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Six teams have come to Los Angeles pursuing a spot in the the 2019 World Cup and hoping the City of Angels can spare a few to be on their side.The next step on the road to England, the World Cricket League Division Four begins on Saturday at Woodley Park in the northwest suburb of Van Nuys. The two teams to finish on top get move on to Division Three. Then there is Division Two, which in turn leads to a qualifying tournament in 2018 in Bangladesh.USA would be pleased to have the home advantage in a WCL tournament, and that is not just because they had missed out on it, twice, due to administrative issues. Since the start of the 2009 cycle, in WCL events at which promotion and relegation are at stake 14 out of 19 hosting teams have finished in the top two slots and moved on to the next level.The other five teams - Bermuda, Denmark, Italy, Jersey and Oman - will provide strong competition over the course of the next week. Those who finish in the bottom two, however, will be relegated to Division Five.USA (fifth at 2014 WCL Division Three)The American squad is almost unrecognisable from the group that was relegated in Malaysia two years ago. Captain Steve Massiah, leading wicket-taker Usman Shuja and batsmen Aditya Thyagarajan and Sushil Nadkarni have departed the national scene and a wave of fresh faces has emerged.Allrounder Timroy Allen played for the 2016 CPL champions Jamaica Tallawahs. A destructive presence at the top of the order, Steven Taylor has also taken leadership of USA. His partner Fahad Babar forms the backbone of the batting line-up. Babar was USAs leading scorer at 2014 WCL Division Three, and has struck four fifties in nine one-day games, including two against Canada in Octobers Auty Cup. Akeem Dodson has been in solid form in the middle-order and Alex Amsterdam making a century in a warm-up match on Tuesday has bolstered the teams batting strength.USA may have the most potent pace attack in the tournament, but legspinning allrounder Timil Patel is their biggest threat. The Los Angeles-based player picked up 10 wickets at the World T20 Qualifier in Ireland last summer and should be a handful on his own turf.Bermuda (sixth at 2014 WCL Division Three)Since making their maiden World Cup appearance in 2007, Bermuda have fallen on hard times. They were beaten 3-0 by an under-strength Canada developmental squad in Hamilton last weekend. Among the defeats was a disappointing effort of 34 all out.Finding players has been an issue. Dean Minors, the 46-year old who hasnt played for Bermuda in five years, is their first-choice keeper. Their replacement for vice-captain Terryn Fray, who had broken his finger during that series loss to Canada, was 41-year old Janeiro Tucker.In his prime, Tucker was a match-winner and was Bermudas leading run-getter at the 2005 ICC Trophy. But a Bermuda Cricket press release said he has arrived in Los Angels after postponing surgery this week on his right shoulder. Their confidence heading into the tournament is low and the odds are heavily in favor of Bermuda being relegated come November 5.David Hemp, often Bermudas batting mainstay, has left to take up a coaching role in Australia. The 21-year old Tre Manders has picked up some of the slack, scoring 73 in the final game of the Canada series. Delray Rawlins is another player to watch out for. The left-arm spinner plays for Sussex in the English county circuit. Bermuda will also look to fast-bowling allrounder Kamau Leverock to lend them balance.Denmark (third at 2014 WCL Division Four)They have had a rocky start to their American tour, having lost a pair of warm-up games in Houston: one by 23 runs to Jersey and the other by three wickets to a Houston club side.Denmarks squad includes Amjad Khan, the former England fast bowler. He may not possess the searing pace he once did, but may still be a threat in early-morning conditions at Woodley Park. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Freddie Klokker and captain Michael Pedersen lend structure to their batting.Denmark are short of power-hitters which could become a disadvantage. They play only one of their games on a ground that has large boundaries - Wong Cricket Field - and might struggle to match the tempo of the other teams when playing at the smaller fields at Severn and Wright.Denmark may not look like a contender for promotion, but they have beaten USA in five straight one-day matches and should they extend the streak on day four of the round-robin stages it could help them snag a top-two finish.Italy (fourth in 2014 WCL Division Four)After playing in two straight World T20 Qualifiers, Italy were jumped by Jersey in 2015, a sign that their fortunes were changing. Peter Petricola, who has been a pillar with bat and ball since his debut in 2008, has not made himself available for this tournament. Neither have the equally dependable Andy Northcote and Vince Pennazza, putting a major dent into Italys hopes.The absence of the seniors was felt on Wednesday when Italy lost by 38 runs to a Southern California XI. Captain Damian Crowley made 77 out of a total of 173, having to compensate for six single-digit scores from his team-mates. He was the teams leading batsman at the last Division Four with 200 runs in six games.Carl Sandri, formerly of Sydney Thunder, could prove to be an impact player for Italy. Though he is primarily used as an offspinner, Sandri has a reputation as an explosive hitter in the middle order. The small boundaries at Wright and Severn in particular could help Sandri and Italy pose a greater challenge. After beating Oman in the final of Division Five in May, Jersey are one of the more confident sides heading into the tournament. They earned a spot in Division Four for the third time, though in each prior instance they have promptly been relegated. An up-an-coming squad is hoping to reverse that trend.Opener and captain Peter Gough provides stability to the batting, with a battery of allrounders, notably Nat Watkins and Anthony Hawkins-Kay, to follow him. They will miss Ben Stevens though, who had been their top-scorer in Division Five and in whose absence they were bowled out for 130 by Houston Club side. Harrison Carlyon, who is only 15 years old, has been chosen as his replacement and could become the youngest player to represent Jersey.Batsman Jonty Jenner failed to cross fifty despite getting plenty of starts in Division Five but he comes to Los Angeles on the back of a 116 for Sussex second XI in a three-day match in August.Jerseys bowling attack is spearheaded by seamer Ben Kynman, who took 15 wickets in Division Five and garnered interest from Kent last summer. Oman (2nd place at 2016 WCL Division Five) Though they stunned Ireland in the 2016 World T20, Oman have been woeful in 50-over cricket over the last three years.They took their first steps to turning their fortunes around in Jersey, finishing second in Division Five, but the batting remains an area of concern. Outside of allrounder Zeeshan Maqsood, who was the tournaments leading batsman with 350 runs, only one other player crossed 100 runs, a fact that had worried coach Duleep Mendis.The return of Amir Ali, their match-winner at the World T20, could help ease some of the concern. He had missed Division Five with a broken hand but has since recovered. Another key addition is Arun Poulose, a former Kerala opening batsman who recently qualified to play for Oman having spent four years in the country. He top-scored with 47 in Omans last match, beating UAE by 72 runs.On the bowling front, Munis Ansari will be key in the final overs while Rajeshkumar Ranpura should enjoy using the new ball in Woodleys swing-friendly conditions in the morning. Their left-arm spin arsenal is missing a key component though. Allrounder Aamir Kaleem was injured during a training camp ahead of the tournament, leaving captain Ajay Lalcheta to pick up the slack. 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Once again Jordan Cieciwa (@FitCityJordan) and I (@LynchOnSports) go head to head in our picks. Last weekend at UFC Fight Night 32 my #TeamLynch got the best of #TeamJC by a score of 9-6. Let us know which side youre on for UFC 167 use the hashtag #TeamLynch or #TeamJC on Twitter. CHICAGO -- A year ago, Kyle Hendricks might have been satisfied giving up a couple runs in a start.Now, as a Cy Young candidate, Hendricks expects more from himself.Hendricks, the major league ERA leader, allowed two runs in six innings and remained stuck on 15 victories as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs 3-1 Sunday.It definitely means my mentality is just in a different place, Hendricks said. This game last year, I probably would have been a lot happier with it. Resulting in a loss, I feel like I could have done a little more just with the tools I have available to me, where Im at this year.Hendricks (15-8), making his first start since losing a no-hit bid in the ninth inning at St. Louis, struck out nine and gave up six hits. His ERA rose from 2.03 to 2.06 as he lost for the first time since July 26 at the White Sox.Last year, he went 8-7 with a 3.95 ERA in his second season.We have not supported him run-wise a lot this year, and theres another great example today, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. He definitely pitched well enough to win, and we only came up with the one run, so its just unfortunate. He didnt have his best stuff, but nine punchouts and two runs in six, pretty good day.Tyler Thornburg struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with two on in the ninth to earn his 11th save in 16 chances.The Cubs have lost four of six and are trying to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs. They resumed playing their regulars after clinching the division Thursday. The Cubs went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.We hit the ball well, Maddon said. This is one of those days (with) the culmination of the wind blowing in and their defense played well. We had good at-bats.Chris Carter homered and Martin Maldonado and pitcher Wily Peralta (7-10) added RBI singles for the Brewers, who took three of four games from the Cubs.Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun got a scheduled day off after hitting two home runs Saturday.As much as anything, it just speaks to them finishing the season and finishing it strong and continuing to play at a high level, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.HHendricks hasnt allowed more than two earned runs in a home start since April 15 against Colorado.dddddddddddd In each of his last 21 starts, he has surrendered three or fewer earned runs.Fastball command just wasnt great, Hendricks said. So its something Ive got to hone back in this week in my bullpens. But that happens from time to time. It shouldnt be too much of an adjustment.The right-hander struck out the first three batters before allowing a single to Hernan Perez to start the second inning. The Brewers hit three straight singles to score two runs.Theyre playing good baseball right now, Hendricks said. Their lineup, everybody is putting together good at-bats. Theyre aggressive, but then theyll surprise you at times when theyre patient.Carter hit his 36th home run, a solo shot, off Felix Pena in the eighth.Tommy La Stella pinch hit for Hendricks in the sixth and doubled in a run. Anthony Rizzo missed a game-tying home run when he flied out to the right-field warning track in the seventh.Peralta gave up a run on nine hits and struck out five in six innings.LOOKING AHEADBeyond home-field advantage in the playoffs, Maddon wants to reach 100 victories. Theyre at 94 right now. Its a pretty neat number. Ive never done that before, said Maddon, who won 97 in 2008 with Tampa and last year with Chicago.A CHANGELHP Mike Montgomery will return to the bullpen after pitching as the sixth starter, Maddon said. The Cubs are expected to use a bullpen day during their Pittsburgh series Sept. 26-29.TRAINERS ROOMCubs: OF Jorge Soler (tight side) is day-to-day after he underwent an MRI, Maddon said. Soler could resume playing Monday or Tuesday after taking swings in the batting cage.UP NEXTBrewers: After a day off Monday, RHP Matt Garza (5-7, 4.22 ERA) is to start the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Pirates.Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel (14-9, 3.60) is scheduled to start the opener of a three-game set against the visiting Reds, who are expected to start RHP Tim Adleman (2-4, 4.21). Jerseys NFL Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap ' ' '