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The 10 Best Deals of January 12, 2021

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Gif: Juliana Clark

Best Deals of the DayBest Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.

Tuesday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

It’s January 12, and we at Kinja Deals are here to bring you the top 10 deals of the day. Get ready for another semester of home school by saving up to 30% on bulk snacks. Follow through on your new year’s resolutions by buying the Finer Form 5-in-1 adjustable weight bench. And turn your apartment into an urban garden with the AeroGarden Harvest six-pod countertop garden.

If you’re still craving more deals, take a peek at Tuesday’s best deals overall.

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An adjustable weight bench can make a world of difference when it comes to enabling home workouts, and if you’re keen on keeping your fitness resolutions for 2021, you might want to jump on this deal.

Right now, Amazon is selling a Finer Form 5-in-1 Adjustable Weight Bench for $100, which is $50 off the list price. Built for a full-body workout, this bench can easily shift for flat, incline, decline, and upright exercises, and has a strong 4.3-star rating from more than 1,200 customer reviews as of this writing.

This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward. 

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If you’re a funky little kitchen witch with a panache for color you might need to upgrade your magic cooking tools. This beautifully vibrant set from Umite Chef has fifteen pieces and is on sale today for 21% off.

Each of these silicone utensils is a bright hue and made of durable and environment-friendly materials. The stainless handles won’t chip, warp or melt. Easy to grip and won’t stick, so perfect for tougher dishes that require a bit of strength to whip up. Easy to clean and can withstand a lot of recipes including ones that might require well over 400 degrees of heat. This set includes a ladle, a pasta fork, a spoonula, a slotted spoon, tongs, a turner, a large spatula, a whisk, three small spatulas, a brush, and a holder to nestle them all in. Plus it comes in a cute gift box. No wonder this is one of Amazon’s best sellers.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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Our long-running home adventures probably aren’t going to change anytime very soon, so if you need some fresh snacks to keep you fueled up for the months ahead, Amazon has a bargain for you.

Amazon’s deal of the day is for up to 30% off bulk snacks from the likes of Frito-Lay, Quaker, Gatorade, and more. Whether it’s a variety pack of single-sized bags of Lay’s Baked Chips or Smartfood Popcorn, crates of Gatorade Bolt24 or Mountain Dew Game Fuel, or boxes of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars or Instant Oatmeal packets, there’s plenty here to power this extended run through quarantine.

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There’s quite a bit more, too, so be sure to check out the Amazon deal page.

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This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward. 

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Being home all the time is no fun, and if you’re anything like us, you may be filling the hours rage cleaning, just because. At this point, any further efforts to clean can only be seen as a desperate, cryptic cry for some sort of help. After you’ve resolved your internal conflict and made some attempted return to normalcy (what’s that?), let someone else do the job.

It could be your kids, but not all of us have them… and barring expensive nanny care, a eufy RoboVac just might be the next best thing. The BoostIQ RoboVac 11S packs a lot of suction power for just $170. It’s $50 off the list price right now when you clip the coupon on the page.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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Launched a few months months back, the new LEGO Super Mario line delivers a unique twist to the building block template, letting you use a screen-and-sensor equipped Mario figure to play through interactive obstacle courses. And they made a whole bunch of different add-on sets to recreate familiar moments from the legendary games.

While the core, required starter set remains at the full price of $60, many of the larger expansions are currently 20% off, including the Guarded Fortress Expansion, Mario’s House and Yoshi Expansion, and Toad’s Treasure Hunt Expansion Set. If your family got the starter set over the holidays, now is an ideal time to unlock further building opportunities at a discount.

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This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward.

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Whether you’re outdoors camping, or your power is out at home, a portable generator comes in handy for recreational activities and emergency situations alike. This one from Kinja Deals reader-favorite brand is solar-powered and boasts a 300 watt-hour battery capacity. Measuring 9.84″ x 7.28″ x 6.89″ and weighing 10.28 pounds, its size is comparable to an industry-grade rugged laptop—compact enough to take on a trip, even in the trunk of a small sedan, but don’t count on fitting it in your pocket. Still, considering its diminutive dimensions, the Portable Power Station packs a real punch, laying claim to powering a smartphone more than 27 times, a laptop (or refrigerator!) for 6 hours, a 45-watt CPAP for 9 hours, and a car vac for 2.5 consecutive hours.

The generator includes the required three Lithium-ion batteries needed to operate the device, and for a limited time only is discounted $92 using the promo code 8KLDXLTO. As the weather grows colder, you might want to jump on this deal before it spikes back up to its full $287 list price. You’ve got until Saturday to secure a backup plan for any upcoming outdoor expeditions or blizzard-induced power outages bound to arise in the coming months.

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This deal was originally published by Gabe Carey. 

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There’s a point where all these budget earbuds start to blend together. This is probably because I’ve been testing different ones for months. Odec is just as solid if you’re looking for a pair, not too expensive that are of decent quality. These are currently 37% off and fall in line with a lot of the other earbuds I’ve covered.

For me, they are middle of the road and certainly do everything they claim efficiently. I do like they are immediately in sync when you pair them to your phone. And the ANC is actually pretty decent for the size and fit. I haven’t played around with them enough to figure out the different modes, but apparently, there is a great one for gaming. Calls come in clear and you can definitely use these for zooms/skypes with few issues. These absolutely run for six hours off of one charge and you’ll get around thirty hours with the case before needing to juice that up. The one-step connection isn’t a joke they pair almost instantly once I open the lid and barely lift one out. These are a really good pair as a backup.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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I live in a basement apartment so I thought this would be a fun experiment when I got one of these. I also with a roommate who is an excellent cook and constantly looking for fresh herbs and our garden isn’t reliable with the neighborhood creatures. I was pleasantly surprised by the AeroGarden Harvest and if you’re a foodie with a green thumb this is the deal for you. Save $65 on this model right now.

I don’t know what I was expecting but I don’t think it was for them to all grow so quickly. I put the AeroGarden in my room on a high shelf away from all the dogs, so a pretty lightless area. I will say the 20W LED grow-lights are very bright, but duh, they’re supposed to be the sun. They’re on a timer too so you don’t need to worry about turning it on and off. It was easy to set up and I really love that it’s got light indicators that let you know when your plant babies need water or food. Yes, it comes with plant food that’s easy to measure out and pour in the well. It was simple enough to get the pods into the AeroGarden with relatively no mess. I haven’t figured out how to harvest them yet which will need to be done very soon. My pack came with Genovese basil, Thai basil, dill, curly parsley, mint, and thyme. I can say the basil smells lovely. This was a fun experiment that I was pleasantly surprised by and I’d be willing to try some more advanced things like lettuce or tomatoes. The AeroGarden is a great alternative for the plant minded individual worried about pesticides or herbicides.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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It’s not even two weeks into the new year and it’s been a wild ride so far. Things are stressful even more so in a lot of ways. Ella Paradis wants to help ease some of these tense feelings with the Make Better Love Kit. It’s 70% off with the code 2021.

There are four items in this pack and it’s got a bit of a variety to it. Better Love makes great toys for dudes and babes, this bundle is definitely a representation of that. The Poseidon is a powerful c-ring that vibes for seventy minutes at a time giving guys (and gals) some soothing silicone pleasure. Their Pixie wand is included for a little lady magic. It has ten settings, which is great for travel and is very user friendly. You’ll also get a sweet satin bag to keep both of these safe and sound. And to add a little more sexy to 2021 they’re tossed in a pair of thigh high fishnets. While both vibes are fun with a partner there are absolutely benefits to taking them out for solo runs too.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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So. The first couple of weeks of 2021 have been chaotic none the less. Between the storming of the Capitol (which hasn’t been seized since 1812!) and everything else, we all collectively need to take a chill pill. That’s where Sunday Scaries CBD bath bombs come in. For only $11, or $9 if you sign up for a monthly subscription, you can get three bath bombs (orange, lavender, and lemon) with a couple of Mgs of isolated CBD to calm your body after a long day of doomscrolling and WFH. Nothing else to say. Let’s not stress ourselves out too much in 2021, huh?

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher.


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The 10 Best Deals of November 23, 2020

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Gif: Juliana Clark

Best Deals of the DayBest Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.

Monday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

It’s November 23, and we at Kinja Deals are here to bring you the top 10 deals of the day. Get a head start on your holiday preparation with up to 30% off Hallmark’s wrapping paper and Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s 18″ pre-lit wreaths. Maybe try to moisturize your COVID-19 fears away with It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In spray.

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And if you’re still craving more deals, take a peek at Monday’s best deals overall.

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If you haven’t already been planning your gift-giving this week is a great time to start. We need to be a little more strategic with shopping and shipping in 2020. If you’re waiting for the perfect present to go on sale go ahead and grab some cute wrapping paper to cover it in. Right now take up to 30% Off Hallmark Holiday Gift Wrap.

There are over 11 bundles of gift wrap to pick from including a handful of bags and cards. We all know Thanksgiving basically starts the mad dash to all the holidays in December so get a jump on it. I have an aunt that writes all her holiday cards on Thanksgiving night and sends them out the next day. And given the pandemic thinking ahead for shipping on anything is a very good idea. No matter what you pick and wrap I’m sure your friends and family will be delighted. Fingers crossed we can give these gifts in person next year.

Free shipping on all these for Prime members.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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While the holidays are looking to be bleaker and bleaker because of this damn pandemic that just won’t quit, you can still be optimistic and celebrate. Decorate your door with 18-inch Pre-lit Wreaths for a low $20. They’re battery-operated, so you won’t have to plug it in anywhere. So what are you waiting for?! Spread joy amoungst the darkness and grab one now!

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher.

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Foolishly, I bought the 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 at full price—$529—back in September. For a limited time, however, you can snatch one up yourself in the smaller, 40mm size featuring GPS and LTE cellular functions for up to $120 off the sticker tag, with prices starting at just $390 in the Blue, Gold, and (PRODUCT)RED colorways. Silver with the White Sport band is marked down to $479 while Cyprus Green and Graphite are $579. From there, lavish models can exceed $600, such as the Graphite and Gold stainless steel variants, both of which sport Milanese loops.

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As for GPS-only models, you’ll find both 40mm and 44mm Watches on sale as well. Those who find the junior-sized watch face acceptable can grab it in (PRODUCT)RED or Blue for $330 and Silver or Space Gray for $379. The 44mm version ranges from $360 for (PRODUCT)RED and $409 for Blue or Space Gray. The Pink Sport band-equipped Gold aluminum model is unfortunately out of stock, and some of these won’t ship until late November to early- and mid-December, but worry not, you won’t find an estimated arrival date any further out than 12/22, which means regardless of the Apple Watch you pick, it’ll reach your doorstep in time for non-denominational holiday gift giving.

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This deal was originally published by Gabe Carey.

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The more time we spend indoors, the more frustrated we may become with things that aren’t that big a deal. Having to get up to turn off the kitchen light after you’re already snuggled up in bed isn’t fun, and neither is having to tap through your list of playlists to find your favorite cooking tunes. Luckily, smart speakers help with a lot of that, and they aren’t too pricey. Right now, you can get Amazon’s latest Echo, which is supposed to feature improved sound over its predecessor, for $30 off at Amazon, Best Buy, and Staples.

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This deal was originally published by Jordan McMahon.

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Okay, I know we’re not allowed to start hyping the holidays yet. Thanksgiving is still upon us and I promise I won’t try to pull the rug out from turkey day with yuletide cheer. That said, you can start revving your engines over at GameStop. The retailer currently has gaming, superhero, and generally nerd-themed holiday decorations for 40% off. There’s a lot to love among the list of options. The super star tree topper is certainly a yuletide statement piece. You can also grab a bunch of ornaments, like Pikachu and Yoshi, to make your tree into a regular old Super Smash Bros. character selection screen. Look, if your mom gets to hang all of her 40 year old ornate ducks on the tree, I don’t see why you can’t put Baby Yoda up there.

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This deal was originally posted by Giovanni Colantonio.

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When it comes to first-party Nintendo games, $30 is an almost unheard of price. The company just doesn’t discount their games often and when they do it’s rarely ever much lower. Things appear to be different this Black Friday season as lots of Switch games are getting price cuts. Mario Tennis Aces is among the selection of games on sale and it’s lower than the rest of the pack at the moment. Amazon currently has the Mario sports title for $30, while other Switch games are only down to $40. That’s a real game, set, match moment. Probably. I don’t know, I don’t watch tennis.

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This deal was originally published by Giovanni Colantonio.

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This is the time of year where the throw blanket rules. It makes a great addition to any room and is kind of the perfect gift for those who just don’t know what to get. Charter Club’s Cozy Throws are 80% off right now in this amazing holiday sale from Macy’s.

There are 15 styles and colors available so you’re sure to find one that perfectly fits in with your decor or that of a loved one. These are soft and plush and can add a touch of whimsy depending on the pattern you choose. But they will definitely warm you up on a chilly sofa or if you’re in a drafty guest room. These are pretty sizable at 50″ x 70″, are made of polyester, and can be washed in the machine.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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As an early Black Friday deal, you can get a robot to sweep your floors for about 40% off. At a decent $180, you can tell your Eufy RoboVac 30C to wake up and get to work collecting dust mites and crumbs for your wooden and carpeted floors. With the added boundary strips, you can “tape” off areas it doesn’t need to clean and keep it from falling down a flight of stairs. What are you waiting for?

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher. 

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One of Ulta’s best sellers is 40% off in this early Black Friday deal. Grab this mini collection of 16 lippies in this Lip Glossary Kit for only $10. This is a great kit with these being sample sizes because if there’s a shade you don’t like you won’t feel like you’re wasting a whole tube. And if you’ve never had an Ulta product this is a perfect way to see if they’re for you.

In this kit you’ll get 4 tinted lip oils, 4 sheer lip glosses, 4 matte liquid lipsticks, and 4 patent liquid lipsticks. The colors run the gamut from classic pinks to bold purples and browns. This is a killer gift for sharing too or even breaking them up and using them as stocking stuffers if you’ve got a few beauty gurus on your list.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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Because of an early Black Friday deal, you can get a bottle of It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In for a cheap $10. You’ll be able to moisturize straight and natural curly hair with a couple of sprays, which is perfect for the winter when curls are drier than usual.

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher. 


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Serie A leader Milan is one of Europe’s hottest teams. Is its form sustainable?

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A lot of American soccer fans only dove fully into European club soccer when the Premier League started showing up live on their television about a decade ago. These fans have only heard about AC Milan; they have not yet seen the storied club in full flight.

Like college football’s USC Trojans, Milan are glamorous and dominant when piloted by just the right leader, finicky and mediocre in a less capable set of hands. They have won more Champions League/European Cup titles than anyone besides Real Madrid, but it has been 13 years since they last made even a semifinal. Hell, it has been more than six years since they played a Champions League match at all. Since finishing third in Serie A in 2013, their average league finish has been 6.9. Fishy signings, faulty ownership, poor managerial hires and Financial Fair Play violations conspired to hold them back.

Milan have enjoyed a fantastic run of quality signings, however, and damned if their results haven’t actually been encouraging for once. Since the summer’s coronavirus restart, the Rossoneri have yet to lose in league play — they’ve won 14 league matches with four draws and a 49-17 scoring margin. They are first in Serie A through six matches, and their core stats say this isn’t a lucky start.

They’re also 5-1 in Europa League play, qualifying for the group stage with wins over Shamrock, a spry Bodo/Glimt and Rio Ave in a shootout; they’ve won group games over Celtic and Sparta Prague. (They hosted Lille on Thursday, losing 3-0 to take a tiny bit of shine off their run.) And they’ve done all this while battling the temporary loss of key players such as goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and ageless striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to positive COVID-19 tests.

It’s fun to write about an old power that looks like a power again, but is this rise sustainable?


Milan’s surge is the result of a pretty incredible rebuilding job that began in the summer of 2019. Thus far, 63% of their minutes in league play have gone to players acquired within the past 16 months.

Last year, they added left-back Theo Hernandez from Real Madrid, center-back Simon Kjaer from Sevilla, defensive midfielders Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer from Atalanta and Empoli respectively, and winger Rafael Leao from Lille. They are all part of manager Stefano Pioli’s preferred XI, as is former Anderlecht winger Alexis Saelemaekers, added in January. All but Kjaer are 23 years old or younger.

To somewhat counter this inexperience and give Pioli a big target man for his 4-2-3-1 formation, they also added the 39-year old Ibrahimovic over the winter. That leaves only four members of Pioli’s preferred XI who were with the club before last summer.

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Their depth has been impressive, too. Former Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic has been solid when healthy, young loanees Brahim Diaz (from Real Madrid), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United) and Sandro Tonali (Brescia) have impressed, and another wave of youngsters — 18-year-old forward Lorenzo Colombo, 21-year-old defender Matteo Gabbie, 21-year-old forward Jens Petter Hauge (added from Bodo/Glimt after shining in their Europa battle) — has passed initial tests as well. Injury and positive COVID-10 diagnoses have not slowed down the team, and there appears to be a sturdy backup option for each position on the field.

Teams don’t tend to win titles leaning on either 21-year olds or 39-year olds, though, and Milan don’t have many key players near or in the peak age range of 25-29 or so. Maybe inexperience eventually holds them back in the end, but we can say that their statistical profile befits that of a league leader so far.

(Note: a lot of the stats from this piece were introduced in a September piece previewing the season. “1st60GD” stands for “goal differential in the first 60 minutes,” and “PossStartA3Mgn” is a team’s margin of possessions starting in the attacking third. This table also doesn’t count Napoli‘s default loss to Juventus — it looks only at matches that have been played.)

Unlike an Atalanta or Sassuolo, Milan’s output has been balanced: they’re fifth in the league in average goals scored and third in goals allowed. Their biggest issue at the moment might simply be that a lot of teams have their respective acts together as well.

Milan have dropped only two points in six matches, but seven other clubs have at least 11 points. Milan’s xG differential is rock solid, but so are Napoli’s, Inter Milan’s, Roma’s and, to a lesser extent, Juve’s and Atalanta’s. (Udinese‘s xG differential is also bafflingly good despite five losses in six matches.)

In the Premier League, it almost feels like no team is playing incredibly well at the moment; this is eye-of-the-beholder stuff, obviously, but in Serie A it feels like the opposite.

An average number of shots, a high level of shot quality

Milan are slightly above average in terms of the number of shots they take, but they stand out in shot quality. Among all of the clubs in Europe’s big five leagues, only Leicester City, Bayern Munich and Roma are averaging higher xG per shot.

Granted, Leicester are also the only Big Five club averaging more penalties drawn.

Most penalties drawn per match in 2020-21 (Europe’s big five leagues):

1. Leicester City (0.86)
2. Milan (0.67)
3. Chelsea (0.57)
4. Lens (0.57)
5. Lyon (0.56)

Milan have drawn four penalties in six matches, converting three and scoring off of a rebound on a fourth. They’re on pace for 25 penalties drawn, and considering no team topped 18 last year even in the penalty-heavy Serie A, that’s likely unsustainable. Milan are, however, still third in the league in xG per shot if you take penalties out of the equation. This isn’t merely a flop-and-hope attack.

Pioli, who was rumored to be on his way out until realizing that “don’t ever lose a match” is a pretty good way to keep your job, primarily deploys a 4-2-3-1 formation. As a rule, the 4-2-3-1 can end up a little stodgy: it’s wonderfully balanced between defense and attack, but it can also result in quite a bit of “possession for possession’s sake.” But if your three attacking midfielders/wingers are energetic and you have a good target man up front, it can work beautifully.

Milan most certainly has that. Leao on the left, Hakan Calhanoglu in the middle and Saelemaekers on the right have combined for 26 chances created (15 from Calhanoglu) and four assists in league play, plus three goals (two from Leao) on 21 reasonably high-quality shots (0.14 xG/shot). Diaz has created three chances and scored once, as well, and Hauge scored against Celtic. They have space to get creative, and in Ibrahimovic they have a Patrick Ewing-style post-up man to float crosses toward if they can’t create a better option.

Better yet, their collective energy has allowed Ibrahimovic to play to his own strengths, and it’s allowing them to build for a Zlatan-less future — Ibrahimovic is their leader in xG created, but the next six guys on the list are all 23 and under.

The team can afford for its attacking midfielders to take some risks, too, because the defensive block has been sturdy.

Milan have generated solid possession numbers and a lot of possession teams have a certain defensive profile: low numbers of shots allowed, but because of counterattacks, a high average shot quality. Thanks to the work of their defensive core, however — Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli/Gabbia at center-back, Kessie and Bennacer in defensive midfield — opponents have been limited in their transition opportunities. Put another way, Milan are generating the benefits of the 4-2-3-1 and minimizing its limitations.

Because of injuries and other absences, Kjaer has already put in more than 1,000 minutes in Serie A and Europa play, which is suboptimal for anyone, much less a 31-year-old. But Gabbia’s play has been encouraging in response.

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1:23

Shaka Hislop cannot believe how Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to connect with a bicycle kick aged 39 in Serie A.

Age isn’t the only limitation

I look at a few regression-to-the-mean factors during a given season:

— xG differential in losses. Are you a bit unlucky? Are you getting stomped? The latter suggests problems even if you’re doing well overall at the moment.

— Close-game performance. Few teams tend to average higher than about 2.1 points per game in matches decided by zero or one goal. Top that mark and you’re likely going to suffer some close losses in the near future.

— Save percentage margin and set-piece goals. Only a few teams tend to enjoy consistent advantages here.

— Red cards and second yellows. If your opponent has more of these than you, then obviously you’re enjoying some numbers advantages that probably won’t be sustained.

What do these factors look like in Serie A so far?

After winning their first three matches by a combined 8-0, the road has gotten trickier. They’re still generating points — 2-1 over a diminished Inter, 3-3 vs. Roma, 2-1 over Udinese thanks to a late Ibrahimovic strike — but again, you don’t usually maintain that. (Plus, they only advanced to the Europa group stages because of a one-goal win and a shootout.) You also don’t usually maintain a save percentage advantage of 20 percentage points, even when you’ve got one of the best young keepers in the world in Donnarumma.

This is shaping up to be the title race we expected/hoped for, and Milan should remain a part of it

I was optimistic that Serie A would see its best title race in years and the numbers back up that sentiment, especially if or when Inter, Juve and Atalanta find their form. But amid a crowded field, Milan have stood out to date.

Milan’s statistical profile is mostly sound, as is its defense. They’ve got known quantities in guys like Donnarumma, Ibrahimovic, Kjaer and Kessie, and they aren’t relying solely on penalties in attack. Still, it wouldn’t be hard to see a funk setting in at some point. Players like Leao, Rebic, Colombo and maybe Hauge will have to step up if or when Ibrahimovic gets injured, the goals could dry up if the shot quality regresses at all, and a few wins could turn into draws and draws into losses.

Even if they lose pace in league play, they have solid odds of reaching next year’s Champions League — 72%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s club soccer ratings (plus a 25% chance at winning the league) — and even beyond this year, the future at the San Siro is so, so much brighter than it seemed even six months ago. Few teams have signed more exciting young players of late, and you don’t have to squint to see a core roster that could remain in place for quite a while.

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Francisco Lindor’s uncertain future with the Indians — and his greatest victory

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Picking the second-best day of Francisco Lindor‘s tenure with the Cleveland Indians is a daunting task. Maybe it was the night in 2017 when Lindor slammed a double to extend Cleveland’s winning streak to 22 games, or perhaps it was the day when he hit the home run against the Boston Red Sox in the 2016 playoffs, a grin covering his face as he circled the bases. Maybe it was the moment when he first stepped into the Indians’ dugout for his first game in the big leagues, with manager Terry Francona.

Lindor is only 26 years old and he has already built so much history in Cleveland, with three top-10 finishes in the AL MVP voting, a couple of Gold Gloves, four All-Star appearances. But Lindor is nearing the end of his time with the Indians — it’s within the realm of possibility that he’ll play his last game in a Cleveland uniform on Wednesday or Thursday if the Indians don’t survive their wild-card series. It’s also possible that with the American League’s best pitcher and position player in the 2020 season — Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez, respectively — Cleveland could play well into October, as it did in 2016. It might turn out that Lindor’s second-best moment with Cleveland occurs in the American League Championship Series in 2020, or the World Series; maybe Lindor will share in the first championship dogpile by an Indians team since 1948.

The best moment of Lindor’s time with the Indians? Well, that’s easy. Nothing surpasses what happened on Nov. 2, 2016, the day the Chicago Cubs beat Cleveland in the extra inning of World Series Game 7.


The word in elementary school was that the young Francisco Lindor talked too much in class. Like a water hose you couldn’t turn off, the words pouring out. His energy, his joy, was irrepressible, not to be constrained by any supposed rules about who was allowed to talk at any given moment.

“We called him Pacquito,” said Legna, his oldest sibling, smiling. “We’d ask him, ‘Can you please zip it for five minutes. We only ask you five minutes. OK, how about two minutes?’ It was like that around friends at school. It’s been like that everywhere. He loves to talk.”

Their mom, Maria Serrano, worked hard, and as the oldest child at home, Legna watched over her siblings. She had felt an incredible bond with her little brother the first time she saw him, as an infant. “I felt that moment that I kind of like had a son,” she recalled. “Since then, I treat him like a son, more than like a brother. So I have been watching over him.”

For Francisco, any dictum from Legna was law. He might’ve debated with his mom, but when his big sister rendered a judgment, well, that was that. “She always looked out after us.” Francisco recalled. “She always made sure we were doing things the right way. It’s the way she is, and I just respect her a lot for that. … She’s always been the strongest one. She’s always been the role model.”

Early in the 2016 season, Legna was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer, and when her doctors talked about immediate options, she had a condition: Before her treatment would begin, she said, she needed to fly to see her little brother. To tell him the news, in person. She flew to Cleveland, asked Francisco if they could go for a drive, and explained her diagnosis. He remembers not even being able to look at her, while Legna comforted him. “She was trying to make me feel a bit better.”

“I’m the brother, I’m the man, I gotta act strong,” Francisco recalled. “And she’s always been strong for me, since day one, so now I gotta be strong for her. How do I do this?”

As always, Legna had thoughts about this: Just play, she told him. Just keep playing. Just keep doing what do you. At the end of the drive, Francisco went to a bathroom and cried, fearful about his sister. “I was asking why — why was this happening to her, why was this happening to me?” he recalled.

Francisco already had a habit of praying for well-being, for himself, friends and family, and as he stood on the field in Cleveland shaken by his sister’s diagnosis, he felt like a hypocrite. Now was the time to believe, to have faith. “It was my turn to understand that it happens for a reason,” he recalled in an interview with E:60. “It was my turn to understand that I gotta be there, and I gotta be supportive. After that, it was like, ‘It’s all right, it’s OK. She’ll be fine, she’ll be fine, she’ll be fine.”

Legna went for treatment, and Francisco played, with a new purpose. He was named to the American League All-Star team for the first time, and unbeknownst to him, Legna got the OK from doctors to fly to San Diego to share in the experience — surprising her brother with a knock on the door.

The Indians would make the playoffs that year, first beating the Red Sox in the division series, then the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS, to advance to face the Cubs in the World Series. Legna was unable to travel, remaining in Puerto Rico for treatment. “She was watching me on TV, and I was doing it for her,” he said.

The Indians won three of the first four games in the World Series, before losing Games 5 and 6, to set up a winner-take-all Game 7 in Cleveland. On his way to Progressive Field, Lindor got a phone call — Legna, calling with news. “I beat cancer,” she told him.

Francisco said, “I walked in that clubhouse, I’m good. I got my sister. I’m in the postseason, but I’m good. … If we win it, we did it for the city of Cleveland. If we didn’t win — I still won.”

In one of the best World Series games ever, the Indians mounted a comeback, punctuated by Rajai Davis’ home run off Aroldis Chapman. But after a rain delay, the Cubs scored a run in the 10th inning to clinch that franchise’s first championship in 108 years. After the game, Lindor was incredibly circumspect in speaking with reporters, talking about the experience of playing in the World Series. He had not yet spoken publicly about his sister.

Lindor went to a restaurant with a group of family and friends, and someone at the table was near tears over the Indians’ loss. Francisco stepped in with some perspective. “I’m like, ‘Why are you crying? We got Legna now — we good, we good. We’ll be in the World Series next season. Don’t worry, we’ll win the World Series at some point.”


The Indians made the playoffs in 2017 and 2018 and didn’t advance past the division series, and Cleveland has another chance to move through the postseason, before the front office must again assess what to do with Lindor before he simply becomes too expensive for them.

The Indians’ baseball operations department is regarded within the game as one of the best, a group that executes sound decisions for a franchise with far fewer resources than other clubs. They tried to sign Lindor early in his career, hoping to lock him down with relative gobs of guaranteed money when he was making relative pennies. This approach worked with Jose Ramirez, who signed a long-term deal. But Lindor’s choice was different: He effectively bet on himself by bypassing those early Indians proposals, and soon, he will cash in big time.

Within the Indians’ organization, there was respect and understanding for Lindor’s decision, and a coinciding realization that it meant the shortstop would leave Cleveland someday. For the Indians, who typically have a payroll in the range of $100 million to $120 million, there is too much risk in investing $25 million to $35 million annually in one player, and that’s the range in which Lindor will be paid when he signs the first multiyear deal of his career.

So there will almost certainly be a day when the Indians do what they did with CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee and Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger: They will take advantage of Lindor’s trade value, flipping him to a big-market team for younger, cheaper players — perhaps a club with a strong belief that it can sign Lindor to a long-term deal before he becomes a free agent, along the same lines that the Dodgers landed Mookie Betts. The Yankees seem to have a long-term need at shortstop, and have the wherewithal to make that kind of deal; so do the Mets.

The optimal conditions to deal Lindor might have come and gone, lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Rival executives had expected the Indians to listen intently to any offers for the All-Star shortstop in the midst of the 2020 season, after weighing proposals last winter, but in this truncated season that didn’t happen.

Through arbitration, Lindor will get an enormous bump in salary in 2021, from $17.5 million to something closer to $25 million, and with a lot of teams preparing major payroll cuts, the number of clubs willing to take on that kind of salary will be diminished. Additionally, there could be viable market alternatives to Lindor, in the winter before an unprecedented class of free-agent shortstops could hit the market: Beyond Lindor, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and others are in line to become free agents next winter.

But Lindor will draw interest, and assuming that the Indians follow their longstanding history, they will deal him, whether it be this winter — and the offseason is a more suitable time to deal elite position players — or next summer.

Whenever that happens, Lindor’s time with the Indians will have been glorious, with nothing better than that beautiful Cleveland day in early November 2016 when Legna called with the best possible news.

News from around the major leagues

Trevor Bauer is omnipresent in social media, and for that reason alone, he can rub some peers the wrong way in a sport in which sharing opinions publicly will draw scrutiny. Baseball’s long-standing culture has been that players have an obligation to teammates to go about their work mostly in anonymity, and Bauer has never been and will never be fenced in by that kind of convention. In 2020 in particular, that is a good thing; in 2020, without fans in the stands, Bauer has been one of the best things about the sport, reminding everyone that this is supposed to be fun.

In his start against the Brewers the other day, Bauer pitched with extraordinary emotion, shouting excitedly after strikeouts, keeping his eyes on the hitters after he dominated them, strutting off the mound — and other than a couple of double-takes, the Milwaukee players seemed to react in stride, probably because Bauer had walked the talk. In his prior start, Tim Anderson had bested Bauer, getting to a high fastball and blasting a home run, and afterward, Bauer questioned on his Twitter feed why Anderson hadn’t celebrated more, why he hadn’t responded with a gaudy bat flip; he effectively encouraged Anderson and others to play with more outward emotion.

Generally, that can be a whole lot more fun for everyone — for most players, and definitely for fans locked down in the way they can watch sports this year. It’s as if Bauer has launched a one-man assault on baseball’s unwritten rules and in 2020, he’s winning — and is likely to win the NL Cy Young Award, as well.

• How the major award races look from here, on this (likely) last day of the regular season:

AL Cy Young Award: Bieber, who has the lowest ERA in the big leagues, the most strikeouts, and thrown the third-most innings. Right now, he holds the title of best pitcher on the planet. Think about this: The No. 1 hitters in opposing lineups have combined to score a total of one run in his 12 starts.

NL Cy Young Award: Bauer, whose separated himself from the pack with the dominant outing against Milwaukee. With runners in scoring position this season, opposing hitters are 3-for-35 with 15 strikeouts.

NL Most Valuable Player Award: Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ first baseman has an OPS of 1.105 OPS, with 43 walks and 37 strikeouts. If this had been a longer season, the Nationals’ Juan Soto might well have overtaken Freeman — Soto has 26 extra-base hits, 38 walks and 27 strikeouts. Given his understanding of the strike zone and how pitchers deploy breaking balls, he could be poised to win this award more than a couple of times over the next decade.

AL MVP: Like Bauer, Jose Ramirez has finished strong and overtaken the rest of the MVP field. Ramirez has built a substantive lead in WAR over the rest of the AL field, according to FanGraphs’ accounting.

AL Rookie of the Year: The Mariners’ Kyle Lewis, who has an excellent wRC+ of 132. Luis Robert seemed to be in a good position to win this award earlier in the season, but his offense has collapsed in September.

NL Rookie of the Year: If I had a vote — and I don’t — I’d take the Brewers’ Devin Williams, who has had unmatched dominance among first-year players, striking out 53 of the 100 batters he has faced this season, allowing just one earned run in 27 innings. No. 2: Jake Cronenworth of the Padres, who has a .370 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage.

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