Red Sox Vs. Rays Lineups: Kevin Pillar Leads Off, Andrew Benintendi Sits

The Red Sox and Rays on Monday will begin a four-game series between American League East rivals at Fenway Park.
Boston has won three of four and will look to stay (relatively) hot against a Tampa team that also has won three of four. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke will send Ryan Brasier to the mound for his first big league start, while Rays skipper Kevin Cash will counter with Ryan Yarbrough, who gave up five runs last time out against Boston.
As for the lineups, Kevin Pillar will play right field for the Red Sox and bat leadoff. Alex Verdugo, who led off the last two games, will hit second. Andrew Benintendi, still with just two hits on the campaign, will begin the game on the bench, as will third baseman Rafael Devers.
Here are the lineups for both teams:
BOSTON RED SOX (6-9)
Kevin PIllar, CF
Alex Verdugo, RF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Michael Chavis, 1B
Kevin Plawecki, C
Jose Peraza, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jonathan Arauz, 3B
Ryan Brasier, RHP (0-0, 9.00 ERA)
TAMPA BAY RAYS (8-8)
Austin Meadows, LF
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Yandy Diaz, DH
Ji-Man Choi, 1B
Joey Wendle, SS
Yoshi Tsutsugo, 3B
Manuel Margo, RF
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Michael Perez, C
Ryan Yarbrough, LHP (0-2, 3.78 ERA)
More Baseball: Marcus Stroman Second Met To Opt Out Of 2020 MLB Season After It Began

Marcus Stroman Second Met To Opt Out Of 2020 MLB Season After It Began

Another New York Met has opted out of the abbreviated 2020 Major League Baseball season after it’s started.
This time, outspoken pitcher and impending free agent Marcus Stroman on Monday decided to forgo the rest of the year due to concerns about COVID-19.
“There’s just too many uncertainties, too many unknowns right now to go out there,” Stroman said in a statement, via The Athletic’s Tim Britton who noted that the pitcher changed his mind after coronavirus outbreaks have plagued the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Met’s are scheduled to travel to Miami for an upcoming four-game series beginning Monday, Aug. 17.
“We decided as a family it probably wasn’t the best to continue forward this year,” Stroman added, praising the Mets’ approach to safety protocols but mentioning how difficult it’s been for other clubs to contain the virus.
“It makes you realize how hard it is to make sure that everything is buttoned up, 24/7, from every angle.”

Stroman praised the Mets for their approach to the safety protocols. But he said of outbreaks elsewhere: "It makes you realize how hard it is to make sure that everything is buttoned up, 24/7, from every angle."
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 10, 2020

Stroman needed 24 days of service with New York to become a free agent as planned at the end of the year, and in the shortened season, that requirement was adjusted to nine days, which he racked up at the end of July.
With all the outbreaks MLB is facing, Stroman’s decision is totally understandable.
And unlike teammate Yoenis Cespedes, he at least told the team he’d be opting out rather than leaving without giving any heads up.
MLB Rumors: Here’s What Prompted Ramon Laureano To Charge Astros’ Dugout

Raptors Vs. Bucks Live Stream: Watch NBA Seeding Game Online

The top two seeded teams in the Eastern Conference will square off Monday night inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble.
The Milwaukee Bucks and reigning champion Toronto Raptors will meet in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks have gone 2-3 at Walt Disney World thus far, while the Raptors won all but one of their first five seeding games.
This will mark the third head-to-head matchup of the season between Milwaukee and Toronto. The Bucks claimed both contests by double digits.
Here’s how to watch Raptors vs. Bucks online and on TV:
When: Monday, Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Live Stream: FuboTV — free trial | WatchESPN
More NBA: Celtics Climb Up ESPN’s Power Rankings

Erik Jones ‘Blindsided’ By Joe Gibbs Replacing Him With Christopher Bell

NASCAR’s silly season has sent Erik Jones and Christopher Bell in two very different directions.
Jones, 24, on Sunday learned he will not return to Joe Gibbs Racing next season and will be replaced in the No. 20 Toyota Camry by 25-year-old Christopher Bell. During an appearance on NBC Sports Network, Jones admitted he was “blindsided” by JGR’s decision.

Erik Jones on NBCSN says “I was blindsided a little bit. I didn’t expect it coming from our talks. I thought we were moving in a good direction” of JGR telling him Thursday morning he won’t be back in 2021.
— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) August 9, 2020

Jones joined Gibbs before the 2018 season, when he was considered one of the most promising young drivers in the sport. And while the Michigan native still has loads of potential, he has managed only two victories on NASCAR’s top level and has yet to become the top-10 regular that many expected him to be.
Bell, meanwhile, has five top 10 finishes with Leavine Family Racing this season, his first as a full-time Cup driver. He won 15 combined Xfinity Series races in 2018 and 2019.
“I’m so appreciative of the opportunity I have this year with LFR and I want to finish this season strong for Bob (Leavine) and everyone there,” Bell said in a statement through JGR on Monday. “At the same time, I’m extremely excited to return to Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2021. It’s an organization I’m very comfortable with and have had a lot of success with.”

pic.twitter.com/3LF061UoTk
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) August 10, 2020

Jones and Bell currently are 15th and 19th, respectively in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
There is no word yet on which team Jones will race for next year.
More NASCAR: Danica Patrick Owns Troll Who Mocked Her Over Aaron Rodgers Breakup

NHL Draft Lottery Live Stream: Watch 2020 No. 1 Pick Selection Show Online

The NHL draft order will finally be set Monday night, and there’s a good chance one of the NHL’s premier franchises gets the chance to land the sport’s next big superstar.
The COVID-19 pause led to a controversial new draft lottery system, and the first “round” of the lottery led to madness. The first phase of the lottery established slot Nos. 2 through 8, with the first overall pick going to a team that was, at the time, to be determined. Now that the Stanley Cup playoff qualifiers are done, the eight teams who lost those best-of-five series now each have a 12.5% chance to land the No. 1 pick. The other seven teams will get Nos. 9 through 15.
That means a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers or Pittsburgh Penguins could get the No. 1 spot in the draft. The top pick is always coveted, but getting the first selection almost certainly will be Alexis Lafreniere, a player who some see as a generational talent. Imagine him playing alongside Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid? It definitely could happen.
Here’s how to watch the NHL draft lottery.
When: Monday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live stream: FuboTV — free trial | NBC Sports

Why Cam Newton’s Presence Could Also Help Patriots’ Defense This Season

In the past, the New England Patriots have had to find creative ways of imitating mobile opposing quarterbacks in practice. That might not be necessary this season.
As long as Cam Newton remains healthy and on the Patriots’ roster, New England’s defense will face one of the greatest rushing QBs in NFL history on a daily basis.
What better way to prepare for the parade of athletic signal-callers that populate their 2020 schedule.
“When you really watch Cam move, you can see how it’s going to help us get better as a team,” defensive tackle Lawrence Guy said Monday in a video call with reporters. “When you look around the league, there’s a lot of mobile quarterbacks, and he’s one of them — he’s one of the top ones to this day.
“So you have to be like, ‘How can we use his mobility?’ … Because as a defense, you get different teams different weeks, and we’ve got that aspect right now. We’ve got (quarterbacks) that can move. We’ve got people that can throw. We’ve got people that can change up plays. So it just helps you develop more and more as a team, and it helps (us defend) that situation and style of football.”
This season, New England is scheduled to face each of last year’s top four QB finishers in rushing yards — Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen (twice) and Deshaun Watson — plus Russell Wilson (sixth on that list), the elusive Patrick Mahomes and either Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert.
More Patriots: How Edelman Is Approaching First Year Without Brady
The Patriots have struggled against athletic quarterbacks in years past and will be replacing their top three pass rushers from last season (Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins). Jerod Mayo believes the daily reps against Newton will pay dividends.
“When you look at our schedule this year, we’re going to play a bunch of mobile quarterbacks,” Mayo, the Patriots’ inside linebackers coach, said last week. “So any time you can go against a mobile quarterback each and every day in practice, it will definitely get us better on the defensive side of the ball. We’re looking forward to the challenge. I think Cam is a heck of a player. But I think our guys are looking forward to the opportunity to go against a guy like that each day.”
Veteran Patriots defenders are well aware of Newton’s capabilities.
The 2015 NFL MVP sliced up New England’s defense twice during his time with Carolina, totaling 107 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries in a pair of Panthers victories, one in 2013 and one in 2017. Newton also completed 71.9 percent of his passes in those games, throwing six for touchdowns with one interception.
Guy, who played in the 2017 meeting, echoed several of his teammates in saying he’s excited to have Newton aboard.
“You get a person like that — big body, mobile quarterback — it’s like, ‘This is going to be exciting when we get into practice,’ ” Guy said. “But the dynamic he brings into the locker room and everybody embracing him is the best part. Because we’ve got a unique team here, (and) once he came in, he’s fitting right in.
“I think (fellow QBs Brian Hoyer) and (Jarrett) Stidham are welcoming him with open arms. Them coming onto the field and hearing them talk, you can see them throwing different plays out and aspects out. So it’s going to be one of those things where we can’t wait to get the pads on to see how everything’s rolling together — with Cam being here, Hoy being here, Stidham — how the playbook’s going to come to life.”
More Patriots: Inside The Minds Of Pats’ QB Candidates

Cam Newton Facing More Pressure Than Tom Brady? Stephen A. Smith Explains

Tom Brady and Cam Newton are starting down new paths this season after lengthy tenures with the organizations that drafted them.
Brady is entering his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the heels a 20-year run with the New England Patriots, while Newton is gearing up to fill the former’s shoes in Foxboro now that a nine-year stint with the Carolina Panthers is in his own rearview mirror.
So, which quarterback is facing more pressure upon changing scenery?
ESPN’s “First Take” crew debated that question Monday, and Stephen A. Smith believes Newton is the correct response based on what’s at stake personally for the 31-year-old signal-caller.
” … We’ve got some serious questions about whether or not Cam Newton is going to have a career if he does not succeed in New England,” Smith said.
” … We still look at Cam Newton, we question his ability to throw the football accurately,” he added. “And now, despite the freak athlete that he is, we’re questioning his ability to continue to run and to be the athlete that he is because of the amount of punishment his body has absorbed over the years.”
More Patriots: Cam Newton Only Remembers One Thing From First Conversation With Julian Edelman

Newton has battled multiple injuries in recent seasons. He was limited to just two games in 2019 before the Panthers released him in March. Even though Brady, who just turned 43, is more than a decade older, one could argue Newton is a bigger unknown, as there’s no guarantee he’ll stay healthy let alone perform at an elite level.
“The flip side to it is that there are no real questions about Tom Brady other than age and attrition,” Smith said in assessing Newton’s outlook. “They may be significant, but that’s all you’re really questioning right now. With Cam Newton at age 31, we’re questioning if he doesn’t survive here in New England, or prosper, who’s going to even want him? I think more pressure is on him.”
Either way, it’ll be fascinating to monitor how Brady and Newton produce with the Bucs and Pats, respectively. Fairly or unfairly, they’re now very much intertwined.
More Patriots: Julian Edelman Offers First Impression Of New Teammate Cam Newton

Danica Patrick Owns Troll Who Mocked Her Over Aaron Rodgers Breakup

Danica Patrick isn’t about to let some internet troll ruin her day.
An Instagram user over the weekend commented on one of Patrick’s posts by mocking the retired NASCAR star over her recent breakup with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The remarks were as stupid as they were mean-spirited.
“At 38, its over for you in the relationship world with high value men,” the person wrote. “From a failed marriage to failed dating clearly you have a problem in dating.”
Patrick used her Instagram story to respond.
“If we let what one person thinks of us be our reality, we are doomed,” Danica wrote. “Realize that what someone says to us has a lot more to do with their own wounds and reality than ours. Our reality is our decision. Still not easy — but true.”
Take a look:

Edge: Danica.
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Julian Edelman, Lawrence Guy Explain Why They Didn’t Opt Out Of Patriots Season

Eight New England Patriots players chose to opt out of the 2020 NFL season because of concerns related to COVID-19.
On Monday, two who decided to play — wide receiver Julian Edelman and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy — explained why.
“It was fairly easy for me because of my situation and what’s going on in my life right now,” Edelman said in a video conference with reporters. “I can’t speak for other people. A lot people are in a lot of different situations, so you don’t think of anyone differently for choosing not to play or to play. Everyone’s in a different particular little thing — if you’re having a kid or some underlying this, some that.
“I’m not a doctor, and this isn’t something not to be scared about. But I thought it would be best for me and my family if I were to go out, and that’s what I chose to do.”
Guy said he did discuss potentially opting out but ultimately felt comfortable with the protocols the NFL and the Patriots have put in place to protect players from COVID-19. Like Edelman, the veteran D-lineman said he fully respects his teammates who chose not to play.
More Patriots: How Edelman Is Approaching First Year Without Tom Brady
“Everybody has to what they’ve got to do,” Guy said. “You have to give credit to people that did opt out. They opted out for a certain reason. They’re looking out for their health and their family’s health. … I wanted to play football this year, (but) it was something that you always discuss. Every last one of the people in the locker room, you can’t say they didn’t discuss it, because the concerns are there.
“There’s always going to be concerns, because this is a virus that nobody has the answer for. So that is there. But (we’re) understanding that the team is doing the best they can to keep us safe. They’re cleaning the facilities. And players holding each other accountable of trying to keep everybody else’s family safe is one of those things that you really know is going to happen here. So me knowing that and me having that trust in my teammates gave me the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to play this year.’
“But I understand people that decided they wanted to opt out. That’s part of their reasons they did it, and you can’t blame them for doing it.”
Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, running back Brandon Bolden, tight end Matt LaCosse, receiver Marqise Lee, fullback Danny Vitale and guard Najee Toran all opted out. New England’s eight opt-outs were the most by any NFL team.
More Patriots: Inside The Minds Of Pats’ QB Candidates

Mavericks Vs. Jazz Live Stream: Watch NBA Seeding Game Online

The Luka show continues Monday inside the Walt Disney World NBA bubble.
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks will face Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Both teams are locked into the Western Conference playoffs, but both also still have outside shots at finishing as high as the fifth seed.
Here’s how to watch Mavs-Jazz online:
When: Monday, Aug. 10, at 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBA TV
Live Stream: FuboTV
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