A. Adrian Beltre
. The Rangers' 37-year-old slugger has 2,942 career hits, leaving him just
58 shy of the 3,000 mark. It may take a little extra time to get there,
however, because Beltre (calf) is starting a season on the disabled list
for the first time since 2001. "I'm not saying it's wrong (for me to be on
the DL); it's just difficult to accept," he explained. "I think I could
play with it; I could manage it. I'm disappointed, but it's better to miss
a week than six or seven."
Texas (Perez)is a +139 home underdog
against Cleveland (Carrasco) on Tuesday, per BetOnline Sportsbook.
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B. Brad Keselowski . Keselowski became the first two-time winner in this NASCAR season and turned in his fifth straight top-five performance when he triumphed at Martinsville Speedway this past Sunday. The No. 2 car passed Kyle Busch with 43 laps to go and coasted to victory.
C. Carmelo Anthony . Anthony says he has come to terms with a reduced role for the remainder of the Knicks' season because he sees "the writing on the wall." New York is 29-48, officially eliminated from playoff contention, and is giving younger players more floor time. Anthony's role has been nothing the last two games because of a back injury, but he is expected to play on Tuesday against Chicago. The Knicks are +3.5 home underdogs , according to MyBookie.ag.
D. Detroit Red Wings . That's it; the Red Wings' streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances is over. Detroit, which is a disappointing 32-35-12, was officially eliminated from postseason contention last Tuesday. Of course, the Cleveland Browns are impressed that the Wings have now only missed the playoffs one season in a row!
E. Erik Karlsson . Speaking of streaks ending, Karlsson had played in 324 straight games dating back to February of 2013. The Senators' ironman defenseman, who was only 2,308 games short of Cal Ripken's MLB record, finally missed one when an injury kept him out of last Thursday's contest against Minnesota. Karlsson returned on Monday, but Ottawa's losing skid extended to five games with a shootout loss to Detroit.
F. Federer, Roger . A few seasons it looked like age was catching up to Federer. Now he's just getting better with it. Federer captured his third title of 2017 and improved to 3-0 against Rafael Nadal this season with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the Miami Open final this past Sunday. Federer also lifted the trophy at the Australian Open and in Indian Wells. He is +1000 at Bovada Sportsbook to win the French Open.
G. Goal . Bastian Schweinsteiger wasted no time making an instant impact with the Chicago Fire. In his Major League Soccer debut last week, Schewinsteiger headed in a goal during the 17th minute of Chicago's 2-2 draw against Montreal. By the way, how fun is it to say, "Schweinsteiger"? Well, it's probably not as fun as it is for him to be married to Ana Ivanovic.
H. Houston Open . The last tournament leading up to the Masters took place last week. It was Georgia native Russell Henley's last chance to qualify, and that is exactly what he did by winning the Shell Houston Open. Henley trailed 54-hole leader Sung Kang by four strokes after three rounds but carded a Sunday 65 to win by three.
I. Indiana Pacers .The Pacers at least took Cleveland to double-overtime this past Sunday. Then again, taking Cleveland to double-overtime isn't even that impressive these days. Indiana ended up falling 135-130 amidst 41 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists delivered by LeBron James. The Pacers have now lost four in a row and are tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with Miami.
J. Jeurys Familia . Familial problems for Familia will leave him shelved for the first 15 games of the baseball season. The Mets' closer was given the ban last Wednesday by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident involving his wife last year.
K. Kevin Durant . Healing almost as fast as Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Terminator," Durant is schedule to return on Saturday after suffering a sprained MCL on Feb. 28. As if the Warriors even need him! Since going 2-4 in their first six games without Durant, they have reeled off 11 wins in a row. Golden State is a -175 favorite at BookMaker to win the NBA title.
L. LPGA . At the LPGA's first major of 2017 last week, Lexi Thompson marked a two-foot putt on the 17thhole of the third round and then put her ball back a couple of centimeters away from its initial location. This was caught by a random television viewer…but not until Sunday afternoon. After said television viewer e-mailed the LPGA, officials looked at the tape and deemed there had been an infraction. Thompson found after she was done with 12 holes of her final roundthat she had been given a four-stroke penalty. She did well to force a playoff but ended up losing to So YeonRyu. Madness.
M. Masters . It is one of the most wonderful weeks of the year: Opening Day, the college basketball National Championship, and the Masters. BetOnline Sportsbook has Dustin Johnson as a +600 favorite.
N. Newton, Cam . Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery for a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder last Thursday. He appears to have an injured brain, as well. According to a recent Instagram post, the Panthers' quarterback named named his second child-a daughter who is currently three months old-Sovereign-Dior Cambella Newton.
O. Odor, Rougned . The Rangers' second baseman signed a new six-year contract last week that will pay him at least $49.5 million. It also included two horses courtesy of the team. You can't make this stuff up, folks.
P. Premier League . Chelsea can all but lock up the English Premier League title with a few more wins, but it did nothing of the sort against Crystal Palace last Saturday. The Blues were upset 2-1 after allowing two goals in the first 11 minutes. They had previously not given up two goals in an entire match since January 4. MyBookie.ag has Chelsea as a -140 favorite over Manchester City on Wednesday.
Q. Quiet, please . That's the message Kris Bryant's dad is sending to LaVar Ball. The Ball brothers' dad has said too many things to name, most notably that Lonzo is already better than Stephen Curry. "The guy is going to ruin it for his kids," Mike Bryant said last week.
R. Russell Westbrook
. There's not much doubt left; Westbrook is going to average a
triple-double and break Oscar Robertson's record of 41 triple-doubles in a
single season. Oklahoma City's star guard went for 57 points in a
triple-double (his 40th of the 2016-17 campaign) against Orlando
last Wednesday, during a current streak of six straight triple-doubles. 5Dimes Sportsbook has
the Thunder as -4.5 home favorites over Milwaukee on Tuesday.
S. Steven Stamkos . Close to returning from mid-November knee surgery, Stamkos remained out when Tampa Bay beat Dallas 6-3 last Sunday. The Lightning's captain had 20 points through 17 games before getting injured.
T. Tar Heels . After coming so close last year, North Carolina redeemed itself by returning to the national title game and winning it with a 71-65 victory over Gonzaga on Monday night. Take note, Atlanta Falcons fans, Cleveland Indians fans, Alabama Crimson Tide fans, and Jordan Spieth fans!
U. UConn . The women's NCAA Tournament was over before it started. But then it wasn't. In one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, Connecticut lost to Mississippi State 66-64 in overtime in last Friday's semifinals. Thus ended streaks of 111 straight wins and four straight national titles. The Bulldogs ended up losing in the National Championship 67-55 to SEC rival South Carolina.
V. Venus Williams . At 36 years and 10 months old, Venus became the oldest player to beat a world No. 1 when she took down Angelique Kerber in the Miami quarterfinals last week. Like the South Carolina women, however, Venus did not enjoy success for long. She lost the next day to eventual champion Johanna Konta.
W. Watson, DeShaun . Former Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson was asked by fellow patrons to leave a Tuscaloosa bar last Friday night. The question is: why would Watson go to a bar in Tuscaloosa when he surely doesn't have to pay for anything in Clemson, South Carolina for the rest of his life? The Tigers are +2000 at GT Bets to win it all again next season.
X. Denotes clinched playoff berth . The NHL's longest playoff drought is over for the Oilers. Having failed to reach the postseason since 2005-06, they clinched a spot with last week's 2-1 victory over Los Angeles. Edmonton has since won two more for a five-game winning streak. The Oilers are -105 underdogs at Los Angeles on Tuesday, as indicated by Bovada Sportsbook.
Y. Yu Darvish . Darvish was the Rangers' Opening Day starter for the first time in his career. It was not a particularly memorable outing on Monday, when he allowed four runs on four hits and five walks in 6.1 innings of work as Texas fell to Cleveland 8-5.
Z. Zags . Gonzaga did well to reach its first Final Four and first title game, but it simply could not buy a bucket against the Heels. The Bulldogs shot only 33.9 percent (20-for-59) and were thus unable to triumph even though Carolina was a horrendous 4-for-27 from three-point range. An instant classic of a National Championship game that was not!
Read more articles by Ricky Dimon
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