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www.billsauthorizedshops.com - _SatAMCETECET0DecE NEW ORLEANS (12-5) at MINNESOTA (13-3)

Sunday http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tremaine-edmunds-jersey , 4:40 p.m. EST, Fox

OPENING LINE – Vikings by 4

RECORD VS. SPREAD -New Orleans 8-8, Minnesota 11-4-1

SERIES RECORD – Vikings lead 21-11

LAST MEETING – Vikings beat Saints 29-19, Sept. 11, 2017

LAST WEEK – Saints beat Panthers 31-26; Vikings had first-round bye

AP PRO32 RANKING -Saints No. 6, Vikings No. 2

SAINTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (5), PASS (5)

SAINTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (17), RUSH (16), PASS (15)

VIKINGS OFFENSE – OVERALL (11), RUSH (7), PASS (11)

VIKINGS DEFENSE – OVERALL (1), RUSH (2), PASS (2)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Vikings have won two of three postseason matchups with Saints, 1987 wild-card game in New Orleans and 2000 divisional-round game in Minnesota. Saints won 2009 NFC championship game at home. … Vikings are 13-3 at home in history against Saints, including the one playoff victory. … Saints are 7-4 in six appearances in playoffs under coach Sean Payton. They’re 1-4 on road, excluding neutral-site win in Super Bowl 44. … Saints QB Drew Brees passed for 376 yards against Panthers, his second-highest total of season. … Saints rookie Alvin Kamara, who had second-most receptions (81) in league by RB in regular season, had only one catch against Panthers. … Saints FB Zach Line http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-moore-jersey , who spent four seasons with Vikings, had TD run last week. … Saints, who ranked third in NFL in regular season with 20 interceptions and tied for ninth in league with 25 total takeaways, did not force turnover vs. Panthers. … Saints’ defense ranked eighth in NFL in sacks per pass attempt in regular season and sacked Panthers’ Cam Newton four times last week, including one by team leader Cameron Jordan. … Jordan had only sack for Saints in season-opening loss at Minnesota, when Sam Bradford was Vikings QB and passed for 346 yards and three TDs without turnover on 27 of 32 completions for career-high 143.0 rating. …. Vikings allowed 27 sacks in regular season, seventh fewest in league. … Jordan, who had career-high 13 sacks in regular season, is son of former Vikings TE Steve Jordan, who was six-time Pro Bowl pick and caught TD pass in 1987 win in playoffs against Saints. … Vikings’ record against spread in regular season was best in NFL. … Vikings had first-round bye for fourth time under current playoff format. They reached NFC championship game each of three previous instances. … Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is 0-1 in playoffs. … Payton and Zimmer were assistants on Cowboys staff together between 2003-05, with Payton running offense and Zimmer running defense. … This is Vikings QB Case Keenum’s first career start in playoffs and first playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened in 2016 and is site of next month’s Super Bowl. … Vikings WR Stefon Diggs had TD catch in each of last three games. He had two TDs and 93 yards in opener against Saints. … RB Latavius Murray had 745 yards and eight TDs in last 10 games of regular season. He had TD run last season in playoffs for Raiders against Texans. … Vikings FS Harrison Smith tied career high with five interceptions and was one of two players in league with 70 or more tackles, five or more interceptions and one or more sacks. … Vikings allowed only 20 runs of 10-plus yards in regular season, fewest in NFL since 49ers in 1995.




The Texas Rangers have been one of the best teams in the major leagues during the past week and head home to attempt to continue that trend against the San Diego Padres in a three-game interleague series beginning Monday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

San Diego will send left-hander Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 3.86 ERA) to the mound for the series opener and the Rangers will counter with left-hander Cole Hamels (4-6, 3.41).

Texas had its season-high seven-game winning streak snapped Sunday in Minnesota with a 2-0 loss, but still went 5-1 on the six-game, seven-day road trip to Kansas City (3-0) and Minnesota (2-1).

Twins pitcher Jose Berrios held the Rangers to three hits in seven innings, struck out a career-high 12 batters and spoiled ageless Bartolo Colon’s attempt to tie Dennis Martinez’s record of 245 wins, the most ever by a pitcher from Latin America.

Colon allowed two runs and seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings in the loss.

“I will take those type of outings from Bartolo every time http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-donte-jackson-jersey ,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “You just have to tip your cap to a guy who had really good stuff. Bartolo was solid for us, great mix of fastball location, in the strike zone with all of his pitches. Just commanded the fastball all throughout, hit all quadrants and managed the game well for us.

“Bartolo threw the ball extremely well. Berrios was just really good.”

The Padres head to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on the heels of a 3-2, 11-inning loss at San Francisco on Sunday. San Diego took the lead in the top of the inning on a two-out single by Cory Spangenberg but couldn’t hold it.

On Sunday, the Padres sent right-hander Jordan Lyles to the 10-day disabled list and announced that he will have his ailing right elbow evaluated by team doctors.

Lyles was scratched from his start on Saturday afternoon with right forearm tightness, prompting an unplanned bullpen day, according to mlb.com.

Immediately before the top of the first inning, pitching coach Darren Balsley noticed Lyles awkwardly stretching his forearm after his pregame bullpen session. Balsley and manager Andy Green inquired, and the Padres decided not to take any chances.

“A 10-day break will do him well,” Green said. “He’ll rest the elbow and then hopefully come back ready to start in 10 days. He’s never had any arm issues, whatsoever, in his entire career. He doesn’t know how to gauge it off past experience. We’re very, very hopeful it’s nothing very serious.”

Lucchesi returned from the disabled list on Wednesday and allowed four runs in just 1 1/3 innings in a loss to Oakland. He said he felt no ill effects from a right hip strain that placed him on the shelf.

It is Lucchesi’s first career start against Texas.

Hamels will make his 16th start of the season. He leads all Texas starters in ERA (3.41), starts (15), innings (92 1/3), and strikeouts (92) and has gone 3-3 with a 2.81 ERA (20 ER/64.0 IP) in his last 10 starts to lower ERA from 4.76 to 3.41

Hamels has gone six-plus innings in his past eight starts, his second-longest streak with the Rangers, and has allowed just one earned run in 13 innings in his last two starts. He will be working on extended five days’ rest after picking up a win in the Rangers’ 4-1 victory on Tuesday in Kansas City.

Hamels has gone 9-2 with a 2.25 in 17 career starts against the Padres.
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