Now that we have a little more focus on what’s going on here: The Dodgers’ best-of-five NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves launches Thursday (5:35 p.m., MLB Network, Ryu vs. Foltynewicz) and Friday (6:30 p.m., FS1, Kershaw vs. TBA) at Dodger Stadium. Game 3 goes to Atlanta for Sunday (5 p.m., FS1). The Dodgers won five of seven meetings against the Braves, the franchise they eliminated from the postseason in 2013. That was also the Braves’ last playoff appearance — it doesn’t help having the Washington Nationals or New York Mets in your division when they’re healthy. Fifty bucks if you can name the Braves current manager. Time’s up. It’s Brian Snitker. He’s been there three seasons. He allows Charlie Culberson to get some swings in, so beware of past performance coming back to curse the Dodgers.
The rest of the week in MLB playoffs:
Tuesday: NL wildcard – Colorado at Chicago, 5 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday: AL wildcard — Oakland at New York, 5 p.m., TBS
Thursday: NLDS Game 1: Colorado at Milwaukee, 2 p.m., FS1
Friday: ALDS Game 1: Cleveland at Houston, 11 a.m., TBS
ALDS Game 1: New York at Boston, 4:30 p.m., TBS
NLDS Game 2: Colorado at Milwaukee, 1:15 p.m., FS1
Saturday: ALDS Game 2: Cleveland at Houston, 1:30 p.m., TBS
ALDS Game 2: New York at Boston, 5:15 p.m. TBS
Sunday: NLDS Game 3: Milwaukee at Colorado, 1:30 p.m., MLB Network
The Chargers’ home game Sunday against the Raiders (StubHub Center, 1:05 p.m., Channel 2) might otherwise get overlooked on the NFL Week 5 schedule. But as a public service to the folks in Carson, many of whom probably are Raiders’ followers, there needs to give everyone a heads up. The Raiders are riding a wave of success — their first win last Sunday, in OT, against Cleveland. Coach Jon Gruden admits: “We have a long way to go. It’s fun to win, we felt that we had a couple of victories slip away, but to close out the first quarter of the season with a win. At least we got paid, at least we made something.” Meanwhile, the 4-0 Rams are more than a touchdown favorite Sunday at Seattle (1:25 p.m., Channel 11). Through the first four wins, Jared Goff has completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 1,406 yards, 11 TDs and just two picks. He’s second in the league with a 127.3 passer rating.
Also in NFL Week 5:
Thursday: Indianapolis at New England, 5:20 p.m., Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
Sunday: Green Bay at Detroit, 10 a.m., Channel 7
Dallas at Houston, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
Since you asked, yes, the NHL’s 2018-19 season does in fact begin. The Ducks get first crack at leading the Pacific Division with a game at San Jose on Tuesday (7:30 p.m., NBCSN), which comes after the defending champion Washington Caps raise their title banner (sorry, Vegas) at home (4:30 p.m., NBCSN). The Sharks are also the opening night foe for the Kings (Staples Center, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West).
Also this week for the Ducks:
At Arizona, Saturday at 6 p.m., Prime Ticket
Also this week for the Kings:
At Staples Center vs. Detroit, Sunday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
At some point, UCLA will pick up its first college football victory of the season. Just don’t count on it happening in Week 6, when the play host to No. 10 Washington at the Rose Bowl (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11). USC has a bye week.
The best of the rest in Week 6:
Alabama at Arkansas, 9 a.m., ESPN
Texas vs. Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, 9 a.m., Channel 11
Maryland at Michigan, 9 a.m., Channel 7
Clemson at Wake Forest, 12:30 p.m., ESPN
LSU at Florida, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Florida State at Miami, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Indiana at Ohio State, 1 p.m., Channel 11
Arizona State at Colorado, 1 p.m., Pac 12 Net
Kentucky at Texas A&M, 4 p.m., ESPN
Vanderbilt at Georgia, 4:30 p.m., SEC Network
Nebraska at Wisconsin, 4:30 p.m., Big Ten Net
Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 5 p.m., Channel 7
Cal at Arizona, 7 p.m., FS1
Utah at Stanford, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Because we all know more practice is needed the Clippers have agreed to meet up with the Lakers in Anaheim for a game on Saturday at the Honda Center (7 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet, Prime Ticket).
Also this week for the Lakers:
At Staples Center, Tuesday vs. Denver, 7:30 p.m., TNT and Spectrum SportsNet
At Staples Center, Thursday vs. Sacramento, 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
Also this week for the Clippers:
At Staples Center, Wednesday vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket
Also: UFC 229: Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagoinedov. As McGregor, the 30-year-old from Dublin who hasn’t been in the octogan in almost two years, cashes in in a new six-fight UFC deal, including the matchup with Nurmagomedov, this should make everyone a lot of pocket change as the organization says this world lightweight championship is trending toward 2.5 million buys. That would crush the previous record of 1.6 million when McGregor had a rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 202.
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