Yet another exciting weekend of sports is on tap. Major League Baseball is only two weeks away from the start of the postseason, and football fans are waiting for their teams to get back to the gridiron. Here are a few games you should check out this weekend.
1. Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees (Friday, Sept. 21, 7:05 p.m., MLBN)
If the Yankees don’t keep winning, these teams could play each other in Major League Baseball’s new wild card game for a chance to be in the postseason. Even so, this game will be about the pitching matchup, as Yankees ace CC Sabathia will take on Oakland upstart Jarrod Parker. Sabathia has been ineffective by his standards since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 24. Parker has an 11-8 record with a very respectable 3.51 ERA and 119 strikeouts, making him one of the best starting pitchers Oakland has to offer. New York will be trying to keep their slim division lead, and Oakland will attempt to draw closer to the American Leage West leaders: the Texas Rangers. The A’s are three games back with 13 games left to play.
2. Clemson vs. Florida State (Saturday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m., ABC)
This is the college football matchup everyone will be talking about this weekend. ABC’s primetime Saturday night game pits Atlantic Coast Conference rivals against one another: the Clemson Tigers against Florida State Seminoles. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the nation and feature prolific offensive attacks and staunch defenses. In its first three games, fourth-ranked Florida State has outscored its opponents 176-3. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington should test the Seminoles defense, as both have performed at a high level through the first few games of the season. Look for this game to be competitive throughout with a close final score as both teams battle for conference supremacy.
3. New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, Sept. 23, 8:20 p.m., NBC)
In this rematch of last year’s American Football Conference Championship Game, you can expect high drama and, best of all, a matchup of two great teams. Baltimore is out for revenge as an inopportune missed field goal ruined their chances of a Super Bowl berth. Joe Flacco, who outperformed Tom Brady for a majority of the game, will definitely be looking to recapture some of that magic in Baltimore this weekend. Brady and the Patriots are coming off a stunning 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at home and need to win this game to avoid a 1-2 start. To accomplish this, Brady will need to outduel a Ravens defense that has been one of the toughest in the league for a long time. Baltimore thrives on getting turnovers against opposing offenses— a fate Brady must avoid to be successful. This game is a rematch, but it could indeed be a preview of this year’s championship game, as both teams should be in the thick of the playoff race.
Chris Marcotrigiano is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]