How Sweep It Is


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning 

Nothing but sweeps in the MLB Wild Card round. Two-up, two-down in all four series. The Twins, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Phillies are all moving on.

It’s a short-and-sweet edition today, and that’s because we’re prepping for another doozy of a weekender for tomorrow’s newsletter. You won’t want to miss it.

Letter Rip!


How Sweep It Is

Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images

Twins, Rangers, D-Backs & Phillies All Sweep Wild Card Rounds in 2 Games

Light work in the Wild Cards! All four opening-round series of the MLB playoffs were clean sweeps, and that spells trouble for the top seeds waiting in the next round. The Twins won their first playoff series in 21 years. The Rangers had the Rays backed against the wall for two straight games. The Diamondbacks used another comeback to shock the Crew. And in the nightcap, the Phillies flexed on the Marlins to set up a date with the Braves (oh, baby!).

AL: #3 Twins def. #6 Blue Jays (2-0)

What a week for Minnesota! After the Twins erased that haunting 18-game postseason losing streak, they finished the job on Wednesday with a 2-0 shutout against the Blue Jays. Sonny Gray was just too good (5 IP, 6 Ks, 5 Hits, 0 ER). Toronto left ducks on the pond twice, including a ground-out double play with the bases loaded. The Blue Jays were just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position this series. And now, it’ll be the Twins Cinderella story against baseball’s favorite villains, the Astros. MIN Wins Series (2-0)

AL: #5 Rangers def. #4 Rays (7-1)

All Texas in Game 2. A scoreless pitching duel through three innings was turned upside down when Adolis Garcia and Evan Carter went deep in the 4th. The Rangers started rolling after that, hanging seven runs in the 4th, 5th and 6th to demoralize the Rays. Remember, Tampa Bay started the season with that historic win streak. Come October, they’re going home with a Wild Card sweep. Rangers march on against the Orioles. TEX Wins Series (2-0)

NL: #6 Diamondbacks def. #3 Brewers (5-2)

In similar fashion to Game 1, the Brewers jumped on the Diamondbacks early and took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning. That lead remained through five frames after Zac Gallen (6 IP, 4 Ks, 5 Hits, 2 ER) recovered from the early woes. But Arizona got rolling with a four-run 4th that took Freddy Peralta off the mound. Corbin Carroll (2-for-4) and Ketel Marte (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) were brilliant again, and Alek Thomas hit a solo HR. The D-Backs, after sneaking into the postseason, have a date with their NL West rival Dodgers in the next round. ARI Wins Series (2-0)

NL: #4 Phillies def. #5 Marlins (7-1)

It was all Phillies in the nightcap! Philadelphia got seven shutout innings from Aaron Nola (7 IP, 3 Ks, 3 Hits, 0 ER), and three runs of support in the 3rd and 4th innings before Bryson Stott put the game out of reach. The Stott Shot! The Phillies’ 2B just barreled a ball for a grand slam that put Philly up 7-0. The home fans went nuts, and the stage is set for Phillies-Braves in the NLDS. PHI Wins Series (2-0)

Division Series Matchups

AL: #1 Orioles vs. #5 Rangers

AL: #2 Astros vs. #3 Twins

NL: #1 Braves vs. #4 Phillies

NL: #2 Dodgers vs. #6 Diamondbacks

ALDS/NLDS Game 1s: Saturday (Oct. 7)

*Best-of-5 Series

Read More

CBS Sports: Twins Win Playoff Series for First Time Since 2002, Move on to Astros in ALDS

SI: Blue Jays Players Surprised by Manager’s Decision to Remove Jose Berrios Early

Yahoo! Sports: Phillies & D-Backs Take Care of Business, Advance to NLDS With Wild Card Sweeps



Premier League Bounces Back

Photo: Stu Forster / Getty Images

Newcastle & Man. City Dominant as Premier League Bounces Back in Champions League

Another day of Champions League action saw two Premier League clubs bounce back after their league counterparts were upset on Tuesday. Wednesday was a different story. Newcastle didn’t just beat PSG (4-1), they obliterated them. Paris actually dominated possession (74%—26%), but Newcastle connected on 50 percent of their shots. Elsewhere, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona were all winners. The early stages of the Champions League mean there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, but the boys from Newcastle are off to a hot start. 

Champions League Highlights (Matchday 2)

Newcastle def. PSG (4-1)

Manchester City def. RB Leipzig (3-1)

Barcelona def. FC Porto (1-0)

Atletico Madrid def. Feyenoord (3-2)

Dortmund draw AC Milan (0-0)

Lazio def. Celtic (2-1)

Full Champions League Fixtures & Highlights



 The 1-of-a-Kind 2030 World Cup

The 2030 edition of the World Cup will be an intercontinental affair. Morocco, Portugal and Spain will host the tournament, but the first three matches will be held in Uruguay and Argentina to commemorate the World Cup’s 100th anniversary. (Sports Illustrated)

 The WNBA Expansion Teaser

WNBA fans have been clamoring for expansion teams to increase the league beyond just 12 squads. The WNBA released a video Wednesday on social media teasing that an announcement is coming Thursday regarding potential expansion. (Bleacher Report)

 NCAA Shrinks the Portal Window

The transfer portal has been chaos for the NCAA across all sports, and it’s starting to see changes. The NCAA Division I Council approved shrinking of the transfer portal windows on Wednesday, dropping the gap from 60 days to 45 days. (CBS Sports)





Question of the Day

Which of the early NFL MVP front-runners do you think will win MVP? (click to vote)

QB Josh Allen (Bills) — +400 Odds

QB Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) — +500 Odds

QB Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) — +550 Odds

QB Jalen Hurts (Eagles) — +750 Odds

QB Lamar Jackson (Ravens) — +1000 Odds

RB Christian McCaffrey (49ers) — +2000 Odds