Phoenix Rising 


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning,

The Diamondbacks did the impossible last night, and we’ll see two MLB Wild Card teams meet in the World Series for just the second time ever. Rangers vs. D-Backs coming soon. The NBA is back, and so are triple-doubles from Nikola Jokic. Plus, NFL Power Rankings, NHL Frozen Frenzy, and the UEFA Champions League.

It’s the greatest time of the year to be a sports fan with every major sport officially in overlap mode. And that magic night — The Sports Equinox — is just five days away.

Letter Rip!


Phoenix Rising

Photo: Elsa / Getty Images

Diamondbacks Win Game 7 Against Phillies (4-2) to Reach 1st World Series Since 2001

The underdog story continues! The Diamondbacks have stunned the baseball world throughout October, and they’re not done yet. Arizona won Game 7 last night in Philadelphia (4-2) to send the Phillies home in the NLCS for the second straight season. Corbin Carroll was the star of Game 7, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs in another clutch performance by the rookie. The D-Backs trailed 2-1 after four innings, but a two-run 5th flipped the board. Arizona added one in the 7th, and tensions rose throughout Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia put two men on in the bottom of the 7th, but Arizona reliever Kevin Ginkel got out of the jam. The last six outs were quick, and the D-Backs sent heartbreak back into Philly fans for another offseason.

NLCS MVP: Ketel Marte

Diamondbacks’ 2B Ketel Marte took home the NL MVP after logging a .387 batting average and a .987 OPS with 12 hits, four doubles, one triple and a stolen base. Marte also set the MLB record for most consecutive games with a hit in his playoff career (16 games).

The Cinderella Snakes

If you recall, the Diamondbacks were not supposed to be here (not even a little bit). Arizona was +10000 to win the World Series at the beginning of the year — the 24th-best odds. The D-Backs clawed their way to the No. 6 seed in the National League, earning a playoff bid by the narrowest of margins over the Cubs (1 Game), Reds (2 Games) and Padres (2 Games). Then, they upstaged the Brewers, Dodgers, and Phillies. Arizona’s 82 regular-season wins were the lowest among all 12 playoff teams. It’s a southwest World Series between Arizona and Texas coming this weekend.

Fun Fact: Texas (#5, ALCS) and Arizona (#6, NLCS) are the lowest combination of seeds to meet in the World Series. It’s the second time in history that two wild card teams have reached the Fall Classic in the same postseason (2014: Giants-Royals).

NLCS Game 7 Highlights

Diamondbacks def. Phillies (4-2)

ARI Wins Series (4-3)

Upcoming World Series Schedule

Gm 1: Diamondbacks at Rangers (Fri. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 2: Diamondbacks at Rangers (Sat. 8:03 pm ET)

Read More

Sporting News: Diamondbacks Silence Phillies to Reach 1st World Series Since 2001

CBS Sports: Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte Named NLCS MVP After Setting MLB Record

B/R: What’s Next for the Phillies After Stunning Collapse in NLCS?



Big Man Still Ballin’

Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz / Getty Images

Nuggets Celebrate With Banner & Rings Before Nikola Jokic Starts the Season With a Triple-Double

Of course. How else would the 2023 NBA season begin? The Nuggets and Suns were winners on NBA’s opening night, beating the Lakers and Warriors, respectively. Plenty of storylines were in play to tip off the season, but it all started in Denver. The Nuggets raised their 2023 NBA Finals banner and grabbed their championship rings from commissioner Adam Silver before stomping the Lakers out of the gate. Los Angeles fought back to make it a game, but reigning NBA Finals darling Nikola Jokic kicked off his 2023-24 campaign with his 106th triple-double (29 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists). Can’t make it up. The guy makes it look too easy.

Nuggets fans produced the viral moment of opening night with a well-synced “Who’s Your Daddy?” chant that sent shockwaves through social media. We learned that LeBron James is still a force in Year 19 (21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists), but Anthony Davis (17 points) disappeared with 0 points in the second half.

In the nightcap, the Suns and Warriors played a topsy-turvy game that was exciting to watch. The Suns outscored the Warriors by 15 in the 2nd quarter, but the Warriors won the 3rd stanza by 21 before Phoenix used an 11-0 run in the 4th and two clutch 3s from Josh Okogie and Eric Gordon. Chris Paul playing his former team was the talk of the night, but we’re still waiting to see the Suns at full strength with Bradley Beal. Devin Booker (32 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds) had the game-high.

NBA Opening Night Highlights

Nuggets def. Lakers (119-107)

Suns def. Warriors (108-104)

Tonight, it’s everybody else’s turn! A dozen games hit the television tonight for 24 teams playing their season-openers. We’ll have full coverage tomorrow.

Tonight’s Games

Celtics at Knicks (7:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Mavericks at Spurs (9:30 pm ET, ESPN)

Today’s Full NBA Schedule (12 Games)

Read More

B/R: Nikola Jokic Hailed by NBA Fans as MVP Favorite With Season-Opening Win

Yahoo! Sports: There’s No Championship Hangover in Denver

ESPN: NBA Has Record 125 International Players on Opening-Night Rosters



Week 8: Back to Square One

Image via Joe Stella / Media Mobilize

Back to Where It All Began: Chiefs & Eagles Return to the Top in the Week 8 Power Rankings

After seven weeks and a fast-approaching NFL trade deadline, our weekly NFL Power Rankings are right back where they started. The preseason rankings had the Chiefs and Eagles slotted 1-2 following last year’s epic Super Bowl shootout. Kansas City lost on opening night, and the Eagles floated near the top through five weeks. Suddenly, we’ve circled back to square one. They’re the only two one-loss teams remaining in a league riddled with parity. The cliche of “Any Given Sunday” has rang true throughout the 2023 NFL season, and here we sit eyeing an impending trade deadline. Chiefs. Birds. And the field.

Re-Ranking the Top-10

It hasn’t been easy, figuring out who belongs and who doesn’t, that is. If the Jets can beat the Eagles, the Vikings can beat the 49ers, and the Cardinals can beat the Cowboys, no expert can claim to know what will happen down the stretch. What we do know is that KC and Philly belong at 1-2. From there, the Ravens have exploded, and 49ers have come back to Earth, and the Jaguars have hit their stride. Any team in the top-15 is capable of turning in a Super Bowl run. If the Cowboys put it all together, watch out. And if the Browns could stay healthy, Cleveland might be a favorite. Here’s how we see ‘em after seven games:

NFL Power Rankings (Week 8)

1. Chiefs (6-1) | ↑1

2. Eagles (6-1) | ↑3

3. Ravens (5-2) | ↑6

4. 49ers (5-2) | ↓1

5. Jaguars (5-2) | ↑2

6. Dolphins (5-2) | ↓2

7. Lions (5-2) | ↓6

8. Cowboys (4-2) | —

9. Bills (4-3) | ↓3

10. Browns (4-2) | —

Teams 11-20

11. Bengals (3-3) | —

12. Seahawks (4-2) | ↑2

13. Steelers (4-2) | ↑3

14. Rams (3-4) | ↓2

15. Jets (3-3) | —

16. Falcons (4-3) | ↑5

17. Texans (3-3) | —

18. Vikings (3-4) | ↑7

19. Chargers (2-4) | ↓6

20. Buccaneers (3-3) | ↓2

Teams 21-32

21. Colts (3-4) | ↑1

22. Saints (3-4) | ↓3

23. Patriots (2-5) | ↑7

24. Packers (2-4) | ↓4

25. Commanders (3-4) | ↓1

26. Titans (2-4) | —

27. Bears (2-5) | —

28. Broncos (2-5) | ↑1

29. Raiders (3-4) | ↓6

30. Giants (2-5)  | ↑1

31. Cardinals (1-6) | ↓3

32. Panthers (0-6) | —

Read More

CBS Sports: NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: Ravens Catapult Into Top-3

SI: NFL Power Rankings: Eagles Fly to No. 1 While Raiders Reach Nadir of Josh McDaniels Era




Avalanche Set NHL Record for Road Win Streak (15 Games)

Kraken End Red Wings Win Streak at 5 With OT Win

Ryan Hartman Has Hat Trick & 2 Assists in Minnesota Win

Tyler Toffoli Scores Hat Trick to Lead Devils Past Canadiens

 Champions League

Bayern def. Galatasaray (3-1)

Inter def. RB Salzburg (2-1)

Napoli def. Union Berlin (1-0)

Arsenal def. Sevilla (2-1)

Real Madrid def. Braga (2-1)

Man. United def. Copenhagen (1-0)





Tonight’s Must-Watch List

NBA Season-Openers

Celtics at Knicks (7:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Mavericks at Spurs (9:30 pm ET, ESPN)

Today’s Full NBA Schedule (12 Games)


Capitals at Devils (7:30 pm ET, TNT)

UEFA Champions League

Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (12:45 pm ET)

Celtic vs. Atletico Madrid (3:00 pm ET)

Newcastle Utd. vs. Borussia Dortmund (3:00 pm ET)

PSG vs. AC Milan (3:00 pm ET)

Young Boys vs. Manchester City (3:00 pm ET)

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar