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Why the Yankees’ slow start to 2021 season should be at least a little concerning

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Why the Yankees' slow start to 2021 season should be at least a little concerning

The “bust” may come before the “World Series” for the Yankees once again.

New York, sitting at 5-10 early in the season, looks like it could come up short on “World Series or bust” expectations again in 2021, if the returns so far are any indication of long-term success. GM Brian Cashman spoke to reporters on Monday, which felt eerily reminiscent of that one scene in “The Naked Gun.”

“This is a bad stretch and we’re gonna get though this together,” Cashman said. “This isn’t us versus them. This is collectively all of us wearing this, including myself.”

MORE: SN’s initial MLB Power Rankings for 2021 season

Truthfully, the Yankees’ early-season woes can be chalked up to just that: early-season woes. Players are still figuring stuff out less than a month into the season, especially after a year when only 60 games were played. But New York still has some cause for concern. The team has gotten off to its worst start in 25 years and there’s no clear fix in sight, other than “stay the course.” And that’s fine! Just 15 games in, after all.

Some unfortunate truths, though: The offense has been bad (3.6 runs per game, bottom third in the majors), and they’re without only Luke Voit, recovering from foot surgery, so you can’t blame the slow start on injury. Starting pitchers not named Gerrit Cole have been terrible, too, with ERAs looking more like cost of steaks at a nice restaurant.

There’s enough blame to go around. Players play, coaches coach, computers compute. If you’re going to point the finger at anyone this early on, though, Cashman should hold a bit more blame than the rest. The Yankees, with a $210 million payroll, are seemingly too flawed, and a lot of that starts with the hurlers.

Cashman clearly has a type when it comes to starting pitching, and it’s been exhibited ad nauseam over the years, and the formula has resulted in less-than-good production this year.

Whether it was JA Happ, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia, Corey Kluber or even the higher upside of a Sonny Gray, James Paxton or Jameson Taillon, the Yankees’ search for rotation upgrades for the better part of a decade hasn’t exactly borne the best fruits. That’s continued this year.

Of Kluber, Taillon, Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German, not one Yankees starter has a FIP under 5.0. That’s not gonna work. Those starters have pitched 42 2/3 innings over 10 starts combined. That’s also not gonna work.

In turn, the Yankees’ bullpen has thrown the fifth-most innings in the majors so far, and they’re a team that’s traditionally not been afraid to go to the ‘pen, either, especially as the season wears on.

FOSTER: Why MLB must mic up players more often

Could Kluber and Taillon turn it around? Sure, why not? This is baseball and weird things happen all the time. Taillon, after all, hadn’t pitched in nearly two years and Kluber pitched just one start in 2020 before exiting with an injury. Both guys are historically eh in the opening months of the season, too, so maybe it’s just rust wearing off.

The Yankees, again facing World-Series-or-bust expectations in 2021, have seemingly decided to wipe their hands clean after the signing of Gerrit Cole as if to say, “Yeah, we’re done here.” Even after Masahiro Tanaka and Paxton moved on during the offseason, they decided on a patchwork starting corps, relying on the upside of veteran reclamation projects over youth or proven effectiveness.

Oh, and by the way, there’s no guarantee that Luis Severino returns from Tommy John to be a solid No. 2 behind Cole. And he’ll likely have some rust to knock off, as well, having last pitched in 2019.

While the team is likely to turn to Deivi Garcia or Clarke Schmidt or Michael King for the rotation in the coming months, the constant churn should be something the Yankees are concerned about. It’s something they’ve tried navigating for years and something Cashman and Co. haven’t really been able to figure out.

By the way, the mentions of Yankee woes wouldn’t be complete without talking about the team’s mediocre defense, which ranks among the worst in the majors by UZR/150 early on (-6.6). 

With the rest of the AL East playing surprisingly good baseball, with the Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays providing hurdles to jump early in the season, the Yankees have a long way to go to reclaim even playoff-contender status. Even the Orioles are ahead in the standings right now. The Orioles.

But it’s a long way to October.

All this to say: Please disperse, Yankee fans. No heads need to roll down Jerome Avenue just yet.

A lot can change in a New York minute. Just don’t expect change to happen anytime soon.

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What channel is UFC 262 on tonight? How to watch, buy Oliveira vs. Chandler on pay-per-view

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Oliveira vs. Chandler purse, salaries: How much money will they make at UFC 262?

It’s strap season for Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira.

After spending the majority of his career with Bellator MMA, the three-time lightweight champ has an opportunity to capture the vacant UFC lightweight championship on Saturday against Oliveira.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Chandler has a hungry and ready opponent in the No. 3-ranked Oliveira: Looking for his first UFC title, the veteran enters this fight on an eight-fight win streak, his last bout a unanimous decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256.

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday night’s UFC event.

What channel is UFC 262?

  • Early prelims: UFC Fight Pass
  • Prelims: ESPN/WatchESPN
  • Main card: ESPN+ (pay-per-view)

The main card of UFC 262 will air exclusively on ESPN+, with early prelims kicking off the show on UFC Fight Pass, moving to ESPN for the prelims.

As with all UFC PPVs and ESPN, the show will air exclusively on ESPN+ at a PPV cost.

What time does Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler start?

  • Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 10 p.m. ET

The early prelims and preliminaries are expected to start at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, respectively. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET. Oliveira and Chandler are expected to make their ring walks around midnight. 

How much does UFC 262 cost on PPV?

  • Date: Saturday, May 15
  • Network: ESPN+

The main card will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+, meaning you need an ESPN+ subscription to catch the fight. On top of the subscription, there is a price for the event:

  • For current yearly subscribers, the price is $69.99 on the ESPN+ app.
  • Current monthly subscribers can get UFC 262 and an upgraded bundle at a discounted rate of $84.99. They can also purchase the event itself for $69.99.
  • New subscribers will be able to pick up a yearly recurring subscription and the PPV for $89.98, which is a savings of more than 30 percent.

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

UFC 262 fight card

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira, women’s flyweights
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz, featherweights
  • Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano, lightweights

Prelims

  • ​Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy, featherweights
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko, women’s flyweights
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett, middleweight
  • Ronaldo Souza vs. André Muniz, middleweights

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler for vacant UFC lightweight championship
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogério Bontorin, bantamweights
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush, lightweights
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araújo, women’s flyweights
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza, featherweights

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What time is UFC 262 today? PPV schedule, main card start time for Oliveira vs. Chandler

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What time is UFC 262 today? PPV schedule, main card start time for Oliveira vs. Chandler

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement from UFC has left a massive void in the UFC’s lightweight division — one that Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will seek to fill on Saturday.

The division’s Nos. 3- and 4-ranked fighters, respectively, will face off at the Toyota Center in Houston to become just the third non-interim lightweight champion since Conor McGregor took it from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in 2016.

Both Oliveira (30-8-1, eight KOs) and Chandler (22-5, 10 KOs) are coming off multiple wins, setting up a new era-establishing fight for the lightweight division. Will Oliveira earn the belt 11 years after first fighting under the UFC banner? Or will Chandler, fighting for only the second time under UFC since transferring from Bellator, take it?

We can’t wait to find out. With that, here’s everything you need to know to watch UFC 262, including the expected start time for the main event.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

What time does UFC 262 start today?

  • Early prelims: 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
  • PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
  • Oliveira vs. Chandler: 12:15 a.m. ET (approx.) / 9:15 p.m. PT (approx.)

The main card for UFC 262 is projected to start at 10 p.m. ET. Depending on how long the four prior fights on the card last, Oliveira and Chandler will make their ring walks at roughly 12:15 a.m. ET.

What channel is UFC 262 on?

The early preliminaries and first half of the prelims will stream on ESPN+; the second half of the preliminaries will move to ESPN. After that, the main card can only be watched via PPV on ESPN+.

Click here to learn more about ESPN+ pricing and bundling options.

UFC 262 card

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler (lightweight championship)
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush (lightweight)
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo (women’s flyweight)
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza (featherweight)
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogerio Bontorin (bantamweight)

Prelims

  • Jacare Souza vs. Andre Muniz (middleweight)
  • Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy (featherweight)
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko (women’s flyweight)
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett (middleweight)

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira (women’s flyweight)
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz (featherweight)
  • Christos Giacos vs. Sean Soriano (flyweight)

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What time is the Preakness today? Post time, TV channel, horses & more to watch 2021 race

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What time is the Preakness today? Post time, TV channel, horses & more to watch 2021 race

The second jewel of the Triple Crown is up for grabs on Saturday.

The 2021 Preakness Stakes, which will run at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, will help determine whether Medina Spirit can become the first horse since Justify in 2018 to win the Triple Crown. Even if the horse does win Saturday’s race, however, that lofty accomplishment might not be guaranteed.

LIVE: Follow for updates from the 2021 Preakness Stakes

That’s because Medina Spirit returned a test positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone after its win at the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Pimlico decided to let the horse race on Saturday but, if a second test confirms the first, then Churchill Downs will invalidate Medina Spirit’s Derby win and grant runner-up Mandaloun the retroactive victory. The retesting results aren’t expected for several weeks.

Mandaloun is not part of Saturday’s race at the Preakness Stakes.

Just another tantalizing tidbit for bettors and sports fans alike ahead of Saturday’s race, which will include 10 horses and jockeys — including prohibitive morning-line favorite Medina Spirit (9/5 odds).

With that, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Preakness Stakes, including the post time and how to watch the event.

MORE: Watch the Preakness Stakes live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

What time is the Preakness Stakes today?

  • Date: Saturday, May 15
  • Post time: 6:50 p.m. ET
  • TV coverage: NBC

NBC Sports will cover the Preakness Stakes starting at 2 p.m. ET and transfer coverage to NBC at 5 p.m. The race has a scheduled post time of 6:50 p.m. ET at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

What channel is the Preakness Stakes on?

NBC has full broadcast rights for each of the Triple Crown races, including the Preakness Stakes. Viewers can also stream the race on NBC via fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

PREAKNESS STAKES: Full draw and odds for 2021 race

Preakness Stakes horses 2021

Post position Horse Odds
1 Ram 30/1
2 Keepmeinmind 15/1
3 Medina Spirit 9/5
4 Crowded Trade 10/1
5 Midnight Bourbon 5/1
6 Rombauer 12/1
7 France Go De Ina 20/1
8 Unbridled Honor 15/1
9 Risk Taking 15/1
10 Concert Tour 5/2

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