NHL awards 2019: Brent Burns, Mark Giordano,

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, has been named as a finalist for the third straight year, the NHL announced Sunday.

Joining Hedman as finalists are Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames.

The James Norris Memorial Trophy, first awarded in 1954, is given annually to the defenseman voted to have demonstrated the greatest all-around ability at the position throughout the season.

Hedman once again lived up to those qualifications. The 28-year-old veteran led Tampa Bay defensemen in several categories, including goals (12), assists (42), points (54) and game-winning goals (four). He scored at least 10 goals for a sixth straight season and had an NHL career-high seven-game point streak (two goals, eight assists) in March. The Lightning defense led the NHL with a plus-98 goal differential.

Burns, 34, led all NHL defenseman in assists (67), points (83), game-winning goals (six) and shots on goal (300). He became the first defenseman in Sharks history to have at least 60 assists in a season and the second player at any position to hit the mark, joining forward Joe Thornton, who has done it seven times.

The 35-year-old Giordano finished second among defensemen in scoring with 74 points (17 goals, 57 assists), his NHL career high, and led all players with a plus-39 rating. The Flames captain helped the team finish first in the Western Conference (50-25-7) and second in the NHL with a plus-66 goal differential. He is seeking to become only the fourth player 35 or older to win the Norris Trophy.

The NHL will continue rolling out all of its award finalists every day over the next week, culminating with the Hart Trophy nominees on April 28. The winners will be announced June 19.

Here is the schedule for all of the announcements, along with previously announced nominees.

NHL awards finalists announcement dates and nominees

  • April 17: Selke Trophy (Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Reilly, Mark Stone)
  • April 18: Lady Byng Trophy (Ryan O’Reilly, Aleksander Barkov, Sean Monahan)
  • April 19: Masterson Trophy (Nick Foligno, Robin Lehner, Joe Thornton)
  • April 20: Vezina Trophy (Ben Bishop, Andrei Vailevskiy, Robin Lehner)
  • April 21: Norris Trophy (Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, Victor Hedman)
  • April 22: Mark Messier Leadership Award
  • April 23: King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Humanitarian Award)
  • April 24: Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award
  • April 25: Ted Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Player as voted by the players)
  • April 26: Jack Adams Award (Top head coach)
  • April 27: Calder Trophy (Top rookie)
  • April 28: Hart Trophy (Most Valuable player to his team)
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Murray: Telling Athletics about NFL commitment was tou

NFL draft prospect Kyler Murray said notifying the Oakland Athletics about his decision to turn down the MLB for a career in American football “was tough”.

Murray was the Athletics’ first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, however, he has opted to commit himself to the NFL.

The 21-year-old quarterback was due to report to spring training with the Athletics earlier this month before switching his focus.

Murray said it was “obviously hard” telling the Athletics he would be committing to football.

“For me, it was something I’ve known for a while,” Murray said on Saturday. “That organisation, being with the A’s, was the best possible situation for me just because they were so great throughout the football season, kind of leaving me alone and letting me do my own thing, and at the same time letting me know how much I meant to them and that type of stuff. Telling them was tough.”

Despite Murray’s decision, the Athletics have retained the Heisman Trophy winner’s baseball rights.

“I mean, they can hold out all the hope if they want to,” Murray added. “I’m going to play football.”

The Arizona Cardinals have the first pick in the draft and have their eyes on Murray. If he is selected in the first round, he will be the first athlete to be drafted in the first round of both sports.​

“The night I got drafted to the A’s – obviously it was a great day of my life – but I’ve been a football player my whole life,” Murray said. “I didn’t know how the NFL felt about me before this season because I hadn’t played.

“Going into this [football] season, [the goal] was to put myself in the best position possible. Obviously, when you win, good things happen. A lot of good stuff happened this year.”​

In his first season as the Oklahoma Sooners’ starting QB, Murray led the team to the College Football playoff.

He passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.

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2018 NFL Predictions-Divisional round

Divisional round

Saturday, Jan. 12

4:35 p.m. Eastern  spread Win prob. Score
Indianapolis 34%
Kansas City -4.5 66%
8:15 p.m. spread Win prob. Score
Dallas 34%
L.A. Rams -4.5 66%

Sunday, Jan. 13

1:05 p.m. Eastern  spread Win prob. Score
L.A. Chargers 42%
New England -2.5 58%
4:40 p.m. spread Win prob. Score
Philadelphia 36%
New Orleans -4 64%


Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 5

FINAL Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Indianapolis 44% 21
Houston -1.5 56% 7
FINAL Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Seattle 46% 22
Dallas -1 54% 24

Sunday, Jan. 6

FINAL Elo point spread Win prob. Score
L.A. Chargers 40% 23
Baltimore -2.5 60% 17
FINAL Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Philadelphia 39% 16
Chicago -3 61% 15
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2018 NFL Predictions week 17

Week 17

Sunday, Dec. 30

1 p.m. Eastern Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Atlanta -1 54%
Tampa Bay 46%
1 p.m. Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Carolina 13%
New Orleans -13 87%
1 p.m. Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Dallas -3.5 62%
N.Y. Giants 38%
1 p.m.
Detroit 35%
Green Bay -4.5 65%
1 p.m.
Jacksonville 29%
Houston -6 71%
1 p.m.
Miami 41%
Buffalo -2.5 59%
1 p.m.
N.Y. Jets 11%
New England -14.5 89%
4:25 p.m.
Arizona 12%
Seattle -13.5 88%
4:25 p.m.
Chicago 44%
Minnesota -1.5 56%
4:25 p.m.
Cincinnati 17%
Pittsburgh -11 83%
4:25 p.m.
Cleveland 19%
Baltimore -10 81%
4:25 p.m.
L.A. Chargers -4 64%
Denver 36%
4:25 p.m.
Oakland 12%
Kansas City -14 88%
4:25 p.m.
Philadelphia -4.5 65%
Washington 35%
4:25 p.m.
San Francisco 15%
L.A. Rams -12 85%
8:20 p.m.
Indianapolis 38%
Tennessee -3.5 62%
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NFL notebook: Giants WR Beckham (quad) ruled ou

The New York Giants’ ultra-slim chances of making the playoffs took another hit when wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans because of a quadriceps injury.
The decision to rule out Beckham on Friday came one day after the star wideout underwent further evaluation at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Beckham said tests were conducted to double-check the injury and ensure that he was healing.
The injury was described as being consistent with a hematoma, where a mass of blood pools in one area, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.
Beckham initially was hurt in a 25-22 loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 25 but played the following week against the Chicago Bears, posting three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown in a 30-27 victory.
Although he practiced during the week, Beckham reported discomfort in the quad a week ago and the Giants announced last Saturday that he would not accompany the team to Washington for last weekend’s game.
Limited to four games because of a fractured ankle in 2017, Beckham has 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns this season.
A first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft, Beckham had at least 90 catches and 1,300 yards in each of his first three seasons with New York. He also had double-digit touchdowns in each of those seasons, including a career-best 13 in 2015.
Beckham reached 200 receptions and 3,000 receiving yards in just 30 games, getting to those milestones faster than anyone in NFL history.

-Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones returned to practice Friday and is expected to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
There was concern about Jones’ availability after Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters on Thursday that his star wide receiver was sent home because of illness.
Jones has been among the few bright spots in a dismal season for Atlanta, which is mired in a five-game losing streak. In last week’s 34-20 setback at Green Bay, Jones had eight receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns, pushing his NFL-best total to 1,429 receiving yards.
It was the ninth 100-yard game of the season and the seventh in the past eight for Jones, tying his franchise record. He has all five of his touchdown catches in the past six games. Jones also set an NFL record by becoming the first receiver in history with five consecutive seasons of at least 1,400 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will not need surgery for his back injury and might be able to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Doug Pederson told reporters on Friday.
Wentz has a fracture in his back and originally was listed as questionable, but later in the day he was downgraded to doubtful.
“He has a stress injury evolved over time and requires no surgery,” Pederson told reporters. “I’m not asking or answering any more questions about it. We’re playing the Rams in two days if you guys haven’t figured this out. “If we put him out there, there has to be 100 percent that there is no risk of anything further.”
Wentz has not practiced all week and Pederson said full recovery could take up to three months. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is expected to start Sunday for the Eagles (6-7).

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner, who missed last week’s loss to the Oakland Raiders because of an ankle injury, practiced on a limited basis Friday and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. Conner sat out practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jaylen Samuels replaced Conner in the starting lineup against Oakland and rushed for only 28 yards on 11 carries, but he did catch seven passes for 64 yards. Stevan Ridley also played and managed only four yards on five carries, but he did score on a 2-yard run.
Conner has stepped up this season after All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell held out for a new contract and has not reported, leading the Steelers with 909 yards rushing on 201 carries, a 4.5-yard average, and 12 touchdowns, in addition to catching 52 passes for 467 yards and another score.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed most of the second half against the Raiders because of a rib injury but returned late in the game, was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday, and will start against the Patriots. The Steelers also listed wide receiver Ryan Switzer as questionable because of an ankle injury and he was a limited participant in practice on Friday.

–Former NFL All-Pro guard Bill Fralic died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 56. Fralic’s passing was announced by the University of Pittsburgh, where he was named a three-time All-American during the early 1980s. Fralic made history while at Pitt, becoming the first offensive lineman to finish among the top 10 in the Heisman Trophy voting on two occasions.
“Bill is truly one of the iconic figures in the history of Pitt athletics,” Panthers athletic director Heather Lyke said in a statement. “He set a tremendous standard for our current generation of student-athletes, not only as an athlete but also for what he went on to accomplish once his playing days concluded. Bill’s reputation for giving back might even transcend his Hall of Fame football career. He was a passionate supporter of Pitt and Penn Hills. Our deepest sympathies to his wife, Susan, and his many loved ones and friends.”
Fralic was the No. 2 overall pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 1985 NFL Draft. A tackle at Pitt, Fralic was shifted to guard with Atlanta and earned first-team All-Pro honors in his second and third seasons. That started a string of four straight years in which Fralic was named to the Pro Bowl.
Fralic wound up playing eight seasons for the Falcons before ending his nine-year career by starting all 16 games for the Detroit Lions in 1993.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Friday for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. It was the third such suspension for Bryant, who is on injured reserve.
“Effective immediately, Martavis Bryant has been returned to the Reserve/Commissioner Suspended list indefinitely for violating the terms of his April 2017 conditional reinstatement under the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse,” the league said in a statement.
The 26-year-old Bryant was suspended for four games in 2015 and was suspended for the 2016 season because of previous policy violations. Bryant is not under contract for the 2019 season, so no team will hold his rights of and when he is reinstated from his latest ban.
Bryant was placed on IR by the Raiders on Dec. 5 because of a knee injury. In eight appearances, he made two starts in his first season with the Raiders. He had 19 receptions for 266 yards before the knee injury kept him inactive for three games.

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of a toe injury he suffered in last weekend’s 40-16 drubbing by the New York Giants.
Washington (6-7) has dropped four games in a row to lose control of first place in the NFC East and fall a half-game behind Minnesota for the sixth and final playoff spot.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said earlier this week that Reed might not return this season. The sixth-year tight end underwent surgery on both of his toes in the offseason. Veteran Vernon Davis is expected to start in Reed’s place.
Washington also could be without wide receiver Josh Doctson (concussion) and third-down back Chris Thompson (illness). Both are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller played through what is believed to be a broken wrist against the Los Angeles Chargers and had surgery on Friday morning, NFL Network reported.
Fuller will be out for an undetermined length of time, a blow to the Kansas City defense because he is perhaps the best player in a secondary that has allowed the most yards in the NFL this season.
Orlando Scandrick is expected to take over for Fuller for the Chiefs, who also could go with Charvarius Ward or Tremon Smith opposite Steven Nelson.
Fuller was penalized twice in Thursday night’s game against the Chargers — a 5-yard defensive holding call in the second quarter and crucial pass interference penalty in the end zone with eight seconds left in the game. The Chargers capitalized on both infractions by scoring touchdowns and won the game 29-28 with a two-point conversion.

San Diego Chargers veteran tight end Antonio Gates never expected to be in the playoffs this season. He was not even certain if he’d be playing football. Yet 7 1/2 months after he was released by the Chargers, Gates was basking in the glow of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2013 after the dramatic 29-28 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
“Very emotional,” Gates told the team’s official website after the Chargers rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter. “I think what happens is that you think about all the hard times and the things you had to go through to get to this point.”
Gates was uncertain if he would play at all in 2018 after the Chargers informed his representatives in late April that they would not seek to re-sign the future Hall of Famer.
An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, Gates had only 30 receptions for a career-low 316 yards and three touchdowns in a reduced role in 2017. He has 25 receptions for 312 yards and two scores this season

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2018 NFL Predictions-Week 14

Week 14

Thursday, Dec. 6

Jacksonville 34%
Tennessee -4.5 66%

Sunday, Dec. 9

Atlanta 47%
Green Bay -0.5 53%
Baltimore 29%
Kansas City -6 71%
Carolina -3.5 62%
Cleveland 38%
1 p.m.
Indianapolis 32%
Houston -5 68%
1 p.m.
New England -6.5 72%
Miami 28%
1 p.m.
New Orleans -7 74%
Tampa Bay 26%
1 p.m.
N.Y. Giants 31%
Washington -5.5 69%
1 p.m.
N.Y. Jets 30%
Buffalo -6 70%
4:05 p.m.
Cincinnati 16%
L.A. Chargers -11.5 84%
4:05 p.m.
Denver -3.5 63%
San Francisco 37%
4:25 p.m.
Detroit 49%
Arizona PK 51%
4:25 p.m.
Philadelphia 41%
Dallas -2.5 59%
4:25 p.m.
Pittsburgh -9 78%
Oakland 22%
8:20 p.m.
L.A. Rams -2 56%
Chicago 44%

Monday, Dec. 10

Minnesota 38%
Seattle -3.5 62%
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2018 NFL Predictions: Week 9

2018 NFL Predictions: Week 9

Sportseconds utilizes its football simulation to predict the outcome for this week’s games. Each game is simulated 501 times to generate an average score and winning percentage. The predictions use the most up-to-date stats, rosters and depth charts.

Raiders Raiders 1-7 3
49ers 49ers 2-7 34
Avg Score:23.3 – 25.8
Win%:SF (55.3%)

Spread:-2 O/U:44.5
ATS Win%:SF (50.7%)
Steelers Steelers 4-2-1
Ravens Ravens 4-4
Avg Score:22.0 – 20.8
Win%:PIT (54.1%)
Spread:-3 O/U:47.5
ATS Win%:PIT (57.3%)
Bears Bears 4-3
Bills Bills 2-6
Avg Score:25.9 – 19.0
Win%:CHI (71.5%)
Spread:-10 O/U:37.5
ATS Win%:BUF (58.9%)
Avg Score:23.7 – 27.4
Win%:CAR (59.4%)
Spread:-6 O/U:55
ATS Win%:TB (57.5%)
Chiefs Chiefs 7-1
Browns Browns 2-5-1
Avg Score:27.8 – 19.3
Win%:KC (74.4%)
Spread:-8.5 O/U:51
ATS Win%:CLE (53.1%)
Jets Jets 3-5
Avg Score:20.8 – 21.8
Win%:MIA (51.1%)
Spread:-3 O/U:43.5
ATS Win%:NYJ (52.5%)
Lions Lions 3-4
Vikings Vikings 4-3-1
Avg Score:23.7 – 26.4
Win%:MIN (58.1%)
Spread:-5 O/U:49
ATS Win%:DET (56.1%)
Falcons Falcons 3-4
Avg Score:23.0 – 27.7
Win%:WSH (63.9%)
Spread:-2 O/U:48
ATS Win%:WSH (61.9%)
Texans Texans 5-3
Broncos Broncos 3-5
Avg Score:22.7 – 20.1
Win%:HOU (62.0%)
Spread:-1 O/U:46
ATS Win%:HOU (61.7%)
Avg Score:24.5 – 21.2
Win%:LAC (60.5%)
Spread:-1 O/U:48
ATS Win%:LAC (60.3%)
Rams Rams 8-0
Saints Saints 6-1
Avg Score:25.6 – 23.2
Win%:LAR (57.9%)
Spread:-1.5 O/U:59.5
ATS Win%:LAR (57.9%)
Packers Packers 3-3-1
Avg Score:21.7 – 26.6
Win%:NE (65.8%)
Spread:-5.5 O/U:56.5
ATS Win%:GB (54.3%)
Titans Titans 3-4
Cowboys Cowboys 3-4
Avg Score:23.6 – 25.5
Win%:DAL (54.3%)
Spread:-5.5 O/U:40.5
ATS Win%:TEN (60.9%)
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2018 NFL Predictions-Week 9

Week 9-Thursday, Nov. 1

FINAL Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Oakland 38% 3
San Francisco -3.5 62% 34

Sunday, Nov. 4

1 p.m. Eastern Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Atlanta 45%
Washington -1.5 55%
1 p.m. Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Chicago -1 54%
Buffalo 46%
1 p.m. Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Detroit 32%
Minnesota -5 68%
1 p.m.
Kansas City -11.5 84%
Cleveland 16%
1 p.m.
N.Y. Jets 38%
Miami -3.5 62%
1 p.m.
Pittsburgh 46%
Baltimore -1 54%
1 p.m.
Tampa Bay 24%
Carolina -8 76%
4:05 p.m.
Houston 46%
Denver -1 54%
4:05 p.m.
L.A. Chargers 39%
Seattle -3 61%
4:25 p.m.
L.A. Rams 41%
New Orleans -2.5 59%
8:20 p.m.
Green Bay 19%
New England -10 81%

Monday, Nov. 5

8:15 p.m. Eastern Elo point spread Win prob. Score
Tennessee 34%
Dallas -4.5 66%
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NFL- this week’s games

Sportseconds.com  simulation to predict the outcome for this week’s games.

Each game is simulated 501 times to generate an average score and winning percentage.

The predictions use the most up-to-date stats, rosters and depth charts.

Colts Colts 1-424
Patriots Patriots 3-238
Avg Score:22.4 – 27.6
Win%:NE (67.9%)

Spread:-11 O/U:50
ATS Win%:IND (67.7%)

Titans Titans3-1
Bills Bills1-3
Avg Score:27.0 – 21.0
Win%:TEN (66.7%)
Spread:-5.5 O/U:39.5
ATS Win%:TEN (49.1%)
Giants Giants1-3
Avg Score:22.5 – 24.5
Win%:CAR (58.5%)
Spread:-7 O/U:43.5
ATS Win%:NYG (64.3%)
Bengals Bengals3-1
Avg Score:21.3 – 24.4
Win%:CIN (59.0%)
Spread:-6 O/U:48.5
ATS Win%:MIA (57.3%)
Ravens Ravens3-1
Browns Browns1-2-1
Avg Score:22.5 – 15.0
Win%:BAL (71.1%)
Spread:-3 O/U:45.5
ATS Win%:BAL (60.7%)
Packers Packers2-1-1
Lions Lions1-3
Avg Score:27.2 – 21.7
Win%:GB (62.7%)
Spread:0 O/U:51
ATS Win%:GB (60.3%)
Jaguars Jaguars3-1
Chiefs Chiefs4-0
Avg Score:20.3 – 22.6
Win%:KC (57.8%)
Spread:-2.5 O/U:48
ATS Win%:JAX (47.1%)
Broncos Broncos2-2
Jets Jets1-3
Avg Score:19.6 – 22.7
Win%:NYJ (59.1%)
Spread:0 O/U:42.5
ATS Win%:NYJ (58.9%)
Falcons Falcons1-3
Steelers Steelers1-2-1
Avg Score:20.8 – 30.5
Win%:PIT (77.0%)
Spread:-3 O/U:58
ATS Win%:PIT (67.3%)
Raiders Raders1-3
Avg Score:24.2 – 27.1
Win%:LAC (57.9%)
Spread:-5.5 O/U:52.5
ATS Win%:OAK (55.3%)
Vikings Vikings1-2-1
Eagles Eagles2-2
Avg Score:19.7 – 23.4
Win%:PHI (63.5%)
Spread:-3 O/U:46
ATS Win%:PHI (49.3%)

Cardinals Cardinals0-4

49ers 49ers1-3
Avg Score:18.5 – 27.3
Win%:SF (74.5%)
Spread:-4 O/U:40
ATS Win%:SF (61.9%)
Rams Rams4-0
Avg Score:25.0 – 21.5
Win%:LAR (58.4%)
Spread:-7.5 O/U:50.5
ATS Win%:SEA (59.9%)
Cowboys Cowboys2-2
Texans Texans1-3
Avg Score:21.7 – 23.3
Win%:HOU (55.6%)
Spread:-3 O/U:45.5
ATS Win%:DAL (48.9%)
Saints Saints3-1
Avg Score:24.5 – 26.6
Win%:NO (58.3%)
Spread:-7 O/U:52.5
ATS Win%:WSH (64.3%)
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This Week in U.S. Sports: Reid signs, NL in chaos and Ohtani to undergo surgery

There was a sign of change in the NFL this week, some might say a showing of maturity and evolution.

In MLB, the National League is approaching one of the greatest final week of a season in recent memory and another penalty flag was just thrown for roughing the passer.

This is what is going on in this week of U.S. Sports.

1. Reid signs with Panthers

Eric Reid is finally on an NFL roster.

The 2013 first-round pick went the first three games of the NFL season without a team as he remained a free agent until the Carolina Panthers signed him on Thursday.

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance on Reid’s behalf during the offseason alleging teams were not signing him because he had kneeled alongside former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem.

While he may have had a point, the important thing is that now he has a team as the 2013 Pro Bowler probably never should have been without one.

2. National League chaos

There is only one thing for certain in MLB’s NL: The Atlanta Braves have won the Eastern Division. That’s it.

As of Thursday, the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers had locked up playoff spots, but the central was still up for grabs. In the west, the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers were separated by one game at day’s end.

However, any of those four teams could still win their division.

With three games left to play nothing is decided. Add in the fact the Cubs play the St Louis Cardinals who are one game back of the Dodgers for the second wild-card spot and every single one of those games has playoff implications.

This is what MLB wanted when they added a second wildcard in 2011.

3. Ohtani officially has Tommy John surgery scheduled

We knew it was coming, but now it is official: Shohei Ohtani will have surgery after the season ends on Sunday. The Los Angeles Angels star will have the surgery at some point next week and will not pitch in 2019.

However, he may be available to hit, though there is no timetable on when he could do that.

Ohtani is the likely American League Rookie of the Year as he is fourth in home runs among rookies (22), fourth in RBIs (59) and third in batting average (.283). He has also struck out 63 batters in 51.6 innings while posting a 3.31 ERA. He has accumulated 4.0 WAR between the mound (1.3) and in the batter’s box (2.7).

The Angels will miss his pitching next season but keeping his bat in the line-up will pay dividends.

4. Where, oh where, will Butler go?

Jimmy Butler still has not been traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves and that is the most factual thing coming out of the saga surrounding the star guard this week.

The Timberwolves reportedly are experiencing infighting where head coach Tom Thibodeau does not want to trade Butler, but team owner Glen Taylor is telling other teams to come to him with offers.

Butler initially said he wanted to be dealt to either the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets and preferred the former. Now he wants to be dealt to the Miami Heat, and the Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns are pursuing the four-time All-Star.

No one knows if he will go or where he will be if he is dealt. The Timberwolves play games next week. This story is far from over.

5. NFL treating QBs with kid gloves and one still gets knocked out for the season

The NFL really does not want quarterbacks to get hurt. This is evident in the 34 roughing-the-passer penalties called through three weeks (the most since 2001) and four called Monday Night during the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game (also the most in a while).

But despite all of their attempts to keep their QBs healthy, one still got hurt as 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on a non-contact play during San Francisco’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

And also, while they tried to keep QBs from getting knocked out, they might have knocked out a player for the season who was attempting to protect a QB.

Miami Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes tore his ACL on a sack of Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr and his head coach believes it is because he was trying not to put his bodyweight on the quarterback so he could avoid a penalty.

The NFL cannot win here.