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Raptors’ Davis, Thomas showing up when team needs them most

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TORONTO – On the very first Toronto Raptors offensive possession Saturday night, guard Fred VanVleet received an inbounds pass from the baseline, quickly crossed the time line, quickly surveyed the court and found rookie Terence Davis, who was using a Serge Ibaka screen to free himself up after curling around from underneath the Brooklyn Nets basket to the right wing.

This freed Davis up enough to rise up and get his three-point look off, but still draw a foul on the defending Caris LeVert, who ended up a step too slow chasing Davis and could only reach in on him and helplessly watch as the Toronto shooting guard brushed off the contact and drilled the triple with ease.

A four-point play and the game wasn’t even 30 seconds old.

That was how just the second start of Davis’ NBA career began.

Replacing the injured Kyle Lowry in the starting lineup Saturday, Davis immediately picked up where he’d left off Friday, when he exploded for 11 points in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers, helping spark the Raptors at a time when Lowry was forced to exit due to whiplash.

On Saturday, Davis began the game with a four-point play, then drilled another three about three minutes later and finished the opening frame with nine points and four rebounds (two coming from the offensive glass).

It was a stellar start to a game that saw Davis finish with 20 points, eight rebounds and 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range as the Raptors ran their winning streak to 14 games with a 119-118 win over Brooklyn.

And this was just the latest in what has been a strong run of late for Davis, personally.

Including Saturday’s affair, the 22-year-old is averaging 19.8 points on 60 per cent shooting from the field and 60.7 per cent from outside over his last four games, which, not-so-coincidentally, has coincided with the Raptors, once again, dealing with injury.

Taken as a whole, Davis has experienced a solid, but also typical rookie season in the sense that it has had its share of ups and downs. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see a trend that those “ups” have normally come during stretches when the Raptors have been injured the most.

He had his breakout during the Raptors’ big Western Conference trip in early November when Lowry and Serge Ibaka set the tone of the season, so to speak, going down in the same game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Then, when Norman Powell and Marc Gasol got bit by the injury bug in late December and bleeding into the new year, Davis again managed to raise his level of play.

And now, in these last four games, once again without Powell and Gasol, Davis is elevating his game and looks better than ever.

“Nothing’s changed, man. It’s just work and being ready for the opportunities,” Davis said of the four-game hot streak he’s been on. “When we had the first wave of injuries — this was back [on] our first West coast trip — opportunity came. And then I didn’t know if it would come back around, but I just wanted to be ready and I’d continue to put the work in.”

As has been said many times this season before, the silver lining to the injuries the Raptors have sustained has been the increased opportunity for a player like Davis who likely wasn’t going to get as much chance to show what he can do had the team been able to stay healthy. However, it’s not like extenuating circumstance is the only reason why Davis has been given more chances to prove himself — he’s both earned the opportunities given to him and has the advantage of seemingly having it in his DNA to rise to the occasion when required.

“I’ve always been the guy that plays and when there’s a big moment I’m not afraid of it,” said Davis. “Just by where I come from and the kind of situations I’ve been in, and the preparation. You just have to prepare yourself for those moments. So, it’s just how I think and how I go about it and the confidence is built.”

But while Davis is probably the most visible example, that confidence and fearlessness to step in and make an impact on a game he spoke of can be seen up and down the entire Raptors roster.

This was best exemplified by the five-man, all-bench lineup of Patrick McCaw, Matt Thomas, Oshae Brissett, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris Boucher that Raptors coach Nick Nurse rolled with late in the first quarter and much of the second quarter Saturday.

This was a lineup that had only played four fleeting minutes with each other once before in a game this season. But it came out and helped turn the tide for Toronto to build a sizeable lead heading into halftime.

“That group was awesome in the first half, right? They were incredible,” Nurse said. “They turned a lacklustre start to the game into an energetic game and they were great.”

Chief among the players leading this Raptors reserve rout was Matt Thomas, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the second quarter, going 3-for-3 from deep and 4-of-5 from the field in that span, including an acrobatic alley-oop layup that got the Scotiabank Arena crowd buzzing.

“You can’t leave [Thomas], and he’s actually a good cutter,” said VanVleet, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to help Toronto hold for the one-point victory Saturday after blowing an 18-point lead. “He’s a good scorer, man, obviously people love him for his three but he’s a really good scorer. He’s got a knack of getting his shot off.”

In that second quarter, the Nets tried to stymie Toronto with a zone. But because Thomas’ shooting ability (as well as the threat of his shooting ability), they were largely unsuccessful in doing so.

As a result, Thomas played the best game of his brief NBA career, but the credit shouldn’t just go to a failed defensive scheme by the Nets.

No, like Davis has been all season long, Thomas was ready when his number was called.

Two undrafted rookies who played key roles in extending a record-breaking win streak for a defending champion.

Not exactly a new storyline to point out, but still amazing to think about, nonetheless.

It also speaks to a larger trend we’ve seen in regard to this Raptors team all season long. On Saturday it was Davis and Thomas getting it done. And on Monday and beyond who knows who else will step up and meet the task?

“I think it’s just a testament to how hard everyone works on the team,” Thomas said. “Everyone stays ready. We have a very deep and talented team and everyone’s more than capable of coming in and making plays. Also, it just shows the chemistry we have on this team. We’re all so good at playing off each other and everyone plays unselfishly and plays the right way.”

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Schneider: 'Everything is on the table' for struggling Kikuchi – TSN

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Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said Monday the team is weighing their options when it comes to struggling starter Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi saw his record drop to 4-7 on the season with Monday’s 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, in which he allowed six runs – three earned – in 3 1/3 innings of work. The 31-year-old is winless in his past three starts and has a 5.25 ERA through 20 games this season.

“Everything’s on the table right now,” Schneider said, per MLB.com. “We just want him to continue to focus on the things he’s working on. But having options and having other guys that can step into roles is a good thing. And we’ll figure that out in the next couple days.”

Kikuchi spent three weeks on the injured list last month with a neck strain. He delivered a strong outing in his return in July 28 against the Tigers, allowing one run and two hits over five innings, and held the Tampa Bay Rays to two runs in four innings on Aug. 3, but has allowed 11 runs over his past two starts.

“There are a few things that we’ve been working on, trying to figure out what’s good and what’s bad,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter after Monday’s loss. “I feel like we’re just caught in between the ups and downs right now.”

Schneider was non-committal on what changes the team could make to help Kikuchi find his way.

“There’s always a scenario for everything,” Schneider said. “Off-days play into it; performance plays into it. It’s a welcome addition to have (Ross) Stripling back and I love what Mitch White has done as well. You can go a variety of different ways. We’re just going to continue to keep our options open.”

The Blue Jays dropped to 61-53 with Monday’s loss and now sit tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot, a game and a half ahead of the Orioles, who they will play again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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A one-liner for each BMW Championship participant – PGA TOUR

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Player One-liner 1. Will Zalatoris Opened Playoffs with first PGA TOUR win to take top spot in the FedExCup. 2. Scottie Scheffler Masters champ MC’d in Playoffs opener, but still in FedExCup race after stellar Regular Season. 3. Cameron Smith Hip pain will keep him out of BMW, but Open, PLAYERS, Sentry champion is expected to return and will still have shot at FedExCup. 4. Sam Burns Highly-touted prospect broke out with 3 wins after winning once in his first three TOUR seasons. 5. Tony Finau Has two wins and a T5 at FedEx in his last three starts. 6. Xander Schauffele His 3-win season included back-to-back wins at Travelers and Genesis Scottish Open. 7. Patrick Cantlay Defending FedExCup champ has 10 top-10 finishes, including win with Schauffele in New Orleans. 8. Sepp Straka Tough playoff loss to Zalatoris but clinched TOUR Championship debut as he broke streak of 6 MCs. 9. Rory McIlroy MC at FedEx was a tough start to his bid for unprecedented third FedExCup title. 10. Justin Thomas PGA Championship winner competed as an amateur at this week’s venue, but much has changed. 11. Sungjae Im Solid 12th-place finish at FedEx followed consecutive runners-up to end Regular Season. 12. Matt Fitzpatrick On pace for TOUR Championship debut after nine top-10s, including U.S. Open win, and now returns to NE. 13. Cameron Young Rookie of the Year favorite has 7 top-3 finishes, including 2nd at The Open and T3 at PGA. 14. Jon Rahm Moved up 2 spots after T5 at FedEx, keeping alive of his streak of 6 straight TOUR Championships. 15. Hideki Matsuyama WD from FedEx with neck injury but still on pace for 9th straight TOUR Championship start. 16. Max Homa In good shape to make TOUR Championship debut after winning twice this season. 17. Jordan Spieth MC at FedEx came on the heels of back-to-back top-10s in Scotland (Genesis Scottish Open, The Open). 18. Viktor Hovland Returned from Norway to finish T20 at FedEx and move up a spot as he seeks third straight East Lake start. 19. Joaquin Niemann A T13 at FedEx helped 23-year-old’s quest for 3rd TOUR Championship start. 20. Collin Morikawa Winless this season but 8 top-10s, including T5 at FedEx, has him on verge of East Lake. 21. Tom Hoge Rallied with second-round 66 but MC’d at FedEx as he seeks TOUR Championship debut. 22. Billy Horschel Memorial winner MC’d in Memphis as he seeks 4th East Lake start in last 5 seasons. 23. Brian Harman Making 8th BMW appearance in last 9 years but seeking 1st TOUR Championship start since 2017. 24. J.T. Poston Seeking East Lake debut after T2 at Travelers, John Deere win in consecutive summer starts. 25. Joohyung Kim Wyndham winner was T13 at FedEx St. Jude to crack top 30. 26. Davis Riley Playoff loss to Burns at Valspar was followed by a streak of 6 straight top-15s from April-June. 27. Sahith Theegala Cracked top 30 after T13 at FedEx St. Jude as he looks to add East Lake to impressive rookie season. 28. Kevin Kisner Georgia alum seeking 6th TOUR Championship appearance in last 8 seasons. 29. Corey Conners On the bubble as he seeks 3rd TOUR Championship start in last 4 years. 30. J.J. Spaun Could’ve locked up East Lake spot last week, but St. Jude’s 54-hole leader shot 78 to finish T42. 31. Aaron Wise Former Rookie of the Year having resurgent season, seeking first East Lake start since breakout 2018. 32. Maverick McNealy Coming off final-round 65 for T31 finish at FedEx St. Jude. Would be higher on this list absent Saturday 75. 33. K.H. Lee Made the most of his lone top-10, successfully defending his AT&T Byron Nelson title. 34. Lucas Glover Coming in hot after final-round 66 and season-best T3 finish at FedEx St. Jude. 35. Denny McCarthy Flashes of brilliance in Memphis (66-65 start, T20) as he seeks first TOUR Championship start in fifth season. 36. Seamus Power A year after first win, posted a career-high 5 top-10s, including T3 at Sony Open and T9 at PGA. 37. Shane Lowry Runner-up at Honda and consecutive T3s at Masters and RBC Heritage have him on-pace for best FedExCup finish. 38. Keith Mitchell Career-high 6 top-10s this season could lead to first TOUR Championship berth in fifth TOUR season. 39. Cameron Tringale Eight years after lone East Lake appearance, is in position for return after career-high 5 top-10s (including T2 at ZOZO). 40. Trey Mullinax Justin Thomas’ Alabama teammate earned 1st win at Barbasol and finished T5 at FedEx St. Jude. 41. Mito Pereira Rookie was one hole away from winning the PGA Championship; also finished 3rd at season-opening Fortinet. 42. Luke List At age 37 and after more than 200 TOUR starts, earned his first TOUR win in playoff over Zalatoris at Farmers. 43. Russell Henley Georgia alum closed Regular Season with T10 at Rocket Mortgage and fifth at Wyndham. 44. Keegan Bradley His 6 top-10s — including T2 at Wells Fargo, 5th at PLAYERS and T7 at hometown U.S. Open — match his most since 2013. 45. Adam Scott Registered fourth top-10 of season with final-round 66 and T5 at FedEx St. Jude. 46. Scott Stallings His 6 top-10s this season were 2 more than his previous career-high; will make 1st BMW start since 2013. 47. Andrew Putnam Four rounds in the 60s at TPC Southwind moved him up 40 places and within reach of first TOUR Championship. 48. Kurt Kitayama Made the most of his 3 top-10s, finishing 2nd at Mexico and Scottish opens and 3rd at Honda Classic. 49. Sebastián Muñoz Had pair of 3rd-place finishes where he opened with 60, making him 1st man to shoot 60 or lower twice in same season. 50. Tyrrell Hatton Runner-up at Bay Hill — where he won 2 years ago — was one of 3 top-10s, along with T8 at Wyndham. 51. Cam Davis In his fourth season, had a career-high 5 top-10s, including T3 at RBC Heritage. 52. Mackenzie Hughes Two of his 3 top-10s came in the fall, a runner-up at RSM and T4 at ZOZO, as he makes his 3rd straight BMW appearance. 53. Si Woo Kim His 10 top-25s were his most since 2016 season, and opened FedEx St. Jude (T42) with a 62. 54. Lucas Herbert In 1st season as a member, won in his 3rd start (Bermuda) and had top-15s at 2 majors (PGA, The Open). 55. Emiliano Grillo Endured stretch of 10 missed cuts in 12 starts, but rallied with T2 finishes at 3M Open and John Deere Classic. 56. Tommy Fleetwood Nine top-25s this season include T14 at the Masters, T5 at PGA and T4 at The Open, but has opted to sit out Playoffs. 57. Troy Merritt Opened with a pair of 65s at FedEx St. Jude, but faded on the weekend (T28). 58. Chez Reavie Barracuda victory was third of his career, along with 2019 Travelers and 2008 RBC Canadian Open. 59. Adam Hadwin Made 19 cuts, including T7 at U.S. Open, T9 at THE PLAYERS, and hole-in-one celebration of the year at Memorial. 60. Christiaan Bezuidenhout First full TOUR season was highlighted by runner-up at John Deere Classic. 61. Chris Kirk After finishing 199th and 194th in 2019 and 2020 FedExCups, will make his 2nd straight BMW appearance. 62. Taylor Moore Rookie had top-10s in final two events of Regular Season (6th, Rocket Mortgage; T5, Wyndham). 63. Matt Kuchar Finished T2-T3 in consecutive starts to keep alive his streak of making Playoffs in every FedExCup season. 64. Brendan Steele Making 10th Playoffs appearance in last 11 years, but still seeking first TOUR Championship start. 65. Harold Varner III Finished in the top 25 in nearly half his starts this season, including T3 at RBC Heritage and T6 at THE PLAYERS. 66. Alex Noren Would’ve gotten in The Open if he didn’t leave for Barracuda, but his runner-up there was best finish since 2018. 67. Taylor Pendrith Injuries sidelined long-hitting rookie for 4 months, but still made Playoffs thanks to a pair of top-5s. 68. Marc Leishman All three of his top-10s came by January, including a T4-T3 start to his season. 69. Alex Smalley Korn Ferry Tour Finals grad’s successful rookie season included T2 in Dominican and T6 at Mexico Open. 70. Wyndham Clark Four-for-4 in making Playoffs, with a T7 at the RBC Canadian Open the best of 3 top-10s.

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Orioles vs Blue Jays Odds, Picks, & Predictions Today — Zero Value on Blue Birds – Covers

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The Orioles have been a thorn in the Blue Jays’ sides all season. As such, even with Alek Manoah on the mound, Toronto at -235 is simply too steep to offer any value. We’re pivoting to focus more on the total in what could be a low-scoring clash.

The Baltimore Orioles moved to 9-4 in the month of August with a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.

In Tuesday night’s matchup, Toronto looks for revenge as Alek Manoah battles Dean Kremer on the mound.

This is an important series in a crowded AL playoff race. Toronto is currently tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card, leaving Baltimore 1.5 games back. 

Check out our MLB picks and predictions for the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, August 16.

Orioles vs Blue Jays odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Blue Jays opened -215, but money has come on them and widened the line, which currently resides between -213 and -235, with most books closer to the latter. As for the total, both 8.5 and 9 are available at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Orioles vs Blue Jays predictions

Picks made on 8/16/2022 at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Orioles vs Blue Jays game info

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2022
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV: MASN, Sportsnet

Orioles vs Blue Jays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Dean Kremer (4-4, 3.70 ERA): In Kremer’s first extended stay in the show, he compiled an ugly 7.55 ERA across 13 starts in 2021. It’s safe to say things have gone better for the right-hander this go around as indicated by his 3.69 ERA. His 4.87 xERA is a concern and his 6.4% barrel rate is too high to trust considering he pitches to contact.

Alek Manoah (12-5, 2.56 ERA)Toronto found a good one in Manoah. Despite being just 24 years old, he’s been one of the better pitchers in MLB this season. His 2.56 ERA is fantastic, although his 3.44 xERA does indicate that some regression might be incoming. His strikeout rate (22.4%) is down over five percentage points from last season, but he’s countered that by lowering his walk rate by three percentage points to 5.6%. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Betting trend to know

Toronto is 9-2 in its last 11 games on astroturf. Find more MLB betting trends for Orioles vs. Blue Jays

Orioles vs Blue Jays picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

With these teams so close in the AL East and Wild Card standings, it’s fair to question whether or not this line is too wide. After all, these divisional foes have played seven times this season and Baltimore has won five times — yet the Orioles are a significant +195 underdog at most books.

The pitching discrepancy is the most likely answer. Manoah has been fantastic, compiling a 2.56 ERA, while Kremer’s 4.87 xERA and 6.4% barrel rate don’t instill much confidence. 

Still, Manoah has faced the Orioles twice in 2022 and his team is 1-1 during those games. He tossed a beautiful one-hit, seven-strikeout, blanking of the Orioles back on June 13, but allowed three earned on eight hits across only five innings in a no-decision in his most recent outing, which Toronto lost 6-5.

Ultimately, it’s hard to not give Toronto a significant edge in starting pitching. The Blue Jays are 13-9 in Manoah’s starts this season, which includes a 6-2 record at home.

As for the lineups, Toronto ranks fifth in wRC+ this season while Baltimore checks in at 20th. The roles have been almost perfectly reversed in the month of August, however, as Baltimore ranks fifth in wRC+ and Toronto ranks 21st. 

The Orioles have been hot, going 25-11 in their last 36 games overall. This seems like a favorable spot for them as they’ve had success against Toronto this season and are 9-2 in their last 11 during Game 2 of a series and 5-0 in their last five Tuesday games. 

The Blue Jays have been cold, going 1-5 in their last six overall. The line is not justified in my opinion, so I’ll side with the Orioles against the moneyline as it represents better value.

Prediction: Orioles moneyline (+195 at bet365)

Covers MLB betting analysis

Over/Under analysis

If you played the Under in every game that these two starting pitchers appeared in during the 2022 season, you would’ve made a nice profit. The Orioles are 8-4 to the Under in Kremer’s 12 starts while the Blue Jays are 14-8 to the Under when Manoah is on the bump.

Baltimore has been hot at the plate, ranking fifth in both wOBA and wRC+ since the calendar flipped to June. Manoah has been fantastic this season, and it’s difficult to project the Orioles for an offensive explosion when facing a pitcher who has allowed just a 3.8% barrel rate this season.

Toronto’s lineup has gone through hot and cold stretches this season. It’s a potent lineup that can look very dangerous when things are clicking. The Blue Jays are in the midst of a cold spell, however, ranking 19th in wOBA and 21st in wRC+ in August.

Toronto is 9-2 to the Under in its last 11 games on astroturf and the Under has been a good play at the Rogers Centre during this cold spell, cashing in seven of the Blue Jays’ last nine home games. 

Both of these starting pitchers have trended toward the Under this season, and I’ll bet on that to continue Tuesday night.

Prediction: Under 9 (-120 at DraftKings)

Best bet

I’m rocking with the Under as Tuesday’s Best Bet between the Orioles and Blue Jays. 

Baltimore’s bats have been hot, but a matchup against Manoah is nothing to scoff at. The youngster has been terrific this season, posting a 2.56 ERA and 3.8% barrel rate. Toronto is 14-8 to the Under in games that he starts.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s lineup has gone cold, and though Kremer may not be a household name, the Orioles have gone 8-4 to the Under across his 12 starts.

Some books are posting a total of 8.5 but 9 is available in a few spots, so I’m grabbing that number and riding with Under 9 as the best bet.

PickUnder 9 (-120 at DraftKings)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Orioles vs. Blue Jays picks, you could win $44.08 on a $10 bet?

Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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