Red Sox vs. Yankees =1
FRI-TBS, SAT-FOX, SUN-ESPN
Lester vs. Chamberlain
Matsuzaka vs. Sabathia
Byrd vs. Pettite
There are 28 other teams that play major league baseball but these two are the only ones to get slobbering obsessive coverage from the national media. If a playoff series was at stake I could see having all 3 games on national TV but in reality this series is a play-off tune up for both teams. The Yankees have a pretty healthy lead in the AL East and the Red Sox have the wild-card more or less locked up.
Still, there are a few things to watch for this weekend. First, OMG Joba Chamberlain is starting. OMG the Joba Rules....lets see how bad we can mishandle Joba Chamberlain and how much hype we can give an average pitcher who had two really good months...back in '07. This is the real life equivalent of that South Park episode where it's revealed they build up stars at a young age only to watch them self-destruct (Britney Spears/Miley Cyrus).
Second, Can Dice-K bounce back from a bad year and be a factor in the playoffs? He's pitched better in his first two starts back. How he does against the Yankees will go a long way to determine this.
Third, will C.C. Sabathia pitch strong and strengthen his grip for the battle of who's going to finish 2nd in the Cy Young voting to Zack Greinke?
Cubs vs. Giants =3
Sat-FOX Gorzelanny vs. Zito
The Cubs playoff hopes are more or less done. However, they do have a chance to play spoiler and bring the Giants down with them. The Giants have exceeded preseason expectations all year and still have a slim hope at the wild card despite having a horribly inept offense (except for Pablo Sandoval).
The main reason to watch this one is to see if Zito can keep his hot streak alive. After signing a massive contract for the Giants, he has performed significantly worse than the contract given to him. This year he's experienced a resurgence as well and a big start from Zito would do a lot to keep the pressure on the Rockies.
Cardinals vs. Rockies = 3.5
Wainwright vs. Jimenez
Probably the best series of the weekend. For the Cardinals, this series serves as a play-off tune up as they've long since left the rest of the NL Central in the dust. That doesn't mean they're going to take it easy on the Rockies as they co-ace Adam Wainwright.
For the Rockies, they need to play well in this series to maintain their lead in the wild card race and to seal off their playoff hopes. The Rockies have their own developing ace, Ubaldo Jimenez taking the hill on Saturday.
In other words, expect a really good pitchers duel in this game. Also, as much as I hate to admit...the Cardinals playing well this weekend would be good for MLB overall as it would increase the chance of a thrilling end of season showdown between the Rockies, Giants and Braves.