A Magical Sports Weekend


By: Jeff Yoder

Happy Friday 

It’s an awesome weekend to be a sports fan — one of the best on the calendar, if you ask me. The final push for MLB Wild Card spots means we have three days of must-win baseball games. Next week, the playoffs start. Plus, the rowdy Ryder Cup is underway in Italy. From what I saw, it was a rough start for the USA (and a hot start for Europe).

Want more? We have football in bunches, WNBA playoffs, a can’t-miss boxing match, and a complete doozy of a weekend watch list to tie a bow on September. Monday’s recap will test our limits. Here we go.

Letter Rip!


O’s Clinch East on Win #100

Photo: Rob Carr / Getty Images

Orioles Reach 100 Wins, Claim 1st AL East Title Since 2014 & Home Field in AL Playoffs

The top seed in the American League belongs to the Orioles! If you had told me that on Opening Day, I would’ve thought you were crazy. Baltimore earned their 100th win on Thursday with a 2-0 shutout of the Red Sox, and it was also the division-clinching win in front of the home fans at Camden Yards. The Orioles have successfully made one of the biggest (and quickest) turnarounds in just two years. In 2021, the O’s lost 100 games. In 2023, they’ve won 100 games. Only one other team in MLB history has won 100 within three years of losing 100 (Mets, 1967-69).

The O’s Young Trio: Baltimore’s youth movement of Gunnar Henderson (22), Adley Rutschman (25), and Ryan Mountcastle (26) have been stars in the making. Paired alongside a handful of veterans like Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, Adam Frazier, and Cedric Mullins, and the O’s might be the deepest team in baseball. They don’t appear to have a Cy Young-level ace on the mound, but eight solid starters with a collective W-L count of 72-34 should do the trick.

To Top It Off: Maryland Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland Stadium Authority renewed their lease with the team and made an announced that the O’s would continue to play at Camden Yards for the next 30 years.

Baltimore hasn’t reached or won the World Series since 1983.

Watch: Orioles Blank Red Sox (2-0) & Clinch Division on Win #100

MLB Final Weekend: Magic Numbers

The final weekend of the MLB regular season is upon us, and there’s still room for movement before October’s playoff bracket is locked. Only seven of the 12 playoff spots are secured with three days left. Sunday marks the final day of the regular season, and it’s going to get wild this weekend. The AL West is still up for grabs. Here’s a look at all eight teams vying for the final five openings in October. Remember: Magic numbers are the required number of wins and/or losses by specific opponents needed to clinch.

American League

In: Orioles (100-59), Rays (97-62), Twins (85-74)

Magic Numbers

Rangers (89-70): 1 — (2 to win AL West)

Blue Jays (88-71): 2

Astros (87-72): 3 — (4 to winAL West)

Mariners (86-73): 4 — (5 to win AL West)

National League

In: Braves (103-56), Dodgers (98-61), Brewers (90-69), Phillies (89-70)

Magic Numbers

Diamondbacks (84-75): 2

Marlins (82-76): 3

Cubs (82-77): 5

Reds (81-78): 8



Lions Light Up Lambeau on TNF

Photo: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images

RB David Montgomery Goes for 141 Yards & 3 TDs as Lions Beat Packers (34-20) on the Road

Smash mouth Dan Campbell football prevails once again! The Detroit Lions went into Lambeau Field and lit up the Packers on Thursday Night Football behind a ferocious defense and a deadly run-game that featured a heavy handoff ratio of RB David Montgomery. The Lions exploded early and took a 27-3 lead into halftime, but the Packers remained resilient and pulled within 10 (27-17) in the fourth quarter. But the Lions controlled the clock and forced four turnovers (2 INTs, 2 fumbles) to pull out the road win (34-20) and take the outright lead in the NFC North.

️ Star of the Game

RB D. Montgomery (DET): 34 touches, 141 yards, 3 TDs

QB Comparison

J. Goff (DET): 19/28, 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

J. Love (GB): 23/36, 246 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Watch: Montgomery, Lions Run Over Packers on TNF (34-20)

The Lions are now in charge of a pretty lopsided division race early on. After beating the Chiefs on opening night, Detroit’s overtime loss to the Seahawks (37-31, OT) in Week 2 is the only blemish on the record. No Rodgers in the division could finally open the gates for the Lions. They’ve now beaten the Packers in four straight games dating back to 2021.

NFC North Standings

Lions (3-1)

Packers (2-2)

Vikings (0-3)

Bears (0-3)

Read More

CBS Sports: David Montgomery’s 3 TDs Power Lions Past Packers

B/R: Dan Campbell & Brad Holmes Have Built Lions to Challenge 49ers, Eagles for NFC



The Rowdy Ryder Cup is Rolling

Photo: Mike Egerton / Getty Images

1st-Round Action From Italy is Underway This Morning… Here’s What You Can Still Catch

Man, that first tee box is ROWDY! The atmosphere at the Ryder Cup is unlike anything in golf, and that was evident during this morning’s opening-round walk-ups. Player announcements and shots from the first tee were met with chants and cheers that rival a Champions League soccer match. Sports Illustrated called it “Gladiator-Like.” Are you not entertained?! Boos reigned down for the Americans. It’s been called “the loudest shot in golf,” and it’s awesome. Feel free to disagree, but this is golf’s greatest weekend outside of Augusta. For lack of a better cliche, this isn’t your grandpa’s golf. 

Hovland’s Hot Start: It was already a good start for Team Europe after Viktor Hovland aced a Par-4 in Thursday’s practice round. The 2023 FedEx Cup champion also chipped in for birdie on Hole 1. He’s still riding high.

While I did stay up into the early morning hours (about 4 am ET) to watch much of the first round, I didn’t make it to sunrise to recap the scores. Round 1 is split right during our publish send time. You can click the links below to check updated scorecards from Session 1 (foursomes). And if you’re just rising, you can still catch Session 2 (four-ball) throughout the morning.

Round 1 Schedule (Today)

Session 1: Foursomes (1:35 am ET)

Session 2: Four-Ball (6:25 am ET)

Session 1 (Alternate Shot Foursomes)

🇺🇸 Scheffler/Burns vs. 🇪🇺 Rahm/Hatton (1:35 am ET)

🇺🇸 Homa/Harman vs. 🇪🇺 Hovland/Aberg (1:50 am ET)

🇺🇸 Fowler/Morikawa vs. 🇪🇺 Straka/Lowry (2:05 am ET)

🇺🇸 Cantlay/Schauffele vs. 🇪🇺 McIlroy/Fleetwood (2:20 am ET)

Session 2 (Four-Ball)

Match 5: TBA (6:25 am ET)

Match 6: TBA (6:40 am ET)

Match 7: TBA (6:55 am ET)

Match 8: TBA  (7:10 am ET)

Rounds 2-3 (Saturday-Sunday)

Ryder Cup Team Comparisons

Average Age: USA — 30 | Europe — 30

Rookies: USA — 4 | Europe — 4

Avg. World Ranking: USA — 13th | Europe — 30th

Major Wins: USA — 15 | Europe — 9

Read More

SI: Follow Round 1 of the Ryder Cup: TV Times, Schedule, Scoring, Format & More

CBS Sports: Ryder Cup Live Coverage: Live Scores, Updates & Analysis as Play Begins



 Inside the Dame-Blazers Split

Damian Lillard received word of his new destination shortly after 11 a.m. PST Wednesday. He was speechless. A few minutes later, he briefly explained what he was feeling about where he was going — and where he wasn’t going. (Bleacher Report)

 A QB Duel for the Ages

This weekend’s quarterback duel between USC’s Caleb Williams and Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders is a game of future first-round picks — maybe back-to-back No. 1 overall selections. Here’s why this could be an unforgettable matchup. (Sporting News)

 NL Wild Card in for Bizarre Finish

After a rainout in the 8th inning of Thursday’s Marlins-Mets games, the NL Wild Card is in for a weird finish. Both teams will likely be in action on Monday, for just 1 inning, after every other team has finished the season. And it could make or break Miami’s season. (Yahoo! Sports)





The Weekend Must-Watch List

 Ryder Cup

Round 1 (Friday, 1:30 am—Noon)

Round 2 (Saturday, 1:30 am—Noon)

Round 3 (Sunday, 5:30 am—1:00 pm)

 MLB (Final Weekend)

Marlins-Pirates Series

Cubs-Brewers Series

Reds-Cardinals Series

Astros-Diamondbacks Series

Rangers-Mariners Series

Full MLB Weekend Schedule

 NFL Week 4 (Sunday)

Falcons at Jaguars (9:30 am)

Dolphins at Bills (1:00 pm)

Ravens at Browns (1:00 pm)

Commanders at Eagles (1:00 pm)

Patriots at Cowboys (4:25 pm)

Chiefs at Jets (8:20 pm)

Full NFL Week 4 Schedule

 College Football Week 5 (Saturday)

#8 USC at Colorado (12:00 pm)

#1 Georgia at Auburn (3:30 pm)
#2 Michigan at Nebraska (3:30 pm)

#24 Kansas at #3 Texas (3:30 pm)

#13 LSU at #20 Ole Miss (6:00 pm)

#9 Oregon at Stanford (6:30 pm)

#11 Notre Dame at #17 Duke (7:30 pm)

South Carolina at #21 Tennessee (7:30 pm)
#12 Alabama at Mississippi State (9:00 pm)


EPL: Tottenham vs. Liverpool (Sat. 12:30 pm)

MLS: Inter Miami vs. New York City FC (Sat. 7:30 pm)

ITA: AC Milan vs. Lazio (Sat. 12:00 pm)

 WNBA Playoffs (Semifinals)

Gm 3: #2 Liberty at #3 Sun (Fri. 7:30 pm)

Gm 3: #1 Aces at #4 Wings (Fri. 9:30 pm)

Gm 4: #2 Liberty at #3 Sun (Sun. 3:00 pm)

Gm 4: #1 Aces at #4 Wings (Sun. 9:00 pm)


Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo (Sat. 10:00 pm)

 NASCAR Playoffs

YellaWood 500 at Talladega (Sun. 2:00 pm)

*All Times ET

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar