Twins Break the Curse


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning 

The MLB playoffs are in the spotlight, and the Twins just ended 19 years (18 games) of playoff suffering in Minnesota. We have a new set of power rankings in the NFL, and a double upset of Premier League teams in the Champions League.

Fun Fact: 50 Days of Football

Yesterday was the last day without football (NFL or CFB) for the next 50 days. The NFL (Thursdays, Sundays & Mondays) and College Football (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays) will air football games every day from now until November 22. What a time to be a football fan.

Letter Rip!


Wild Card: Twins Break the Curse

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images

Royce Lewis (2 HRs) Helps Twins Snap 18-Game Playoff Drought; Rangers, D-Backs & Phillies Also Take Game 1s

MLB postseason, you’re up! We’ve got playoff baseball, and it’s here to stay for four straight weeks. Tuesday’s four-pack of Game 1 Wild Cards were exciting — a little tight due to nerves and a lot of defense. Only 22 runs were scored amongst eight teams (2.75 runs per club). Arizona stunned the Brewers with a 3-0 comeback to win (6-3) while the Rangers and Phillies were big winners behind stellar pitching. But the story of the day? The Twins breathed a sigh of relief and snapped that hideous 18-game playoff drought. Minnesota hadn’t won a postseason game since 2004! Their 18-game losing streak in the playoffs was the longest drought in all four major American pro sports. That changed last night in Minneapolis. Could a curse reversed be the beginning of an epic playoff run for the Twins? Let’s run it back on the Game 1s.

Wild Card Recaps (Game 1s)

AL: #3 Twins def. #6 Blue Jays (3-1)

Royce Lewis jacked two home runs in the first three innings for the Twins while Pablo Lopez (5.2 IP, 3 Ks, 5 Hits, 1 ER) was brilliant enough to silence Toronto’s offense. And after 18 consecutive lost playoff games, the Twins are winners in October, and they appear to have uber momentum heading into Game 2. MIN Leads Series (1-0)

AL: #5 Rangers def. #4 Rays (4-0)

A pitcher’s duel in Tampa saw the Rangers wear down Tyler Glasnow over six frames, eventually capitalizing on four Rays errors (the most they’ve had in a game all season). It wasn’t pretty for either side, but a shutout for Texas and Jordan Montgomery has Tampa already facing eliminating. TEX Leads Series (1-0)

NL: #6 Diamondbacks def. #3 Brewers (6-3)

Things looked bleak for the Diamondbacks after they quickly fell behind 3-0 in Milwaukee, but Arizona cranked three HRs in the 3rd and 4th innings — back-to-back from Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte — to flip the scoreboard (4-3). Insurance runs in the 9th sealed the deal, and the underdog D-Backs are rolling in the Wild Card. ARI Leads Series (1-0)

NL: #4 Phillies def. #5 Marlins (4-1)

Game 1 belonged to Zack Wheeler in Philly. The Phillies’ ace was just too much for Miami in the series opener. Wheeler tossed 8 Ks over nearly seven scoreless frames, and the Phillies bats just needed a few runs to put Game 1 to bed. Trea Turner went 2-for-3 with a double and two stolen bases. The Phillies will have Aaron Nola on the mound in Game 2 for a potential closeout. PHI Leads Series (1-0)

Today’s Schedule (Game 2s)

AL: #5 Rangers at #4 Rays (3:00 pm ET)
AL: #6 Blue Jays at #3 Twins (4:30 pm ET)

NL: #6 Diamondbacks at #3 Brewers (7:00 pm ET)
NL: #5 Marlins at #4 Phillies (8:00 pm ET)

Read More

SI: Twins Past & Present Come Together to Snap Painful Playoff Streak

MLB: ‘He Was Born for This’: Royce Lewis Homers in 1st Two Career Postseason At-Bats



NFL Power Rankings (Week 5)

Image via Joe Stella / Media Mobilize

49ers Retake No. 1, Bills Supplant Dolphins in Top-5 After Week 4 Blowout

Did we go a little overboard on the Dolphins rise (and fall) in the past two weeks? Maybe. Based on what we saw, it’s hard to argue otherwise. This week’s NFL Power Rankings have us excited. The 49ers and Cowboys square off in Week 5 for a top-5 showdown. The Dolphins, Ravens, Lions and Seahawks are all chomping at the bit to get into the top-5, and they could be there soon. November will feature matchups between the Eagles, Bills, Chiefs and Cowboys against each other in various forms. That will certainly rock our top-5 into oblivion. Only two undefeated teams remain, but the Bills have been demolishing teams ever since their Week 1 loss to the Jets. Here’s how we see ‘em:

NFL Power Rankings (Week 5)

1. 49ers (4-0) | ↑1

2. Bills (3-1) | ↑3

3. Eagles (4-0) | —

4. Cowboys (3-1) | ↑2

5. Chiefs (3-1) | ↓1

6. Dolphins (3-1) | ↓5

7. Ravens (3-1) | —

8. Seahawks (3-1) | —

9. Lions (3-1) | —

10. Chargers (2-2) | ↑1

Teams 11-20

11. Buccaneers (3-1) | ↑8

12. Rams (2-2) | ↑3

13. Browns (2-2) | ↓3

14. Texans (2-2) | ↑8

15. Packers (2-2) | ↓3

16. Jaguars (2-2) | ↑4

17. Titans (2-2) | ↑10

18. Colts (2-2) | ↑3

19. Saints (2-2) | ↓6

20. Falcons (2-2) | ↓4

Teams 21-32

21. Commanders (2-2) | ↑4

22. Steelers (2-2) | ↓5

23. Bengals (1-3) | ↓9

24. Jets (1-3) | ↓1

25. Vikings (1-3) | ↑1

26. Cardinals (1-3) | ↓2

27. Patriots (1-3) | ↓9

28. Raiders (1-3) | —

29. Broncos (1-3) | ↑2

30. Giants (1-3) | ↓1

31. Panthers (0-4) | ↓1

32. Bears (0-4) | —

Read More

Yahoo! Sports: NFL Power Rankings: The Bengals Are An Absolute Mess

The Athletic: NFL Power Rankings: 49ers & Eagles Rule, Dolphins Tumble on Chaos Week



Premier League Giant-Slayers

Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt / Getty Images

Lens & Galatasaray Stun Premier League Powers Arsenal & Man. United in Matchday 2 of Champions League

The group stage of the UEFA Champions League is typically short-lived for teams like Lens or Galatasaray, despite their storied history in their own domestic leagues within France and Turkey. They usually wouldn’t stand a chance to make it to the Knockout Stage, and securing one-point draws against Premier League powerhouses is usually a great result. But forget draws. These underdogs were out for blood on Tuesday in Matchday 2 of the Champions League. While Inter, Real Madrid, and Bayern — three European titans from Italy, Spain and Germany — all narrowly escaped upsets with one-goal wins, it was an ugly day for the Premier League powers. Galatasaray (Turkey) upended Manchester United (3-2) with two goals in the final 20 minutes, and Lens (France) hunted down Arsenal (2-1) with a comeback of their own.

There are six matchdays in the group stage, but Man-U is 0-0-2 (0 points) and facing an uphill climb. What a day for Europe’s underdogs. More action today.

Champions League Highlights (Matchday 2)

Inter def. Benfica (1-0)

Bayern def. Copenhagen (2-1)

Real Madrid def. Napoli (3-2)

Galatasary def. Man. United (3-2)

Lens def. Arsenal (2-1)

Today’s Schedule

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

Newcastle vs. PSG (3:00 pm ET)

RB Leipzig vs. Manchester City (3:00 pm ET)

FC Porto vs. Barcelona (3:00 pm ET)

Full Champions League Schedule

Read More

Reuters: Man United Misery Continues as Galatasaray Win 3-2 at Old Trafford

NBC Sports: Lens Stun Arsenal as Gunners Lose Bukayo Saka in France



 October Tickets Not For Sale

The Mets, Yankees, Padres, and Angels all flopped, while lower-payroll squads like the Orioles, Rays, Marlins, and Diamondbacks stormed into the playoffs. What’s behind this year’s abnormally tenuous connection between spending and winning? (The Ringer)

 Ranking Playoff Starting Lineups

One thing you should see plenty of in Major League Baseball’s 2023 postseason is offense. And since some of the 12 surviving teams figure to provide more of it than others, what’s say we rank their lineups? (Bleacher Report)

 Trevor Bauer Shares His Story

Exiled ex-Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, 32, settled an ongoing legal feud on Monday over sexual assault claims from 2021 by accuser Lindsey Hill. Bauer was the 2020 Cy Young winner, dismissed in his prime, and the details of this extortion plot are disturbing. (Outkick)





Today’s Must-Watch List

MLB Playoffs

AL: #5 Rangers at #4 Rays (3:00 pm ET)
AL: #6 Blue Jays at #3 Twins (4:30 pm ET)

NL: #6 Diamondbacks at #3 Brewers (7:00 pm ET)
NL: #5 Marlins at #4 Phillies (8:00 pm ET)

Champions League

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

Newcastle vs. PSG (3:00 pm ET)

RB Leipzig vs. Manchester City (3:00 pm ET)

FC Porto vs. Barcelona (3:00 pm ET)

Full Champions League Schedule Today

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar



World Series Picks

Yesterday, we asked: Who do you think will win the World Series?

To no one’s surprise, the Braves took the majority of the votes, but the Rangers finished last? A stunner from The Sportsletter audience, if I do say. Here are the top teams you all think will win the World Series.

The Top-6 Seeds Earned 76% of the Votes

Braves: 22%

Orioles: 12%

Brewers: 11%

Astros: 11% 

Dodgers: 10%

Phillies: 10%

The Bottom-6 Seeds Earned 24% of the Votes

Blue Jays: 6%

Twins: 5%

Rays: 4%

Marlins: 4%

Diamondbacks: 3% 

Rangers: 2% 

Thanks for voting!