Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts
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Hello sports fans, it's Shanna McCarriston, here to deliver all the sports news you need on this wonderful Wednesday. I am going to choose not to get too into the Red Sox game, which was disappointing for me and other New Englanders, because we will get to more of that later and I am choosing not to discuss it any more than I have to.

So moving on. Today we will of course discuss the results of the two huge MLB League Championship Series games played last night. 

We'll also continue our weekly tradition of going over the NFL Power Rankings and the Cardinals continue to dominate. Let me know on Twitter who you think is the most overrated team and I might just discuss some of them in tomorrow's newsletter. 

There is more news out of the 76ers practice and you won't be shocked to hear it is all surrounding Ben Simmons. We'll conclude the main items section with a grand welcome back to the NBA.

Why waste anymore time, let's get to it.

📰 What you need to know

1. MLB recap ⚾

Last night, we saw two exciting playoff baseball games, one close and one that lost control right at at the end. The Braves and Dodgers were up first and L.A. got their first win of the NLCS.

Up next were the Red Sox and Astros and Houston bounced back from a Game 3 loss to tie up the series.

Here is a look at how both games went:

The Braves entered the game up 2-0 in the series and if you read my previous newsletter, you know teams who go up two games in a seven game series end up winning the series over 80% of the time. The defending champions seemed to be in trouble heading into Tuesday night, but the Dodgers bounced back last night to get their first win in the series in dramatic fashion.

Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts lead a wild comeback to help Los Angeles end the night with a 6-5 victory.

The team was five outs away from going down 0-3 in the series, but the Dodgers had an eventful eighth inning to prevent that from happening. Bellinger hit a game-tying, three-run homer off reliever Luke Jackson and shortly after that, Mookie Betts doubled home Chris Taylor for the winning run.

Game 4 is tonight in Los Angeles with Atlanta up 2-1 in the series.

The Red Sox have been scoring machines and seem to hit a grand slam every time you tune in, but last night was different. Boston had a dominant Game 3 win to go up 2-1 in the series and last night it was the Astros who got the win on the road to even things up.

The Red Sox had the lead until the Astros tied it up in the eighth. The game was close all the way up until the ninth inning, where Houston took a 2-2 game and gave themselves a comfortable 9-2 lead. The Red Sox had one last shot to tie it up or get ahead, but couldn't put any more on the board. 

The ALCS is now all tied up at two each and Game 5 will be tonight at Fenway Park.

2. NFL Power Rankings 🏈


It's Wednesday and you know what that means, let's judge some NFL teams. We are six weeks into the season, which means we're still in the first half, but we have seen a decent amount of football which makes me feel comfortable saying the Ravens are the real deal. They seem like a dangerous AFC team that can really challenge anyone at this point and if they continue like this a Super Bowl could be in their future.

In this week's NFL Power Rankings the Cardinals remained in the top spot. They stayed undefeated so I think they deserve to stay at No. 1. The Vikings moved up the most, going up seven spots to now occupy No. 15 after two straight wins.

The news isn't as great for the Bears, who saw the greatest decline this week, plummeting six spots down to No. 19.

Here is a look at the top 10 teams along with how many spots they moved since last week:

  • No. 1: Cardinals, did not move
  • No. 2: Packers, moved up one spot
  • No. 3: Rams, moved up one spot
  • No. 4: Buccaneers, moved up two spots
  • No. 5: Cowboys, moved up two spots
  • No. 6: Ravens, moved up two spots
  • No. 7: Bills, moved down five spots
  • No. 8: Chargers, moved down three spots
  • No. 9: Saints, moved up two spots
  • No. 10: Chiefs, moved up two spots

This week I have the most concern about the Browns, who are dealing with a lengthy injury report. At the beginning of the season I saw them making a deep playoff run, but until they get healthy those predictions are on hold.

I am currently loving the NFC race, we have the Cardinals, Packers, Rams, Bucs and Cowboys all as legitimate contenders right now and not to get ahead of myself, but I'm already looking forward to how this shapes up down the stretch.

3. Ben Simmons suspended by 76ers 🏀


If for any reason you thought the drama between the 76ers and Ben Simmons was close to over, think again. Simmons was suspended for the team's season opener against the Pelicans for conduct deferential to the team. Translation: the team sees him as a distraction.

On Tuesday, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice for being disengaged. The suspension did not come long after he was tossed from practice. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Rivers asked Simmons to participate in a defensive drill, but Simmons would not. Rivers then told him to go home and Simmons left.

  • Rivers said: "I thought he was a distraction today. I didn't think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing. At the end of the day, as a coach, I had to protect the team. The team [comes] first, and then we get to the other part. So today, I thought it was more important to focus on the team." 
  • After practice, Joel Embiid said of Simmons: "At this point I don't care about that man honestly. He does whatever he wants. That's not my job. ... I'm only focused on trying to make the team better, win some games, play hard every night, and try to lead the guys that we have here, and I'm sure they feel the same way because our chemistry has been excellent despite everything that's been happening for the last few months. So like I said, I don't really care." 

Simmons has wanted out of Philadelphia and threatened to sit out for the season, but recently made his return to the team, though clearly it isn't working out perfectly. The tension has been more than clear, so the fact that issues continue should not be a surprise to anyone.

4. Welcome back NBA 🏀

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Lakers
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Last night the league returned and kicked off the regular season with a pair of games. The Nets took on the Bucks and the Lakers hosted the Warriors.

Let's take a look at each game:

  • Nets vs. Bucks:

The Bucks defeated the Nets 127-104 and not only got to celebrate their first win of the season, but they received their championship rings and raised their banner last night as well.

Reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 32 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, while Khris Middleton contributed 20 points and nine rebounds in the victory.

Milwaukee came out strong and were dominant throughout the game and picked up right where they left off from their championship season. The Nets didn't exactly shine, but Patty Mills came off the bench with 21 points, the second most on the team.

  • Lakers vs. Warriors:

Both these teams had disappointing seasons last year and look to have a different result in 2021-22. Last season the Lakers lost in the first round to the Suns and the Warriors were defeated by the Lakers and Grizzlies in the play-in tournament.

At the half the season opener, the Lakers had a six point lead, but things changed and it was the Warriors who ultimately ended up victorious, coming away with a 121-114 win in L.A.  

Steph Curry had a triple-double and Jordan Poole emerged as a surprise stand-out scorer with 20 points. Overall, the Warriors had five players score in double figures.

L.A. leaned heavily on James (34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists) and Anthony Davis (33 points, 11 rebounds) but as a unit the Western Conference favorites didn't get enough from the rest of the roster, as those were the only two Lakers to score more than nine points.

For more on the first game of LeBron James' 19th season, click here.

📝 Odds & Ends

📺 What to watch tonight

Kemba Walker Julius Randle New York Knicks
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Astros vs. Red. Sox, 5:08 p.m. I I TV: FS1

🏒Bruins vs. Flyers, 7:30 p.m. I PHI +103 I TV: TNT

🏀Celtics vs. Knicks, 7:30 p.m. I NY -1.5 I TV: ESPN

Braves vs. Dodgers, 8:08 p.m. I TV: TBS

🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet

The Chicago Sky won their first ever championship, defeating the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Finals. It took four games and after Game 4 Mercury star Diana Taurasi reportedly broke a door at Wintrust Arena in Chicago out of frustration. Taurasi was asked about the rumor and said, "There was a lot of doors in there."

The Sky celebrated their championship on Tuesday and a door was in attendance. The team tweeted, "We have a special guest appearance at the #skytown Championship Rally."

There are few things more fun than a championship rally and trolling on top of it is just another win for the Sky.