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NWSL playoff bracket, results, schedule: Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars reach championship game

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The National Women’s Soccer League are upon us as six teams entered the fray — Portland Thorns FC, OL Reign, Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars, NJ/NY Gotham FC and the North Carolina Courage — and only two remain.

This is the first year for the NWSL’s expanded playoff format, with six teams qualifying instead of only four in years prior where the the top four teams at season’s end would clinch a spot in the semifinals.

This time around, six teams will compete in single-elimination playoffs with the top two seeds earning a bye straight to the semifinals, with the NWSL Championship on CBS, which was originally scheduled to take place at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, has been moved to Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky, home of Racing Louisville FC.

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Let’s take a look at the playoff schedule:

NWSL playoff schedule and bracket


CBS Sports

First-round byes into semifinals: 

  • 1. Portland Thorns FC (44 points, +16 GD)
  • 2. OL Reign (42 points, +10 GD)

Sunday, Nov. 7 (Quarterfinals)
Chicago Red Stars 1, NJ/NY Gotham 0
Washington Spirit 1, North Carolina Courage 0 (a.e.t.)

Sunday, Nov. 14 (Semifinals)
OL Reign 2, Washington Spirit 2 
Portland Thorns FC 0, Chicago Red Stars 2

Saturday, Nov. 20 (NWSL Championship)
Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars, 12 p.m. ET (CBS)

Final NWSL standings

  1. Portland Thorns: 43 points — clinched playoff spot

  2. OL Reign: 39 points — clinched playoff spot

  3. Washington Spirit: 38 points — clinched playoff spot

  4. Chicago Red Stars: 38 points — clinched playoff spot

  5. NJ/NY Gotham FC: 34 points — clinched playoff spot

  6. North Carolina Courage: 33 points — clinched playoff spot

    ————————–

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  7. North Carolina Courage: 32 points — eliminated

  8. Orlando Pride:  28 points — eliminated

  9. Racing Louisville FC: 20 points — eliminated

  10. Kansas City NWSL: 16 points — eliminated





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MLB Insider Applauds The Josh Bell Fit In Cleveland

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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

The Cleveland Guardians, not known for spending too much on free agents, made their move on Tuesday afternoon.

The MLB Winter Meetings set the scene for a lot of surprising moves in recent hours, and the Guardians certainly made one with their addition of first baseman/designated hitter Josh Bell.

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Bell is going to Cleveland for the next two seasons and $33 million.

He has the ability to opt out after the 2023 campaign if he wants.

MLB insider Buster Olney praised the signing and said he was a player the Guardians clearly needed.

“Josh Bell is a great fit for the Guardians. They needed a thumper in the middle of their order, and yes, a switch-hitter, a Cleveland lineup tradition,” he tweeted.

Bell is not particularly good with the glove, but as long as he can mash, it probably won’t matter.

 

Bell Can Provide Some Power

He had a strong season between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres, hitting .266/.362/.422 with 17 home runs and a 123 wRC+, or 23 percent better than the league-average batter.

He also hit 29 doubles and three triples, so while he won’t win a Home Run Derby, he is more than capable of providing some much-needed thump to the Guardians’ lineup.

The move for Bell also gives them flexibility to send Josh Naylor to the DH spot, or have him alternate first base and the DH with Bell.

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With Bell, Andres Gimenez, Jose Ramirez, Amed Rosario, Steven Kwan, and Oscar Gonzalez, the Guardians lineup is starting to take shape.

If they can land a top hitting catcher, they could be hard to stop in the AL Central.

They still have several months of offseason left to achieve that objective.

They are putting together a talented team for 2023.

The post MLB Insider Applauds The Josh Bell Fit In Cleveland appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Homan defeats Wrana to start run at WFG Masters

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OAKVILLE, Ont. — Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan picked up where they left off in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series.

After winning the HearingLife Tour Challenge in October, Team Homan kicked off their run in the WFG Masters with an 8-6 win over Team Isabella Wranå from Sweden in Draw 3 Tuesday at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.

Tied 5-5 after five, Homan grabbed the lead for good with a three-ender in the sixth.

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Wranå was limited to just a single in the seventh and Homan didn’t have to throw her last in the eighth end as Wranā was unable to get shot rock.

The HearingLife Tour Challenge victory was Homan’s record-extending 12th Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title.

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Elsewhere, Winnipeg’s Team Chelsea Carey stole one point in the eighth end to beat Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg 5-4.

Team Michele Jäggi took two in the eighth end for the 6-5 win over Team Silvana Tirinzoni in a Swiss derby and South Korea’s Team Eun-Ji Gim downed Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 9-3.

UP NEXT

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The WFG Masters continues with Draw 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Broadcast coverage begins Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW (Canada).

NOTES

The WFG Masters is the third event of the 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday as teams play four games against opponents outside of their pools. … The top eight teams overall advance to Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Saturday evening with both finals on tap for Sunday.

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Rob Manfred Vows To Keep The Orioles In Baltimore

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(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

 

The Baltimore Orioles enjoyed a little unexpected success in 2022, winning 83 games and finishing above the .500 mark for the first time since 2016.

The team also finished just three games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the final American League Wild Card spot.

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However, in recent years, there has been some speculation that the Orioles may soon be on their way out of Baltimore and headed for greener grass.

But MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred vehemently spoke out against these claims and offered his take on the situation, saying that as long as he holds the office of the commissioner, the Orioles will be remaining in Baltimore.

 

Manfred Has No Plans To Move The Orioles

It appears that Manfred has no plans to move the Orioles out of Baltimore.

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For Orioles fans, this is good news.

The team appears to be on an upswing of sorts.

The O’s lost 110 games in 2021 and fell short of the postseason for the fifth consecutive year.

While they fell short again in 2022, their season had quite a few good moments, contrary to most Orioles teams in recent memory.

The team dealt away Trey Mancini and Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline, but remained afloat thanks to the emergence of young stars such as AL Rookie of the Year finalist Adley Rutschman and top prospect Gunnar Henderson.

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The Orioles have also made it quite clear that they intend to compete in 2023 and build a postseason contender.

They have not reached October since 2016, but with a few moves, they could find themselves in the mix next season, with any rumors of them moving out of Baltimore put to rest.

The post Rob Manfred Vows To Keep The Orioles In Baltimore appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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