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MLB: The Astros are 7-2 in Wandy Rodriguez's last nine home starts against winning teams.
MLB: The Angels are 9-2 in Joel Pineiro’s last 11 home starts against losing teams.
NCAAF: SMU is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games as an underdog.
WNBA: Tulsa is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.
MLB: The Nationals are 2-10 in Livan Hernandez’s last 12 starts on four days’ rest.
MLB: The A’s are 5-16 in Trevor Cahill’s last 21 starts.
NCAAF: West Virginia is 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine home games as a favorite of 10.5 or more.
WNBA: Connecticut is 1-5 ATS in its last six games playing on one day’s rest.
Injury not to be overlooked
Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira sat out his second straight game Saturday with a bruised right knee suffered when he was hit by an Alfredo Aceves pitch Thursday night in Boston. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup after missing six games with a sprained left thumb and batted third in Teixeira’s absence.
17 – That’s how many shutouts the Rangers have pitched this season, including 12 on the road. Texas trails only the Phillies in shutouts. The Rangers’ road total is the most in MLB since the Braves posted 12 in 1998.
Game of the day
SMU Mustangs at Texas A&M Aggies (-15.5, 56.5)
“Especially early in the season, it's going come down to blocking and tackling. It's going come down to protecting the football and the execution. That's typically what's going to win or lose games, especially a game like this that's first on the schedule in early September ... as opposed to these fancy new ideas that are going to be the reason a team wins or loses. It's going to come down to the basic things." – Saints coach Sean Payton on Thursday’s opener at Green Bay, which is a 4-point favorite. The NFL's previous Super Bowl winner has hosted the last seven Thursday openers and won them all.
Notes and tips
Tennessee RB Chris Johnson said after ending his holdout that he wants a full workload in the Sept. 11 opener at Jacksonville, but Titans coach Mike Munchak said “we have to make sure we don’t overdo it, especially early.” The Jaguars are 3-point favorites. Keep an eye on practice reports this week for a better gauge on how much Johnson will play.
Umpire Derryl Cousins will be behind the plate when the Pirates visit the Cubs on Sunday. The Over is 9-4 in Cousins’ last 13 games calling balls and strikes, and 5-2-1 in his last eight games involving Chicago.
Yankees rookie Ivan Nova has won 11 straight decisions and eight straight starts. The 11-game winning streak, by decision, is New York’s longest since Roger Clemens reeled off 16 straight in 2001. Nova is scheduled to pitch again Thursday at Baltimore.