Fun Fact of the Day: Last week 0.9% of ESPN fantasy players started QB Tom Brady. Why isn’t that smart? Brady didn’t play. He is still serving a 4 game suspension because of Deflategate. Meanwhile, the top scoring QB in Week 3 was Trevor Siemian of the Denver Broncos; he was started by only 0.7% of fantasy players.
When you ace your performance review. This season, the Chicago Cubs have the best record in baseball with 101 wins and counting. No wonder the Cubs signed their president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein to a 5-year contract extension. By working behind the scenes to attract top talent, he turned the team around from last place in the NL Central division just 3 seasons ago. Previously, he was the Boston Red Sox’s general manager, where he helped them win the 2004 and 2007 World Series.
Spotlight on the MLB Playoff Push
We’re down to the last 4 games of the 162-game regular season, and both wild card races are still up for grabs! Here’s your spotlight on the playoff picture.
Can you remind me who makes the playoffs again? In MLB, 10 teams make it to the playoffs: the team with the best record in each of the 6 divisions, and 4 wild card spots comprised of the 2 teams with the next best records from each of the American and National Leagues. This is what the playoff race looks like today:
Who’s in? The 6 division champs have all been decided! The Red Sox were the last to clinch their division. They did it last night with a little help from the Baltimore Orioles.
Who’s still fighting it out? The wild card races are both very close.
- In the AL, the Toronto Blue Jays may seem like a pretty safe bet, but they still have 1 more game left against the Orioles and their last series is against the Red Sox, who will be tough opponents to put away. Meanwhile the Tigers, Mariners, and Astros will all be playing easy teams with losing seasons, in their last series.
- In the NL, the Mets, Giants, and Cards are all within spitting distance of each other. The Cards might be in prime position to snag a spot, because the Mets have lost 4 members of their starting rotation to injury and the San Francisco Giants have struggled since the All Star break.
Confused yet? Don’t worry, all will be revealed this Sunday with the end of the regular season. The playoffs start next Tuesday with the AL Wild Card game.
Seen and Heard
Easy Dez it. A late MRI revealed that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has a hairline fracture in his knee from getting hit in last week’s game. The Cowboys are hopeful that he’ll still be able to play this week but they’re playing it by ear. They’re probably used to playing without Bryant by now. Last season, Bryant missed 7 games with a broken foot.
First impressions. Former NFL QB turned baseball player Tim Tebow is off to a great start in the N.Y. Mets’ instructional league. He hit a home run on the first pitch of his minor league career. Could this be Tebow’s calling?
Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams have struggled to get their rushing games going and have underperforming defenses. The Bengals might get some help in the defense department from linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who may be returning to the lineup after serving a 3-game suspension. Don’t remember what the suspension was for? The Pittsburgh Steelers sure do. Burfict repeatedly violated safety rules, including a big helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in last year’s AFC wild card game. 8:25pm ET on NFLN