The Viral Roundup – Clubbin’ Cubbies Edition
Hello! Welcome to a special “Hey! The NBA and NHL are officially in offseason mode” go-around of The Viral Roundup. If you’re new here, thanks for popping by! This is your friendly one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining a new day in the world of sports. In today’s edition: Cleveland has another bad sports day, Toronto pounds the guest Mets and oddsmakers have lofty expectations for the Cavaliers in 2016.
Did You Hear?
Poor Cleveland. Fans hoping to take their mind off a hard NBA Finals loss were greeted by a full-on buttwhooping via the Cubs. Much buzzed about prospect (they have a lot of them in Chicago) Kyle Schwarber had an excellent outing in his Major League start, going 4-5 with a triple and 2 RBI in a 17-0 crushing of the Indians. (There have only been three Cubs in the past 100 years to notch three hits in their first start in the big leagues.) Tsuyoshi Wada earned his first W of the season in the stomping and Chicago knocked around a season-high 18 hits. Cleveland put nine different pitchers (include two position players) on the mound in an attempt to stop the bleeding. The Indians will look to get back on track tonight in a rematch bout.
Did You See?
Tuesday’s NBA title showdown/coronation snagged nearly all the sporting shine for the night, so we can understand if you missed Clint Dempsey going absolutely bonkers a couple days back. (It’s okay, we missed it too.) The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers were locked in a U.S. Open Cup battle that night and captain Clint was none too happy with the calls going against his side. After teammate Michael Ariza was issued a red card, Dempsey “acquired” the ref’s notebook and promptly tore it up. Naturally, that confetti making technique scored a red card as well. Seattle ended the game with just seven players on the pitch.
Did You Know?
- Why wait for all the celebratory streamers to hit the ground before casting an eye on the upcoming NBA season? Oddsmakers have revealed the big ol’ futures board for the upcoming 2015-16 campaign and the top of the board features Cleveland as the current favourite. The Cavs are a 3/1 shot to bounce back and grab the title with Golden State trailing behind with a 5/1 projection to repeat. The Thunder are also seen as a favourite to contend for the NBA Championship. OKC earns 7/1 odds to go from missing the playoffs to hoisting the Larry O’Brien Championship trophy next summer. Three franchises find themselves at the absolute bottom of the futures board. Charlotte, Philadelphia and Orlando are all 250/1 bets to pull off a miracle run next year.
- Golden State are rewarding David Lee’s reduced minutes with opportunity to play elsewhere. There’s no bad blood between the veteran and the newly minted NBA champs, it’s more of a mutual parting of ways. ESPN reports that new pastures for Lee have been hinted at after Draymond Green grabbed his job and with the playoffs done a deal can be made. Lee had a shade under eight points-per-game in regular season play with a little over five rebounds snapped up per contest.
- The Ottawa Sun says the Senators are in the market to make a deal. Goaltenders Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner are both reportedly on the market with a Top 6 forward and a draft pick being asked for in exchange. The Sabres, Oilers and Flames are all said to be looking at Lehner while Anderson’s name has generated interest from the Blues and Sharks.
- Could the Jays be ready to go another tear? Toronto picked up two straight Ls after going on a dazzling 11 game winning streak and they brought the big bats out at Rogers Centre. Danny Valencia and Kevin Pillar both went yard in a 10-0 throttling of the visiting Mets. (The Jays came in as a very strong -210 moneyling favourite.) Starter Drew Hutchison pitched 5+ innings of scoreless ball before leaving the goose egg to the bullpen. Hutchison is now 6-1 on the year.
- Michael Pineda improves to 8-3 in 2015 following a strong showing in last night’s game in The Bronx. The Yankees hurler threw nine strikeouts and gave up a solitary hit (well, a homer to be specific) as New York squeaked past Miami 2-1. RBI singles from A-Rod and Carlos Beltran provided the necessary run support padding for the Pinstripes. The two teams square off again tonight at Yankee Stadium.
- The Phillies continue to be stranded in baseball hell. Cory Matthews’ favourite ball club has last nine straight with the latest negative result coming at the hands and bats of the Orioles. Baltimore, a one-and-a-half run road favourite, scored a 6-4 victory of lowly Philadelphia. Ubaldo Jimenez fanned 8 for the O’s and Chris Parmelee cranked his third 2015 homer in the win.
- The Nats went from feast to famine in the run scoring department. Tampa Bay (a +137 moneyline road underdog) were lit up for 16 runs on Tuesday and responded by blanking Washington 5-0 in their follow-up encounter. There was a fascinating turn of events in the 8th when Steven Souza pulled off the extremely rare bunted inside the park home run. (A pair of hideous errors from the Nats helped bring that feat to life.) The Rays are currently in possession of a one game lead atop the AL East while the Nats sit one-and-a-half games back of the Mets in the NL East.
- Wednesday saw the final bit of group play before the FIFA Women’s World Cup shifts into knockout mode. In Group E action, Brazil improves to 3 wins in 3 opportunities thanks to a 1-0 blanking of Costa Rica. In the divison’s other bout, South Korea topped Spain 2-1 to advance into the Round of 16. Group F’s closing matches offered up a tight battle and an absolute blowout. France exits group play with a 5-0 pummeling of Mexico as a parting gift. France tops the table, but groupmates England and Columbia will be both advancing as well. England pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Columbian side and avoid the terror of facing the United States. The Women’s World Cup morphs into sleep mode until Saturday when Germany vs. Sweden and China vs. Cameroon begin the Round of 16.
- Johnny Football says he’s done with the “pay me” gesture that we all know and love. Manziel described himself as a disaster in his rookie season and said he was a distraction. The Cleveland Browns QB enters camp two months removed from a rehab stay that ended in April. Josh McCown appears to be the starting pivot heading into the team’s training camp. By the way, Cleveland’s listed as a distant 75/1 shot to win the Super Bowl this year.
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