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Matz Looking to Clinch for the Mets

Steven Matz Mets

The Mets are on the verge of winning their first playoff series since 2006 after a 13-run outburst in Game 3. Steven Matz will be tasked with shutting down the Dodgers in what will be his first career postseason start, while the Dodgers will counter with their ace, Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw has been far from ace-like throughout his career pitching in the playoffs. He currently holds a 4.99 career playoff ERA, but was decent in Game 1, striking out 11 batters and allowing three hits over 6.2 innings pitched. Kershaw will be pitching on just three days’ rest, something he’s done twice before in the playoffs, posting a 1-1 record.

To the delight of Mets fans, Kershaw hasn’t exactly been clutch when pitching with his team facing elimination. He holds an 0-2 record with an atrocious 9.00 ERA.

Matz will hope to contribute to a trend that has seen the Dodgers go 2-6 in their last eight road games. In one start against the Dodgers this season, Matz picked up a win, allowing just two hits in six innings pitched while collecting eight strikeouts.

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Cardinals Have Been Dominant in NLDS

St. Louis Cardinals Stephen Piscotty reacts after hitting home run.

The St. Louis Cardinals may have their backs against the wall in Game 4 against the Chicago Cubs Tuesday, but history suggests that it is not safe to count out the Cards. St. Louis is 33-17 all-time on National League Division Series games and has only lost two of their 12 series’ overall.

The Cardinals will start John Lackey on short rest in the potential elimination game. Lackey has only started on short rest four times in his career with the veteran posting a 2-1 record and a 3.15 ERA.

Chicago’s bats blew up in Game 3 with the Cubs hitting a ridiculous six home runs. The Cubs had only hit six home runs in their previous eight games pervious to Monday.

Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel has struggled against the Cardinals this season. Hammel has made three starts against the Cards this season with a 5.73 ERA and five walks across 11 innings.

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Florida QB Grier Suspended for Season

Florida Gators QB Will Grier

Florida Gators freshman quarterback Will Grier has been suspended for the rest of the college football season as a result of a violation of NCAA rules.

Grier reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. As a result of the test, an automatic suspension of one calendar year will be put in place by the NCAA which means the signal caller wouldn’t be able to return until the Gators’ seventh game of the 2016 campaign.


SN: NFL Week 6 Betting Trends Analysis

Green Bay was lucky to cover a nine-point spread at home this past Sunday defeating St. Louis 24-10. The Packers managed to cover because Greg Zuerlein missed three field goals and Nick Foles was Nick Foles, throwing four interceptions, including two in the end zone.

Despite that close call, the Packers have been dominant at Lambeau Field where they host San Diego Sunday.


College Football Week 7 Odds Analysis

The Michigan State Spartans are 0-6 against the spread this season despite a 6-0 straight up record. The Spartans will be an underdog for the first time this year on Saturday when they visit the Michigan Wolverines.

Michigan State is a 6.5-point underdog on the road for this Saturday according to online sportsbook BetOnline. Since losing their first game of the season to the Utah Utes, the Michigan Wolverines are 5-0 SU and 4-1 against the spread with three consecutive shutout victories.


SN: NFL Week 6 Opening Odds Analysis

The country gets a first-hand look at the improved Atlanta Falcons this week, as the 5-0 Falcons are playing at New Orleans on Thursday. The Falcons are minus 3.5 points.

It's the first time the Saints are home underdogs to the Falcons when Sean Payton has been their coach since 2006, Payton's first season with New Orleans.

The only other time Atlanta has been road chalk versus New Orleans was 2012 when Joe Vitt was the Saints interim head coach. Payton was suspended that year for Bountygate.


Steelers-Chargers MNF Betting Preview

The Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the best bets in the NFL through four weeks, get the primetime treatment in the Week 5 edition of Monday Night Football opposite the San Diego Chargers.

Without Ben Roethlisberger in the fold due to a knee injury, Michael Vick was tasked with leading the charge for the Steelers but came up just short against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

The Chargers haven’t put up much of a fight against the Steelers in recent years, something that’s translated at the betting window.  Pittsburgh is 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings between the two clubs.

San Diego has the third best offense in the NFL, but will need to step up on D in this one. The Bolts are allowing an average of 27.5 points per game compared to Pittsburgh’s much more respectable average of 18.5.

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Harvey a Much Better Pitcher at Home

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey delivers pitch.

The New York Mets will send pitcher Matt Harvey to the bump for the first playoff game at Citi Field with good reason Monday when they continue their National League Division Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Harvey has been far superior at home this season with an 8-3 record and a 2.23 ERA in New York compared to 5-5 with a 3.42 ERA on the road.

In the past 32 division series’ that saw the teams 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to take the series 25 times. 

The Dodgers see a significant drop in pitching and will send Brett Anderson to the mound after Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke in Game 1 and 2 respectively. Los Angeles is 1-3 in Anderson’s past four starts with the leftie surrendering 31 hits and 15 earned runs in those games. 

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Ducks Have Enjoyed Facing Canucks

Anaheim Ducks Ryan Getzlaf

A pair of teams that are no stranger to each other face off for the first time in the 2015/16 NHL season Monday evening when the Vancouver Canucks fly south of the border for a date with the Anaheim Ducks.

Shark Bites
  • The Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between the clubs.
  • The Canucks have given up 28 third period shots through just two contests.
  • Ryan Miller is 0-2-1 with a 4.12 GAA in his last three vs. the Ducks

The Canucks historically haven’t enjoyed facing Anaheim, particularly in California. Vancouver is 1-4 in its last four trips to the Honda Center and is just 2-9 in its last 11 overall versus the Ducks. Former ‘Nucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who was traded to Anaheim in the offseason, will be making his debut against his old club. Bieksa had 14 points in 60 games last year for Vancouver.

Anaheim will be seeking to rebound on home ice from a disappointing 2-0 season-opening loss at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. Starting netminders Ryan Miller and Frederik Anderson are the probable starters for the Canucks and Ducks, respectively.

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Blue Jays Offense May Be Awakening

The Toronto Blue Jays celebrate a Troy Tulowitski home run against the Rangers.

The Toronto Blue Jays may not be up to their home run smashing ways of the regular season, but their offense looked alive for the first time in the ALDS series with the Texas Rangers in Game 3. The Jays will hope to continue heating their bats up when Game 4 takes place less than 24 hours after Game 3 on Monday afternoon.

Storylines may be coming full circle when the Blue Jays send knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to the mound Monday. Dickey, who was faltering in his career, was coaxed into becoming a knuckler during his tenure with the Texas Rangers and has since gone on to win a Cy Young Award.

Rangers pitcher Derek Holland has made 13 career postseason appearances, four of which were starts, and has yet to record a single loss. 

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