NLDS East to West


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning 

T-minus 20 days to the 2023 Sports Equinox. Stay tuned for a big announcement. Spoiler: We’re feeling generous.

In today’s edition: The NLDS saw one team bounce back and the other pushed to the brink. Plus, Jordan Love was great for the Packers through three weeks, then primetime happened. And the 2023-24 NHL season starts tonight. As they say in hockey, let’s do that hockey.

Letter Rip!


NLDS: Bounce-Back Braves & Dodger Doom

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Braves Use Late Comeback HR, Game-Ending DP to Even Series; Diamondbacks Push Dodgers to the Brink

What is happening in the MLB postseason? Three 100-win teams entered the playoffs, and those three teams are 1-5 since the start of October. The Braves were the first 100-win team to get a postseason win on Monday night, narrowly taking Game 2 against the Phillies with a late rally. But the Dodgers fell to the D-Backs (again), and they’re heading to the desert in critical condition. Let’s rewind Monday night in the NLDS.

NLDS Gm 2: Braves def. Phillies (5-4)

After being shut out in Game 1 of the rivalry bout with the Phillies, the Braves bounced back to take Game 2 thanks to some late-game heroics. Zack Wheeler (6 IP, 10 Ks, 3 Hits, 2 ER) was dominant in the Game 2 start as he led the Phillies to a 4-0 lead through five frames, but the Braves started putting runs on the board in the 6th and 7th. By the 8th, an Austin Riley home run put Atlanta on top, and a 9th-inning game-ending double play from Michael Harris II provided an all-time ending. Harris made a catch at the wall before gunning it to the infield to tag a retreating Bryce Harper for the win. All square going to Philly. Series Tied (1-1)

NLDS Gm 2: Diamondbacks def. Dodgers (4-2)

The snake-stunners are at it again! The Diamondbacks shocked the Dodgers in Game 2 (4-2) with a 3-0 start right out of the gate. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. tacked on an insurance home run in the 6th, and Zac Gallen (5.1 IP, 4 Ks, 5 Hits, 2 ER) did enough to stifle the L.A. bats. The Dodger trio of Mookie Betts, (0-for-7), Freddie Freeman (1-for-6) and Max Muncy (1-for-7) are just 2-for-20 in this series. And the Dodgers could be doomed with two road games facing elimination. ARI Leads Series (2-0)

Tonight’s Schedule

ALDS Gm 3: Astros at Twins (4:07 pm ET)

Series Tied (1-1)

ALDS Gm 3: Orioles at Rangers (8:03 pm ET)

TEX Leads Series (2-0)

Read More

LA Times: Dodgers Collapsing for 2nd Straight Postseason? Unbelievably, Believe It

Yahoo! Sports: Braves’ Bats Wake Up as Atlanta Rallies vs. Phillies in Game 2



No Love In Primetime

Photo: Ian Maule / Getty Images

Raiders Defense Hounds Packers QB Jordan Love (3 INTs) for Key Win on Monday Night Football (17-13)

Packers QB Jordan Love has been fantastic in his first four starts, but challenges were inevitable, and they’re showing up when the lights are the brightest. In his first (and only) primetime game prior to last night, Love was picked twice in a loss to the Lions (34-20). On Monday night — his second primetime performance — the Raiders intercepted Love three times, including a game-icing interception in the end zone in the final minute for a 17-13 win. The Las Vegas defense was high-pressure all night long, and the duo of LB Robert Spillane and Maxx Crosby helped the Raiders end a three-game losing streak. Despite the Packers’ offensive woes, the Raiders offense didn’t exactly explode. Las Vegas may be 2-3 thanks to their defense, but they’ve yet to crack 20 points in a game this season (final scores of 17, 10, 18, 17 and 17).

Fun Fact: The Raiders snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Packers that dated back to 1987.

For now, the Raiders have avoided falling to the bottom of the AFC West, but they’ll need to find more points to compete with the Chiefs and Chargers down the stretch. A streak-snapping win on Monday Night Football is a good start.

Stars of the Game

LB Robert Spillane (LVR): 9 tackles, 2 INTs

DE Maxx Crosby (LVR): 5 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack

QB Comparison

J. Garoppolo (LVR): 22/31, 208 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

J. Love (GB): 16/30, 182 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs

Other Top Performers

RB A.J. Dillon (GB): 20 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD

RB J. Jacobs (LVR): 25 touches, 89 yards, 1 TD

WR J. Meyers (LVR): 7 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD

Watch: Raiders Ice Packers With 3 INTs on MNF (17-13)

*Both teams are now 2-3 on the season

Read More

ESPN: Raiders End 3-Game Losing Streak With MNF Win Over Packers

NFL: What We Learned From Raiders’ Win Over Packers to End Week 5



Dropping the Puck: NHL Season Preview

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Stanley Cup Predictions & Players to Watch as the 2023-24 NHL Season Begins

Welcome back, hockey! The 2023-24 NHL season is about to drop the puck, and an 82-game sprint to the playoffs is in store for the next six months. We’re just four months removed from the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ win in the Stanley Cup Finals over the Florida Panthers. The Stanley Cup Trophy was on display last night at the Raiders game in Vegas, and the Knights play host to one of three opening-night games tonight. So is Vegas primed for a repeat? Or have things changed heading into the new season? Let’s discuss.

2023-24 Predictions: Vegas may have won the Cup last June, but last season was one for the record books in Boston. The Bruins made NHL history with 65 wins and 135 points, but they’re not the favorites to open the season. The reason? Boston waved goodbye to two players who retired — Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci — while losing other key contributors like Tyler Bertuzzi (Maple Leafs) and Dmitry Orlov (Hurricanes) to other Eastern Conference competitors. On the west coast, the Avalanche reloaded, and they look to be the slim favorites in most, if not all, of the eyes of oddsmakers.

The Sportsletter’s Prediction: I think it’s time the Edmonton star duo of Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl get it down. Give me Oilers over Maple Leafs in an all-Canada Stanley Cup Finals.

Odds to Win 2024 Stanley Cup Finals

1. Avalanche (+750)

2. Hurricanes (+800)

T3. Devils (+900)

T3. Oilers (+900)

T5. Maple Leafs (+1000)

T5. Golden Knights (+1000)

New Players in New Places

A handful of star players will be making new-team debuts this week, including Alex DeBrincat (Red Wings), Erik Karlsson (Penguins) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (Kings). We mentioned Tuffoli and Orlov above, and Vladimir Tarasenko (Senators) gives Ottawa some much-needed juice.

Rookies to Watch

A number of “rookies” will make their NHL debuts in the days ahead. As a reminder, not all draftees from the 2023 draft are eligible or active to begin the season, and some of these newcomers were selected in previous drafts. There’s excitement around William Eklund (Sharks) and Luke Hughes (Devils) from the 2021 draft, as well as Adam Fantilli (Blue Jackets) — the third pick in 2023. But all eyes will be on one rookie early on this season, and his name is Connor Bedard (Blackhawks). Chicago’s No. 1 overall pick from June tallied five points in three preseason games, and he appears to be as advertised.

As my friend Chance the Rapper likes to say: Let’s do that hockey!

NHL Season Openers (Tonight)

Predators at Lightning (5:30 pm ET)
Blackhawks at Penguins (8:00 pm ET)

Kraken at Golden Knights (10:30 pm ET)

Read More

SportsNet: 1 Bold Prediction for Every NHL Team Heading Into 2023-24

Yahoo! Sports: NHL Tier Rankings: Who’s Elite, Who’s Happy to Lose Entering 2023-24 Season



 Wemby Drops 20 in Preseason Debut

Welcome to the NBA, Victor Wembanyama! The Spurs’ rookie went for 20 points and 5 rebounds — and a few must-see highlights — in his San Antonio Spurs debut. It’s still preseason, but a good sign for Spurs fans.



 Every NBA Fanbase’s Worst Nightmare

While the opening of an NBA season is loaded with feelings of optimism and excitement, it also takes place right in the heart of spooky season. Here are the biggest nightmares in front of every franchise, while simultaneously knocking on wood. (Bleacher Report)

 Week 7 College Football Picks

No. 8 Oregon travels to No. 7 Washington in a rematch of last year’s 37-34 thriller with Heisman implications. Plus, No. 10 USC travels to No. 21 Notre Dame, and three other ranked clashes headline Week 7. (Sporting News)

 NASCAR Playoffs: The Round of 8

The NASCAR Cup Series has reached its elite eight after four more drivers were eliminated. Eight drivers now move on to the three-race third round, seeking a berth in the final four, where one race will decide the 2023 champion. (USA Today)





Today’s Must-Watch List

MLB Playoffs

ALDS Gm 3: Astros at Twins (4:07 pm ET)

ALDS Gm 3: Orioles at Rangers (8:03 pm ET)

NHL Season Openers

Predators at Lightning (5:30 pm ET)
Blackhawks at Penguins (8:00 pm ET)

Kraken at Golden Knights (10:30 pm ET)

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar