Monthly Archives: September 2020

Sports: Dodgers Enter Playoffs Once Again As Title Favorites. Will They Escape Demons Of Worlds Series’ Past?

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season with a 43-17 record, the best record in the majors, and will take on a Milwaukee Brewers team that never spent a single day over .500 all season in the first round of the 2020 MLB playoffs. It begs the question – can they finally win it all? 

Dodgers fans always have high expectations for their team when the season starts, but since 2016, they have considered their season World Series-or-Bust, and this year surely isn’t any different. 

The Dodgers ended their 2016 season losing the National League Championship Series 2-4 against the New York Mets. Then, they ended 2017 in heartbreaking fashion losing to the Houston Astros in 7 games in the World Series. After that, 2018 ended with a World Series lost against the Boston Red Sox in 5 games. In 2019, the heartbreak continued, as they lost the Divisional Round 2-3 against the eventual World Series Champion Washington Nationals. 

The Dodgers are a team built to win now and for years to come. They boast a strong farm system and some of the best young talent in the majors, while also having Mookie Betts under contract for the next 12 years. 

It is notable to point out they may not have a lot of familiar faces on the team next year as Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Pedro Báez and Kiké Hernández are among the players hitting free agency this winter. Even more notably, players such as Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager are scheduled to hit free agency after next season. Is time running out for this group to win? 

Despite the speculation and talk, the Dodgers dominated the 2020 season and only lost one series all year! 

After winning their eighth consecutive division title and posting the highest winning percentage of any MLB team since 1906, the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17, .711) earned the National League’s top seed and the right to host the No. 8 seeded Milwaukee Brewers in the wild card round.

Meanwhile, the Brewers (29-31, .483) are one of two clubs in this year’s postseason with a losing record. The Brewers and Dodgers last playoff meeting came in the 2018 NLCS, which the Dodgers won in seven games.

It is still 2020 and it has been proven time and time again that this year literally anything can happen, so counting out the Milwaukee Brewers wouldn’t be a wise decision, especially after the Nationals shockingly demoralized the Dodgers in the playoffs last season. 

This series features the winners of the last two National League MVP’s in the Brewers’ Christian Yelich (2018) and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (2019). However, this may not be the Yeli vs Belli battle one may expect, as both players got off to terribly slow starts and never really found their MVP form. The postseason gives them a much-needed opportunity to start fresh when it matters most. 

The Brewers suffered a major blow when their best starter, Corbin Burnes (4-1, 2.11 ERA) strained an oblique muscle in his final regular season start. Swingman Brent Suter, who made only four starts in 2020, will get the call in Game 1. Brandon Woodruff will take the mound in Game 2, who is coming off his best outing of the season (8 shutout innings, 10 strikeouts), which took place last Saturday.  

The best hope for the Brewers to pull off the upset would be to keep the games close until the late innings. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen had a 3.33 ERA and career-high 1.15 WHIP. Setup men Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Pedro Baez also had ERAs over 3.00, which may be partially inflated but still an area where the Brewers can attack. 

Brewers closer Josh Hader can be almost untouchable at times, as he didn’t allow a hit until Sept. 5. However, he did have a couple poor outings down the stretch. Rookie Devin Williams is one to look out for as he only allowed one earned run in 27 innings (0.33 ERA) and struck out 53 (an incredible 17.7 K/9 rate). 

With Hader and Williams at the top of their game, it creates one of the best one-two relief punch combos in the majors, leaving the Dodgers with no choice but to produce runs early.


Wednesday, Game 1: Brewers (Brent Suter, 2-0, 3.13 ERA) at Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 1-0, 3.44 ERA), 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Thursday, Game 2: Brewers (Brandon Woodruff, 3-5, 3.05 ERA) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 6-2, 2.16 ERA), 10 p.m .ET (ESPN)

Friday, Game 3 (if necessary): Brewers at Dodgers, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Sports: Everything You Need to Know entering NFL Week 3

by Pedro Ochoa

NFL Week 3 is making us all question whether or not we are really here and watching football in 2020, as the league’s two most high-octane quarterbacks headline Monday Night Football.

If you are debating whether to start or sit Lamar Jackson from the Ravens, then you should really think again, because Lamar is a must start for Sunday. Yes, he will be playing a tough defense in the Chiefs and their own QB Patrick Mahomes but he’s Lamar Jackson, the NFL’s reigning MVP. 

Another great start for the week is Dak Prescott from the Dallas Cowboys. He has averaged 28.7 fantasy points in the first two weeks, and he looks to continue that against a Seattle secondary that struggled against Cam Newton in Week 2. As for his Running Back, Ezekiel Elliott, he is also a must start. You drafted him to lead your team, and he will do that this week again.

One of my favorite starts this week at the Running Back position are Austin Ekeler and Josh Kelley. The Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs since 2019. Ekeler and Kelley will be getting a lot of touches and targets and put up some big numbers for your team.

Kenyan Drake has really been quiet this season. Averaging 13 points this season, he is not looking like the RB1 that you drafted him to be. However, he faces the Detroit Lions this week. This should be a big week for him and the Arizona Cardinals. Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins will also have a big game. Put them into your starting lineups!

Dwayne Haskins has found his favorite wide receiver in Scary Terry McLaurin. Terry McLaurin has had a great two weeks and this week he has a favorable matchup against the Cleveland Browns. 

DK Metcalf had been Russell Wilson’s favorite target so far this season on deep balls. Metcalf is the leading targeted receiver, and is making the most out of them. Metcalf and the Seahawks look to go 3-0 with a win against the Cowboys.

I gave you the players that have the best match-ups, so I have to now give you some players with not so favorable match-ups. Marquise Brown is my first player on this list. We all thought that Lamar would start throwing more, which would result in Brown having more points per week. This has not happened yet, but it will happen, just not this week against the Chiefs. 

Cooper Kupp has been performing to a level that I think he will stay at. Years back, Kupp would be getting most of the touches in the red zone. That now belongs to Tyler Higbee. Higbee is getting Kupp’s touches in the red zone, and this week, with a not so favourable matchup, I am going to have to say to sit Cooper Krupp.

The Raven’s backfield is keeping people guessing on who to start each week. I don’t trust the Raven’s backfield. They had Dobbins get most of the touches week 1, and Edwards and Ingram week 2. I think every Ravens Running Back should be sat this week against the Chiefs because of the uncertainty of the running backs.

David Johnson has been getting a lot of touches for the Houston Texans this season. With Hopkins out, he needs to find another favorite target. This week, however, is not a great matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have one of the best defenses in the league led by TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Johnson would be a guy that will be locked up throughout the game on Sunday.

The last sit of the week for me is Tom Brady. Tom Brady has really been showing his age recently. He has been averaging less than 13 fantasy points a game. There are plenty of better quarterbacks on the waiver wire that can start instead of him.

These next few guys have really been showing football fans that they are legit players and should be starting in every fantasy team. After Marlon Mack’s injury, Colts’ rookie Running Back Johnathan Taylor has been performing on another level. He is getting over 20 touches a game, which is great for fantasy owners. 

Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray looks to be another early candidate for MVP. He is averaging 30 fantasy points, and that is coming from his ability to rush. He is on pace to break Lamar Jackson’s record for 1300 rushing yards in one season by a QB.

In a grim outlook on the Packers’ Running Back situation, many said, “Don’t draft Aaron Jones, he won’t be getting the same amount of points as last year.” The ones that doubted Jones are hiding because the Running Back has been performing amazing. He is the RB1 right now and looks to stay there against the Saints on Sunday. 

As we go into Week 3, make sure you look at injuries and at the waiver wire. Good luck on your week 3 match-ups!

Sports: Week Two of the NFL Season features slew of Injuries

by Pedro Ochoa

After a multitude of injuries around the NFL during week two, Fantasy Football managers entered panic mode, as we saw big names suffer serious injuries, including the likes of Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey.

Due to the preseason being cancelled due to COVID-19, as well as a shortened offseason, the athlete’s bodies may not have had adequate time to ease back into the rigors of football, causing their bodies to tire easily, ultimately resulting in injuries.

The NFL’s Week Two kicked off on Thursday Night Football between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, where there were no serious injuries. On Sunday, we saw 14 games played throughout the day. The Saints and Raiders capped off the second week at the Raiders’ first game in their new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Monday Night Football.

Thursday Night Football was surprisingly a good game between the Bengals and the Browns. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt had a combined 50+ points to lead the Browns to their first victory of the season against the Bengals with a score of 35-30. Odell Beckham Jr. is starting to look like 2018 Odell again, putting up over 17 Fantasy points. On the other side of the ball, the first overall pick, Joe Burrow, put up almost 25 fantasy points. 

Tom Brady has been showing his age lately, but still picked up his first win in a Buccaneers uniform. Despite not having a great performance without his best wide receiver in Chris Godwin, the Bucs still pulled in the win against the Panthers with a score of 31-17. Christian McCaffrey was among the top players who were injured, leaving the game due to a high ankle injury, crushing his team and Fantasy owners everywhere.

The Steelers moved to 2-0 on the season with a close win over the Broncos, at a score of 26-21. James Connor had a bounce-back performance as he ran for 106 yards, a touchdown, as well as 20 fantasy points. Juju Smith-Schuster disappointed fantasy managers this week. Denver’s Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton suffered injuries, which led to Melvin Gordon getting more carries in the backfield. 

The Los Angeles Rams blew out the Philadelphia Eagles in a battle of the 2016 NFL Draft’s two top picks- Jared Goff and Carson Wentz – at a final score of 37-19. Goff had an amazing performance, being almost perfect in the first half. The rotation of The Ram’s backfield kept the Eagles guessing. Philly fans are very disappointed with how the Eagles have started off. Carson Wentz looks lost on the field, while Miles Sanders has to carry the team to at least put up some points. 

Despite the 49ers losing basically their whole team due to injuries, San Francisco still demolished the Jets with a score of 31-13. These injuries for the 49ers are really going to push them back a couple of steps in the playoff race, and certainly disappoints all fantasy owners who drafted 49ers players. 

The Bills barely escaped the Dolphins in their game on Sunday, pulling away with a 31-28 victory in Miami. Yes, you read that right, the Dolphins! Will the Dolphins keep this up? 

The Bears surprisingly begin their 2020 season at 2-0, as they were led by Mitchell Trubisky and David Montgomery, narrowly beating the Giants with a score of 17-13. The Giants lost Saquon Barkley in the second quarter due to a torn ACL, a tremendous loss for the Giants and Barkley’s fantasy owners alike. Danial Jones had little help throughout the game from his wideouts, as well as Saquon’s replacement, Dion Lewis. 

The Colts, led by Philip Rivers, beat the Vikings, 28-11. Despite all of the turnovers by Rivers, the Colts were able to come out on top. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings struggled mightily, finding nothing to work for them on offense. 

Is Minshew Mania happening? The Jaguars, led by Gardner Minshew, almost came back for the win against the Titans, but lost with a score of 33-30. The Titans did what the Titans do best, having Derrick Henry rush, and Ryan Tannehill throw whenever they needed him to. As for the Jaguars, Gardner Minshew is playing like prime Tom Brady! 

Jordan Love came to Green Bay to take over Aaron Rodgers? I think not. Everyone thought that Rodgers was done, and that it’s time for Jordan Love to take over. Rodgers just said “Hold my beer,” and is performing on another level. The Aaron’s on the team, Rodgers and Jones, led the team to a blowout victory against the Lions with a score of 42-21. Davante Adams left the game early due to a high ankle sprain. 

Is it Super Bowl LI again? The Falcons – again – blew a 20 point lead. Led by Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley, the Falcons began the first half with a bang. The second half started and they thought they won the game already. The Cowboys went on a miraculous comeback victory to beat the Falcons by 1 point with a score of 40-39. It looks like the Cowboys are going to win the NFC East division with ease. 

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are cruising through the season. They defeated the Texans with a score of 33-16. Lamar just played like Lamar. On the other side of the ball, Watson is struggling without Hopkins. 

Kyler Murray was looking very comfortable playing catch with Deandre Hopkins in their win against The Washington Football Team at a score of 30-15. On the other side of the football, Terry McLaurin led the Football Team for 125 yards and a touchdown that let him have over 27 fantasy points. The Football Team looks like the best threat against the Cowboys in the fight for their division. 

The Chiefs narrowly beat the Chargers with a score of 23-20. The battle of the division rivals went to overtime, and the reigning champs stole the win. The Chiefs were led by Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. What happened to Watkins this week? On the other side of the football, Tyrod Taylor looks to have gotten his job taken away by the rookie, Justin Herbert. 

Superman Cam Newton is back? Despite losing to the Seahawks with a score of 35-30, the Patriots look good! Cam Newton was doing the most, rushing for touchdowns, throwing touchdowns and just being Superman Cam. The Seahawks had an amazing performance. Russell Wilson had over 33 fantasy points while throwing 5 touchdown passes. 

To end week two, The Las Vegas Raiders beat the Saints in the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Monday Night Football. They did not want their first home game in the new stadium to be spoiled by the Saints. 

The lack of preseason and short offseason caused many injuries all around the league. Owners and coaches are struggling to get everything straight since the season came by so fast. Yes, football was needed to “save” 2020, but everyone knows that it was rushed for the actual players. Hopefully the league sees this, and tries to fix it during the upcoming seasons.

Sports: Los Angeles. One City. One Goal. Two Outcomes… Lakers poised for title run as clippers Implode

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

Los Angeles, a city in which high expectations are simply the norm. But when it comes to professional athletics, despite the Angelino fanbase being demanding of every team, they are no strangers to coming up short. 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 12, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Clippers curse is real. Fans surely had flashbacks from the 2015 Clippers coming into game seven of the Western Conference semi-finals, and they were in for a treat that will leave a sour taste in their mouth for weeks, maybe even months. 

The Nuggets came back from being down 3–1 for the second straight series to make the Western Conference finals for just the fourth time in their 53 year franchise history. This upcoming conference finals appearance marks the first since 2009 which ironically was also against the Lakers. They took game seven by a margin of 104-89, resulting in the Clippers losing once again in the second round. 

Denver was led by its dynamic duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Murray led all scorers with 40 points and went 6-of-13 in 3-point shooting, while Jokic finished the night with 16 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 20 points off the bench, with the Clipper’s superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combining for just 24 points on 10-for-38 shooting.

The Clippers held a 12-point lead in the first half, but just as they did in Games 5 and 6, the Nuggets went to work in the second half to put the Clippers away. With Leonard, George and a deep supporting cast, the Clippers were considered the NBA title favorite for much of the season. They’ll now be forced to leave the bubble after three straight disappointing losses. Twitter showed no mercy whatsoever on the Clippers following their shocking defeat with players like Damian Lillard and Ja Morant taking part in the festivities. 

The Lakers on the other hand, have a 8-2 record in the playoffs and have been led by future Hall of Famer Lebron James. Despite fans missing out on the “Battle for Los Angeles” Western Conference Finals edition, the Nuggest won’t be a walk in the park for Lebron and crew as they currently hold a 6-0 record in elimination games during the 2020 playoffs.

On paper, the Lakers should be the heavy favorites to advance to the NBA Finals. However, as they have shown all playoffs long, it would not be smart to underestimate and count out the no. 3 seeded Nuggets. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic have been spectacular in the playoffs so far. Both have certainly shown that they are difficult to stop when they are at the top of their games.

Obviously, Denver will inevitably need their two stars Jokic and Murray to play at their best if they want to have a chance to pull off the monumental upset. But with a loaded team like the Lakers, led by two generational superstars, the Nuggets will definitely need everyone to play their A-game.

A matchup worth looking out for is going to be Davis vs. Jokic. Davis, as the NBA’s two preeminent bigs make their conference finals debut. Though Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is a central reason his team has overcome two back-to-back 3-1 deficits, Davis won the matchup during the regular season as the Lakers went 3-1 against the Nuggets, including two wins in Denver. 

James will head into Game 1 on Friday averaging 26.6 pts, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in the playoffs and will be playing in his 11th conference finals.

The Lakers will be representing Los Angeles in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010, while the Clippers will be representing Los Angeles by following in the footsteps of the rest of us, watching the Lakers compete for a title from their couches outside the NBA “bubble.”

News/Op-Ed: Biden Holds Steady Lead Over Trump Nationally In Election Defined By Covid-19

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

Throughout the Summer, Democratic presidential nominee and former-Vice President Joe Biden united his party and continued his measured rhetoric amidst widespread racial tension, the rising COVID-19 death toll and a downed economy. Meanwhile, incumbent President Donald Trump maintained a stranglehold on his base of support, weathering low net approval ratings and criticism regarding his administration’s COVID-19 response.

Throughout the past year and a half, the President has been under intense scrutiny from Democrats after a failed impeachment attempt, as he now attempts to change the narrative surrounding his administration’s pandemic response. Despite the chaos that has occurred over President Trump’s term, the President himself continues to avert attention from his perceived “downplaying” of the pandemic and its dangers, attacking the left for creating “fake news” in the media and attempting to block his agenda from coming into fruition. 

As a result of the continuous division of the United States, as well as the disappearance of bipartisanship, the upcoming election will be one of the most consequential in recent history. The most recent Real Clear Politics average of up-to-date polling data shows former-Vice President Biden leading the President by about 6 points nationally. 

At the Democratic National Convention last month, the party called for unity, strength and perseverance in a time where, they claimed, the country is in dire need of moral leadership. In his nomination acceptance speech, the former-Vice President displayed the reason why Democrats across the country entrusted him with the tremendous responsibility of representing their party when many in their ranks feel the man currently sitting in the Oval Office poses an existential threat.

“Love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear, and light is more powerful than dark,” said the former-Vice President.

In the midst of unforeseen, unpredictable times brought upon by the spread of COVID-19, the ensuing economic collapse and widespread racial injustice, Biden and his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, have stuck to a message of national unity, moral leadership and trust in science. President Trump, on the other hand, has struggled to exhibit acumen and accountability in these areas, touting record numbers in Wall Street markets as Main Street awaits another government stimulus hung up in gridlock between House Democrats and Republicans. 

Contrary to the Biden/Harris call for unity and leadership, President Trump and Vice President Pence have continued their “America First” rhetoric, as well as ramping up the insult-laden campaigning that won them the Presidency in 2016. From calling Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocohontas,” to branding the former-Vice President as “Sleepy Joe” and a man “Hiding in the basement,” the Trump Train is still rolling, albeit in a different way than in 2016.

Instead of prioritizing the preservation of American lives and establishing a national sense of unity, the President doubled-down on a rhetoric of divisiveness that was foreshadowed during his 2016 campaign. 

In lieu of finally taking the high road and expressing some sense of empathy for the American people in a time where two pandemics are spreading rapidly – COVID-19 and Racism – the President employed dark, pessimistic, and ironic rhetoric at the Republican National Convention last month. 

In a direct attack on the opposing Biden, Trump stated, “No one will be safe in Biden’s America.” 

All the while, protests, riots as well as anti-fascist and right-wing extremist movements have increased under the President’s watch, as he has done little to set the record straight or mend the wounds the American people have been subjected to under his very own leadership.

At an ABC News Town Hall on Tuesday, Trump struggled to answer voter questions, speaking little to their immediate concerns and pivoting to praising himself and his administration. However, the President has found it difficult to get ahead of the media narrative regarding his failed response to COVID-19, as the American death toll edges toward 200,000. 

Nearly 48 years after investigating the Watergate Scandal and exposing an election cover-up by then-President Richard Nixon, famed investigative journalist Bob Woodward is back at it in 2020, this time exposing President Trump on COVID-19. After a March phone call with the President, Woodward recently revealed the content of their conversation, and even by the President’s standards, it’s stunning. 

According to Woodward, President Trump was warned in a briefing on January 28th that the virus would be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that killed 675,000 Americans. And still, despite assembling a coronavirus task force, the President “downplay[ed],” to use the President’s own word, the dangers of the virus in public and concealed information from the American people. 

As Woodward pressed Trump in following phone calls, the President admitted that he liked downplaying the pandemic because he did not want to create a panic. Yet, hundreds of thousands of lives later, he still does, ignoring science while casting doubt on the unanimous scientific consensus on mask wearing and calling for a full reopening of the economy and schools. The most recent example was Wednesday when the president contradicted sworn congressional testimony from his Center of Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield on the importance of mask wearing and the availability of a vaccine to the general public. 

While President Trump has been out on the campaign trail playing to large, maskless crowds, sometimes even indoors, the former-Vice President Bident has exhibited extreme caution. Tonight voters will get a chance to hear from the candidate in a townhall of his own on CNN.