Every-Thing Sports

What makes for an upset like Ruiz over Joshua? Let's look at the factors

Score one for the fat guys! That was an Instagram post I made Sunday morning pertaining to Andy Ruiz Jr's upset knockout of heavyweight boxing champ Anthony Joshua. I watched a replay and highlights of the fight late Saturday night/wee hours Sunday morning.This was considered the third biggest upset in boxing history behind Hasim Rahman over Lennox Lewis and Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson. We love a good upset. Especially when the guy doing the upsetting kind of looks like one of us common folk.

One look at Ruiz and I guarantee you there were guys who immediately thought "if he can be the heavyweight champ, I can probably do the same thing!" Please, don't be THAT guy. Ruiz is a professional boxer who had a 33-1 record entering into this fight with Joshua. Whether he fought and beat 33 tomato cans, broom sticks, or some version of a weak opponent in those wins, he's still a pro boxer. There are several factors that go into the anatomy of an upset in my opinion, so let's take a look at them:

Perception

Perception heading into a matchup is a huge contributing factor. In this case, people looked at Ruiz and thought he looked like a Walmart greeter, a bus driver, a taco truck owner, etc. As spectators, we often look at guys' appearances. The first guy off the bus is a real thing. When you're a physical specimen, you attract more attention. People are drawn to the physically imposing figures that look like they're chiseled from granite as opposed to the Average Joes that look more like them because the former reminds them of a superhero and the latter reminds them of themselves.

Odds

The odds-makers have a huge part in upsets. They often set the betting odds in which upsets are named by because we have no other true measuring stick to judge them. Vegas isn't stupid. They set the odds in order to drive betting so they make money. So when you see a team or player or fighter is favored, please believe it's by design and through research. Casinos and bookmakers are in business for a reason.

Previous history

Previous history, or track record, is based upon the records of opponents coming into an event. Perception and odds also play a factor into this. For example, the 2003-04 Pistons finished two games better than the Lakers. The Pistons franchise had only won two NBA titles previously (back to back in the late 80s/early 90s), whereas the Lakers had 14 titles to that point and recently reeled off a three-peat a few years earlier. Given that the Lakers had Shaq, Kobe, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone, it was thought they'd run away with another title. The Pistons not only won the series, they beat the vaunted Lakers 4-1.

Superiority complex

When the perception that one team or athlete is so much better than their opponent, the odds are in their favor, and history says that team or athlete will most likely win, they can have an inflated sense of self. Taking an opponent likely or not seriously enough can lower a team or player's guard. This is a recipe for disaster. The 2001 Rams thought a backup quarterback couldn't beat "The Greatest Show on Turf." Little did we know that Super Bowl win by Tom Brady and the Patriots would give birth to a dynasty.

Disadvantages

There are also times in which an opponent is at a decided disadvantage. In college sports, one team may have a bigger budget in order to recruit, train, house, and even feed better players. Having better coaches and accommodations will give one team or player an advantage. Maybe there's a health issue involved. UCLA women's softball player Stevie Wisz has lived with a heart condition and put off surgery until after the Women's College World Series. Whatever the disadvantages are, they can often lead one team/player to believe they'll undoubtedly win, while stacking the odds heavily against said team/player's opponent.

Upsets are what gives us hope in sports. They're the improbable wins in which fan bases place their faith until they either win, or get their hopes crushed. We all love a good upset. The NCAA basketball tournament has shown us that an upset can galvanize a group of fans and onlookers into supporting the unlikely hero. Who doesn't enjoy the underdog beating the overwhelming favorite? No one likes the favorite who always wins. Sure, a dynasty is greatness to be admired, but the one who knocks off said dynasty will be celebrated just as much if not more. Once again, here's to all my fellow fat guys out there. Let's forego the gym and healthy food in favor of tacos and television in hopes of becoming the next Andy Ruiz Jr.

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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