Ness Notes for August 25
You have to love the NFL, the regular season, or the preseason! The Dolphins surpassed the Panthers 323 yards to 145 last night, winning 20 FD against Carolina’s nine (the Panthers were just 2 of 14 on third downs). However, the final score said Carolina 19-10, a win and a ‘cover’ for the Panthers!
My free game for Friday is at the Oak A’s over the Tex Rangers at 8:35 ET. It’s a Las Vegas Insider Friday as I look forward to extending my current 7-1 (87.5%) career in MLB (as of Aug 5) and looking for three straight Las Vegas Insider wins in the NFLX (won with the Cardinals in Week 1 and 30-3 with the Pats in week 2) with my LONE Las Vegas Insider in week 3 of the NFLX. Also, check back for more information on MLB.
How did the Panthers win? First, the Dolphins had a 32-yard TD pass disallowed for a penalty and then, in that same drive, Ronnie Brown stopped on a play of fourth and one at the goal line. An excellent outfield tackle ended another Miami drive into Carolina territory, forcing a 23-yard Mare FG. Then, on the opening kick that followed, Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams returned it for a 98-yard TD! Soccer is back!
Week 3 continues with five more games tonight, highlighted by the Giants and Jets at Meadowlands (8:00 ET) and the Steelers visiting the Eagles in Philadelphia at 8:00 ET on ESPN. Carolina’s victory last night lifts the team’s record to 3-0 (2-1 ATS), joining the Oakland Raiders (who played in the HOF game) as the only 3-0 teams in the NFL this preseason (the Raiders they are also 3-0 ATS).
Four other teams, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston and the NY Giants join Carolina and Oakland as still undefeated teams this preseason. These six teams have combined to go 14-0 SU and 13-1 ATS. ATS ‘only loss came in Week 1 when the Panthers beat the Bills 14-13 as a three-point favorite.
The Giants and Cowboys share five-game preseason winning streaks (both are also 5-0 ATS), the longest active preseason winning streak among NFL teams. The Giants play the Jets tonight and are favored by 4 1/2 points with a total of 36. The Cowboys host the 49ers on Saturday night at 8:00 ET and are favored by seven points with a total of 36.
Six teams remain winless in the preseason this year, all 0-2. The list includes Buffalo, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Washington. All six teams are a combined SU 0-12 and not much better ATS, at 2-10.
The Steelers play in Philadelphia tonight and it will be interesting if Big Ben finally gets to see some action, having attempted only eight passes so far. The Eagles have played three games and McNabb has looked good. Philadelphia is favored by three points (34 1/2).
The Chiefs and Colts are winless and both have streaks of eight preseason losses in their games this week. The Colts are in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday night (7:00 ET) to play the Saints, while the Chiefs host the Rams at 8:30 ET Saturday. The Colts, who are 2-6 ATS during their slide, are favored by 3 1/2 points with a total of 42, while the Chiefs, who are 0-8 ATS during their eight-game knockdown, are favored by 3 1 / 2 points with a total of 39 1/2.
Thursday night’s 6-2 win over the Cardinals gave the Mets seven straight wins overall and 11 straight at Shea Stadium, their longest home winning streak since September 1995. The Mets (78-48) ) moved 30 games over .500 for the first time since 1999 and lead Philadelphia in second place by 14 1/2 games in the NL East.
New York’s seven-game winning streak is the longest active in MLB, with the Marlins and Padres (both had days off yesterday) streaks of four straight wins being second best. The Rockies are on a six-game losing streak when the game begins Friday, the longest active losing streak in MLB.
The highlight of Thursday’s play included the White Sox defeating the Tigers, 10-0. Detroit had beaten Chicago in the first two games of this four-game series, but Chicago won the last two games, leaving them 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central and keeping them half a game ahead of the Twins in the wild card race.
Jon Garland pitched a complete blank game and has now won each of his last 10 road starts. In the past 10 years, only two other pitchers have had such long streaks, David Wells (he won 13 consecutive road starts between 1999 and 2000) and Chris Carpenter (10 in a row in 2005).
Carlos Zambrano continued his season-long role as stopper for the Cubs, pitching seven innings and taking the win against Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon. It was their 10th win this season that immediately followed a loss to the Cubs, the most such wins in the majors. It was the fifth time this year that Zambrano won a game to stop Chicago’s losing streak of at least three games. The Cubs are 18-10 (.643) in games started by Zambrano and just 36-63 (.364) in games he doesn’t have!
The weekend kicks off with a full 15-game schedule and two AL series feature the most interesting stories. The Minnesota Twins look to take sole possession of the AL wild-card lead Friday night when they begin a critical three-game series against the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field (8:35 ET).
Minnesota (74-52) got off to a slow start during the first two months of the season before turning the Twins, who are 49-19 since June 8 after opening the season 25-33, tied even. with the White Sox (75-52). after sweeping a three-game series in Chicago on July 24-26, but I’ve never been able to take the lead.
Radke (12-9, 4.35 ERA) starts for the Twins and is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts against the White Sox this year, while Javier Vázquez (11-8, 5.13) will face Minnesota for the second straight outing. . He was the underdog Sunday, when he allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings in a 7-3 loss.
The Angels host the Yankees tonight in Anaheim (10:05 ET) in the first game of a three-game series. The Angels (67-61) are 4-3 against the Yankees (76-50) this season and are looking to capture the season series for the third year in a row. They are 53-51 against New York since the start of the 1996 season, the only team with a winning record against the Yankees during manager Joe Torre’s tenure. Los Angeles also eliminated New York from the playoffs twice in four years, including a five-game division series victory last season.
Jaret Wright (9-7, 4.63) returns to the rotation when he takes the mound for New York. Wright hasn’t started since August. 17, although he has made a couple of appearances outside the bullpen since that outing. He is 4-1 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 road starts this year, but just 2-2 with a 7.60 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels.
John Lackey (10-9, 3.92 ERA) has struggled in his career against the Yankees, going 3-6 with a 5.74 ERA in nine regular-season starts. He lost in New York on August 1. 14 after allowing three runs and 11 hits in seven innings in a 7-2 loss. He is 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA in his last four starts and opponents are hitting .332 against him in his last eight outings after hitting .195 in his first 18. Lackey is 5-4 with an ERA. of 4.28 in 14 home starts (team is 8-6).
Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.