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Thread: Thursday 08/23/2018 ... Comps / Free Plays / Trends / Betting Info / Requests Etc.

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  1. #1 Thursday 08/23/2018 ... Comps / Free Plays / Trends / Betting Info / Requests Etc. 
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    Eagles vs. Browns Preview and Predictions in NFL

    NFL Previews 21st August 2018 By Charles Jay for Scores And Stats
    by Charles Jay Scores & Stats on 08/21/2018

    The Philadelphia Eagles are the defending Super Bowl champs, and obviously got off to a great start last season, but they have to be careful to get to the starting gate in one piece as regards the quarterback position. All signs right now are pointing to Carson Wentz being able to make the start, but he has only recently been cleared to practice, and not for contact, and won’t play in the pre-season. Coach Doug Pederson has to be very careful with Nick Foles, who got banged up a little against New England.

    The Cleveland Browns are committed to Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, but at the same time, they have to get Baker Mayfield involved more with the actual offense they are going to use in the regular season, in the event his career as a starter has to begin earlier than expected. And in this "dress rehearsal" game, there might be an opportunity to give him the opportunity to open things up a little.

    See all the Preseason Previews

    Last week the Eagles lost 37-20 in a Super Bowl "rematch" of sorts with the New England Patriots. The Browns lost 19-17 at home to the Buffalo Bills. Now, these squads will meet at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, in the only Thursday night game on the NFL pre-season schedule.

    TV: FOX, 8 PM ET. LINE: Browns -4. O/U: 42

    ABOUT THE EAGLES: The quarterback situation is starting to get somewhat intriguing. Nate Sudfeld, who got to play extended time in one game last season for the Eagles, went most of the way against the Patriots, and did well, completing 22 of 39 for 312 yards and three touchdowns. This was facilitated by a shoulder injury suffered by Foles, the Super Bowl MVP who lost the ball on a sack where New England scored a touchdown. Foles had quarterbacked the team for three series, during which time Philadelphia had only one first down. The injury, which was described as a shoulder strain, is not expected to keep him out of action very long. Wentz, who was lost for the 2017 season with a knee injury in a game against the Los Angeles Rams, is practicing with the team but it is still unknown as to whether he will be ready for the season opener. That is what makes Foles' status important, and why it was equally important to get Sudfeld a lot of snaps. But they'll have to keep him healthy too. One of the other QB's in camp is Joe Callahan, a graduate of Division III Wesley College, who played sparingly with the Green Bay Packers last season. The Eagles had 43 yards on 16 carries against the Pats and would probably like to be able to run the ball a little better in order to protect their quarterbacks. There were 51 passing attempts last week. The problem is that the Eagles have been dealing with some depth issues at running back because of injuries. Wide receiver Shelton Gibson is penciling himself in for a much more important role in the offense. He caught a 63-yard TD pass in the opener, had 90 yards in receptions against New England, and also added a 46-yard kickoff return. The secondary got a real workout last week from Tom Brady, who completed 19 of 26 passes with a pair of touchdowns.



    ABOUT THE BROWNS: The development of Mayfield continues. Although his numbers haven't been off the charts (7-13 for 75 yards last week), the first overall draft pick has been impressive in terms of his ability to handle the offense. But he has not spent time with the first-team starters in an actual game situation, and that would seem to be useful if he is going to inherit the starting quarterback job at some point, which might happen if the Browns are pushed out of contention early. There is also a bit of a safety issue involved here as well. Remember that as it is, the Browns have to replace an all-time great left tackle in Joe Thomas, who retired. Now you have Mayfield playing with reserve offensive linemen. That's not the ideal situation. Shon Coleman, who was supposed to be Thomas' replacement, lost his job in camp, and then missed a block that got Mayfield sacked last Thursday. Austin Corbett, the second-round pick out of Nevada, has taken control at left guard and that could make Coleman expendable. Wide receiver Josh Gordon has returned to the team and is at practice, after getting some treatment for emotional issues and substance abuse. I know I want to see him in meetings and see what kind of shape he is in before I ever make a decision about trotting him out there," says head coach Hue Jackson. It looks as if the running game is in the midst of a significant upgrade. Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb had a combined 117 yards for two TD's on 20 carries against Buffalo, and neither of those players was with the team last season. Duke Johnson, who has an element of explosiveness about him, will likely be a third-down back.

    EXTRA POINTS

    1. Philadelphia's Donnel Pumphrey, who finished his career at San Diego State as the FBS career rushing record-holder, won't play in this game because of a leg injury.

    2. E.J. Gaines, who played with the Buffalo Bills last season and signed as a free agent with Cleveland, has a knee sprain that could severely jeopardize his ability to be ready for the regular season opener. Gaines was a good "get" for the defense, as he was rated #13 by Pro Football Focus in an analytical ranking.

    3. Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, who you have probably been hearing a lot about with regard to his position on the National Anthem, stayed in the tunnel while it was played last week, rather than hold up his fist in protest as he did the week before. He did wear a T-shirt during warmups that read, "You're Not Listening."

    PREDICTION: Browns 24, Eagles 16
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    Edmonton Eskimos vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in CFL

    CFL Previews 20th August 2018 by Gracenote
    Eskimos vs. Tiger-Cats Preview and Predictions

    by Gracenote on 08/20/2018

    The Edmonton Eskimos look to continue their winning ways when they visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday. The Eskimos have won four of their last five games, including a 40-24 victory against the Montreal Alouettes in Week 10, and can move into a first-place tie with the Calgary Stampeders in the West Division by avenging a 38-21 loss to Hamilton on June 22.

    "We want to be as good as we can be," Edmonton coach Jason Maas told reporters. "I feel like we're a good football team but we still have to get better." The Tiger-Cats limped into their off week losers of four of their last five games to fall six points behind the Ottawa Redblacks in the East Division standings. Hamilton dropped a 29-23 decision to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Aug. 10 and hopes to fend off the streaking Toronto Argonauts in the race for second place by completing its first season sweep of Edmonton since 2006. "You hate to have a loss going into the bye week," Hamilton coach June Jones told reporters. "You just have to win to get to the next one and this is a big game for us."

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, ESPN Plus

    ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (6-3): Mike Reilly threw for a season-high 424 yards and three touchdowns to go along with his league-leading eighth rushing TD as Edmonton beat Montreal for the 10th straight time. Bryant Mitchell hauled in seven passes for a career-high 128 yards and a touchdown in his season debut while Shaq Cooper filled in admirably for an injured C.J. Gable as he racked up 102 yards and a TD in his first CFL start. Defensive back Mercy Maston was ejected late in the second quarter following a skirmish with Montreal's Adarius Bowman, and could receive further punishment from the league.

    ABOUT THE TIGER-CATS (3-5): Brandon Banks hauled in six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown against the Blue Bombers to go over 100 for the sixth time in his last seven games. Starting cornerback Delvin Breaux missed Winnipeg game with a concussion, but is expected to be medically cleared in time to play Thursday while fellow defensive back Richard Leonard is considered week-to-week because of a sore hamstring. Kick returner/defensive back Frankie Williams is expected to suit up after a one-game absence while Hamilton signed defensive backs Josh Johnson and Robert Porter Jr. to the practice squad.

    EXTRA POINTS

    1. Hamilton has lost three straight games to West Division opponents.

    2. Reilly leads the CFL in passing yards (3,046) and total touchdowns (27).

    3. Edmonton has had at least one wide receiver top 100 yards in nine consecutive games.

    PREDICTION: Eskimos 28, Tiger-Cats 27
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    Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    Washington's Max Scherzer and Philadelphia's Aaron Nola aim to strengthen their respective Cy Young Award bids at the other's expense on Thursday afternoon as the Nationals vie for a three-game sweep of the visiting Phillies. Scherzer leads the National League in wins (16) as he attempts to claim his third straight NL Cy Young Award and fourth of his career.

    Ryan Zimmerman launched a two-run shot in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 8-7 victory for Washington (64-63), which has erupted for 18 runs and 28 hits in the series after trading away offensive sparkplugs Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams. Bryce Harper collected three hits and two runs scored to improve to 5-for-10 with two RBIs in the series heading into a showdown with Nola, against whom he is 9-for-23 with two homers and five RBIs in his career. While the Nationals have regained their footing, the Phillies (68-58) have dropped four in a row to reside three games behind first-place Atlanta in the National League East. Philadelphia's Maikel Franco belted a two-run shot on Wednesday to improve to 14-for-35 with three homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored this season against the Nationals, although he is just 3-for-23 in his career versus Scherzer.

    TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, NBCS Philadelphia, MASN (Washington)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Aaron Nola (14-3, 2.24 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Max Scherzer (16-5, 2.11)

    Nola reached double-digit strikeouts for the fifth time this season on Friday, as he fanned 11 over seven innings of one-run ball in a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets. The 25-year-old has allowed four runs and 18 hits while fanning 24 over his last four outings (27 innings). Nola improved to 3-4 in 12 career encounters versus Washington after winning both of his starts this season in late June, permitting a total of three runs on nine hits while striking out 13.

    Scherzer tossed his second straight scoreless outing to improve to 6-0 in his last eight starts Friday after scattering five hits across six innings of an 8-2 victory versus Miami. The 34-year-old pitched well in his lone meeting with Philadelphia, yielding one run on five hits while striking out 15 in 6 1/3 frames of a no-decision on May 6. Scherzer fanned seven batters in a row at one stretch and had 12 consecutive outs via strikeout from the second to the sixth inning.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Philadelphia RF Nick Williams is 10-for-28 with one homer, three RBIs and six runs scored in his last eight games.

    2. Washington SS Trea Turner has four multi-hit performances in his last six contests.

    3. The Phillies acquired LHP Luis Avilan (2-1, 3.86 ERA) from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday for minor-league RHP Felix Paulino.

    PREDICTION: Nationals 3, Phillies 2
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    Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    After successfully preventing a season-high fourth straight setback, the Boston Red Sox bid to avert their first series loss in over two months on Thursday afternoon when they play the finale of their four-game set against the visiting Cleveland Indians (73-53). Xander Bogaerts belted a pair of homers in Wednesday's 10-4 romp as Boston (89-39) ended its second three-game skid of the season.

    Bogaerts improved to 5-for-14 with six RBIs in the series and 18-for-55 with 10 extra-base hits (six doubles, triple, three homers) and 15 RBIs in August. Andrew Benintendi had a three-run double to extend his hitting streak to seven games, during which he has scored five times. While the Red Sox own a comfortable nine-game advantage over second-place New York in the American League East, AL Central-leading Cleveland fell for just the second time in 11 outings. Edwin Encarnacion returned from the disabled list to belt a pair of two-run homers on Wednesday heading into a tilt versus David Price, against whom he has four homers among his 12 career hits.

    TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, STO (Cleveland), NESN (Boston)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Adam Plutko (4-3, 4.62 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH David Price (13-6, 3.69)

    Plutko settled for a hard-luck loss on Saturday after allowing three runs on as many hits over seven innings of a 4-2 setback versus Baltimore. The 26-year-old surrendered a three-run homer to Jonathan Villar in the third inning, marking the 12th time that he's been taken deep in 10 appearances (48 2/3 innings). "There's adjustments to be made," said Plutko, who is in his sixth stint with the Indians this season. "The pitch I threw to Villar, maybe I get a popup in Triple-A. Here it goes for a home run."

    Price improved to 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last six starts on Saturday after yielding two runs on five hits over seven innings of a 5-2 triumph against Tampa Bay. The 32-year-old looks to keep the good times rolling versus Cleveland, against which he owns a sparkling 10-2 mark with a 2.24 ERA in his career. Yan Gomes (1-for-18, eight strikeouts) has struggled mightily against Price in his career.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Boston 1B Mitch Moreland has driven in 18 runs in his last 17 games to reside one shy of 500 for his career.

    2. Cleveland 3B Jose Ramirez is 18-for-45 with five doubles over his last 11 road contests.

    3. Red Sox DH-OF J.D. Martinez has hit safely in his last 14 games versus the Indians.

    PREDICTION: Indians 4, Red Sox 3
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    Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    The Chicago White Sox have played better than .500 baseball since July 11 and look to continue building confidence for next year when they visit the Detroit Tigers for the opener of a four-game set Thursday afternoon. The White Sox are 18-17 in their last 35 contests and have won six of the past eight after launching three homers in a 7-3 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday.

    "We've picked it up offensively and our pitching has been really good," Chicago outfielder Nicky Delmonico told reporters after homering for the fourth time in six contests Wednesday while extending his hitting streak to eight games. "We've been playing good defense, so it's all clicking right now." The White Sox hope to keep it going with rejuvenated veteran right-hander James Shields on the mound and Detroit counters with lefty Matthew Boyd, who came within an out of a no-hitter against Chicago last September. The Tigers have dropped six of their last eight contests after losing 8-2 on Wednesday to split a two-game series with the National League-best Chicago Cubs. Veteran Victor Martinez has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 contests at a .383 clip for Detroit while Tigers rookie Ronny Rodriguez boasts a career-high seven-game hitting streak.

    TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FS Detroit

    PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH James Shields (5-14, 4.39 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Matthew Boyd (7-11, 4.27)

    Shields has strung together three straight quality starts and posted seven in his past 10 outings despite going just 3-5 during that stretch. The 36-year-old Californian gave up three runs on six hits and two walks across seven innings to beat Kansas City last time out and has a 3.15 ERA in three August starts. Shields is 9-10 with a 4.44 ERA in 28 career games against the Tigers, including 0-2 with a 4.50 mark in 2018.

    Boyd has won three of his last five starts with a 3.13 ERA in that span and will be facing the White Sox for the first time this season. The 27-year-old Oregon State product has been much better at home (5-3, 2.80 ERA) than on the road (2-8, 5.60) this year and is limiting opponents to a .218 batting average overall. Avisail Garcia is 9-for-21 with a pair of homers versus Boyd, who is 1-4 with a 4.99 ERA in nine career games against Chicago.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. The White Sox traded LHP Luis Avilan to Philadelphia in exchange for minor-league RHP Felix Paulino.

    2. Detroit RF Nicholas Castellanos is 14-of-35 over the last nine games after registering three hits in Wednesday's setback.

    3. Chicago's Joe McEwing is likely to manage his fourth straight game with Rick Renteria still being tested for lightheadedness.

    PREDICTION: Tigers 5, White Sox 4
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    San Francisco Giants vs. New York Mets Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    The finale of a four-game series between the visiting San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets on Thursday afternoon will feature an outstanding matchup on the mound. The Giants will be looking for star left-hander Madison Bumgarner to bounce back from a rare rocky outing while the Mets get behind Cy Young Award candidate Jacob deGrom, who is coming off his third career complete game and leads the majors in ERA (1.71).

    New York dropped the series opener Monday but it claimed the next two, including Wednesday's 5-3 triumph behind Todd Frazier. The veteran third baseman homered and ripped an RBI double in four at-bats and six pitchers combined on a six-hitter as the Mets won for the 10th time in 15 games. Frazier has been a catalyst during the surge with 12 RBIs over his last 13 contests. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, who is expected to undergo season-ending hip surgery soon, returned to the lineup and was 0-for-4 on Wednesday as his team was held under four runs for the seventh time in the last eight games.

    TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCS Bay Area (San Francisco), SNY (New York)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (4-5, 3.05 ERA) vs. Mets RH Jacob deGrom (8-7, 1.71)

    Bumgarner gave up a season-high six runs (five earned) over six innings to suffer the loss at Cincinnati his last time out. He served up two home runs in that outing for the first time in a span of 11 starts. Frazier is 5-for-12 with a home run and a double in his career against the 29-year-old Bumgarner.

    DeGrom fought through a rain delay to finish off his complete-game win at Philadelphia on Saturday, striking out nine and allowing just one unearned run. The 30-year-old is 3-4 despite an incredible 1.60 ERA in 13 home starts, during which he has fanned 117 batters in 90 innings while holding opponents to a .191 average. Hunter Pence (6-for-17, one home run) has had some success against deGrom, who is 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA in six career starts against the Giants.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Mets 2B Jeff McNeil was 2-for-4 on Wednesday and is 14-for-27 during a seven-game hitting streak.

    2. Giants OF Austin Slater slugged his first home run in 45 games this season in the 5-3 loss Wednesday.

    3. New York OF-3B Jose Bautista hit his 342nd career homer Wednesday to tie Hall of Famer Ron Santo for 97th on the all-time list.

    PREDICTION: Mets 5, Giants 1
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    San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    The Colorado Rockies' current surge has put them in the thick of the playoff race in the National League, and they look to remain there as they host the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon for the rubber match of their three-game series. Colorado dropped the opener of the set but bounced back to post its ninth win in 11 contests, a 6-2 triumph Wednesday.

    Tony Wolters and Ian Desmond each tripled and drove in two runs for the Rockies, who are 1 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West and a half-game back of Milwaukee for the second and final wild-card spot. Charlie Blackmon has recorded two hits in each of the first two games of the series while DJ LeMahieu enters Thursday with a nine-game hitting streak during which he has gone 14-for-40. Freddy Galvis belted a solo homer for San Diego, which managed only five hits as it lost for the seventh time in nine contests. Eric Hosmer was kept in check Wednesday as his hitting streak ended at nine games after an 0-for-4 performance that followed back-to-back two-hit efforts.

    TV: 3:10 p.m. ET, FS San Diego

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres LH Joey Lucchesi (6-7, 3.79 ERA) vs. Rockies LH Kyle Freeland (11-7, 2.96)

    Lucchesi is coming off a loss to Arizona on Friday in which he surrendered five runs on nine hits and three walks over four innings. The 25-year-old Californian rookie has posted a 2.87 ERA in six turns on the road, a much better mark than the 4.26 he has registered over 13 home outings. Lucchesi has fared well in three starts against the Rockies this season, going 1-0 while allowing only three earned runs and 11 hits over 16 frames with the win coming at Coors Field.

    Freeland has allowed fewer than three runs in four of his last five starts, posting a 3-0 record and 1.04 ERA in those outings. The 25-year-old native of Denver, who is 7-2 at home this year, has recorded 19 strikeouts over 13 innings in his last two turns - including a season-high 10 versus the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last outing at home Aug. 11. Freeland is 1-2 with a 4.21 ERA in six career appearances (four starts) versus San Diego after scattering three hits over seven scoreless frames in a home victory April 24.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Padres INF Christian Villaneuva, who was kept out of the starting lineup for two games with a foot injury before returning Tuesday, sat out again Wednesday with a swollen finger suffered in the series opener.

    2. Colorado 3B Nolan Arenado, who enters the series finale with an eight-game hitting streak, needs 13 RBIs to reach 100 for the fourth straight season.

    3. San Diego 3B Wil Myers was scratched from Wednesday's lineup after being hit in the face by a ground ball during batting practice and suffering a lacerated nose.

    PREDICTION: Rockies 8, Padres 3
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    Kansas City Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    The Tampa Bay Rays had been struggling against sub-.500 teams since mid-July, but they can finish off a four-game home sweep against the struggling Kansas City Royals with a fifth straight victory overall Thursday night. The Rays came into the series 8-13 in their last 21 games against teams with records under .500 before limiting Kansas City (38-89) to four runs in the first three games - most of them in a 6-3 victory Wednesday.

    Tampa Bay (66-61) is five games over .500 for the first time this season and Mallex Smith has played a big role with multiple hits in six of his last seven games while Ji-Man Choi takes a nine-game hitting streak into the series finale. Tyler Glasnow will make his fifth start for the Rays since being acquired from Pittsburgh on July 31 and left-hander Danny Duffy is expected to come off the disabled list to get the call for Kansas City. The Royals, who are 0-6 against Tampa Bay this year, have dropped five of their last six contests overall and nine of the past 10 on the road. Whit Merrifield homered Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and Hunter Dozier belted his sixth home run in the setback to celebrate his 27th birthday.

    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, FS Sun (Tampa Bay)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Danny Duffy (7-11, 4.90 ERA) vs. Rays RH Tyler Glasnow (1-3, 4.10)

    Duffy (shoulder) will likely get his 26th start of the season after throwing a bullpen session on Monday and coming out of it without any soreness. The 29-year-old California native gave up six runs in each of his last two starts on Aug. 5 and 11 after he had won three of the previous four outings. Carlos Gomez is 3-for-7 with a double versus Duffy, who is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in four career starts against Tampa Bay.

    Glasnow allowed five runs - four in the first inning - on three hits and three walks across 6 2/3 frames to suffer the loss at Boston on Saturday in his last outing. The 24-year-old Californian permitted three runs on six hits over 12 innings with 20 strikeouts in his first three starts with the Rays. Glasnow, who made 34 relief appearances with the Pirates before the trade, has struck out 96 in 74 2/3 innings overall.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Tampa Bay OF Tommy Pham suffered a dislocated right ring finger Tuesday and is considered day-to-day.

    2. Kansas City INF Alcides Escobar has hit safely in seven straight games, going 9-for-24 during that stretch.

    3. Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier is 8-for-19 with three doubles during a five-game hitting streak to raise his batting average to .196.

    PREDICTION: Rays 6, Royals 2
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    Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    The Miami Marlins long since turned their focus toward 2019 and beyond, which is giving rookies like left fielder Austin Dean a chance to get valuable big-league experience entering Thursday's opener of a four-game home series against the Atlanta Braves. Promoted to the majors on Aug. 15, Dean has hits in his past three games and finished 3-for-5 in Wednesday's 9-3 home triumph over the New York Yankees to raise his average to .269 through six contests.

    One of the biggest storylines of this series was removed Tuesday when Miami pitcher Jose Urena accepted his six-game suspension, issued after he hit Braves rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna with a pitch Aug. 15 that sparked a bench-clearing altercation. Acuna hit his first homer since the plunking leading off Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Pittsburgh, his 13th homer in 32 games since moving into the leadoff spot in the lineup. The Braves have scored 605 runs this season, the fastest the franchise has reached 600 since 2007, and enter the series leading the National League East by three games over Philadelphia. The Marlins have won three out of their last four following a six-game losing streak, a skid that included being swept in a four-game series at Atlanta last week.

    TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Atlanta), FS Florida (Miami)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves LH Sean Newcomb (10-6, 3.73 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Elieser Hernandez (2-6, 5.08)

    Newcomb has hit a bump in his first full major-league season, giving up 12 runs on 21 hits over 9 1/3 innings across his past two starts. The 25-year-old endured a similar stretch in his final three starts before the All-Star break (a 9.75 ERA while going 0-3), but rebounded after to allow just one run in each of his next three outings. Newcomb is 3-0 in three starts against the Marlins this season, allowing two runs on nine hits in 18 innings.

    Hernandez makes the sixth start of his rookie season and 27th appearance, and in 15 2/3 innings across his past 11 games (all relief appearances) he has posted a 1.15 ERA with 16 strikeouts and just four walks. That stretch began after an abysmal 2 1/3 innings of relief July 7 at Washington in which the 23-year-old gave up 10 runs on eight hits. Hernandez, who is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA in his five starts, has surrendered one run on nine hits over eight innings against the Braves in four games this season.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Atlanta LHP Jonny Venters recorded his second save of the season Wednesday - his first with the Braves since Aug. 22, 2011.

    2. Miami INF Miguel Rojas, who entered the season with four homers in 358 career games, hit his 10th homer of the season Wednesday.

    3. Braves C Kurt Suzuki did not play Wednesday after suffering a bruised left triceps when he was hit with a pitch Tuesday, but is expected to return this weekend.

    PREDICTION: Marlins 6, Braves 4
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    Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    The Chicago Cubs finally broke out of their offensive slump, and they'll try to keep the bats going when they open a four-game series against the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. Cole Hamels makes his second start as a Cub at Wrigley Field, where he is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in seven career outings.

    Chicago ended its streak of five consecutive games scoring a single run on a solo homer with an 8-2 win at Detroit on Wednesday. Daniel Murphy went 2-for-5 with an RBI from the leadoff spot in his Cubs debut, while David Bote, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo all hit home runs to help Chicago maintain a 2 1/2-game lead over second-place St. Louis in the National League Central. The streaky Reds dropped two of three at Milwaukee to open their seven-game road trip following a three-game sweep of San Francisco over the weekend. Cincinnati leads the season series 7-5 but dropped two of three in its first trip to Wrigley Field.

    TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FS Ohio (Cincinnati), NBCS Chicago

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Anthony DeSclafani (6-3, 4.12 ERA) vs. Cubs LH Cole Hamels (8-9, 4.00)

    DeSclafani has been outstanding in three starts this month, allowing two runs over 21 2/3 innings with 16 strikeouts. The 28-year-old had pitched to a 9.00 ERA over his previous three outings. DeSclafani is 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA in eight starts against the Cubs, including a win June 23 in Cincinnati.

    Hamels has been nothing short of dominant in four starts with the Cubs, going 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA. The 34-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings Friday at Pittsburgh, allowing five hits and two walks. Hamels is 10-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 starts against the Reds, most recently in 2016.

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Murphy is 6-for-11 with three doubles and a homer versus DeSclafani.

    2. Reds SS Jose Peraza has multiple hits in five of his last seven games and is 12-for-26 with four doubles and two homers over that stretch.

    3. The Cubs placed SS Addison Russell on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained left middle finger and right shoulder inflammation.

    PREDICTION: Cubs 5, Reds 2
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    Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins Preview and Predictions 08-23-2018 in MLB

    Despite a loss to the lowly Texas Rangers on Wednesday, the Oakland Athletics will take a seven series unbeaten streak into the opener of a four-game set at the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night. Oakland's seven-game trek will be capped with a visit to the Houston Astros, who hold a one-game lead over the Athletics in the American League West.

    Wednesday's 4-2 setback to the Rangers wrapped up a 6-3 homestand for Oakland, which lost for only the fifth time in the past 20 games. After posting consecutive shutout wins in the first two games against Texas, Oakland managed only four hits in the series finale, including RBI doubles by Stephen Piscotty and Jed Lowrie. While the Athletics are 6-0-1 in their last seven series, the Twins also fell to 6-3 in their last nine after dropping the back end of a two-game set to the Chicago White Sox. Logan Forsythe collected three hits in Wednesday's 7-3 defeat and is batting .377 (26-for-69) in 19 games since he was acquired by Minnesota.

    TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Oakland), FS North (Minnesota)

    PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Trevor Cahill (5-2, 3.12 ERA) vs. Twins RH Kohl Stewart (0-1, 7.71)

    Cahill is coming off perhaps his best start of the season, limiting defending World Series champion Houston to one hit over seven scoreless innings on Saturday. The 30-year-old improved to 4-0 in his last five starts and remains unbeaten over his last 10 turns dating to a loss at Boston on May 16. Cahill is 4-0 with an 0.85 ERA at home, but only 1-2 with a 6.62 ERA in seven road starts.

    Stewart has not looked ready for the bright lights in his first two major-league starts, both coming against the Detroit Tigers. After allowing three runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in his debut, he lasted 2 2/3 innings in the rematch, giving up three runs on three hits and four walks. "You just can't fall behind guys like that, can't walk guys," Stewart said. "It was not acceptable."

    WALK-OFFS

    1. Twins 1B/DH Joe Mauer needs one hit to tie Hall of Famer Rod Carew (2,085) for second place on the franchise list

    2. Athletics DH Khris Davis, who needs two homers for his third straight 40-homer season, is 12-for-55 versus Minnesota.

    3. Twins RH Oliver Drake has notched seven straight scoreless appearances since joining the team.

    PREDICTION: Athletics 6, Twins 3
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    Scott Rickenbach
    Aug 23 '18, 7:30 PM in 10h
    CFL | Edmonton vs Hamilton
    Play on: OVER 56˝ -110


    Scott "The Bulldog" Rickenbach CFL Game #361 Thursday Free Pick OVER the total in Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Edmonton Eskimos @ 7:30 ET - Big total posted on this game but don't let that scare you away. Earlier this season in Week 2, Edmonton hosted Hamilton and lost big and gave up 38 points. The Eskimos have revenge on their minds and just might get it. However, I don't trust their defense. Hence the play on the over here. The Tiger-Cats Jeremiah Masoli put up over 300 yards through the air in the first meeting at Edmonton. Also, the Eskimos Mike Reilly put up over 400 yards through the air in last week's game while the Ti-Cats had a bye last week. With perfect weather expected in Hamilton Thursday night a shoot-out can be expected! In games played in weeks 10 through 15 in recent seasons, Edmonton is on an 8-4 run to the over. The Tiger-Cats last 3 meetings with the Eskimos have all gone over the total. More of the same expected Thursday night! Free Pick OVER the total in Hamilton
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    Sean Murphy
    Aug 23 '18, 1:05 PM in 4h
    MLB | PHI vs WAS
    Play on: UNDER 7 -116


    Thursday MLB Free play. My selection is on the 'under' between Philadelphia and Washington at 1:05 pm et on Thursday.


    I'll back the 'under' at Nationals Park on Thursday afternoon.


    Aaron Nola will take the ball for the Phillies. He's coming off a masterful outing against the Mets and checks in having worked at least six innings in four straight starts, giving up just four earned runs over 27 innings pitched during that stretch. Nola has been one of the best 'under' starters in baseball this season, posting a 6-17-2 o/u mark. He has given up two earned runs or less in each of his last three starts here in Washington which is obviously no easy task.


    Max Scherzer will counter for Washington. Needless to say, Scherzer has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball again this season. He checks in having allowed just three earned runs in his last five starts, spanning 34 innings of work. The last time Scherzer faced the Phillies he struck out 15 batters over 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits back on May 6th.


    This hasn't exactly been a low-scoring series but I expect that to change on Thursday afternoon. This total is low for a reason. Take the under (8*).
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    Larry Ness
    Aug 23 '18, 7:10 PM in 10h
    MLB | ATL vs MIA
    Play on: UNDER 8˝ -115


    My free play is on Atl/Mia Under at 7:10 ET. The Atlanta Braves will open a four-game series with the Marlins tonight in Miami. The 51-77 Marlins have long since turned their focus toward 2019 and beyond. The Marlins have won three out of their last four but that's after a six-game losing streak, a skid which included being swept in a four-game series at Atlanta last week (August 13-15). Meanwhile, after winning just 67, 68 and 72 games the previous three seasons, Atlanta has scored 605 runs this season (the fastest the franchise has reached 600 since 2007) and enters this series 71-55, giving them a three-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East.


    Atlanta lefty Sean Newcomb (10-6, 3.73 ERA) takes the mound tonight after giving up 12 runs on 21 hits over 9 1/3 innings across his past two starts. The second-year pitcher endured a similar stretch in his final three starts before the All-Star break (a 9.75 ERA while going 0-3), but rebounded after to allow just one run in each of his next three outings. Taking on Newcomb is Marlins rookie right-hander Elieser Hernandez (2-6, 5.08 ERA). August has been Hernandez's best month so far, as he has a 2.00 ERA in six relief appearances, covering nine innings.


    Newcomb is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins, including 3-0 in three starts against the Marlins this season (has allowed just two runs on nine hits in 18 innings). As for Hernandez, he has a 1.13 ERA in four relief appearances against the Braves. Let's go Under.
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    Mike Wynn


    Free Play: Free Oakland/Minnesota Under 9˝ Runs
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    Razor Sharp


    YOUR RAZOR SHARP FREE PICK FOR THURSDAY: Take SAN DIEGO/COLORADO OVER the total of 10 runs
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    Jim Feist


    Jim Feist's Comp Pick, Thursday, August 23, 2018


    8/23 10:10 AM PT / 1:10 PM ET


    MLB (903) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS (904) NEW YORK METS


    Take: (904) NEW YORK METS
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    Totals4U


    Thursday's Free Selection: Atlanta/Miami over 8
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    Jeff Allen Sports


    Thursday's Free Selection is on the Detroit Tigers
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    Atlantic Sports


    Thursday's Free Selection from Atlantic Sports: Hamilton (CFL) - 3
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    #1 Sports


    Thursday's Free Selection: Chicago Cubs - 225
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    Platinum Plays


    Free Pick the Cincinnati Reds w/Desclafani +200 over Chicago
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    Easy Money Sports


    Lee's Thursday Free Selection Is
    Atlanta/Miami UNDER 8 RUNS -115
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    Golden Dragon Sports


    FREE WINNER for THURSDAY: Colorado Freeman -154
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    Huddle Up Sports


    Thursday Free Play: Kansas City Duffy +175
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