Trevor Bauer became the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in the National League (NL), while Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber earned American League (AL) honours.

Bauer beat out Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish (123) and New York Mets star Jacob deGrom (89) with 201 points as he made history for the Reds on Wednesday.

DeGrom had claimed back-to-back Cy Young awards but 2018 MLB All-Star Bauer led the NL in ERA (1.73), ERA-plus (276), WHIP (0.79), opponents' average (.159) and shutouts (two).

Bauer (100) only ranked second to DeGrom (104) in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings (12.3) as the Reds reached the NL Wild Card Series in 2020.

Cleveland's Bieber was the unanimous choice to win his first Cy Young title after finishing ahead of Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda and Toronto Blue Jays star Ryu Hyun-jin in the AL.

Bieber received 210 points, well ahead of Maeda (92) and Ryu (51) to join Corey Kluber (2014 and 2017), Cliff Lee (2008), CC Sabathia (2007) and Gaylord Perry (1972) as the only other Cleveland winners.

Cleveland's four Cy Young recipients since 2007 are the most in the big leagues during that span.

The 25-year-old – who reached 100 strikeouts in the fewest number of innings (66.3) in MLB history – is the youngest Indians pitcher to clinch the award in franchise history.

Bieber dominated the AL, leading pitchers in wins (eight), strikeouts (122), ERA (1.63), batting average allowed (.167), slugging percentage allowed (.265) and strikeouts per nine innings (14.2).

The Indians advanced to the AL Wild Card Series.

Germany head coach Joachim Low praised his fringe players after a changed side delivered a 1-0 friendly win against the Czech Republic, but warned those involved not to expect a regular place for Die Mannschaft.

Gian-Luca Waldschmidt's first-half goal proved enough to earn Germany only their second victory in six matches in 2020, and the assist came from PSV Eindhoven defender Philipp Max, who was making his debut.

Both Max and fellow debutant Ridle Baku gave strong showings, as did Florian Neuhaus in midfield and Robin Koch at centre-back, but Low indicated that his more established stars would return to the fold for Germany's Nations League meetings with Ukraine and Spain.

"We won't change a lot in those games," Low told RTL.

"This line-up will probably no longer play together. Still, you have to say that the guys got involved and played an intense game.

"We had good actions in the first half. In the second half we failed to score but were able to defend the 1-0 lead, so we can be satisfied."

Max, a former Bayern Munich youth player who represented Schalke, Karlsruher and Augsburg before joining PSV, caused the Czech Republic problems all evening in Leipzig, not least when he instinctively pounced on a parried shot to tee up Waldschmidt's goal.

He said: "I'm really proud to have made my international debut today. It is also a really special day for my family and friends."

Germany did show signs of the defensive frailties that saw them concede seven goals in their previous three outings, but Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who captained Low's men at Red Bull Arena, was quick to defend his international colleagues.

"Mistakes are common," said Gundogan. "You have to forgive young players, especially those making their debuts.

"We can be satisfied with the win."

Alberigo Evani says Roberto Mancini was in constant contact with the Italian bench during the Azzurri's routine 4-0 friendly win over Estonia on Wednesday.

Head coach Mancini is self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVID-19, with his assistant Evani stepping up to take charge of the clash at Stadio Artemio Franchi. 

Federico Bernardeschi and Riccardo Orsolini added to Vincenzo Grifo's brace – the Freiburg forward's first international goals – as Italy stretched their unbeaten run to 20 games with ease.

Mancini was directing operations via Gianluca Vialli on the Italy bench, according to Evani, who believes Italy should have beaten their opponents by even more.

"Luca on the bench did what I usually do with Roberto, so there was this connection between them and it went well," he told RAI Sport. 

"To be honest, we could've done even better, as these lads could've pressed better and raised the tempo, but we can't ask for too much.

"It's what we expected from our lads. We knew this was a game where we had everything to lose and couldn't make mistakes.

"We saw some good things and the human quality within this group is extraordinary. It's a good sign for Italian football and I am doubly satisfied considering I worked with many of these lads in the Under-20s."

Grifo was the star of the show for the hosts, opening his account for his country with a sumptuous half-volley from 25 yards before adding a second from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time. 

He also made one key pass and won five of his six duels on what was his fourth appearance for Italy.

The 27-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Germany after being born there to Italian parents, but he says he only ever considered representing the Azzurri. 

"I am really happy just to be here, so I'm even happier with the goals," he said.

"Everyone knows I never even thought about playing for anyone other than Italy. I was born and raised in Germany, but I am 100 per cent Italian.

"I want to dedicate these goals to my parents. You have to believe in yourself, try to give your best at club level and whenever you are called upon and then hope the coach picks you.

"We've got a lot of quality in this squad, with players from Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and all over the place. I am at Freiburg and have a lot to learn. I'm very happy to be here."

Italy face Nations League clashes against Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.

Georginio Wijnaldum is honoured to have captained the Netherlands in their 1-1 draw with Spain but said he has mixed feelings due to the absence of close friend Virgil van Dijk.

Wijnaldum took over the captain's armband for Wednesday's friendly from injured Liverpool and Netherlands team-mate Van Dijk, who is likely to be out for the rest of the season after sustaining significant damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last month.

Stand-in skipper Wijnaldum played 45 minutes in Amsterdam – the upcoming Nations League fixtures against Poland and Ukraine taking priority, and revealed after the match he had been in close contact with Van Dijk ahead of kick-off.

"Of course it is great to represent your country in this way," said Wijnaldum, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday. "But I would have preferred for Van Dijk to have been here. Then he would have been the captain instead.

"He makes our team stronger and is still very involved with us. I had him on the phone before the game - we talked about my birthday. But I'll call him again shortly."

Donny van de Beek scored his second international goal in as many games early in the second half to earn the Netherlands a draw against a second-string Spain side.

Sergio Canales had earlier given Spain the lead with his maiden goal for the national side and Netherlands head coach Frank de Boer was unhappy with his team's defending in the first half.

"We forgot to cover properly," he said. "I told them about that at the break and we improved on it. The game turned when De Beek and [Luuk] de Jong put their opponents under more pressure, more quickly."

De Boer is winless in four matches since replacing Ronald Koeman as coach but is hopeful that run will come to an end in Sunday's home match against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"Of course I would have liked to have won the game," he said. "Let's go and do that against Bosnia."

Owen Wijndal, 20, was the standout player for the Netherlands on what was just his second senior outing.

The left-back managed more tackles (three) than any home player while nobody turned over possession more times (seven) and intercepted the ball (twice) more often.

"He was fantastic," De Boer said. "He made a very good impression today. He has done a fantastic job and was a lot better than on his debut against Mexico."

Antoine Griezmann said France must learn from their shock 2-0 defeat to Finland ahead of a showdown with Portugal on Saturday.

The world champions' 12-match unbeaten run came to a halt in a friendly at Stade de France on Wednesday following goals from 21-year-old debutants Marcus Forss and Onni Valakari in the space of three first-half minutes.

Victory for Finland was their first against Les Bleus in nine attempts, but it could have been a different story in Paris, where Didier Deschamps' side failed to capitalise on a bright start.

Marcus Thuram, making his full international bow, headed against the crossbar and volleyed off target when unmarked from close range before Finland took the lead.

Deschamps made eight changes to the side that started in a win over Croatia last month, with Griezmann among those coming off the bench three days before a crunch Nations League encounter with Portugal.

France's 24 attempts at goal was their most without scoring since firing a blank against Luxembourg in September 2017 and Griezmann warned they must be more ruthless.

He told M6: "We had two or three opportunities with Marcus. If he puts them in, it's another game. We have to look at what we did wrong and look to Saturday."

Thuram was in the thick of the action in a lively debut and hopes to soon get another chance to show he belongs on the international stage.

"It's true that it was a good first half. This Finnish team has come together very well," said the Borussia Monchengladbach forward.

"I try to learn a lot alongside the other internationals to gain as much experience as possible as quickly as possible."

Lionel Messi's father, Jorge, rubbished reports he had been contacted by Paris Saint-Germain about the Barcelona star.

Messi, 33, continues to be linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants with his contract expiring at season's end and having requested to leave during the close season.

PSG, Manchester City and Inter have previously been most strongly connected with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

But after a report claimed Jorge was contacted by PSG to start negotiations in January, Messi's father denied the suggestion.

"Stop inventing!!! #fakenews," he wrote on Instagram.

Messi has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, where he has won 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies.

He sensationally requested to leave the club in the close season but ultimately ended up staying.

Messi has scored six goals in 10 games this season, including three in seven in LaLiga.

Though it is still early in the LaLiga campaign, Messi is without an assist, while his two chances created per 90 minutes is his lowest since 2012-13 (1.6).

Ronald Koeman's men are eighth in the LaLiga table, nine points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad but having played two fewer games.

Luis Enrique hailed "unique" Sergio Ramos after the Spain captain equalled Italy great Gianluigi Buffon's European caps record in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.

Ramos was brought on five minutes from time at the Johan Cruijff ArenA for his 176th international appearance, some 15 years after making his senior debut.

The Real Madrid centre-back can overtake Buffon as Europe's most-capped international footballer should he feature against Switzerland in Basel on Saturday.

He is also within eight appearances of the worldwide caps record, which is currently held by former Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique praised Ramos for matching Buffon's tally.

"Sergio is unique. He is on a different level," he said after the match. "The appearance record is only within the reach of those who are very gifted."

Luis Enrique fielded an experimental XI that included debutant goalkeeper Unai Simon, plus returning quartet Koke, Alvaro Morata, Hector Bellerin and Marco Asensio.

Morata set up Sergio Canales for Spain's 18th-minute opener - the ninth goal the Juventus striker has been directly involved in in nine games for club and country this term.

"Alvaro has been very good but it is the same as we have seen these months at Juve," Luis Enrique said. "We caused problems for them with him in attack."

Koke also impressed in Amsterdam as he attempted more passes in the opposition half (29) and produced more tackles (four) than any other player on the field.

Asked about the Atletico Madrid midfielder's display, Luis Enrique said: "He is a player who gives us total guarantee that he will perform at a very high level. He did very well, exactly what I asked of him, and has the personality to play there."

Spain have won only two of their six matches this calendar year but Luis Enrique insisted he is happy with where his side are at ahead of key Nations League games with Switzerland and Germany over the next week.

"I have a good feeling because this was a complicated game for us," he said. "We had some good phases, although in the second half we became a little bit more disorganised.

"But in general I am satisfied with my side, who showed a good attitude. We had a plan in place to bring in some fresh player ahead of the two competitive matches. I am more than satisfied with what I have seen."

Michy Batshuayi scored twice for Belgium as the number one FIFA-ranked team in the world laboured to a 2-1 win over Switzerland in a low-key international friendly.

Admir Mehmedi gave the Swiss the lead early on at the Den Dreef Stadion in Leuven with a crisp low finish past Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Batshuayi equalised for Belgium early in the second half with an angled finish after an intelligent pass from Youri Tielemans.

The 27-year-old striker then took his tally to 21 goals for Belgium, scoring his second of the game with a shot on the turn from close range to seal victory with 20 minutes left.

Donny van de Beek made it two goals in as many games for the Netherlands as he cancelled out Sergio Canales' maiden strike for Spain in Wednesday's 1-1 friendly draw.

The Netherlands were seeking their first win in four attempts under Frank de Boer but got off to a bad start at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Alvaro Morata marked his return to the Spain side with an assist for Canales' well-taken opener but Van de Beek added to his goal against Italy last month to level matters. 

Memphis Depay should have won the game for De Boer's men in a second half that saw Sergio Ramos come on to earn his 176th Spain cap and equal the European record held by Italian great Gianluigi Buffon.

The hosts were already without captain Virgil van Dijk and lost fellow centre-back Nathan Ake to an apparent hamstring injury inside the opening six minutes.

That stoppage did little to halt Spain's flow and they took the lead through Canales' calm finish past Marco Bizot after being played in by in-form striker Morata.

Luuk de Jong had a weak penalty appeal rejected and then tested debutant Unai Simon, while Bizot was equal to Morata's edge-of-the-box effort at the opposite end.

But Van de Beek drew the Netherlands level 105 seconds into the second half as he ghosted in to meet Owen Wijndal's left-sided cross and drilled the ball home.

Koke, another Spain player brought in from the cold to captain the side, volleyed over a glorious chance on the hour mark and Hector Bellerin's low drive was pushed to safety.

An even bigger chance fell the way of Depay, who had time to get the ball out of his feet in the Spain box but could not squeeze the shot past Simon.

Ramos was brought on in the final stages for his landmark cap but the game ultimately petered out.

Vincenzo Grifo scored his first international goals as Italy stretched their unbeaten run to 20 games with a 4-0 friendly win over Estonia at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Wednesday. 

The Azzurri have now won 15 of their 20 matches since a 1-0 Nations League loss to Portugal in September 2018 and they never looked in danger of tasting defeat against a side 97 places beneath them in the world rankings. 

Led by Alberico Evani with Roberto Mancini self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, the hosts went ahead after 14 minutes courtesy of Grifo's maiden Italy goal and Federico Bernardeschi doubled their advantage.

Grifo then added a second from the penalty spot in the 75th minute before substitute Riccardo Orsolini added another from 12 yards to help Italy wrap up the most routine of wins. 

Freiburg forward Grifo marked his fourth appearance for Italy with a sumptuous opener, whipping a half-volley in off Marko Meerits' left-hand post from 25 yards after a lay-off by Kevin Lasagna.

An unmarked Lasagna missed a glorious chance soon after, the Udinese forward failing to make a clean connection with Bernardeschi's teasing cross from close range.

Italy's dominance was rewarded shortly before the half-hour mark, though, when Bernardeschi cut in from the right to bend a left-footed strike into the bottom corner from just outside the penalty area – his first international goal since October 2019.

Emerson Palmieri lashed wide following an incisive move on the edge of the penalty area after the interval, while Grifo saw an effort deflected narrowly wide.

Grifo got his second when he thumped home from 12 yards after Roberto Gagliardini was tripped inside the penalty area by substitute Georgi Tunjov.

Orsolini then wrapped up the scoring in the 86th minute, sweeping home his second international goal from the spot after forcing Henri Jarvelaid into a rash challenge in the area.

Pedro Neto and Paulinho scored on their Portugal debuts while Renato Sanches impressed and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in a 7-0 rout of Andorra.

Handed his first international outing in Wednesday's friendly at Estadio da Luz, Neto put Portugal ahead early on, with Braga forward Paulinho soon getting in on the act.

Called on from the bench at half-time, Ronaldo – who missed some golden chances before scoring Portugal's sixth – set up Sanches for his first international goal since Euro 2016, with Paulinho then doubling his tally.

Emili Garcia netted an own goal as Andorra's defence crumbled under the quality at Portugal's disposal, with Joao Felix hammering in to round off the scoring late on.

Germany picked up only their second victory of 2020 as Gian-Luca Waldschmidt scored to help Joachim Low's men to a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

Benfica forward Waldschmidt netted his second goal in five international appearances  in Leipzig, where Low played a new-look team and was rewarded with a solid performance.

There were impressive debuts for wing-backs Ridle Baku and Philipp Max, while Florian Neuhaus dictated play from midfield in the absence of Joshua Kimmich as Robin Koch dealt ably with the visitors' attacking threat.

Low will hope these players can help to usher in a new era of success after a challenging period for his side, who are unbeaten in this calendar year but have too often stuttered to draws and have plenty of work to do in the Nations League.

Marco Verratti stepped up his recovery from a thigh injury by returning to training with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

The midfielder returned from international duty in October with the issue and has missed the past seven matches in all competitions.

It will be a boost for PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, who has been contending with a raft of injuries to key players this season.

Verratti performed light, individual exercises and Mauro Icardi is expected to follow suit this week.

PSG have won all five of their Ligue 1 games without Verratti this season, with the Italy midfielder in the line-up for their two defeats at the start of the season.

Among all players to feature in at least 10 Ligue 1 matches last season, only Leandro Paredes attempted and completed more passes than Verratti per 90 minutes.

After a schedule of Week 9 games that delivered several stunning offensive performances and absorbing finishes, Week 10 of the NFL season promises to be just as exciting.

There are marquee games aplenty as teams focus on the stretch run to the postseason.

From a fantasy perspective, a key NFC West matchup should have plenty of interest, as should a meeting between AFC heavyweights the Baltimore Ravens and a seemingly fading power in the New England Patriots.

Here we look at four players and a defense worthy of being considered for a place in your fantasy line-up in Week 10.


QB: Jared Goff - Los Angeles Rams

Widely available on the waiver wire, former number one overall pick Goff can be a difficult quarterback to trust

But if there was ever a spot in which to trust him, it is at home against a porous Seattle Seahawks secondary.

The Seahawks are surrendering 362.1 passing yards per game, by far the most in the NFL with the next-worst Atlanta Falcons (310.3) trailing them by a substantial margin.

Look for the creative mind of Sean McVay to scheme up plenty of ways to exploit the league's worst pass defense and help Goff deliver fantasy starter-level production in this crucial NFC West clash.

RB: J.K. Dobbins - Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore running backs struggled to produce against a stout Indianapolis Colts defense in Week 9, but that should not be the case against a Patriots unit that is a long way short of its 2019 vintage.

Surrendering over 100 yards on the ground in five of their eight games this season, the Patriots are extremely susceptible to the run and, along with quarterback Lamar Jackson, Dobbins should be in an excellent position to capitalise on that deficiency.

After racking up 113 yards on 15 carries against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8, Dobbins led the Ravens' running backs in attempts last Sunday with 12. A similar share of the workload versus New England should give him ample opportunity to reward fantasy managers astute enough to start him with another three-figure performance.

WR: Jarvis Landry - Cleveland Browns

The Browns are without Odell Beckham Jr. for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL, and the game before their bye last week indicated Jarvis Landry will receive the bulk of the targets from Baker Mayfield in his absence.

Landry was targeted 11 times in a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and, while he only caught four of them for 52 yards, that same level of opportunity is likely to result in a significantly more productive day against the Houston Texans.

The Texans allowed Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Jake Luton to throw for 304 yards and a touchdown on his debut last week, and Mayfield should have little trouble enjoying similar success, with Landry likely the primary beneficiary. Fantasy managers competing in points per reception leagues should not hesitate to slot Landry into their line-up.

TE: Evan Engram - New York Giants

Engram has at least five catches in each of the last three weeks and got into the endzone in Week 9 in the Giants' win over the Washington Football Team.

This week, the Giants face a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has consistently struggled to defend tight ends this season.

With six catches for 46 yards in the previous meeting between these NFC East rivals, Engram knows he can have success against a vulnerable group of Eagles linebackers, making him a strong starting option, particularly in PPR leagues.

D/ST: New Orleans Saints

A Saints defense that had been much maligned for underperforming in 2020 has rounded into form, as evidenced by the 38-3 throttling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.

Their opponents this week, the San Francisco 49ers, may have hopes of moving the ball better than Tampa Bay did given the play-calling acumen of head coach Kyle Shanahan.

However, the 49ers are starting a backup quarterback in Nick Mullens who has thrown four interceptions and fumbled four times in five games this season. Even if San Francisco succeed in putting up points, the potential for turnovers makes the New Orleans defense a smart fantasy play.

Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has been handed a first call-up to the Netherlands squad.

Gravenberch was promoted from the Under-21 squad after Tonny Vilhena was ruled out of the upcoming internationals due to a positive coronavirus test.

The 18-year-old will not be in the squad for Wednesday's friendly against Spain but could earn his maiden cap in the Nations League against Bosnia-Herzegovina or Poland.

Head coach Ronald de Boer will consequently have 24 players available to him for the crunch Nations League fixtures on Sunday and Wednesday.

Gravenberch has featured six times in the Eredivisie this season and supplied two assists. He is also the second-youngest player yet to miss a minute of action in the 2020-21 Champions League, after Illia Zabarnyi of Dynamo Kiev.

Only Dusan Tadic (71) and Daley Blind (68) have completed more passes in the opposition half for Ajax in their Group D campaign than Gravenberch (62), who was won more duels in the competition that any of his team-mates (21).

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