atlantic — battles the team from Fairfield, Conn., representing New England. They play at Lamade Stadium.

New York Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier, a New Jersey native Josh Hamilton Jerseys
and Little League World Series alum himself, has a definite rooting interest in Game 2:

While Chris Sale is the clear star of the pitching staff, Pomeranz has also put together an excellent season with 12 wins and a 3.39 ERA. The Red Sox are 11-4 over his last 15 starts per the OddsShark MLB Database.

Nets’ D’Angelo Russell sees an easy fit with Jeremy Lin: ‘We just go’

As the Nets have been slowly piecing together their franchise rebuild, hamstrung by the team’s 2013 draft-pick giveaway, they’ve sought to find talent wherever it’s available, even if that leads to redundancy on the roster.

That would appear to be the case at point guard, where the Nets traded for D’Angelo Russell this summer despite still having Jeremy Lin on hand.

The December slate isn’t as daunting as last season’s, but it’s still not easy. Two consecutive road games — luckily, their longest road “trip” of the season — against two playoff caliber teams will test Detroit’s ability to win close games down the stretch. The Lions avoid playing at Lambeau Field in the depths of winter for a second consecutive year, but they’ll still be tested in the elements on Christmas Eve in Cincinnati followed by a visit by the Packers.

Lions schedule 2017, record prediction: 8-8
If the Lions can get a few things to swing their way like 2016, their schedule is favorable enough that they can sneak into the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The toughest stretches come in the first half of the season — a tough October, a Monday night game in Week 2 and back-to-back primetime games against the Steelers and Packers.

The offense could be improved if Detroit finds a consistent running game, and the schedule again looks like it’ll test Matthew Stafford’s late-game heroics. If the Lions can put the pieces together early on, the playoffs are possible. If they slip up early, it’ll be an uphill battle. Knowing the Lions, we’ll play it safe with a .500 record.

Tampa Bay running back Russell Hansbrough was being evaluated for a concussion.

At least the Los Angeles-area fans who elected to stay home missed the horror show that was Kellen Clemens, currently the No. 2 quarterback on the Chargers depth chart, behind starter Philip Rivers.

Clemens threw two interceptions the first was returned for a touchdown by Seattle linebacker Terence Garvin, the second led to a Seahawks field goal. Then, a botched handoff by Clemens was recovered by the Seahawks, and rookie running back Chris Carson scored from 1-yard out on the next play.

In between his two interceptions, Clemens did connect with Travis Benjamin on a 74-yard touchdown pass. But the backup QB, with his three turnovers, was the primary culprit of his team’s 34-17 halftime deficit.

Steelers rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was diagnosed with a concussion after leaving his first NFL preseason game in the first quarter.

Giants safety Duke Ihenacho left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury.

Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin left Tampa Bay’s game against the Bengals in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
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Authentic Kids Will Lutz Jersey San Francisco wideout Aaron Burbridge left the game against the Chiefs with a hamstring injury.

No question it will be tough sledding for a team that again figures to finish somewhere in between the NFL’s best and worst.

Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of the Bills’ 2017 regular-season schedule, and how it could play out.

The Bills are fortunate to draw the Jets in what should be a tone-setting win in the season opener. The honeymoon won’t last long, though, when the team heads south for Sean McDermott’s return to Charlotte, N.C., where the Panthers await, eager to make up for a disappointing 2016. A Week 3 meeting with the Broncos is winnable. Denver has a new coach of its own in Vance Joseph and questions at quarterback, so Buffalo will have a chance at home.

Orioles go around the horn for second triple play of the season

There’s no better way to escape a jam in baseball than to get three outs at once. The Orioles pulled it off again Thursday night against the Tigers, turning their second triple play of the season. Efficiency, baby.

Manny Machado to Jonathan Schoop to Chris Davis. You’re out, times three.

The Orioles’ other triple play came May 2 against the Red Sox, though that one was a little more complicated than the 5-4-3 beauty they turned Thursday.

Two triple killings in one season is cool, but they’ve got a little more work to do to catch the 2016 White Sox, who turned three last season.

The Tigers probably don’t care about the Orioles’ feat Thursday, as they won the game 7-5.

One of the most difficult things to get baseball fans to do, it seems, is, well, watch baseball.

Keeping fans engaged in what happens on the field is as difficult as trying to put mascara on a cat’s whiskers. In addition to game broadcasts being relatively formulaic, the pace of play, the length of games and the uber-controversial idea of in-game interviews are all speed bumps for fans’ enjoyment of TV broadcasts.

Game Mens New York Jets Jersey Seldom satisfied with national broadcasts just check baseball Twitter on Sunday nights or during the playoffs 鈥?it seems as though fans are only happy when they’re unhappy.

I’ll give you one who was mentioned a lot this last week: Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell.

Honeywell, a 22-year-old right-hander, was the MVP of the MLB Future Stars Game this season, and with good reason. He has sweet stuff a mid-to-high-90s fastball and a devastating screwball.

Kids Justin Hunter Jersey With how wide-open the American League playoff race is, Honeywell could slot into any role the Rays need him to fill rotation or bullpen and they’d be good to make a run at the division title or a wild-card spot.

Roethlisberger’s still here, but he’s strictly a year-to-year guy at this point.

The quarterback said in January that he was considering retirement. This was not, apparently, a new thing. His coach said it had happened before:

Roethlisberger is under contract through 2019, and retirement would cause him to miss out on millions of dollars. But the Steelers might never again know with certainty that Roethlisberger is going to be there beyond a given season.

Limited Kids Adrian Beltre Jersey Though Cousins said that he’s open to returning to Washington, let’s be realistic — he’s probably gone. The 49ers are the most obvious candidate for Cousins’ services next year, especially since Kyle Shanahan took the head coaching job. The two have a history together with Shanahan being Cousins’ offensive coordinator from 2012-13, so it’s a natural fit. Other QB-needy teams like the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns will have plenty of salary cap space to afford Cousins’ contract. If Washington doesn’t tag him again, he’ll be the most coveted quarterback on the open market next spring.
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In essence, Washington handed Cousins around $43 million in two years, threw him under the bus for doing so, and likely won’t have anything to show for it. That’s not good, especially with no in-house options to replace Cousins. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld. Unless we’re still trying to make McCoy happen in 2018, what’s the plan here? What is Washington trying to accomplish by alienating Cousins, who is still the 2017 starter?

There’s a slight chance Washington could get one of the top QBs in next year’s draft — like Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or Josh Rosen — but it’s a long shot at best. Unless things fall apart, this roster isn’t bad enough to secure a top-10 pick, and if they can’t swing a trade like they did grab RG3 five years ago, they don’t have a lot of options left.

Odell Beckham Believes He Will Be NFL’s Highest-Paid Player

Odell Beckham Jr. wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid player, an admission he made in an “UNINTERRUPTED” video shown above.

“It’s (his contract) like the elephant in the room. You don’t want to talk about it, but I’ve gotten to the point in my life where there’s no need to not talk about it,” Beckham said.

If Flacco’s injury winds up being more severe than they’re estimating right now, he might get his chance. Unlike the other quarterbacks on Baltimore’s roster, Kaepernick can actually be a viable starter. Just stop yourself before you argue against that. It’s been established.

The only question at this point for a team signing Kaepernick is whether or not it’s too late in the process for him to have an impact. It’s not easy taking over an offense in August, having missed the offseason work prior to starting training camp.

Not having that time to learn the offense would certainly put him at a disadvantage, but he does have another thing going for him in Baltimore — he knows the coaching staff.

John Harbaugh is Jim’s brother, so there’s that. But the more important connection here is offensive assistant Greg Roman, who happened to be the offensive coordinator in San Francisco during Kaepernick’s first four seasons in the league, including their trip to Super Bowl XLVII when they lost to the Ravens.

And even though it’s still too early to know with any certainty how long Flacco will be on the shelf, a lot of Ravens fans are already coming around to the idea.


P.K. Subban promises Predators will be better in Game 6

If P.K. Subban is right, his battles with Sidney Crosby won’t end Sunday.

Subban said his Predators have no choice but to improve following Thursday’s 6-0 loss to the Penguins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Facing elimination in Game 6, the Predators defenseman promised his team will play better in Nashville.

We will be better, Subban told reporters. Our season is at stake. That’s it.

Crosby, who was hit with high cross-check courtesy of Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in Monday’s Game 3 loss, was at the Penguins’ facility but did not participate in practice earlier Tuesday. He will be evaluated again following Wednesday’s game.

Given Crosby’s history of head and neck injuries, the Penguins are expected to use caution when proceeding with their captain’s concussion. The 29-year-old superstar, who was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy on Monday, has missed dozens of games due to post-concussion syndrome in 2011 and two fractured vertebrae in his neck in 2012.

Barely five minutes into the first period, Crosby was cutting across the Capitals’ goal crease and falling to the ice when Niskanen made contact. Crosby needed to be helped off the ice to the Penguins’ locker room for evaluation and did not return to the game.

Game Kids A.J. Klein Jersey Niskanen was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking, though it was reported Tuesday he won’t be subject to suspension for the headshot.

Womens Joseph Fauria Jersey The Penguins additionally announced the loss of forward Conor Sheary, who was also diagnosed with a concussion after colliding with teammate Patric Hornqvist during Monday’s game.

Dallas Stars to host 2018 NHL Draft

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The Dallas Stars will host the 2018 NHL Draft next summer at American Airlines Center for the very first time, the team announced Saturday.

The event, scheduled to be held June 22 and 23, will coincide with the team’s 25th anniversary celebration marking the franchise’s relocation from Minnesota prior to the 1993-94 season.
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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the trade during the draft.

The 25-year-old Schenn, the Flyers’ third-leading scorer last year with 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists) is under contract through the 2019-2020 season. Philadelphia used the No. 27 pick to select forward Morgan Frost of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie team.

According to Sportsnet, terms of the conditional pick are that St. Louis could retain the 2018 first-round pick if it’s a top-10 selection. St. Louis could push the conditional pick back to 2019, but Philadelphia would also get the Blues’ third-round pick in 2020.

Lehtera, 29, has scored 100 career points in three NHL seasons, but only 22 points last season. The Finnish center is under contract two more years, and was made available in the recent NHL Expansion Draft, although Vegas shied away from his $4.7 million annual cap hit.

No doubt, the Penguins benefited greatly by both calls, and you can argue the offsides rules and the quality of Pollock’s officiating. But in the end, both calls were by the book and should not taint the Penguins’ latest championship.

Gregg Popovich gave tie he wore at Craig Sager’s funeral to reporter’s son

Gregg Popovich may have only given Craig Sager two-word answers on the court, but he always had respect for the veteran sideline reporter. That was evident last month when the Spurs coach traveled from Atlanta to Texas to attend Sager’s funeral, even though he had a game later that night against the Rockets.

He also honored Sager at the funeral by wearing a colorful tie, something the sideline reporter was known for. Craig Sager Jr. (Sager’s son) said Monday that Popovich gave him that tie to keep.

Allen Robinson Game Jersey Popovich and Sager Jr. also have a history, as the coach gave a memorable interview to him after the initial cancer diagnosis.

Again, a no-brainer here, and that’s impressive considering that the West guard picture includes Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard and Chris Paul.

The MVP race at this point comes down to Westbrook vs. Harden. Others will be inserted into the discussion by season’s end, most likely, but the first half of the season has been dominated by the alternating triple-double performances of Westbrook and Harden.

A turnover might not have made the Knicks’ late-game offense function much better, but then New York wouldn’t have needed 3 to tie. It would have just needed a 2 to win.

Michael Strahan Game Jersey The game was close early with the Mavs leading 23-22 before Dallas scored the next 15 in a row to blow the game wide open. The Lakers, who have lost six of their last seven games, had just 33 points at halftime thanks to an 11-point second quarter 鈥?both franchise lows.

Patriots WR Andrew Hawkins announces retirement via Twitter

In the old days, NFL veterans would hold a press conference to announce their retirement.

New England Patriots wide receiver Andrew Hawkins didn’t need that kind of attention. And this is the Age of Twitter. So the 31-year-old veteran posted a video on the UNINTERRUPTED Twitter account to announce he is calling it a career.

“Basically I just got off the phone with the New England Patriots and coach (Bill) Belichick and had to inform them of my decision to retire and hang up the cleats,” Hawkins said. “After OTAs and summer training, my body just didn’t respond and wasn’t feeling the way it should бн for training camp, let alone with the defending world champions.”

Undrafted out of Toledo, Hawkins caught on with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He helped the team win consecutive Grey Cup championships.

Hawkins said he plans to start work on his PhD in business and economics early next year.

“To all the fans out there бн thank you for cheering for us, supporting us and rooting for us all these years,” Hawkins said. “You’ll never understand the blessing you have been to me and my family.”

Verlander turns 35 next February, so it makes sense that maybe he’s losing more zip on some of his pitches, and maybe that’s the reason for the downturn. That’s not true, though. Look at his velocity charts on Brooks Baseball. He’s actually throwing harder in 2017 than he was last year – his fastball is at 95.65 mph, up from 94.33, and that increase holds across the board.

He’s had a couple disaster starts this year, but overall his production has been solid. He’s lasted at least seven innings in nine of his 21 starts this season, and he has a 2.77 ERA over his four most recent starts. The “quality start” stat (at least six innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs allowed) is admittedly flawed, but Verlander has 12 of those this season. t_rangers_005-115x115