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MLB: The Chicago Cubs have won their last five games against a left-handed starter. They’re set as +105 home underdogs against Milwaukee lefty Randy Wolf.
MLB: St. Louis has won 10 of its last 12.
MLB: Toronto is 5-12 in its last 17 games as an underdog.
MLB: Tampa Bay is 5-13 in James Shields’ last 18 starts against the Yankees.
74 – Better than 74 percent of the NFL’s games through two weeks have played over the total. Through the season's first two weeks, 172 touchdowns have been scored - a record for most in the opening weeks of any previous campaign - for 1,502 combined points. Quarterbacks are largely responsible for the boom, having netted 15,771 passing yards in that time, also a record through the first two weeks.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants – Kung Fu Panda plans to play out the rest of the schedule but word has it he isn’t 100 percent. Manager Bruce Bochy indicated Sandoval could undergo offseason surgery on his left shoulder. The slugging switch hitter hasn’t been able to bat right-handed since about the middle of last month.
Game of the day
Atlanta Braves at Florida Marlins (-125, 7.5)
"I don't know. I really don't. I understand the nature of the injury as much as you can without being in medicine. We'll just have to see how it goes. It has everything to do with just his ability to handle the pain, and we know he has a bunch of it. We'll see how that goes. He'll be monitored obviously extremely closely regarding the pneumothorax and we'll see how it goes." – Jerry Jones on whether quarterback Tony Romo would be fit to start Monday night after fracturing a couple ribs and puncturing a lung in Week 2’s overtime win over San Francisco. Most books currently have the Cowboys-Redskins game off the board.
Notes and tips
It’s a slow day in the sports world, but if you’re absolutely desperate to get some NHL betting in, there are 10 games on the preseason schedule Wednesday and you can find some lines if you hunt around the online shops. Some of the more interesting matchups include the New Jersey Devils at the New York Rangers, the Detroit Red Wings at the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks.
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would like to know his fate before he leaves on a family vacation at the conclusion of the season. Guillen has been with the club since 2004, guiding the White Sox to a World Series title in that time. He had his option for 2012 exercised by ownership in January. But the 47-year-old acknowledges that his team has fallen short of expectations and is holding himself accountable for the disappointment. Guillen is scheduled to leave for a trip to Spain on Sept. 28 - two days after the season is over - and wants his future decided beforehand. The White Sox are third in the AL Central and were eliminated from playoff contention last week.
University of Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert had shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season, the school announced Tuesday. Gilbert hurt his shoulder in the season opener against Rice on Sept. 3. However, the school said nothing about the injury until Sept. 13 - three days after Gilbert started against BYU but was removed in the second quarter. Doctors recommended the surgery after being told by Gilbert that his shoulder was getting worse. He is expected to make a full recovery. A junior, Gilbert was 15-of-31 for 247 yards, one TD and two interceptions before the injury. He threw for 2,744 yards, 10 TDs and 17 interceptions in 2010. Case McCoy, the younger brother of former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, has replaced Gilbert for the Longhorns.
Wolf has been pretty solid through his last three starts, allowing six runs over that span. He held the Reds to three runs on seven hits over seven innings in his last trip to the hill while striking out seven. The veteran lefty pounded the strike zone with 71 strikes in his 101 pitches. Wolf has thrown at least six innings in 18 of his last 19 starts.
It certainly took Jimenez to show the Indians what he’s capable of, but he has now put together five straight quality starts with a 2.78 ERA during that streak. He held the Twins to just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts the last time he took the hill, boosting that number to 30 in his last 32 1/3 innings.
Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins (0-6, 6.51 ERA)
Things have gotten pretty ugly for Slowey. He obviously hasn’t won all season and has been pulled in the fourth inning in his last two outings, allowing 11 runs over that span. The only real bright side on his stat line is the five walks he has issued in more 47 innings.
“I don’t think I have the lexicon to describe how disappointed I am in how I threw today and how I have thrown most of the year, to be honest with you,” Slowey told reporters recently.
Derek Lowe, Atlanta Braves (9-15, 4.94 ERA)
Lowe is 3-8 with a fat 6.12 ERA in his last 11 starts and lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his last outing when he allowed nine hits and six earned runs before getting the hook.
“This was terrible," Lowe told reporters after that one. "It was non-competitive pitching from the first pitch... Honestly, what can you say? They did anything they wanted. You tried to make competitive pitches, and it just didn’t happen. Again, bad game at the wrong time."