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Deeney backed to find scoring form

first_img Press Association Pulis is confident the Venezuelan striker will quickly adapt to the Premier League and said: “It’s about fitness more than anything. “I thought he was very bright when he came on. When Rondon and James McClean came on we had a different threat to us – we had better legs up top. “We could stretch the game ourselves and I thought the two of them helped us to get on the front foot.” Albion’s defensive tactics drew criticism from some of the away support but centre-half Jonas Olsson was unrepentant. “We defended well, we stuck to our game plan,” he said. “That’s what we built on last season when the gaffer came in, I think we had 10 clean sheets out of 18 games in the Premier League with this gaffer last year. “We did well and it’s just facts, if you keep clean sheets you get points.” Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores has backed Troy Deeney to open his Premier League goal account soon. Hornets skipper Deeney has hit 77 Championship goals in five years at Vicarage Road and last term became the first Watford player to score 20 or more in three consecutive seasons. The 27-year-old striker turned down the chance to join Premier League clubs in the past and has instead finally reached the top flight with the Hornets. But he has yet to find the net in their opening two matches and at times cut a frustrated figure during Saturday’s goalless draw at home to West Brom. And Flores admitted: “Troy is involved but it was difficult (for the other players) to get connected with him. “There were a lot of players around Troy which is why we tried to play down the sides and put crosses in. “West Brom put a lot of players inside the box but Deeney is connecting with the team. He is one of the leaders of the side. “I have no doubts about Troy and I would not be surprised if he scored in the next game.” But while Deeney may have toiled, he and his team-mates did bring at least the occasional save out of visiting keeper Boaz Myhill. Albion, by contrast, did not register a single shot on target – although Saido Berahino missed the chance of the match with a wayward header 10 minutes from time. Manager Tony Pulis had by then thrown on £12million record signing Salomon Rondon, who immediately showed his potential with a powerful run towards goal only to lash his shot high and wide. last_img read more

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MLB preview: 2020 American League team capsules

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lineup:C Martin Maldonado1B Yuli Gurriel2B: Jose AltuveSS Carlos Correa3B Alex BregmanLF Michael BrantleyCF George SpringerRF: Josh ReddickDH: Yordan AlvarezFun Fact: Alvarez, 22, had 27 home runs in 87 games.Best Case: Rookie pitcher Forrest Whitley helps the rotation after a grisly 2018.Worst Case: Verlander and Alvarez don’t recover quickly from spring injuries.Prediction: First. They have a chip, a cause and no fan abuse.OAKLAND ATHLETICS2019 Record: 97-65Rank in AL Runs: 5thRuns allowed: 4thRun Differential: Plus-165Manager: Bob MelvinRotation: Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, Jesus Luzardo, A.J. PukCloser: Liam HendriksBullpen: Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, J.B. Wendelken, T.J. McFarland, Burch Smith, Chris BassittLineup:C Sean Murphy/Austin Allen1B Matt Olson2B Franklin BarretoSS Marcus Simien3B Matt ChapmanLF Mark CanhaCF Ramon LaureanoRF Stephen PiscottyDH Khris DavisFun Fact: Manaea was 4-0 in five starts with a 1.21 ERA when healthy.Best Case: The Secret Service protects Fiers when he returns to Houston.Worst Case: Hendriks turns out to be a one-year wonder as a closer.Prediction: Second. This team has won 97 games each of the past two years.LOS ANGELES ANGELS2019 Record: 72-90Rank in AL Runs: 8thRuns Allowed: 10thRun Differential: Minus-99Manager: Joe MaddonRotation: Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Julio Teheran, Dylan Bundy, Griffin CanningCloser: Hansel RoblesBullpen: Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian, Kenyan Middleton, Noe Ramirez, Taylor Cole, Mike MayersLineup:C Jason Castro1B Albert Pujols2B Tommy La StellaSS Andrelton Simmons3B Anthony RendonLF Justin UptonCF Mike TroutRF Brian GoodwinDH Shohei OhtaniFun Fact: La Stella was hitting .300 on July 2. He played two games after that.Best Case: Jo Adell comes up at some point with Rookie of the Year stuff.Worst Case: None of the rotation remedies pans out.Prediction: Third. Anything higher depends on Ohtani.TEXAS RANGERS2019 Record: 78-84Rank in AL Runs: 6thRuns Allowed: 12thRun Differential: Minus-68Manager: Chris WoodwardRotation: Corey Kluber, Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Jordan LylesBullpen: Rafael Montero, Luke Farrell, Nick Goody, Joely Rodriguez, Brett Martin, Yohander Mendez, Luis Garcia, Jesse ChavezCloser: Jose LeclercLineup:C Robinson Chirinos1B Todd Frazier2B Rougned OdorSS Elvis Andrus3B Nick SolakLF Willie CalhounCF Domingo SantanaRF Joey GalloDH Shin-Soo ChooFun Fact: Odor led the league with 178 strikeouts and hit .205 with 30 homers.Best Case: Kluber regains Cy Young form, takes the rotation with him.Worst Case: Calhoun doesn’t recover from spring training beaning.Prediction: Fourth. The new ballpark factor should propel them for a while.SEATTLE MARINERS2019 Record: 68-94Rank in AL Runs: 10thRuns Allowed: 13thRun Differential: Minus-135Manager: Scott ServaisRotation: Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Taijuan Walker, Justus Sheffield, Kendall GravemanCloser: Yoshihisa HiranoBullpen: Brandon Brennan, Carl Edwards, Sam Tuivailala, Dan Altavilla, Taylor Guilbeau, Nestor CortesLineup:C Tom Murphy1B Evan White2B Shed LongSS J.P. Crawford3B Kyle SeagerLF Jake FraleyCF Mallex SmithRF Kyle LewisDH Dan VogelbachFun Fact: Servais, in his fifth year, is the second-longest-tenured manager in club history, behind Lou Piniella.Best Case: The Mariners get more than 106 games out of Seager.Worst Case: This team is as bad as it looks on paper.Prediction: Fifth. It’s probably the most anonymous roster in the Mariners’ 43 years.————————AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRALMINNESOTA TWINS2019 Record: 101-61Rank in AL Runs: 2ndRuns Allowed: 6thRun Differential: Plus-185Manager: Rocco BaldelliRotation: Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill/Randy Dobnak/Michael PinedaBullpen: Trevor May, Tyler Duffey, Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard, Cody Stashak, Devin Smeltzer, Matt Wisler, Fernando RomeroCloser: Taylor RogersLineup:C Mitch Garver/Alex Avila1B Miguel Sano2B Luis ArraezSS Jorge Polanco3B Josh DonaldsonLF Eddie RosarioCF Byron BuxtonRF Max KeplerDH Nelson CruzFun Fact: The Twins set an MLB record with 307 home runs, and over a quarter of Garver’s fly balls left the park.Best Case: Maeda makes the rotation deeper.Worst Case: The Twins miss batting coach Derek Shelton, now Pittsburgh’s manager.Prediction: First. They’ll go as far as an underrated bullpen takes them.CHICAGO WHITE SOX2019 Record: 72-89Rank in AL Runs: 13thRuns Allowed: 9thRun Differential: Minus-124Manager: Rich RenteriaRotation: Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo LopezBullpen: Steve Cishek, Kelvin Herrera, Jace Fry, Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Jimmy Cordero, Carson FulmerCloser: Alex ColomeLineup:C Yasmani Grandal1B Jose Abreu2B Leury GarciaSS Tim Anderson3B Yoan MoncadaLF Eloy JimenezCF Luis RobertRF Nomar MazaraDH Edwin EncarnacionFun Fact: Anderson hit .240 in 2018 and won the 2019 batting title at .335, the third Chisox player to do so (Luke Appling, Frank Thomas).Best Case: Robert harnesses all of his oozing talent.Worst Case: Giolito again has to carry the rotation.Prediction: Second. Their future might not be now, but it’s soon.CLEVELAND INDIANS2019 Record: 93-69Rank in AL Runs: 7thRuns Allowed: 3rdRun Differential: Plus-112Manager: Terry FranconaRotation: Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Adam Plutko, Jefry RodriguezBullpen: Emmanuel Clase, Nick Wittgren, Adam Cimber, Oliver Perez, Hunter Wood, James Hoyt, Phil MatonCloser: Brad HandLineup:C Roberto Perez1B Carlos Santana2B Cesar HernandezSS Francisco Lindor3B Jose RamirezLF Jordan LuplowCF Oscar MercadoRF Franmil ReyesDH Domingo SantanaFun Fact: Lindor has 44, 42 and 40 doubles the past three seasons.Best Case: Carrasco, 32, can escape his injuries.Worst Case: Tribe goes another year without a 100-RBI man.Prediction: Third. Never underestimate their ability to find pitching.DETROIT TIGERS2019 Record: 47-114Rank in AL Runs: 15thRuns Allowed: 14thRun Differential: Minus-333Manager: Ron GardenhireRotation: Matthew Boyd, Jordan Zimmermann, Spencer Turnbull, Ivan Nova, Daniel Norris/Michael FulmerBullpen: Buck Farmer, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Gregory Soto, Jose Cisnero, David McKayCloser: Joe JimenezLineup:C Austin Romine1B C.J  Cron2B Jonathan SchoopSS Niko Goodrum3B Jeimer CandelarioLF Christin StewartCF JaCoby JonesRF Cameron MaybinDH Miguel CabreraFun Fact: Ex-Angel Cron goes to his third team in three years. His 25 homers in Minnesota would have made him the Tigers’ leader by 10.Best Case: Prospects like Spencer Torkelson and Casey Mize give fans some remote hope.Worst Case: Another sub-50 win season, which would be Detroit’s third in 18 seasons.Prediction: Fourth. They picked enough veterans to at least look presentable.KANSAS CITY ROYALS2019 Record: 59-103Rank in AL Runs: 14thRuns Allowed: 11thRun Differential: Minus-178Manager: Mike MathenyRotation: Brad Keller, Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, Jakob Junis, Glenn SparkmanBullpen: Scott Barlow, Jorge Loopez, Jesse Hahn, Trevor Rosenthal, Chance Adams,  Randy Rosario, Jake NewberryCloser: Ian KennedyLineup:C Salvador Perez1B Ryan O’Hearn2B Nicky LopezSS Adalberto Mondesi3B Makiel FrancoLF Alex GordonCF Whit MerrifieldRF Hunter DozierDH Jorge SolerFun Fact: Since the Royals won the 2015 World Series, they are 92 games below .500.Best Case: Soler’s 48-homer season is just a harbinger.Worst Case: Royals again rank last in the league in OBP-against (.348).Prediction: Fifth. This isn’t a rebuild, it’s an excavation.————————AMERICAN LEAGUE EASTNEW YORK YANKEES2019 Record: 103-59Rank in AL Runs: 1stRuns Allowed: 5thRun Differential: Plus-204Manager: Aaron BooneRotation: Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, James Paxton, J.A. Happ/Jordan MontgomeryBullpen: Zack Britton, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Jonathan Holder, Adam Ottavino, Tyler LyonsCloser: Aroldis ChapmanLineup:C Gary Sanchez.1B Luke Voit2B DJ LeMahieuSS Gleyber Torres3B Gio UrshelaLF Giancarlo StantonCF Brett GardnerRF Aaron JudgeDH Miguel AndujarFun Fact: Fourteen Yankees hit 10 home runs or more, and the team hit 306, one off Minnesota’s MLB record.Best Case: Torres, the 22-year-old who hit 38 home runs, becomes a serious MVP candidate.Worst Case: Effects of COVID-19 hamper LeMahieu and Chapman.Prediction: First. Cole tips the AL balance between the Yankees and Houston.TAMPA BAY RAYS2019 Record: 96-66Rank in AL Runs: 9thRuns Allowed: 2ndRun Differential: Plus-113Manager: Kevin CashRotation: Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, Ryan YarbroughBullpen: Diego Castillo, Colin Poche, Oliver Drake, Jose Alvarado, Chaz Roe, Peter Fairbanks, Jalen BeeksCloser: Nick AndersonLineup:C  Mike Zunino1B Ji-Man Choi2B Brandon LoweSS Willy Adames3B Yandy DiazLF Hunter RenfroeCF Kevin KiermaierRF Austin MeadowsDH Jose Martinez/Yoshitomo TsutsugoFun Facts: Rays’ pitchers gave up 17 fewer homers than any other AL staff.Best Case: Shortstop Wander Franco comes up and spreads wonder.Worst Case: Renfroe, from San Diego, has trouble switching leagues.Prediction: Second. Pushing Houston to Game 5 of the AL Division Series will be a benefit.BOSTON RED SOX2019 Record: 84-78Rank in AL Runs: 4thRuns Allowed: 8thRun Differential: Plus-73Manager: Ron RoenickeRotation: Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Collin McHugh, Zach Godley, Martin Perez/Ryan WeberBullpen: Matt Barnes, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, Ryan Brasier, Marcus Walden, Heath Hembree, Austin Brice, Brian JohnsonCloser: Brandon WorkmanLineup:C Christian Vazquez1B Mitch Moreland2B Jose PerazaSS Xander Bogaerts3B Rafael DeversLF Andrew BenintendiCF Jackie BradleyRF Alex VerdugoDH J.D. MartinezFun Fact: Workman gave up only 29 hits and one home run in 71 ⅔ innings.Best Case: Rodriguez overcomes COVID-19 with few aftereffects.Worst Case: Sox find it tough to fill slots vacated by Chris Sale (injured), David Price, Rick Porcello.Prediction: Third. Higher if they can win a lot of 7-5 games.TORONTO BLUE JAYS2019 Record: 67-95Rank in AL Runs: 12thRuns Allowed: 7thRun Differential: Minus-102Manager: Charlie MontoyoRotation: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, Matt Shoemaker, Trent ThorntonBullpen: Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, Sam Gaviglio, Jordan Romano, Thomas Pannone, A.J. Cole, Wilmer Font, Hector PerezCloser: Ken GilesLineup:C Danny Jansen.1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.2B Cavan BiggioSS Bo Bichette3B Travis ShawLF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.CF Randal GrichukRF Derek FisherDH Teoscar HernandezFun Fact: The dads of Guerrero, Biggio, Bichette and Shaw were successful major-leaguers, and Gurriel’s dad was a gold medalist for the Cuban nationals.Best Case: Ryu and Roark give leadership to rotation.Worst Case: Grichuk is able to lead the Jays with only 80 RBIs.Prediction: Fourth. Their youth might be a plus in a short season.BALTIMORE ORIOLES2019 Record: 54-108Rank in AL Runs: 11thRuns Allowed: 15thRun Differential: Minus-252Manager: Brandon HydeRotation: John Means, Alex Cobb, Wade LeBlanc, Asher Wojciechowski, Kohl StewartBullpen: Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Tanner Scott, Shawn Armstrong, Cody Carroll, Dillon Tate, Cole SulserCloser: Hunter Harvey/Mychal GivensLineup:C Pedro Severino1B Chris Davis2B Hanser AlbertoSS Jose Iglesias3B Rio RuizLF D.J. StewartCF Austin HaysRF Anthony SantanderDH Renato NunezFun Fact: Nunez had 90 RBIs and slugged .570 with men in scoring position.Best Case: Means can somehow squeeze out another winning season with this crew.Worst Case: Orioles play .333 baseball again, which would make them 20-game winners.Prediction: Fifth. The tunnel is still dark. Run Differential: Plus-280Manager: Dusty BakerRotation: Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers, Jose Urquidy, Josh JamesCloser: Roberto OsunaBullpen: Ryan Pressly, Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, Joe Smith, Joe Biagini, Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylorcenter_img AMERICAN LEAGUE WESTHOUSTON ASTROS2019 Record: 107-55Rank in AL Runs: 3rdRuns Allowed: 1stlast_img read more

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Smith returns home to Tridents

first_imgRegional Twenty20 star Dwayne Smith will return to the Barbados Tridents in the second big transfer move ahead of the next season of the Caribbean Premier League. The move follows the seismic shift of batting superstar Chris Gayle from defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs to the emerging St Kitts Patriots franchise. Smith played for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in this year’s CPL, the region’s premier Twenty20 tournament, a move that was met with great consternation in his native Barbados. The 33-year-old all-rounder was the third-highest scorer with 279 runs for the Warriors, helping them to reach the final, where they lost to Gayle’s Tallawahs. “It’s great to be back with the Tridents,” said Smith, who spent the first three years of the fledgling CPL with the franchise based in his native Barbados. “I’m sure the fans will be also. Let’s hope the runs are plenty like 2014.” Smith had his best season in the CPL during the 2014 tournament, amassing 353 runs at an average 44.12, highlighted by two memorable centuries at Kensington Oval against St Lucia Zouks (110 not out) and the Amazon Warriors (104 not), helping the Tridents win the title. “It’s great to have Dwayne back with us,” said Tridents captain Kieron Pollard. “Dwayne has been instrumental in our best perfor-mances and he will be crucial in our plans to win the championship next year.”last_img read more

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