Sports: High-Flying Dodgers Roll Onto NLCS With 3 Game Sweep Over The San Diego Padres

by Eric Torres

A 12-3 rout of the San Diego Padres on Thursday night in Arlington, Texas clinched a spot in the NLCS for the Dodgers for an astounding 4th time in the last 5 years, where the mighty boys in blue will battle for a spot in the World Series against the up and coming Atlanta Braves.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pose for a team picture after defeating the San Diego Padres 12-3 in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series early Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Game 1 saw an electric combined start from ace Walker Buehler and rookie Dustin May, giving up only 1 run through 6 innings. In a rather quiet game, which only saw 7 hits overall, the Dodgers would draw 10 walks in the first 7 innings, as Padres ace Mike Clevinger would exit the game after the first inning. The Dodgers offense, though quiet for most of the game, broke it open in the 6th inning with 4 runs, led by a Mookie Betts double. Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen shut the door on the Padres in the late innings, only allowing one hit through the last 3 innings.

In game 2, the Dodgers’ offense came alive early, scoring 4 runs in the first 4 innings, canceling out an early run given up by starter Clayton Kershaw. However, Kershaw’s postseason demons came back to haunt him in the sixth, giving up back to back home runs to Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado. Things got a little too close for comfort for the Dodgers in the top of the 7th inning, but Cody Bellinger made the play of the day, robbing a go-ahead 2-run home run by Fernando Tatis Jr. The Dodgers seemingly would close it out in the bottom of the 7th, with Turner and Muncy driving in runs. However, the Padres mounted a comeback in the 9th, which saw Kenley Jansen knocked out of the game, and Joe Kelly recording the final out with the bases loaded, holding on to win 6-5.

With all the momentum in their favor, the Dodgers took game 3 in a blowout 12-3 win. After finding themselves down 2-1 after 2 innings, the Dodgers would score 7 runs in the next 3 innings, with six different Dodgers contributing RBIs. Although the Padres showed signs of life in the 6th, reliever Julio Urias would limit the damage to only 1 run. The Padres would not score again, as Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez, and Dylan Floro made quick work of the remaining Padres, and the Dodgers tacked on 4 more in the 9th for good measure, with Will Smith and Cody Bellinger getting 2 RBIs a piece. 11 different pitchers would throw for the Padres in game 3, with only a single one pitching more than an inning.

The underdog Padres were going to have a tough task of defeating the Dodgers anyway, but two of their top starters, Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet, left the Padres with a depleted pitching staff. This was apparent, as the Padres changed pitchers 22 times throughout the 3 game set, with only one pitcher lasting more than 2 innings. 

Meanwhile, a combination of electric pitching and a lively offensive performance would make the Padres a simple task for the Dodgers. Dodgers’ pitching held the dynamic offensive core of the Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Eric Hosmer to just a combined .166 batting average (6 for 36 total). In addition, the Dodgers would only allow 4 total runs in the first 5 innings of play. Clutch pitching was also a positive for the Dodgers this series, as Dodger pitching would strand 19 Padres on base throughout the series. The only blemish on a tremendous team pitching performance from the Dodgers would be Kenley Jansen’s rough outing in game 2, allowing 2 runs in .2 innings, and not being able to close out a 3 run lead. 

On the offensive side, there was an explosive team effort, with 7 different Dodgers registering at least 2 RBIs throughout the series, providing the Dodgers’ pitching with more than enough run support. Overall, the Dodgers combined to score 24 runs on 29 hits in 3 games. Although the Padres had a lead in each game, none of the leads lasted longer than an inning. In addition, a problem that the Dodgers had this year at times, timely hitting, was completely nonexistent this series, as the Dodgers scored 14 runs with 2 outs this series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Atlanta Braves in a much anticipated matchup, as neither team has lost a game in the postseason yet. The 7-game series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, beginning on Monday, October 12.

Schedule, Via SB Nation’s True Blue LA

GameDateTime (PT)Home teamTV
1Mon, Oct 125:08 p.m.DodgersFox
2Tue, Oct 133:05 p.m.DodgersFS1
3Wed, Oct 143:05 p.m.BravesFS1
4Thu, Oct 15TBDBravesFox or FS1
5*Fri, Oct 16TBDBravesFox or FS1
6*Sat, Oct 17TBDDodgersFox or FS1
7*Sun, Oct 18TBDDodgersFox or FS1

*if necessary

News/Op-Ed: President Trump And First Lady Test Positive For Covid-19, Former V.P. Biden Tests Negative

By Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

Just two days after the first presidential debate in Cleveland, and only one day after a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, announced on Twitter late Thursday night that they both tested positive for COVID-19, were quarantined and beginning their process of recovery.

President Donald Trump stands on stage with first lady Melania Trump after the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The bombshell announcement comes merely hours after the announcement that one of the President’s top aides – Hope Hicks – tested positive for COVID-19 and had been exposed to the President numerous times, as she accompanied he and his team on Air Force One numerous times throughout the week.

Per usual for President Trump and his administration, the fundraising event in Minnesota – while outdoors – featured no social distancing, with the President failing to inform the crowd that he had been exposed to the COVID-19 positive Hicks.

After criticizing Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden at the debate on Tuesday for his consistent mask wearing as well as his socially distanced and virtual campaign events, the President has now contracted the same virus he’s been “downplaying,” according to interview recordings by journalist Bob Woodward, since its initial onset.

On Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden stated on Twitter that he and his wife, former Second Lady Jill Biden, tested negative for COVID-19, while continuing to champion the same trust in science during the pandemic that has not been proactively vocalized by the President’s reelection campaign.

Throughout the year 2020, President Trump and his administration have remained consistent in their flagrant refusals to wear masks publicly, hosting indoor and outdoor campaign events with little to no social distancing and calling for cities to reopen the economy and scale back on restrictions brought upon by the pandemic. Most recently senior Trump officials were the only one’s in Tuesday night’s debate hall at the Cleveland Clinic to ignore mask wearing guidelines. Unlike some of the President’s family and closest advisers, who arrived at the debate without masks, First Lady Melania Trump was seen wearing a mask entering the debate hall, yet took it off after taking her seat.

Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus on Friday morning and is still in good health. Furthermore, Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court Nominee put forward by Trump to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has also tested negative for the virus.

In just one month, the American people will head to polling locations and cast their ballots on Election Day. Over a million roughly have already voted. Heading into the final stretch of campaigning for President Trump and former Vice President Biden, it’s a disastrous development for a Trump Campaign that is attempting to weather low approval ratings and slipping poll numbers. Not to mention that there are two more debates coming up – one, as of now, scheduled on President Trump’s final day of quarantine.

On Friday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows continued to emphasize the fact that President Trump was still handling business as usual while recuperating from the virus at the White House. Originally, the President’s staff thought he’d be able to recover from the West Wing, but after experiencing mild symptoms Friday, President Trump was checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He will remain there a few days, according to administration officials.

Meadows also admitted that the President and his staff knew about Hicks’ positive test – as well as knowing they were exposed to her and could potentially have the virus. Nonetheless, the administration chose to move forward with a Thursday fundraising event in New Jersey as well as press briefings.

All year long, the President and his administration have been attempting to quell concerns among the American people by baselessly emphasizing that the peak of the pandemic was already behind them. Nonetheless, in the best case scenario, the President, who is at higher risk of struggling more with the virus due to his age and clinical obesity, can recover and not be seriously affected by it. But the short-term is a worst case scenario for the President, temporarily halting campaign events and putting the status of the October 15 second presidential debate in Miami in jeopardy.

News/Op-Ed: Pardon the Interruption… President Trump, Former V.P. Biden Collide In Chaotic First Debate

By Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

On Tuesday night, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden clashed in one of the most chaotic, insult-laden presidential debates in history, leaving political pundits stunned, American families appalled and the country in an untenable struggle for decency and civility. 

US President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden exchange arguments as moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace (C) raises his hands to stop them during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

Throughout the past few months, Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden has been subject to a litany of insults from President Donald Trump and his administration, who have directly attacked the former Vice President’s mental acuity as well as his record as a senator and the eight years he served under President Barack Obama. Despite the personal attacks and insults that Former Vice President Biden and his family have faced at the hands of the President, the former Vice President has maintained a stranglehold on his leads in the polls, while his opponent has continued to ignite his base despite low approval ratings. 

On Tuesday at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, the seasoned, veteran debater in the form of Joe Biden and the unpredictable, unorthodox debater in the form of President Trump had the opportunity to put the months of insults to rest and appeal to the American people by discussing policy, visions, and providing a semblance of unity through their rhetoric in a time where the country is experiencing tremendous political polarization. 

Instead of getting a civil, decent, and controlled debate, the American people witnessed a nightmare unfold right before their very eyes. The moderator, widely respected Fox News Sunday Anchor Chris Wallace, seemingly struggled to control the personality of President Trump, who continuously interrupted the former Vice President more times than Biden was even able to speak. Rather than employ a message of unity, optimism, and leadership, the President continued to evoke rhetoric that was divisive, despicable and abrasive – yet another trampling over norms of presidential etiquette by an administration that has continually embraced the unconventional, regardless of cultural backlash. 

This debate, amidst all the issues currently going on throughout America and on the global stage, could have been huge. One may argue that perhaps this debate could have been the one to change poll numbers, make undecided voters commit to a candidate or even change the tightly held perceptions some people have regarding the character of both candidates. The debate had all the potential in the world, and certainty all the subject matter that America cares about during this election cycle. The topics that were supposed to be discussed in detail, chosen by Wallace, were as follows: the Supreme Court and Trump’s nomination, the COVID-19 Pandemic that has killed 200,000 and counting, the state of affairs in America economically, the battles for racial justice, and the integrity of the election itself. 

The debate could have been memorable, an opportunity for both of the candidates to be a shining star during a time in our country where everything is bleak – but the American people were left with more questions than answers. Immediately following the debate, Americans on Twitter, reporters on CNN and Fox News, and many politicians were quick to discuss what they had just seen.

The debate had no clear winner. President Trump rarely followed the rules agreed upon by the campaigns, driving the discussion into tangents of low-blow attacks against the former Vice President, while Biden cleared a very low bar set by months of smears against his mental acuity. 

In every way possible, no matter how people now and in the future decide to digest and analyze this debate, one thing is clear – the losers in this debate are the American people, as well as the integrity of our Democracy that is being taken down and overthrown by thuggish rhetoric. The people are suffering because of the utter embarrassment and shame that comes with seeing two grown American men – who are in a battle to run the free world – unable to engage in a debate that should have been civil, informative and unifying for a country that is bleeding for hope and leadership. 

After everything the American people have been through in 2020, Tuesday served as an opportunity to provide optimism in a better direction for the future and ignite the bases of two campaigns that have many flaws. Instead, it was the American people who suffered and were left with nothing to cheer for, nothing to feel proud of, nothing gained in terms of who has a better vision for our nation. 

In lieu of finally getting an opportunity to see what former Vice President Joe Biden would do differently than Trump as President to fix the economy, healthcare, the environment and social injustice, the American people weren’t able to hear his words over President Trump’s consistent interruptions, side comments and insults. The highlights of the debate for former Vice President Biden came in the form of him telling the President to “shut up, man” as well as calling him a “clown.”

On the flip side, President Trump had a debate performance that can only be described as unpresidential. Entering this debate amidst slipping poll numbers, President Trump truly needed a magical – or, at the very least, adequate – debate performance in order to give more fight and direction to his reelection campaign. Yet, he failed to do so.

All night, the President butted in, hurling insults toward the former Vice President in an attempt to get his challenger to make a big mistake – but it never happened. It almost seems as if Biden, the 47-year political veteran, the elder statesman in government is immune to the mudslinging and diabolical rhetoric that the President and his campaign choose to employ day-to-day on the campaign trail. When former Vice President Biden brought up his deceased son Beau Biden’s military service, the President brushed it off, choosing instead to insult Biden’s living son, Hunter. 

Furthermore, the President chose not to condemn white supremacists and far right extremist groups when asked to do so, instead telling the Proud Boys – a far right extremist group that promotes violence – to “stand by.”

In the midst of a pandemic and increased racial tensions, President Trump offered no solutions – only insults and green lights to alt-right militia groups – saying that the reason former Vice President Biden did not host in-person rallies and campaign events was not due to COVID-19 concerns, but because “no one would show up.”

Instead of raising the bar for a man he calls “sleepy” and “unfit for the job” of president, he has lowered it, while making the former Vice President look competitive for telling the President to “get out of his bunker.” All the while, former Vice President Biden has furthered the concerns amongst Americans that he is not energetic enough to truly bridge the divide between the left and the right and excite Americans enough to get tremendous voter turnout.

As both of their respective campaigns continue to play out, the former Vice President has continued to tout that the country is in “a battle for the soul of America.” Meanwhile, the President has continue to maintain a stranglehold on his base of support by promising to take down the “radical left” and to “Keep America Great.”

But, if the debate is any indication of what is in store for this country in the next few weeks, rhetoric will not be a reliable source of optimism, and traditional etiquette in American Democracy might be a thing of the past. 

News/Op-Ed: COVID-19 Responses Around the Globe Highlight U.S. Challenges

by John Udabe

As the United States persists months into the pandemic, people have continually adapted to an ever-changing “new normal.” Places in the U.S. then began to open up, and then some inevitably began to close again. Some cities around the country are in a perpetual state of cautious phased reopening, while other places remain open as if a pandemic weren’t occurring at all. Around the world, other countries have responded differently to the virus. 

Some countries now appear to be over the hump, while others are resisting a second wave of cases. Some places have returned to nearly normal, others are on their way, and some expect a return in a distant future. Quick and enforced policy appears to have been the key element to striking the problem early, as can be seen throughout the world.

Let’s take a closer look at Taiwan. An extensive list published by the American Medical Association shows that Taiwan was one of the first countries to initiate protocols regarding the virus, with health screenings on flights from Wuhan beginning as early as December 31, 2019. In the months following, Taiwan began more extensive travel restrictions and public safety measures in response to the virus. Tours and transiting to China were soon suspended. 

Places like Taiwan would likely be cautious regardless of public policy. Taiwanese citizens are no strangers to being in the worldy neighborhood of deadly viruses. The effect of the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, for example, which also originated in mainland China, likely remains in their memories.

By February 1st, roughly 4 million masks were being locally manufactured and sent out, with a set price of about $0.20 per mask, making them widely accessible. A few days later, the mobilization of resources, provided by government and private organizations, allowed for ten million masks to be made per day. 

By the beginning of February, a break in quarantine protocol for positive cases could warrant up to a $10,000 fine. An extended winter break allowed for preparation of returning students. As the months progressed, enforced entry bans and mandatory quarantining led to a relatively minimal effect from COVID-19. According to the CDC, as of last week, Taiwan currently has a reported 509 total cases, with seven deaths nationwide.

These swift actions have had beneficial repercussions to the country. A minimal effect was felt on education especially, and other than a two week buffer in February during winter break, no other time was lost for in-person instruction. School began as normal this school year as well. 

For a large time, Taiwan had launched the only professional baseball season in the entire world. And now, you can even catch a game in person at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium in Taipei after a temperature check and taking your seat in adequately spaced stands. Catching a live baseball game is a rare sight anywhere in the world, and as the MLB begins to enter the postseason in the US, it is a sorely missed sight.

New Zealand has also been notably effective in controlling the virus and is finally in the stages of reopening. Their COVID-19 response is obviously unique, as they are an island nation. Spikes in new cases have been minimal for the past few months, likely due to their strict lockdown measures. From May to August, new cases were extremely rare, and despite a small spike since then, it appears that New Zealand has the virus relatively under control. 

As of September 30th, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health states that there have been 1,480 cases, only about 200 in the last month, and 25 deaths total. Until Wednesday, September 23rd, citizens were not allowed to gather in groups greater than ten. Since April, new daily cases have been kept under 20, and cities are beginning to lift restrictions; the current plan is to slowly lift them and eliminate them completely within two weeks.

Egypt’s COVID-19 response, on the other hand, has been deemed ineffective by many. The World Health Organization states that the North African nation has accumulated over 103 thousand cases with over 5,900 total deaths to date. Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Egypt’s measures apparently failed to effectively contain the virus, which was comparable to other countries at the time, such as the U.S., United Kingdom, Italy, and others. 

According to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, a government-mandated lockdown was initiated in March, when there were less than 500 cases reported. Public areas such as restaurants and mosques, as well as schools were promptly shut down, and a curfew and flight restrictions were put in place. Yet due to a number of factors, these actions were partly in vain. It is alleged that Egypt did not record data properly, inferring that a large number of cases went unreported and therefore void from precautionary measures. 

In addition to inaccurate numbers, many places in Egypt did not have proper resources available, especially in rural and urban areas, where clean water and proper sanitation is not adequate. A lot of effort by the government focused more on preserving the economy, namely in their oil, gas, and Suez canal infrastructure, and a failed social safety net has thrown many into poverty. The amalgamation of fragile healthcare, ineffective and ill-directed policy, diverse socioeconomic statuses, and contrasting geographic areas have all led Egypt down an undesirable path.

There is no faultless way to deal with a worldwide virus, especially in this day and age, where international travel has never been so conventional. The success of a pandemic response varies from country to country. Coming up with a standard worldwide response would be utterly futile, as effectiveness is contingent upon how a specific society functions. 

The United States is a demonstration of this: states, counties, even cities are reacting to COVID-19 policies differently. Some areas embrace the ideas of social distancing and mask wearing, while others are repulsed by the idea and see the virus as a hoax. 

Life of a Brave: Don’t Make Halloween a Pandemic Nightmare

by Nicholas Neoman

Celebrating Halloween in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic poses a tremendous new health risk. In the wake of a spike in cases nationwide following Labor Day weekend, health experts are concerned with the implications Halloween places on the rate of transmission.

According to NBC Los Angeles, Labor Day saw a massive “uptick in virus cases.” Events such as barbecues and public gatherings on Labor Day caused a spike in the COVID-19 infection rate. According to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Los Angeles County’s cases are hovering around 7 cases per 100,000 people. Health experts fear the COVID-19 infection rate will see exponential growth during Halloween, which may mean the popular holiday will look different for at least 2020.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has placed new guidelines for Halloween in the midst of this pandemic. Social gatherings, such as parties, are now forbidden as close interactions will surely cause a spike in cases. Other traditions like Trick-Or-Treating are strictly advised against. Everyone must be six feet apart, which is simply not realistic. While many restless children will still go door-to-door asking for candy, the Health Department strongly advises to limit the amount of contact. Even small interactions with others, like handing out candy, put people at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.

Furthermore, the Health Department has deemed online parties and drive-in-movies as safe actions for celebrating Halloween. While many are still very sick of doing everything from a distance, one moment of close interaction can ruin what months of time have built. Halloween floods people with nostalgia of times before this pandemic. Thus, the inclination to return to “normal” will be stronger than usual. But, remember: this can be deadly. 

Sharing food such as candy can transmit the virus amongst one another. According to Healthline, as much as 42% of the infected are asymptomatic. Therefore, it is wise to take candy and other food that has not been touched or individually wrapped. While people may not experience symptoms such as coughs and runny noses, they may be carriers of this deadly virus. In the case of Halloween, like always, people will not be able to tell those who are infected based on symptoms. Thus, keep the philosophy in mind that everyone may have the virus.

On top of pandemic precautions and community restlessness, for the first time in five years, Halloween will be on a Saturday. There are no reasons for going home early – school and work do not follow as they usually did in past years. Staying out later because Halloween is on a Saturday only increases the chances of spreading the deadly coronavirus. The more time spent with someone, the larger the chances are of transmission.

The greatest fallacy the news is spreading is that cases are decreasing. While case rates may not be as colossal as they once were, this is misleading. They indicate that public gatherings are not discouraged since case rates have dropped. If people are careless and do not listen to public health and safety warnings, Coronavirus cases will leap as they did on Labor Day.

Halloween attracts many different social groups which increases interactions. Those who have been cooped up in their homes will seek to finally have some fun in months. Things like interacting with others who have not been quarantined together only increases the chances of contracting the virus. The Health Department of Los Angeles implores people to be cautious about actions that they take on Halloween. 

The Saint John Bosco community is nearing its return to campus, and a major spike from Halloween would only delay when students and faculty can come back. Halloween amidst a pandemic does not have to mean there will be a spike in COVID-19 cases. Follow the guidelines, take logical actions, preserve cleanly habits, wear a mask and stay safe.

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.

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