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MLB: Houston shortstop Carlos Correa struggles with back problem as ALCS looms

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa says he is in pain: Every swing and miss hurts his aching back, and on the bad days it can even be uncomfortable to walk.

Correa often puts on a brave face but he tells The Associated Press he is hurting as the Astros prepare to leave for Boston and the best-of-seven AL Championship Series that begins on Saturday.

Correa returned from a six-week stint on the disabled list on Aug. 10 and declared that he was better. But he has struggled to regain his top form. He hit just .180 in the second half of the season and managed a single hit in an ALDS, looking nothing like the player who made the All-Star team last season and was the 2015 rookie of the year.

He says it's been difficult to feel comfortable at the plate and he is not swinging as hard or as quick as he wants to.

MLB tells casinos league should get cut from wagers on sport

Major League Baseball is insisting to casino executives that the league should get a cut from wagers placed on the sport following the repeal of a federal ban on sports betting.

An MLB executive speaking Wednesday at the casino industry's top trade show in Las Vegas also held that sports books should be required to buy data used to set odds directly from the league.

Kenny Gersh is the league's executive vice president of gaming. He says a proposed 0.25 percent fee is essentially a royalty that casino companies should pay if they are going to make money off of the sport.

He says MLB believes betting on baseball is not appealing to mass consumers, just hardcore bettors, and the league could help change that.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in May allowed states to join Nevada in having legalized sports betting.

Casinos have strongly opposed direct payments to leagues for betting, and MLB and other pro leagues have failed so far to convince any state to build the fees into their laws.

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