10.07.19: Five things for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

NUMBER 1What we know, and what we think we know, a week into the Major League Baseball playoffs:
= All four division series could end Monday.
= As long as the Washington Nationals have Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg as viable arms to throw considerable innings over Games 4 and possibly Game 5 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, they have a chance to erase a 2-1 deficit. Who you got Monday in a Scherzer-vs.-Rich Hill scenario? There you go …
Game 4 goes Monday at 3:40 p.m. on TBS, with Game 5 back at Dodger Stadium, if necessary, on Wednesday at 5:37 p.m.

= Atlanta’s comeback in Game 3 at St. Louis shows the Braves’ resilience. They haven’t even named a starter yet in their Game 4 matchup today against the Cardinals (noon, TBS).
A Dodgers-Braves NLCS would start Friday and Saturday at Dodgers Stadium (as would a Dodgers-Cardinals series, should that matchup occur. Or else, it’s Washington at Atlanta or St. Louis).
= After Houston used Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole go throw 14 2/3 innings, 23 strikeouts and no earned runs in Games 1 and 2 wins over Tampa Bay, the Astros dig deep to send out Zach Greinke out to possibly ends its ALDS on Monday, who has former Astros starter Charlie Morton on the mound (11 a.m., FS1). Greinke’s thoughts? He had a 67-word press conference that explains it all.
= The Yankees’ 2-0 lead over 101-win Minnesota is predictable. Their ALDS Game 3 bats cleanup in the four-game order Monday (5:40 p.m., FS1).
The ALCS then starts Saturday on FS1, TBA.


NUMBER 2What we know, and what we think we know, about NFL Week 6:
The 2-3 Chargers’ ready-for-prime-time event comes in an NBC twilight visit to Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park against Pittsburgh (Sunday, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4). It could have been flexed out by the network. But let’s save those cards until the end of the season. If not for that charity trip to Miami two weeks ago, the Chargers could be looking much worse in the AFC West.
Meanwhile, the 3-2 Rams, having played a Thursday after a Sunday and losing both, meet up with a San Francisco 49ers team that has a Monday night game leading into a Sunday 1 p.m. meeting at the Coliseum (Channel 11).
Finishing up Week 5:
= Cleveland at San Francisco, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Going into Week 6:
= N.Y. Giants at New England, 5:20 p.m., Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
Carolina vs. Tampa Bay at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, 6:30 a.m., NFL Network
In the Fox 10 a.m. window: Seattle at Cleveland, Washington at Miami, Philadelphia at Minnesota
In the CBS 10 a.m. window: Houston at Kansas City, New Orleans at Jacksonville, Cincinnati at Baltimore
In the Fox afternoon window (1:05 p.m., blacked out in LA): Atlanta at Arizona
In the CBS afternoon window (1:25 p.m.): Dallas at N.Y. Jets, Tennessee at Denver
Bye weeks: Chicago, Buffalo, Oakland, Indianapolis


NUMBER 3What we know, and what we think we know, about college football Week 7:
USC’s every-other-year trip to Notre Dame (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 4) sets up as an unranked 3-2 Trojan team up against a No. 9 Irish squad sitting on 5-1 after a 52-0 home win against Bowling Green, the team’s 14th win in a row at home.
This is the 91st meeting, and USC has won 11 ofthe last 17 — but all six losses have been since 2010. The Trojans have won six of the last 11 in South Bend — but they’ve dropped the last three.
Notre Dame leads the series, 48-36-5, and a 26-13-1 mark in South Bend.
Also this week:
Pac-12 games:
Colorado at Oregon, Friday at 7 p.m., FS1
Washington at Arizona, Saturday at 8 p.m., ESPN
Utah at Oregon State, Saturday at 5 p.m. Pac-12 Network
Washington State at Arizona State, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Bye week: UCLA, Cal, Stanford
Penn State at Iowa, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
Florida at LSU, 5 p.m., ESPN
Florida State at Clemson, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
South Carolina at Georgia, 9 a.m., ESPN
Oklahoma vs. Texas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, 9 a.m., Channel 11
Michigan at Illinois, 9 a.m., Channel 7
Alabama at Texas A&M, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Michigan State at Wisconsin, 12:30 p.m.
Hawaii at Boise State, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2
Wyoming at San Diego State, 7:30 p.m., CBSSN


NUMBER 4What we know, and what we think we know, a week into the NHL season:
After starting with three in a row on the road in Canada, including the bizarre 6-5 loss in Edmonton, the Kings come back for five home games in a stretch of eight days.
How this week shapes up for the Kings:
At Calgary, Tuesday at 6 p.m., Fox Sports West
At Vancouver, Wednesday at 7 p.m., NBCSN
Vs. Nashville at Staples Center, Saturday at 3 p.m., Fox Sports West
Vs. Vegas at Staples Center, Sunday at 7 p.m., Fox Sports West
How this week shapes up for the Ducks:
At Detroit, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
At Pittsburgh, Thursday at 4 p.m., Prime Ticket
At Columbus, Friday at 4 p.m., Prime Ticket


NUMBER 5What we know, and what we think we know, about this Lakers trip to China:
The 13th edition of the NBA China Games already has some unwanted, and unwarranted, publicity. It won’t end here, will it?
= Lakers vs. Brooklyn in Shanghai, Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= Lakers vs. Brooklyn in Shenzhen, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Spectrum Sports Net
The Clippers this week:
= vs. Denver at Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
= vs. Melbourne United at Staples Center, Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (no TV)


= WNBA Finals Game 4: Washington at Connecticut, Tuesday at 5 p.m., ESPN (Washington leads series 2-1).



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