Strasburg vs. Verlander with Nats up 1-0

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP) -- HOUSTON -- There are three tiers of familiarity with the Houston Astros that Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will aim to exploit when he takes the mound Wednesday in Game 2 of the World Series.

In addition to his film study of the American League Championship Series that the Astros claimed in six games over the New York Yankees and the first-hand experience he gleaned watching the Nationals' 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, Strasburg tapped into the recesses of his memory while crafting a scouting report on Houston.

The Nationals and Astros share the same West Palm Beach, Fla., ballpark during spring training in the Grapefruit League.

Chiefs' Mahomes not ruled out this week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes planned to throw in practice Wednesday, raising the possibility the reigning league MVP could return sooner than expected from a dislocated kneecap.

Mahomes hurt the knee on a quarterback sneak Thursday night in Denver. The initial thought was that he could miss up to six weeks, but X-rays and an MRI exam returned the best possible result, and coach Andy Reid said that he has not been ruled out for Sunday night against Green Bay. (MORE)

Saints QB Brees plans to return Sunday

METAIRIE, La. (AP) Drew Brees says he plans to play Sunday against Arizona unless his form in practice this week does not meet his expectations.

Brees, who spoke after practice on Wednesday, says he is comfortable throwing an NFL ball now that he is more than five weeks out of surgery on his right thumb. But Brees says he needs to see how accurate and effective he is throwing during competitive team drills this week before he knows for certain that his return is best for the team. (MORE)

Falcons QB Ryan hoping to face Seahawks

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn says quarterback Matt Ryan is hopeful he'll return from a sprained ankle to play against Seattle.

As expected, Ryan did not practice Wednesday. He also may sit out Thursday's practice. Quinn says the team "will have a better sense" of the quarterback's status for Sunday's game on Friday. (MORE)

Patriots WR Gordon placed on IR

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The Patriots have placed receiver Josh Gordon on injured reserve with knee and ankle injuries.

The move was posted on the NFL's transaction wire late Wednesday afternoon. (MORE)

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