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A paixão brasileira por esportes abre nesta semana uma fase especial como nunca. Fanático por futebol e por modalidades que geram títulos de ocasião como a Fórmula 1, o tênis, a ginástica e o MMA, o Brasil passa a ser, a partir desta sexta-feira (5), um dos únicos quatro países em todos os tempos a sediar a Olimpíada e a Copa do Mundo na sequência.

Antes do Brasil, apenas México (1968 e 1970), Alemanha (1972 e 1974) e Estados Unidos (1994 e 1996) demonstraram adesão e capacidade para organizar eventos tão imensos e de impactos tão profundos no mundo todo.

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Revamped Defense Might Keep Giants in Contention in 2016

Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants NFL

The NFC East could very well be one of the more wide open divisions in football in 2016. The Washington Redskins won the division last season with a record of 9-7 while the New York Giants finished third with a record of 6-10.

The Giants featured an above-average offense and a less-than-stellar defense in 2015 but they addressed the defensive side of the ball via some good moves in the free agent market.


Bears are in Line for a Bounce-Back Season

The Chicago Bears have been down and out for quite a few years now, but things are finally looking up in the Windy City. Chicago improved its roster on both sides of the ball in the offseason, and the Bears will very likely be an improved bunch in 2016.

Longtime running back Matt Forte is gone, but Jeremy Langford should fill the void nicely. Kevin White, who was drafted in the first round in 2015, missed the entire campaign with a leg injury. White is healthy now and could easily become one of the top young wideouts in the league in the next few years.


Gausman Has Yet to Win on the Road

The Baltimore Orioles have been simply awful behind Kevin Gausman on the road, and they’ll need him to step up on Sunday when the club faces the New York Yankees.

Shark Bites
  • The Orioles are 6-20 in Gausman's last 26 road starts.
  • The Orioles are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in the Orioles' last 6 road games.

Gausman, who will get the nod today, is 0-9 away from home with a 5.32 ERA. Countering for the Yanks is CC Sabathia (8-10, 4.33). Sabbath is 19-8 in his career versus the Orioles, but he lost his last start against them on July 21.

The Yankees have been far from a reliable play with Sabathia on the mound at Yankee Stadium. In the veteran’s last six home starts, the Bronx Bombers are 1-5.

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Rodriguez is an UNDER Machine

The Boston Red Sox own the best offense in the major leagues, and they’ll try to put it to good use against the Kansas City Royals in Sunday’s MLB action.

Shark Bites
  • The Royals are 7-2 in their last 9 road games.
  • The UNDER is 7-0 in Rodriguez's last 7 starts.
  • The Royals are 5-0 in Ventura's last 5 starts.

Yordano Ventura and Eduardo Rodriguez are the probable starters. Ventura (9-9, 4.27 ERA) is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his last four starts. The Dominican Republic native earned a win against Boston on May 17, surrendering four runs and seven his in 5 2/3 innings.

Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11) is making his first start since leaving a no-hitter after four innings at Baltimore on August 16 with a left hamstring injury. Rodriguez faced K.C. twice in his 2015 rookie campaign and went 1-0 while allowing a total of three earned runs in 12 1/3 innings.

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Salazar's ERA in August is Dreadful

The Texas Rangers own the best record in the American League, and their play at home is a major reason for that. The Rangers play host to AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • The Indians are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • The OVER is 6-0 in Salazar's last 6 starts.
  • The OVER is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings.

Danny Salazar and Derek Holland will get the start for both teams. Salazar (11-5, 3.90 ERA) is struggling to find his form lately. The 26-year-old has won once in his last seven outings and owns a bloated 19.29 ERA in three August starts after losing to Oakland on Tuesday.

Holland (5-6, 4.92) was great in his first major league start in more than two months last week, holding Cincinnati to one run over six innings. The Ohio native is 3-1 in six starts at home this season with a 3.73 ERA.

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Mariners are Faltering at the Wrong Time

The Seattle Mariners are heading into a very rough part of their schedule, so every win in the next few weeks is going to be crucial for the team to remain in playoff contention. Next up on the docket is a date with the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • The Mariners are 1-4 in their last 5 games.
  • The White Sox are 4-1 in Rodon's last 5 home starts.
  • The Mariners are 0-6 in Walker's last 6 road starts.

Taijuan Walker and Carlos Rodon are slated to take the bump. Walker (4-8, 4.14 ERA) has allowed 10 runs over 9 2/3 innings in his first two starts since being recalled from the minors. Walker is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.

Rodon (4-8, 4.02) has been terrific in four starts this month, going 2-0 with a tiny 1.46 ERA. Rodin is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Mariners.

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The Future is Hazy in Philly

After two straight 10-6 seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles regressed to 7-9 in an ugly 2015 campaign. For Eagles fans and backers, the year couldn’t end quickly enough.

Philly made some big moves in the offseason, sending embattled head coach Chip Kelly out the door while bringing in Doug Pederson from Kansas City. They went all-in at the NFL Draft, trading up to take quarterback of the future Carson Wentz at No. 2.


Brees is Back For Another Year of Burning Secondaries

The boys on the Bayou finished 2015 with a 7-9 record despite having one of the worst defenses in the history of the NFL. The Saints improved their front seven through the draft and rid themselves of the dead weight of Brandon Browner but are still far from defensive juggernauts. New Orleans gave up the most yards per rush attempt in the league last season and gave up the most touchdowns in the history of the league.


Duffy Has Never Beaten Boston

The Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox are in the thick of things in the American League playoff hunt, and a win on Saturday could go a long way to bolstering their playoff chances.

Shark Bites
  • The Red Sox are 2-5 in Price's last 7 starts on grass.
  • The Royals are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in Price's last 5 starts.

Danny Duffy and David Price will get the ball for the Royals and Red Sox, respectively. Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA) has won five consecutive starts and 10 straight decisions for the surging Royals dating back to his last loss on June 6. Despite this torrid stretch, Duffy has never beaten Boston, going 0-3 with a 5.61 ERA in three career starts against them.

Price (12-8, 4.00) has won three straight games after suffering through a five-start winless stretch. Price turned in one of his best starts in a Red Sox uniform against Tampa Bay in his last outing, blanking the Rays and surrendering just two hits over eight innings while striking out eight and walking two.

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