Matthews: Astros The Favorites To Win The World Series

ASTROS THE FAVORITES TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES

The 538 sports computer says the Houston Astros are the favorite to win the 2019 World Series. Smart computer, I think.

The 538 computer’s World Series probabilities entering Friday are: Astros 26 percent...Dodgers 22 percent...Yankees 21 percent...Braves 8 percent...Cardinals 5 percent...A’s 4 percent...Twins 4 percent...Nationals 4 percent...Rays 2 percent...Indians 2 percent...Cubs 1 percent...Brewers 1 percent.

The big edge for Houston is top three starting pitchers: Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke. Are you kidding me?

And the Astros might be the best-hitting team, too:

Batting average – Astros .276; Yankees .270; Dodgers .257

Runs – Yankees 905...Astros 870...Dodgers 832

OPS (on-base % + slugging %) – Astros .847...Yankees .834...Dodgers .807.

BOB’s “BEST BET”: BILLS OVER THE BENGALS

My 16-16 record against the Las Vegas is nothing to brag about so far his young NFL season. Neither is the 1-1 on “Best Bets”. Sorry.

The Bills rewarded me for my new-found faith in them by winning as last week’s “Best Bet” and I’m sticking with them this week: BUFFALO (-6), 24 Cincinnati 15.

The Bungles I’m pretty sure will try to revive their running game against the Bills and I believe they’ll fail.

Sunday’s other games

(home teams in CAPS)

DALLAS (21 ½) 36, Miami 7 – It has been a long time since an NFL team favored by at least 20 points has covered the spread. The Cowpokes are a very good team. The Dolphins could be among the all-time bad teams.

GREEN BAY (-7 ½) 21, Denver 10 – Aaron Rodgers versus Joe Flacco says it all.

Atlanta (+ ½) 24, INDIANAPOLIS 17 – The underachieving Falcons are due for a top effort.

KANSAS CITY (-6 ½) 35, Baltimore 31 – The way Lamar Jackson is playing, the spot is too tempting to pass up.

MINNESOTA (-9) 27, Oakland 13 – Kirk Cousins is due to start earning his money.

NEW ENGLAND (-22 ½) 44, New York Jets 7 – You expect Bill Belichick to show mercy on the Jets?

PHILADELPHIA (-6 ½) 24, Detroit 10 – The Eagles badly need a win.

Carolina (-2 ½) 27, ARIZONA 17 – The way battered QB Cam Newton has been playing, the Panthers could be better off without him.

TAMPA BAY (-6 ½) 31, New York Giants 16 – Eli Manning was far from the only reason the Giants are lousy.

Houston (+3) 24, Los Angeles Chargers 21 – The Texans with Deshaun Watson-to-DeAndre Hopkins are always a live longshot.

SAN FRANCISCO (-6 ½) 28, Pittsburgh 17 – Remember when the Steelers had the NFL’s best offensive triplets – Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown? They won’t be suiting up Sunday for Pittsburgh.

SEATTLE (-4 ½) 24, New Orleans 17 – I can’t see the Saints winning in Seattle minus injured QB Drew Brees.

Los Angeles Rams (-3) 28, CLEVELAND 20 – Tough test for the Browns. Can they beat a very good visiting team? I don’t think so.

Monday night’s game

Chicago (-4) 33, WASHINGTON 13 – Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky needs a booster shot of confidence and believe this is the spot.

HEISMAN WINNER HOWARD “HOPALONG” CASSIDY DEAD AT 85

Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, who won the 1955 Heisman Trophy as a running back for Ohio State (by the widest margin to that time) died this morning in Tampa, Florida. He was 85.

His coach, Woody Hayes, called him “the most inspirational player I’ve ever seen.”

Cassady got his great football nickname from TV cowboy star Hopalong Cassidy, who was played by William Boyd, a fellow Ohioan.

Another Ohioan, George Steinbrenner, who had ties with Cassady in the Air Force, hired Cassady as a physical fitness instructor for the Yankees in 1976. He was employed by the Yankees for around 30 years and much of that time was spent as on the coaching staff of his hometown International League Columbus Clippers.

HAPPY SPORTS BIRTHDAY TO...

Friday, September 20

Kyle Anderson 26...NHL John Tavares 29...Donatas Montiejunis 29...Ken Giles 29...Carlos Hyde 29...Ian Desmond 34...Jason Bay 41...Bobby Hoying 47...Randy Grossman 67...Guy Lefluer 68...Mat Blair 69...Sam Adams 71...Butch Byrd 78. Sophia Loren 85 is invited to the birthday party.

Saturday, September 21

Doug Baldwin 31...Dwayne Bowe 35...Reggie Nelson 36...Jeff Backus 42...Kevin Carter 46...Grant Fuhr 47...Jack Givens 53...Cecil Fielder 55...Danny Villa 55...Rick Mahorn 61...Sidney Moncrief 62...Artis Gilmore 70.

Sunday, September 22

Carlos Correa 25...Alexander Wennberg 25...Gary Trent 45...Nike Richter 53...Vince Coleman 58...Mark Johnson 62...Jeffrey Leonard 64...Harold Carmichael 70...David Stern 77....Lute Olson 85...Tommy Lasorda 92. Luke Wilson 48, Faith Hill 52 and B Murray 69 are invited to the birthday party.

ON THIS DATE IN SPORTS...

September 20

1968 (51 years ago), Mickey Mantle hit his 546th and final home run, off Boston’s Jim Lonborg.

1973 (46 years ago), Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in straight sets to win the Battle of the Sexes and the $100,000 winner-take-all purse at the Astrodome.

1980 (39 years ago), Spectacular Bid won the Woodward Stakes in a walkover (only horse in the race) to finish his career undefeated in nine starts and was voted Horse of the Year.

1988 (31 years ago), Greg Louganis won the gold medal in springboard diving one day after hitting his head on the diving board in the qualifying round.

1992 (27 years ago, Raymond Floyd became the first golfer to win tournaments on the PGA regular and Senior tours in the same year.

1998 (21 years ago), Cal Ripken’s MLB consecutive game streak ended at 2,632,

2009 (10 years ago), the New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 33-31 before 105,121 fans in the first game at the Cowboys Stadium.

September 21

1955 (64 years ago), in Rocky Marciano’s last fight, he KOd Archie Moore in 9 to finish his career with a 49-0 record.

1960 (50 years ago). Jets punter Steve O’Neal had a 98-yard punt at against the Denver Broncos.

1970 (49 years ago), Oakland’s Vida Blue no-hit the Minnesota Twins.

1980 (39 years ago), Richard Todd of the New York Jets had 40 completed passes in one game.

1985 (34 years ago), Michael Spinks beat Larry Holmes in 15 to become heavyweight champion.

1986 (35 years ago), the New York Jets beat Miami 51-49 in overtime; an NFL-record 884 combined passing yards.

1990 (29 years ago), Oakland pitcher Bob Welch became MLB’s first 25-game winner in 25 years.

1991 (28 years ago), USA Basketball announced the “Dream Team” for the 1992 Olympics.

2008 (3 years ago), the U.S. won 16 ½ to 11 ½ to end Europe’s streak of three straight Ryder Cups.

September 22

1905 (114 years ago), Willie Anderson won his third consecutive U.S. Open and his fourth overall.

1911 (198 years ago), Cy Young posted his 511th and last win.

1927 (92 years ago), Gene Tunney beat Jack Dempsey for the world heavyweight championship in the “Long Count Fight.”

1966 (54 years ago), the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland A’s to clinch their first American League pennant.

1987 (32 years ago), NFL players went on strike for 24 days.

1990 (29 years ago), Andre Dawson stole his 30th base of the season to join Willie Mays as the only players to have 300 HRs, 300 steals and 2,000 hits.

2004 (15 years ago), Barry Bonds was intentionally walked four times in a nine-inning game.

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