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BOSTON — Even without Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic on the roster, Team Europe clinched its fourth consecutive Laver Cup victory by going up 14-1 against Team World on Sunday.

Tokyo Olympics singles gold medalist Alexander Zverev of Germany and Andrey Rublev of Russia gave Team Europe an insurmountable lead by beating Reilly Opelka of the U.S. and Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-3 in a match tiebreaker in doubles to open Sunday’s play.

There were still three singles matches remaining, but Team Europe already had eclipsed the 13 points needed to win the Laver Cup. Match victories were worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday.

Team Europe won eight of the first nine matches in the three-day exhibition event, which was postponed in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Team Europe won the first three Laver Cups, too, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, each time with Federer and either Nadal or Djokovic participating.

Zverev and Rublev were joined on Team Europe this time by US Open champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia, French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini of Italy and Casper Ruud of Norway. All six are ranked in the top 10.

Team World included Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, John Isner of the U.S. and Nick Kyrgios of Australia. Aliassime, at No. 11, is the highest-ranked member of the roster.

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Wyshynski: My picks for every series in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs

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Wyshynski: My picks for every series in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs

Before each season, I predict who will win the Stanley Cup. I predict who they will defeat for the Stanley Cup.

Both the champion and the runner up from those preseason predictions for 2023-24 qualified for the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs. Rather than hedge or waver against that prognostication, I actually see a path for both of them in this tournament. Call it delusional, call it stubborn, call it hubris — I’m sticking with them.

Here is how the Stanley Cup playoffs will play out, from the opening round through the last game of the Final. I apologize in advance for spoiling the next two months for you, as obviously all of this is going to happen exactly to script and none of these picks will be incorrect.

Please enjoy the best postseason tournament in all of sports, no matter how it actually plays out.

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Rockies put Freeland on IL due to strained elbow

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Rockies put Freeland on IL due to strained elbow

The Colorado Rockies placed left-hander Kyle Freeland on the 15-day injured list Friday with a left elbow strain.

The move is retroactive to Tuesday.

Freeland appeared to injure his right shoulder while attempting to score the go-ahead run in the ninth inning Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Manager Bud Black, however, said Freeland was “fine” after the game.

Freeland, 30, has limped to a 0-3 record with a 13.21 ERA in four games (all starts) this season. He is 55-68 with a 4.53 ERA in 188 career games (183 starts) with the Rockies.

Also on Friday, Colorado recalled right-hander Noah Davis from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Davis, 26, owns a 0-2 record with a 6.62 ERA in four games (all starts) with the Isotopes. He is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in nine career games (six starts) with the Rockies.

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Strider begins recovery, says Braves can win WS

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Strider begins recovery, says Braves can win WS

ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider began to feel discomfort in his right elbow in spring training but didn’t realize the severity of the injury until learning he needed season-ending surgery.

Strider said he had a bone fragment develop following Tommy John surgery in 2019 that caused the ulnar collateral ligament to become unstable. Strider also said he did not have a tear that required a second Tommy John surgery and he instead had an internal brace procedure, perhaps giving him a better opportunity to recover for the start of the 2025 season.

Strider finally complained about the issue after pitching four innings in Atlanta’s 6-5 win over Arizona on April 5.

“You’re not going to feel good when you’re playing baseball every day,” Strider said Friday while standing in front of his locker in his first news conference since the surgery. “So I’m not searching for that. You know, like I said, I’m going to pitch through anything if I feel like I can help the team and I felt like I couldn’t do that anymore, so I thought it’s time to say something.”

An MRI the next day revealed damage to his UCL. Texas Rangers physician Dr. Keith Meister performed the procedure on April 13.

“They’re theorizing that I tore some connective tissue … and that’s what destabilized the ligament,” Strider said. “And maybe I blew through the last of that on that game and things deteriorated pretty quickly throughout the outing.”

Strider was Atlanta’s No. 1 starting pitcher after going 20-5 with 281 strikeouts in last year, when he led the major leagues in wins and strikeouts.

With his right arm immobilized in a sling, Strider said he will look for ways to support his teammates.

“These guys don’t don’t need me to to win a World Series,” he said. “So you know they’re going to pursue that journey. I’ll be here here to cheer them on.”

Replacing Strider will be a challenge.

Right-hander Allan Winans allowed seven runs — six earned — over five innings in a 16-15 loss to the New York Mets on April 11 and was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after the game.

Right-hander Darius Vines had more success, allowing one run and four hits with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of a 6-1 win at Houston on Monday. Vines is scheduled to make his second start of the season on Sunday night against Texas.

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