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Thursday, August 17

   by Larry Ness - 08/17/2006

Herm Edwards returns to the Meadowlands tonight (8:00 ET on FOX) as his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, will play the New York Giants. The Chiefs are tied with the Colts for the longest active preseason losing streak, having dropped seven consecutive "practice games," dating back to the team's third game of the 2004 preseason. The Colts, who host the Seahawks on Sunday night (8:00 ET on NBC), are 2-5 ATS during their slump but the Chiefs are 0-7 ATS in theirs!

I do not have a free play for Thursday but do a a big day (and night) of action. I open with my 15* NL Getaway Day Game of the Month (won AL version on Aug 9) plus compliment that with my 15* Evening Clincher tonight. In football action, I'm looking to repeat my 2-0 sweep in last Thursday's play (won on the Eagles and Colts) with another 15* NFLX Doubleheader.

The Giants are favored by three or 3 1/2 points in tonight's contest and the total is 35. In other NFL preseason play tonight, the Eagles, who will be playing their third game in 12 days, visit the Ravens in Baltimore (also at 8:00 ET). The Ravens are favored by three points with a total of 34. Home teams went 11-5 SU (8-7-1 ATS) in Week 1 and 13 of the 17 games played so far (Week 1 plus the HOF game) have gone 'under' the total. We'll see what happens this week.

The Dodgers took a six-game winning streak into their Wednesday afternoon game with the Marlins, as well as having won seventeen of their previous 18 games. However, the Marlins scored four runs in the top of the first and never looked back in a 15-4 rout. The Dodgers had outscored their opposition 99-42 over the last 18 games and their starters had gone 12-1 with a 2.55 ERA. LA's Mark Hendrickson didn't last long Wednesday, getting just seven outs and allowing five runs.

With LA's loss, the A's open the day with MLB's longest active winning streak at six straight. Oakland beat Seattle 4-0 last night (15th straight win over the Mariners this year), giving them a 12-2 mark in August. The win allowed the A's to matched the 1974 Atlanta Braves for the longest winning streak against a division opponent since divisional play started in 1969. The Braves won 15 straight versus the San Diego Padres that year.

As for the Mariners, they are 0-7 on their current 11-game road trip and have now lost 16 straight games to AL West opponents. With the Devil Rays beating the Blue Jays 8-3 last night and ending their seven-game losing streak, the Mariners open a four-game series with the Angels tonight (10:05 ET) as owners of MLB's longest active losing streak.

The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game series with the Tigers last night, winning 6-4. Boston is off on Thursday but opens a five-game weekend series with the Yankees tomorrow, playing a day/night doubleheader. The Yankees lead the Red Sox by two games in the East going into a day game this afternoon vs the Orioles (1:05 ET).

Two other notes from Wednesday have the Astros scoring in just two of 36 innings these last three days against the Cubs and Bronson Arroyo finally getting his 10th win of the year (on his 11th try), with a 7-2 win over the Cardinals. The Astros were shut out for the second time in three days (Carlos Zambrano beat them 3-0 Monday) and Houston went the final 21 innings of the series without a run.

Thursday's schedule includes 12 games with eight of them involving daytime starts.The Phillies will attempt to complete a four-game sweep of the Mets in Philadelphia at 1:05 ET. Philly has shut out the Mets in two of the three games and has outscored them, 27-4. In San Diego, San Francisco will go for a four-game sweep of the Padres at 3:35 ET. The Giants have not swept an opponent in a four-game series since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers June 21-24, 2004.

More NFL and CFB notes tomorrow, plus don't forget my special edition of Ness Notes Saturday and Sunday. I'll examine some of CFB's most notable turnarounds (both good and bad) since 2000, as well as offer some thoughts on possible surprise teams and flops in 2006.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday by 1:00 ET.

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