October Sports: Baseball Postseason, Football, and Hockey
Baseball’s postseason march to the Fall Classic begins, and the puck drops on a new NHL season:
The Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year championship drought last autumn. What other records might be toppled this October? The defending American League champs, the Cleveland Indians—who achieved an AL-record 22 consecutive wins during a stretch in August and September—could see their 68-season World Series title drought broken. Over the summer, Justin Turner and the L.A. Dodgers had the best 50-game stretch (43-7) since the 1912 New York Giants. But you can throw out the regular-season records come October, because the playoffs are an entirely new ball game. Wild-card games are on ESPN (AL) (Oct. 3, 8/7c) and TBS (National League) (Oct. 4, 8/7c). The best-of-three-game Division Series begins Oct. 5, 4/3c, FS1 or MLB Network (AL), and Oct. 6, 5/4c, TBS (NL). The best-of-seven AL Championship Series begins Oct. 13, 8/7c, Fox or FS1, with the NL Championship Series airing exclusively on TBS beginning Oct. 14, 8/7c.
Top NFL primetime matchups include the Washington Redskins at the Kansas City Chiefs (Oct. 2, 8:15/7:15c, ESPN), the New England Patriots at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Oct. 5, 8:25/7:25c, CBS & NFL Network) and the New York Giants at the Denver Broncos (Oct. 15, 8:30/7:30c, NBC).
NHL Opening Night
The 2017–18 NHL regular-season opener (Oct. 4, NBCSN) features the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the St. Louis Blues (8/7c), followed by the Philadelphia Flyers at the San Jose Sharks (10:30/9:30c).
The PGA Tour visits Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa Valley, California, for the Safeway Open (Oct. 5–8, 5:30/4:30c, Golf Channel), the first of 49 FedExCup events in the 2017–18 season.
On the college gridiron, catch Louisville at N.C. State (Oct. 5, 8/7c, ESPN) and an Oct. 13 primetime doubleheader on ESPN with Clemson at Syracuse (7/6c) and Washington State at California (10:30/9:30c).
F1 Japanese Grand Prix
(late-night Oct. 7, 12:30am/11:30c, NBCSN) F1 drivers take on the 18-turn Suzuka International Racing Course for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs enter the Round of 12 with the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte (Oct. 8, 2/1c, NBC) and the Alabama 500 at Talladega (Oct. 15, 2/1c, NBC).
Before the NBA tips off for real, catch a preseason doubleheader Oct. 13 on TNT with the San Antonio Spurs at the Houston Rockets (8/7c) and the L.A. Lakers at the L.A. Clippers (10:30/9:30c).