September 29, 2018 at 6:57 am #131
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-7)
New faces: WR Sammy Watkins Andrew Ladd Jersey , RB Kerwynn Williams, RB Damien Williams, QB Chad Henne, TE Tim Wright, CB David Amerson, CB Kendall Fuller, CB Orlando Scandrick, DT Xavier Williams, LB Anthony Hitchens, LB Breeland Speaks, DT Derrick Nnadi, LB Dorian O’Daniel, SS Armani Watts, CB Tremon Smith.
Key losses: QB Alex Smith Womens Mattias Ekholm Jersey , RB Charcandrick West, RB Akeem Hunt, RB C.J. Spiller, WR Albert Wilson, FS Ron Parker, CB Terrance Mitchell, CB Marcus Peters, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Kenneth Acker, LB Derrick Johnson, LB Tamba Hali, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, DT Bennie Logan.
Strengths: Chiefs averaged 375.4 yards offensively last season, fifth best in NFL. KC had second-best turnover differential (plus-15) in league. WR Tyreek Hill gives Chiefs arguably best return unit in NFL. Hill also provides big-play ability on offense. RB Kareem Hunt led NFL in rushing as rookie. Chiefs return OL almost entirely intact. TE Travis Kelce is coming off back-to-back 1 Zach Hyman Jersey ,000-yard receiving seasons. PK Harrison Butker was perfect on PATs and 38 of 42 on FGs as rookie. KC has playoff experience having gone four of past five seasons.
Weaknesses: Defensive backfield replacing three starters after trading Peters, releasing Mitchell and injury to FS Dan Sorensen. Chiefs lost leadership of Smith, Johnson and Hali. SS Eric Berry returns from torn Achilles tendon but was sidelined most of camp by heel injury. Watkins has been slow to build chemistry with new QB Patrick Mahomes II throughout camp.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Hill proved last season he is more than special-teams standout, catching 75 passes for 1,183 yards and seven TDs, and now has big-armed QB in Mahomes throwing to him.
Vegas Says: Super Bowl 30-1. Over/under wins 8 陆.
Expectations: Chiefs’ hopes of three straight AFC West titles rest on health, improved defense and Mahomes’ strong right arm. Mahomes has talent to break single-season franchise record for TD passes (Len Dawson, 30 in 1964) but must be aware of INTs. If all breaks right, Chiefs have expectations of making it through divisional round of playoffs for first time since 1994.
CLEVELAND — With Cleveland’s pitching staff in chaos, the Indians will try to regroup Sunday and avoid a three-game sweep by the Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota has won the first two games of the series while roughing up Cleveland’s top two starting pitchers, Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. The Twins have won five in a row against their American League Central rivals, outscoring the Indians 36-16.
The Indians’ 9-3 loss Saturday was a costly one. Carrasco was knocked out of the game in the second inning when he was hit on the right elbow by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer. Carrasco went to a local hospital for tests after the game.
“It hit him right on the elbow. He was hurting,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “They’re still doing some scans. Right now, they are calling it a contusion and the hope is that’s all it is. We’ll know more tomorrow.”
Carrasco’s early exit caused Francona to use most of his bullpen P.K Subban Jersey , including right-hander Adam Plutko, who was scheduled to start Sunday. But those plans changed.
Shane Bieber will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus to start Sunday in place of Plutko.
Bieber made a spot start for the Indians, his major league debut, on May 31, coincidentally against the Twins. The Indians won the game 9-8, but Bieber was not involved in the decision. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Bieber has been the Indians’ top minor league pitcher in the first half of the season. In a combined 12 starts at Columbus and Double-A Akron, Bieber is 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA. One of those wins was a rain-shortened seven-inning no-hitter for Columbus.
Bieber will have his hands full with a red-hot Minnesota lineup, led by outfielder Eddie Rosario, who has been a one-man wrecking crew against Cleveland this year. On Saturday, Rosario was 4-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. All four of his hits came on the first pitch.
Against the Indians this year, Rosario is batting .471 (16-for-34) with six home runs and 11 RBIs.
“They are in a special place (offensively) now,” Francona said. “Rosario Youth Colin Miller Jersey , the first pitch you throw him he’s just whacking it. We need to throw him some pitches out of the zone. He’s hitting everything. They are a good hitting team.”
The Twins’ Sunday starter will be right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.19 ERA), who has not won since May 8. In six starts since, he is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA, although a lack of run support has been part of the problem.
The Twins scored three runs or fewer in four of those six Odorizzi starts, the last of which came June 12 against the Detroit Tigers. The Twins won the game 6-4. Odorizzi got a no-decision, pitching five innings, allowing two runs and four hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Odorizzi earned a no-decision in his last start against Cleveland on May 31. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) and seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
In six career starts against Cleveland, Odorizzi is 1-2 with a 6.33 ERA.
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