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NCAAF: Central Florida is 13-3 against the spread in its last 16 road games.
MLB: Washington is 7-3 in Stephen Strasburg’s last 10 starts dating back to last season.
MLB: Philadelphia has won 11 of its last 14 meetings with the New York Mets.
CFL: Montreal is 17-5 against the spread in its last 22 games following a straight up loss.
NCAAF: BYU is 1-5 against the spread in its last six September games.
MLB: The New York Yankees are 3-10 in their last 13 meetings with Boston.
MLB: Cincinnati is 3-7 in its last 10 meetings with Pittsburgh.
CFL: Edmonton is 2-5 against the spread in its last seven overall.
23 – The Boston Red Sox had played 23 straight games without recording back-to-back victories.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals - Wells was limited in practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury, or if it will prevent the Cardinals' starting running back from playing in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Arizona is set as a 3.5-point favorite on the road.
Game of the day
Central Florida at Brigham Young (-2, 44)
“I am more concerned about what we have to improve on than anything else. We are going to work to get that done. When you come in second in a game, I think some of your weaknesses are exposed a little bit, and that’s out now. It's your resume. It’s on film.” – UCF coach George O’Leary about rebounding from last week’s loss to Florida Atlantic as a 6.5-point favorite. The Knights are pegged as 2-point underdogs at BYU.
Notes and tips
Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller will make his first start for Ohio State in Saturday's game against Colorado. Coach Luke Fickell made the announcement Thursday after remaining quiet on the situation since the Buckeyes' 24-6 loss to Miami last weekend. Joe Bauserman has started Ohio State's first three games, passing for 365 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Bauserman struggled against Miami, completing 2 of 14 passes for 13 yards. Ohio State is set as a 16.5-point favorite at home.
Indiana Fever sparkplug Tamika Catchings was named the WNBA’s most valuable player ahead of the team’s 84-72 win over Indiana Thursday night. She responded with 12 points and 13 rebounds to help the Fever to a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference final. The two teams play Game 2 Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson is appealing a three-game suspension handed down by the NFL, Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday. Benson will be able to play in Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. His appeal will be heard next Tuesday. Should the suspension be upheld, Benson will miss contests against the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. Benson was cited for assault of a former roommate during the lockout and served three full days in jail following a more recent charge. He was given considerable time off his 20-day sentence after volunteering for work duty. The 28-year-old Benson has rushed 41 times for 180 yards and one touchdown this season. The Bengals are set as 3-point favorites.
It seems like Myers spent the better part of the season in our Slumping section, so it’s nice to see him turn it around as the season winds down. He has gone 3-0 over his last four starts, posting a sparkling 1.19 ERA while allowing just a single home run over the hot streak.
Matt Harrison, Texas Rangers (13-9, 3.42 ERA)
Harrison has won three straight and was lights-out in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Seattle when he went 6 2/3 innings while striking out a season-high nine batters while walking only two. A lot of his recent success has been attributed to his killer curveball.
"I probably threw more curveballs today than I have in a month," Harrison told reporters after Sunday’s win. "I felt good early, so I just went with it. It seems like the last three starts they've put a lot of lefties in there and I had to find a way to get them out. I was able to put the curve where I wanted it today and get a lot of swings and misses off it."
Anthony Vasquez, Seattle Mariners (1-4, 8.25 ERA)
Everything has been downhill since the rookie lefty won his MLB debut. He has now lost four straight and was chased after only three innings of work in his last outing against the Rangers when he gave up five runs and three dingers. In 24 innings of work he has 11 strikeouts to go against eight walks and faces Texas again Friday.
Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds (5-6, 5.87 ERA)
Volquez has dropped both of his starts since returning from the minors, but the club is trying to remain optimistic. However, he gave up five earned runs over 6 2/3 innings last week to the Brewers while striking out six and walking three.
"I am just trying to go deep in the game and throw more innings," Volquez told reporters. "I want to be more aggressive in the strike zone like I did tonight and throw more strikes."