Daily Sports: Both Sides Of The MLB Playoff Race On Friday

There’s just four weeks and two days left in the major league baseball regular season, and big games in the playoff races of both leagues will set the tone for Friday’s daily sports agenda. MLB Network will have split coverage at 7 PM ET. It’s St. Louis-Pittsburgh in the National League, and Baltimore-New York in the American League.

Each series is significant, but the teams are on different ends of the playoff chase. The Cards and Pirates both look secure to at least qualify for the postseason, but the two teams, along with the Cincinnati Reds, remain locked in a tough fight for the NL Central title and automatic entry into the Division Series round.

The Orioles and Yanks are on the outside looking in right now, and while there’s time for either one to make a move, it’s not unreasonable to think this weekend might be a de facto elimination series.

College football’s Week 1 festivities continue tonight, with a decent game between Texas Tech and SMU (8 PM ET, ESPN). The Red Raiders are under new leadership, as their former quarterback, Kliff Kingsbury, has come back as head coach. And the Mustangs have a new home, having gone into the old Big East, now known as the American Athletic Conference. SMU has been a consistent bowl team in recent years under June Jones and are one of the teams that favored Louisville has to keep an eye on in the new league.

TheSportsNotebook will focus on MLB coverage today, with a look at the landscape of the National League and a feature story tied to that landscape. Please also check out the previews of the biggest college football games, and our NFL analysis, as preseason previews continue to be banged out in anticipation of next Thursday’s opener.