When it comes to the infield, there isn't a position with more talent than shortstop.
Some of the best young talent in baseball is at shortstop, making it a very tough exercise to rank who is the best at the position. Myself, Matt Hanson, and Tyler Austin did our best to try and rank the best fantasy baseball options at shortstop, as we make our way around the diamond to fully prepare you for your fantasy baseball draft this year.
Cream of the crop
The son of the former major leaguer hasn't even played 150 regular season games, yet the 22-year-old is already considered the best shortstop in the game. Last year Tatis finished fourth in NL MVP voting, as he was the driving force that helped the Padres earn their first playoff appearance since 2006. In just 59 games in 2020, Tatis hammered 17 home runs and drove in 45 runs.
Just how good is Tatis? The Padres already locked up the talented shortstop for the next 14 years, making him one of the highest paid players in baseball. It's obvious that Tatis moves the needle, not only with his teammates, but with fans as well. If you have one of the first few picks in your fantasy baseball draft, Tatis should definitely be on your radar. The shortstop would be a great building block in trying to assemble a championship fantasy team.
If you are new to baseball, it might be a little surprising to see Francisco Lindor ranked this high among baseball shortstops. Last year was a down year for Lindor, as it became obvious that Lindor wasn't part of Cleveland's future plans, and the team was going to move him when they felt they were getting fair market value. The uncertainty with Lindor's future led to the shortstop hitting just .258 with eight homers in 60 games.
Expect Lindor to regain the form we saw from him in the four years prior, when he was one of the most exciting players in the game. Lindor hit 30 homers in at three straight years, and almost led Cleveland to a World Series title. With the Mets positioning themselves to be a factor in the NL East, Lindor should see a bump in his production, especially with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and others surrounding him in the lineup.
With Nolan Arenado being traded to St. Louis, Trevor Story is now the big dog in Denver. How long Story will be with the Rockies remains to be seen, but until he is traded expect the shortstop to continue racking up the bases. Over the last three years, Story is averaging over two total bases per game.
It remains to be seen if Story is going to see his numbers dip a little since he has very little protection around him the lineup. At least Story will still get to utilize the thin air in Denver to help boost some of his production when he makes contact. A realistic goal for Story this year will be 70 extra base hits. Anything above that would be a bonus, and would have you in good position in your league if he is able to get more than that.
Turner might not have the power numbers of the first few shortstops on this list, but he more than makes up for it when it comes to stolen bases and runs. Turner swiped at least 30 bases in each of the first years prior to last year's shortened season. Even though Turner doesn't have as much power as some of the other top shortstops, he still led baseball in hits last year, recording 78 hits in 59 games.
As long as Turner can stay healthy, he'll be in line for a big season. While Turner did play all 162 games in 2018, and nearly every game last year, he was out for extended periods of time in 2017 and 2019. If Turner can stay healthy, he'll help you get a leg up in other categories early on while others might be focusing on those with bigger power numbers.
New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber TorresJim McIssac - Getty Images
If someone told you after the 2018 and 2019 seasons that Gleyber Torres was only the fifth-ranked shortstop in baseball, you would think they were crazy. In his first two years in the big leagues, Torres smashed 62 homers and drove in 167 runs. Last year saw Torres lose his stroke, smashing just three taters and only driving in 16 runs.
If there was ever a season for Torres to schedule, last year might have been the perfect year to do so since it was a shortened season. It's hard to imagine a talent like Torres continuing to struggle. As long as Torres and the rest of the Yankees stay healthy, the shortstop is going to be a crucial part of a New York lineup that can put up runs in a hurry at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
The rest of the top-10
The rest of the top-10 fantasy baseball shortstops are still ridiculously strong, and it's hard to go wrong with drafting any of them. Tim Anderson has one of the smoothest swings in the game. The White Sox shortstop has hit over ,320 in each of the last two seasons. Basically you can think of Anderson as Trea Turner with a better average but not quite as much speed.
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo BichetteTodd Kirkland - Getty Images
Bo Bichette may be known because of his father, but the Blue Jay has held his own so far in the majors. Even though Bichette has played in just 75 games in his major league career, the shortstop is a key part of a Toronto lineup that is loaded with young talent. Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are going to be a dangerous duo for years to come.
Aside from the 2018 season, where injuries limited Seager to just 26 games, Seager has been living up to the hype since winning Rookie of the Year in the National League in 2016. Last year might have been Seager's best season, as he blasted 15 home runs in just 52 games. With the Dodgers winning the World Series last year, expect even more from Seager and the rest of the boys in blue.
The Red Sox might be rebuilding, but one of their cornerstones now, and for the foreseeable future, is Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop hit 33 homers and 52 doubles in 2019. Even though the Boston lineup isn't quite what it used to be, Bogaerts should again approach those numbers if he avoid injury, which he has done a great job of so far in his career.
Kansas City Royals shortstop Aldalberto MondesiDaniel Shirey - Getty Images
Rounding out the top-10 is Adalberto Mondesi, who has speed for days. Every time Mondesi gets on base, he is a threat to steal. While a lot of the top-10 shortstops are guys with big power nujmbers, Mondesi could give your team a big edge in steals, which are becoming harder to find since stealing bases are becoming more of a lost art.
Ranking the next 10 shortstops
Earlier this week we released the first half of our 2021 power rankings for the upcoming MLB season.
Now that we know who ranks 30-16, we can take a look at the rest of the 15 teams, most of whom will be vying for playoff positions and dreaming about a World Series championship. It's been a wild offseason so far as we've seen a handful of superstar players finding new homes, and top contenders have gotten even better as teams attempt to separate themselves from the rest of the competition.
The Padres, Mets, and Cardinals all made attempts to improve their rosters to catch up with the Dodgers, but the defending champs made a splashy move themselves by signing one of the biggest fish in the free agent pond this winter by acquiring starting pitcher Trevor Bauer who they lured away from the Cincinnati Reds.
Position players, you’re up! https://t.co/N9LADklt0r— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Los Angeles Dodgers) 1614015548.0
2021 may be a season that depicts the haves and the have-not's more than any other in recent history. Thus far, we've seen the top teams spending to get better, and the bottom dwellers shedding whatever talent they have left to build for the future. Let's take a look at the teams that have a good shot to win this season.
15. Los Angeles Angels
2020: Finished 4th in AL West (26-34)
This is a perfect spot for the Angels dead center in the middle of the rankings. The Angels have had Mike Trout for his entire illustrious career, and the entire duration of it has been an utter and complete waste. Trout is undoubtedly one of the most individually talented players the league has seen in 100 years, but whether it's his mentality, leadership skills, or an incapable organization around him, it hasn't resulted in any tangible success.
High, middle, or low, @MikeTrout can hit everything. https://t.co/NdBVWjSJWW— MLB (@MLB) 1613781559.0
The team added some arms to help with their effort to leap over the A's and/or Astros in the standings this year, but offensively they only get Shohei Ohtani back, maybe? The fact that Trout has been able to go through most of his career without being criticized for his inability to help his team to the postseason baffles me. Don't forget that Trout had the opportunity to leave the Angels and test free agency to find himself in a better situation to win, but he chose to stay in California collecting a half billion dollar check while toiling in Middlesville USA with the Angels.
14. Cleveland Indians
2020: Finished T-2nd in AL Central (35-25)
Cleveland is in the midst of an offseason that saw them trade away Carlos Carrasco and Francisco Lindor. Lindor is a top three player at his position and a top 10 or so player in the league. So this may seem like a soft landing spot for a team on the decline, but the Indians have consistently proven the ability to reach into the farm system to pull out replacements for stars.
Cy Young winner Shane Bieber out of Covid-quarantine and has rejoined Tribe's bubble in Goodyear. Working out today.— paul hoynes (@paul hoynes) 1613844513.0
We have seen them do this since they've been regularly making playoff appearances and winning division titles since the mid 90's. The Tribe did add Eddie Rosario and Amed Rosario who will be nice additions to a lineup void of Lindor's bat, but this should be a transition year for an organization looking for their next franchise player. Unless the Twins and White Sox collapse, expect Cleveland to finish where they did last season, 3rd in the AL Central.
13. Milwaukee Brewers
2020: Finished 4th in NL Central (29-31)
Somehow the Brewers made it to the playoffs last year even as former MVP Christian Yelich had a terrible season. Yelich only two years removed from his MVP award hit a paltry .205 with 12 home runs, and his OPS went from 1.100 in 2019 to .786 in 2020. The Brew Crew were also without leadoff man Lorenzo Cain who also provides excellent defense in the outfield. Both will be hoping to turn the team's fortunes around this year, and they'll be joined by Kolten Wong who comes over from Saint Louis.
Poetry in motion. @ChristianYelich | #CactusCrew https://t.co/2nuqQlF5Af— Milwaukee Brewers (@Milwaukee Brewers) 1614023931.0
Milwaukee has some solid arms, Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes lead their starting rotation, and Josh Hader and Devin Williams provide high end stoppers in the bullpen. The Brewers will have stiff competition in the form of the Cardinals and Cubs within their division, and it will be a dogfight in the NL Central all year.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
2020: Finished 1st in AL East (40-20)
While the Rays' run to the World Series in 2020 may have been a bit of a surprise, once we saw them play it appeared that they had a solid foundation to build a dynasty upon. Since losing to the Dodgers though they have begun deconstructing the team that almost got them to the promised land.
Team ace Blake Snell was traded to the Padres and Charlie Morton walked as a free agent. The team has indicated they may be open to trading away more players before the deadline this season. It would be a quick fall from grace for a team that looked to be on the rise behind the play of Randy Arozarena down the stretch last year.
#Rays World Series stars Brett Phillips and Randy Arozarena head out for first full squad workout https://t.co/PhQ2rmgpNr— Marc Topkin (@Marc Topkin) 1614090405.0
The Yankees will be very good, Toronto should be much improved, and Boston will be better. The good news for Rays fans is that they still play in a division with the Orioles.
11. Toronto Blue Jays
2020: Finished 3rd in AL East (32-28)
Adding George Springer and Marcus Semien to a lineup that already included Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Lourdes gurriel Jr. makes Toronto one of the most dangerous batting orders in the American League. Hyun-Jin Ryu was a Cy Young Award finalist in 2020, but the Jays will likely pursue some help for the rotation via a trade before the deadline.
Sights from (🎥 #BlueJays) camp in Dunedin, Florida. INF Vladimir Guerrero Jr. https://t.co/k67ZrRU4pb— Hazel Mae (@Hazel Mae) 1614031988.0
The team should produce plenty of offense, but the question for them is how many runs they can limit their opponents to. Playing in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox means needing a lot of arms to get to the top of this division.
10. Houston Astros
2020: Finished 2nd in AL West (29-31)
Unfortunately Houston is still a good baseball team. For as much as I'd like to see them go winless and all of their players be banned from the MLB for life, that isn't going to happen. Instead I have to take solace in the fact that they will be without Justin Verlander who is recovering from Tommy John surgery which should be enough to keep them from making yet another deep playoff run.
Carlos Correa can become a free agent after the season: “If the #Astros want to extend me I would like to get it do… https://t.co/QdKnXSq3DI— Mark Berman (@Mark Berman) 1614024946.0
Offensively they're still very talented. They fell just short of a third World Series appearance even with down years from Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. The team lost George Springer to the Blue Jays, but they resigned Michael Brantley. The Astros have a few good young arms in the farm system, and they may be needed this season to fill in for their ace Verlander.
9. Saint Louis Cardinals
2020: Finished 3rd in NL Central (30-28)
The acquisition of all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado makes the Cardinals the favorite to win the NL Central this season. The Cubs finished just in front of them last year and now they're without Yu Darvish who they sent to San Diego. Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt present a problem for opposing pitchers in the middle of this order, and they have a very solid pitching staff to support their offense.
Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, Nolan Arenado, Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Josh Bell were all traded this offse… https://t.co/rEuT1Tz7Ad— Danny Vietti (@Danny Vietti) 1613505163.0
With no real powerhouse contenders in the NL Central the path is clearing for the Cards to return to the top of the standings in the division, and just maybe another World Series appearance.
8. Washington Nationals
2020: Finished T-4th in NL East (26-34)
After winning the World Series in 2019, the Nationals appeared to be dealing with a major championship hangover in 2020. Finishing at the bottom of their division and looking flat most of the year, the Nationals decided they needed some new blood on the roster entering 2021.
TASK: Choose a 22-year-old. 🔃 for Juan Soto 💙 for Fernando Tatis Jr https://t.co/3VTOxdq7nE— Dan Clark Sports (@Dan Clark Sports) 1613683204.0
Stephen Strasburg was injured a lot in 2020, but when healthy he's part of a lethal rotation that includes himself, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin. Washington also brought in Jon Lester to solidify the rotation, and Brad Hand who has been a proven closer in both the American and National League. To round out the team's offseason acquisitions all-star first baseman Josh Bell was acquired from the Pirates, and long time Cub, Kyle Schwarber was signed as a free agent.
Overall the Nationals did a lot to improve the club and most importantly they added depth in places they needed to, especially with the addition of Lester who can alleviate any losses to the starting rotation due to injury.
7. Minnesota Twins
2020: Finished 1st in AL Central (36-24)
Minnesota looked the part of a championship contender during the 2020 regular season, but were swept by the Astros in the Wild Card round of the playoffs 2-0. With one of the highest run producing lineups in baseball, the Twins will return mostly the same roster with some minor improvements on the defensive side.
Nelson Cruz is heading back to the Twins on a 1-year, $13M deal. (via @JeffPassan & @jonmorosi) https://t.co/BAle0MOOiJ— FOX Sports: MLB (@FOX Sports: MLB) 1612327698.0
Andrelton Simmons was brought in, who is a former Gold Glove award winner, and J.A. Happ and Alex Colome will add to an already strong group of pitchers. There are quite a few strong contenders in the AL Central this season, but Minnesota is hoping that their explosive offense will be enough to keep them at the top of the division in 2021.
6. New York Mets
2020: Finished T-4th in NL East (26-34)
The Mets were one of the first teams to strike with a major move this offseason. By making the trade with Cleveland to acquire Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, the Mets fast-tracked their timetable for winning a championship. Even in the current state of the league where we have giants like the Dodgers and Yankees standing in the way, the Mets will be toting a starting rotation that will include Jacob deGrom, the aforementioned Carrasco, and the returning Marcus Stroman who opted out in 2020 and Noah Syndergaard who missed last year because of Tommy John surgery.
Star gazing! 🤩 https://t.co/vtuiomF8Ag— New York Mets (@New York Mets) 1614013451.0
As for Lindor, he will join a lineup that already includes Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, and Dominic Smith. The Mets should be considered one of the favorites to reach the World Series out of the NL if they can stay healthy. Even though they missed out on the Trevor Bauer sweepstakes, it already seems like people have forgotten how impactful the Lindor and Carrasco acquisitions by New York are going to affect baseball this Fall.
5. Chicago White Sox
2020: Finished T-2nd in AL Central (35-25)
The other Chicago baseball team is starting to look like the lead dog in the Windy City. As the Cubs have a bunch of major stars playing on expiring contracts, the White Sox are a team on the rise. After making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade last season, the Sox are looking to build upon the success they've started to enjoy.
Big goals for the Big Baby. https://t.co/xwVKJtrOda— Chicago White Sox (@Chicago White Sox) 1614042008.0
With one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball the organization knew they needed to add some arms to get them further than they got last year. In December, the team traded for starter Lance Lynn who will join Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel to form a very formidable front end rotation. But maybe more important for the team's success was the signing of Liam Hendriks who will serve as the team's closer. Hendriks had been fantastic in Oakland the past few seasons and helped them during their playoff run in 2020.
Long story short, the White Sox are a major World Series contender.
4. Atlanta Braves
2020: Finished 1st in NL East (35-25)
Atlanta wants another shot at the Dodgers this year after losing to them in the NLCS in 2020. After Mike Soroka went down with a torn Achilles, the rotation felt a little thin to be going up against the likes of the Dodgers or any other World Series contender. It was their offense led by the performance of Marcell Ozuna that really kept them advancing throughout the year.
Five @Braves land in the #Top100RightNow ▪️#4 Freddie Freeman ▪️#7 Ronald Acuña Jr. ▪️#37 Marcell Ozuna ▪️#70 Max… https://t.co/tf4BaUDqTw— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOX Sports: Braves) 1613697079.0
The team made it a priority to resign Ozuna who was an MVP candidate in 2020, and also addressed their starting rotation by bringing in Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton. It's unknown when Soroka will be ready to return, but when he does the Braves' starting pitching will go from being a weakspot in 2020 to a strength in 2021. Max Fried and Ian Anderson both improved while being asked to lead the rotation and any progression from them could mean trouble for the rest of the NL East this season.
3. New York Yankees
2020: Finished 2nd in AL East (33-27)
While the Yankees haven't made any splashy moves like the teams ahead of them on this list, they have made some very smart ones. For a short time it looked like the team and DJ LeMahieu weren't going to be able to come to terms on a new deal, but the two sides agreed to a six year contract last month. Retaining their star second baseman means the Bronx Bombers will get to run it back with the lineup they were hoping to be out there last season.
Full squad's here 💪 https://t.co/ocDHvGpQFd— New York Yankees (@New York Yankees) 1614007061.0
Injuries have been a thorn in the side of the organization over the past few seasons, but if they can keep this roster intact the Yankees should undoubtedly contend from start to finish. Two pitchers the team brought in this offseason are coming off injuries of their own, but Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber both have high ceilings if they're able to return to previous form. Luis Severino is also expected to return at some point in 2021 after Tommy John surgery, but the team will be without Masahiro Tanaka who decided to return to play in Japan this offseason.
As long as Gerrit Cole and their bats are working, the Yankees could be adding some more hardware to their crowded trophy room.
2. San Diego Padres
2020: Finished 2nd in NL West (37-23)
The Padres started scratching the surface of what this team could be in 2020. Even though the Dodgers knocked them out of the playoffs in the NLDS, the Padres weren't expected to be there in the first place. That alerted the Padres' brass that this team is ready to win now. As a result we have seen San Diego be very active this offseason and now have one of the best starting rotations in baseball.
No longer unwritten. 🖋 https://t.co/MeyCBkvkgl— San Diego Padres (@San Diego Padres) 1614024032.0
The club traded for Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA), Joe Musgrove (1-5, 3.86) and Blake Snell (4-2, 3.24 ERA) who will join Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack. The extension of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. proves that the club is dedicated to long term success and they've identified Tatis as the focal point to build around. The only offensive addition was Ha-seong Kim from the KBO who can rake, but the Padres lineup will look mostly the same as last year. Don't mess with success.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2020: Finished 1st in NL West (43-17)
No surprise here. The rich got richer this offseason and the defending champs will enter 2021 as the favorite to do it again. Their offense will be led again by Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger but they can hurt you 1 through 9 in the order and have reserves that can continue that trend.
Walker Buehler said he thinks Trevor Bauer's personality will fit in just fine with the team and the starting rotat… https://t.co/s9F4kxbpS9— Blake Harris (@Blake Harris) 1613846744.0
More impressive will be there rotation after signing Trevor Bauer to add to Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. This is a baseball team designed to win a lot of games, and in a playoff series opponents will have to worry about seeing their elite three starters twice. With so many great teams entering the 2021 season, the Dodgers still seem far and away in a league of their own.
It may take some in season trades for anyone to seriously contend with LA this year.
Fernando Tatis Jr.'s extension means that we've now seen the four richest contracts in MLB history signed in the past three off seasons.
Tatis' extension is worth $340 million over the next 14 years, and is the third richest contract in league history. Mike Trout still owns the biggest MLB contract at $426.5 million signed in 2019. Mookie Betts owns the second richest contract in league history that will earn him $365 million that he inked with the Dodgers in 2020.
Tatis's $340M extension is the 3rd-largest contract ever handed out in MLB history. 💰 Mike Trout - $426.5M 💰 Mooki… https://t.co/RmmtLHgzYq— ESPN (@ESPN) 1613613652.0
Tatis is only 22 years old however and isn't coming with a long track record of success in the league so there is some inherent risk in this move by the Padres organization. To compare, Trout and Betts were both 27 when they signed their mega-deals. However, Tatis has burst onto the MLB scene since his debut and has been a driving force behind the Padres becoming must-watch TV.
The young squad earned the moniker Slam Diego as the team increased their team home run ranking from 20th in 2019 (Tatis' rookie season) to 4th in 2020. Tatis only played in 84 games during his rookie season due to a lower back injury that forced the team to shut him down for the year. He still managed to finish third in NL Rookie of the Year voting finishing with a .317 batting average, 22 home runs, and 53 runs batted in.
To follow up on his stellar rookie performance Tatis continued to progress in his second MLB campaign in the truncated 2020 season. In the 60 game season Tatis slashed his way to a .277 batting average with 17 homers, 45 RBI, 50 runs scored and 11 steals and he finished fourth in NL MVP voting trailing only Mookie Betts, his teammate Manny Machado, and the eventual winner of the award Freddie Freeman.
Pretty good company to keep.
The Padres made it to the playoffs last year for the first time in 14 seasons. Much of that was due to the explosive offense led by Machado and Tatis (now both with $300 million contracts). Tatis made the most of his playoff experience as he hit .318, smashed two homers, drove in five runs, and scored five runs himself in San Diego's matchups against the Cardinals and Dodgers in the 2020 postseason.
San Diego fell just short of a World Series appearance last year, and the organization must feel like they are within striking distance of bringing a championship to Pacific Beach as they've been very active this offseason bringing in two all star caliber arms in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish. The Padres had spent the better part of a decade and a half floating up and down the standings in the NL West which allowed them to acquire a lot of high level talent in their farm system through the draft. The team in turn used a lot of those assets in acquiring Snell and Darvish in trades, but the results in San Diego owning one of the best looking starting rotations in baseball in 2021, and an even better one in 2022.
Darvish, who was once thought to be washed up, revitalized his career in Chicago with the Cubs and he finished second in NL Cy Young award voting last season. Darvish has returned to his dominant form we saw from him early on in his career with the Texas Rangers. Snell, a Cy Young winner himself in 2018, has to be excited to join a team with the kind of offense the Padres will be toting out there as his 3.24 career ERA should be good enough to get him close to that 21 win mark he had during his Cy Young year.
Padres have the best pitching staff in the league by 10% over 2nd place. https://t.co/jfhnnSxdgk— peter thomas (@peter thomas) 1613500601.0
They will be joined by Mike Clevinger in 2022 when he returns from Tommy John surgery which must make the team's old ace, Dinelson Lamet, pretty happy considering the amount of pressure that is taken off his shoulders with all the help hitting the team's rotation. It doesn't appear that the Padres have many weaknesses heading into this season. One knock on them was they didn't have a clear closer at the end of their bullpen, but the recent signing of veteran reliever, Mark Melancon, should put those questions to bed.
We're all excited to see the next installment of the Slam Diego series, but now that the left side of their infield is worth nearly three quarters of a billion dollars, there are going to be some hefty expectations for this young team to live up to. If you didn't have a reason to watch Tatis and the Padres this season, now you have 340 million of them.
As Ferris Beuller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it.
Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
The first instances of the NFL schedule being affected by positive COVID-19 cases occurred over the past week. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans game has been moved to Week 7, and the Steelers game against the Baltimore Ravens was in turn moved to Week 8. After multiple cases came out of the Tennessee organization, they're being investigated by the league to determine if they broke protocol. If that were to be the case, they would be subject to further punishment by the league.
Also rescheduled due to COVID-19 is the matchup between New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, which was moved to tonight; we will now have two Monday night football games on the schedule. Cam Newton tested positive, and his loss will be a huge blow to the Patriots' chances of getting a win against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Some notable results from Week 4 of the NFL include the Panthers winning their second game of the season without Christian McCaffrey, Joe Burrow getting his first career win over the Jaguars, the Browns outlasting the Cowboys in a thriller bringing them to 3-1, and Seahawks continue to cook as they improve to 4-0.
For more NFL coverage, check back for the Weekly Round Up article released every Tuesday.
Winning is fun— Joey Burrow (@Joey Burrow) 1601850554.0
So many good matchups. Next week is gonna be fun — MLB playoffs: Bracket, schedule, dates, with divisional round se… https://t.co/X4VKHPw03d— Tim White (@Tim White) 1601723505.0
Last week's Wild Card Round resulted in six of the eight series being 2-0 sweeps. Oakland defeated the White Sox in three games, and it took three for the Padres to dispose of St. Louis. The Divisional Round games start Monday as the two AL series begin.
FERNANDO TATIS JR. THE FACE OF BASEBALL HAS DONE IT AGAIN!! https://t.co/uaA3Hu8o5a— Jared Carrabis (@Jared Carrabis) 1601606762.0
The Yankees will take on division rival Tampa Bay as the top two AL East teams fight for a spot in the ALCS. The Rays' starting rotation may be the best in baseball, and they had an 8-2 record against the Bronx Bombers in the regular season. The Yankees will look to get two solid outings from Gerrit Cole in this series and hope that their bats continue to produce as they did against Cleveland.
Yankees vs. Rays on Monday 😁 https://t.co/0hFTqITGXh— Ballplayer Buzz (@Ballplayer Buzz) 1601753060.0
After taking out the talented young White Sox squad, the Oakland A's have Houston in the second round. The Astros seek to continue to silence their critics which will only grow louder if they continue to advance. The A's will need to get a better start from Jesus Luzardo in this series, but their bullpen has been reliable when called upon. This matchup will come down to whether the Oakland pitching can be better than Houston's bats. Unfortunately, the Astros have the advantage in this series.
The Marlins were the surprise from the first round after sweeping the Cubs; they will be matched against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves took the last regular season series against Miami 2-1 and certainly have the lineup to produce plenty of offense featuring Ronald Acuna, Marcell Ozuna, and Freddie Freeman. The Marlins will need to get repeat performances from starters Sandy Alcantara and Sixto Sanchez in order to win this series.
The other NLDS series includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are the favorite to win the World Series, and they will face the Padres. San Diego has been one of the most exciting teams to watch all season, and that trend has extended into the playoffs. Facing elimination in Game 2, the Padres' resilient group fought back to overcome a 4 run deficit twice to even the series. They carried that momentum into Game 3 to close out the series, and hopefully they can continue their run against Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, and the loaded Dodgers team. This is a must-watch series that features the blue blood Dodgers against the upstart Slam Diego Padres.
Clayton Kershaw was lights out 😤 🔹 8 IP 🔹 0 Runs 🔹 13 Strikeouts 🔹 W https://t.co/Z9qUwIG1ef— ESPN (@ESPN) 1601615041.0
LeBron walked off the court with 10 seconds left. https://t.co/zTvwZhHDq5— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1601865857.0
We have seen the first three games of the NBA Finals now, and Jimmy Butler has yet again proven that we know nothing about the Heat. After the Lakers jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, everyone assumed Miami was dead in the water–especially since the Heat lost two starters in the series opener and Bam Adebayo (neck) and Goran Dragic (foot) missed both Games 2 and 3.
Game 3 was expected to be LeBron and the Lakers laying the groundwork for a sweep, but instead Miami was able to get Anthony Davis into early foul trouble, which limited his impact in the first half. While Los Angeles struggled to get anything going offensively, Miami's confidence grew behind the play of Jimmy Butler. The Lakers were sloppy with the ball and at times looked uninterested, if not distracted, by the thought of hoisting the championship trophy. They finished with 19 turnovers and allowed Miami to score 52 points in the paint.
Jimmy Butler was spectacular and had one of the all time playoff performances of this generation. Playing 45 minutes, Butler finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. The catalyst for Erik Spoelstra's team, Butler played the best basketball of his life on the biggest stage. While Tyler Herro and the rest of the team struggled to contribute, Butler put his team on his shoulders and carried them to the finish line.
Jimmy Butler is the first player to outscore, outrebound and out-assist LeBron James in a Finals game, including Le… https://t.co/r7OlCsAemQ— Marc J. Spears (@Marc J. Spears) 1601866079.0
This series is NOT over yet. If we've learned anything from the Heat this postseason, it's to never count them out. So I'm done doing that and I'm just going to tune in on Tuesday night to see what happens. LeBron has seen his fair share of losses in the Finals, so he is very aware of what a team looks and feels like when they aren't in a good place to finish the job. Game 3 was certainly an example of a team that wasn't ready to close. It may have explained James' poor sportsmanship, as he left the floor before time was up, forcing Frank Vogel to pull someone off the bench to run out the clock.
The Seattle Storm has jumped out to a 2-0 series lead in the WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces. Breanna Stewart set the tone for the series going for 37 points and 15 rebounds in Game 1. Stewart added 22 points and 5 assists Sunday night in Game 2 and Sue Bird had a double double with 16 points and 10 assists in 27 minutes. In Game 1 Bird set the WNBA Playoff and Finals assist record with 16!
HISTORY FOR SUE BIRD. Bird sets a WNBA Finals record with 12 assists in a game ... and it’s only the third quarter… https://t.co/aEg2KouUlU— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1601684451.0
The Aces have missed the presence of two-time sixth woman of the year, Dearica Hamby, who is sidelined with a knee injury. A'ja Wilson has been good, averaging 19.5 points and 6.5 rebounds so far in the Finals, and Angel McCoughtry has provided two solid performances for Las Vegas. Until they can figure out how to slow down the Storm's offensive attack, however, getting back into this series will be an uphill struggle.
James Rodriguez scored twice helping Everton to a 4-2 win over Brighton and now sit atop the table with 12 points and a 4-0-0 record to begin the new campaign. Rodriguez is coming off lackluster tenures with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, but seems to be rejuvenated with his new club. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored for Everton in every match so far this season, including a hat trick. If they can continue to maintain this level of attack, then they may find themselves in contention to win the league.
🤣 | A reminder that Richard Keys said this after we announced Rodriguez: "I'm not convinced by James Rodriguez.… https://t.co/DgskaKY81d— The Everton Way (@The Everton Way) 1601797299.0
Man United and Liverpool fans when they see each other at work/school/college today https://t.co/iKovFahrou— Troll Football (@Troll Football) 1601905110.0
Manchester United also suffered an embarrassing loss to Tottenham. After Bruno Fernandes put away an early penalty, Tottenham quickly responded to draw even at 1-1 and then controlled the pace of play until Anthony Martial was red carded and sent off in the 28th minute. Playing with 10 men, Manchester United looked overwhelmed and overmatched as Tottenham controlled 62% of possession and outshot their opposition 22-5. The result was a 6-1 Tottenham victory, and they now have the look of a team ready to compete for trophies. As for Man U, they are towards the bottom of the table and have the look of a team in danger of being relegated.