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MLB: The Twins are 6-2 in their last eight games following an off day.
MLB: The Cubs are 9-4 in their last 13 road games against a right-handed starter.
NCAAF: Arizona State is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games against winning teams.
CFL: Calgary is 5-0 ATS in its last five games following a loss.
WNBA: Indiana is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games with New York.
MLB: The Red Sox are 0-5 in their last five series openers.
MLB: The Indians are 2-6 in Jeanmar Gomez’s last eight road starts.
NCAAF: Louisville is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 home games.
CFL: Edmonton is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 September games.
WNBA: Los Angeles is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games against losing teams.
Injury not to be overlooked
The Dodgers have shut down All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier, who’s dealt with lingering knee pain, for the season. He could have surgery soon. Ethier was hitting .292 with 11 home runs, 30 doubles and 62 RBIs.
42 – That’s how many save chances Detroit's Jose Valverde has converted this season. Namely, all of them. Valverde tossed a perfect ninth on Wednesday to tie Todd Jones’ single-season team record of 42 saves. Dating to last season, Valverde has converted 44 straight save opportunities, the fourth-longest streak in history.
Game of the day
No. 19 Missouri Tigers at No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils (-8, 52.5)
"The hamstring is coming along. It feels really good. All signs point to me playing on Sunday." – Houston RB Arian Foster to Yahoo! Sports Radio. The Texans are laying 8.5 to 9 points against the Colts, who’ll be quarterbacked by Kerry Collins instead of Peyton Manning.
Notes and tips
The total for USC’s home game on Saturday against Utah is 51, same as it was for last week’s USC home game against Minnesota. USC won 19-17, an easy win for “under” bettors. But it’s not only the defenses that might be holding scoring down. The field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is uneven and will be painted green on a weekly basis to hide numerous areas of dirt and dead spots, according to ESPN.com. A music festival featuring Rage Against the Machine, Muse and Rise Against was held at the Coliseum on July 30, five weeks before the opener. The Coliseum did not have enough time to replace the field, so the Trojans are stuck with it all season.
The Cowboys’ offensive line is in bad shape heading into Sunday night's opener at the N.Y. Jets, who are favored by 5. Rookie RT Tyron Smith hurt his knee Wednesday and did not practice Thursday. The O-line already is breaking in a seventh-round pick at left guard, Bill Nagy, and a new center, Phil Costa. If Smith, a first-round pick, cannot play, Jeremy Parnell could very well be his replacement. Parnell has never played in an NFL game, having previously been on the Saints’ practice squad.
Not that they needed any help, but the Phillies activated shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the DL. He was not in the starting lineup Thursday as Philly opened a four-game series at Milwaukee in a possible NLCS preview. Rollins, who had a strained right groin, will be eased back. The 2007 NL MVP, Rollins hasn’t played since Aug. 21. He’s hitting .268 with 14 homers.
Edwin Jackson, St. Louis Cardinals (11-9, 3.78 ERA)
The midseason acquisition has been brilliant over his last three starts, going 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA. In fact, he’s given up two earned runs or less in five of his previous six starts. Jackson fanned eight Reds in seven innings last time out.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (17-5, 2.45)
The 23-year-old lefty is coming off a tough loss in Atlanta, but over his last five starts he’s allowed just four earned runs. Batters are hitting .214 against Kershaw, who ranks second in the NL in ERA.
John Lackey, Boston Red Sox (12-11, 6.11 ERA)
Batters are hitting .302 against Lackey, who’s given up 14 earned runs over his last three starts covering 18 2/3 innings. He’s lost three of his last four decisions. At least he won't have to face the Rangers again until possibly the playoffs.
Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays (4-8, 4.60 ERA)
The 25-year-old lefty has been battered for 13 earned runs in his last three starts covering 18 1/3 innings. Toronto has lost his last four starts, and six of the last seven. Cecil has given up at least one homer in 14 of his 17 starts this year.