Daily Sports: Four World Series Contenders Take The Stage Sunday

Four teams that are among the favorites to reach the World Series get baseball’s Sunday showcase today, between TBS’ afternoon coverage and ESPN’s prime-time billing.

No one is hotter than the Dodgers. The Cardinals are coming on strong. The Braves have basically clinched the NL East, and the Red Sox are only percentage points behind Tampa Bay in the AL East. This is the Gang Of Four that highlights the daily sports schedule on the final Sunday of August.

One of the key’s to Atlanta’s big year has been the breakout year of Mike Minor and the young pitcher gets the ball in a 2:15 PM ET start on TBS in St. Louis. This four-game series with the Cards has not gone well for the Braves. St. Louis has taken the first three games and moved into a first-place tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central.

Los Angeles sends Chris Capuano to the mound against Boston in the ESPN game at 8 PM ET from Dodger Stadium. Capuano’s transformation from tolerable fifth starter to lights-out ace has been one of the many great stories of his team’s s turnaround. Boston will turn to its big trade deadline acquisition in Jake Peavy, as they try and close a one-week Western road swing with a series victory.

By next week, there’s regular season football to watch. The colleges start up this coming Thursday and over Labor Day weekend they always dump a couple games onto Sunday, before the NFL kicks in a week  later. If you want to whet your appetite, ESPNU will show a replay of last year’s Texas A&M-Alabama game at 7 PM ET.

NFL preseason action has a doubleheader that starts at 4 PM ET on Fox. New Orleans plays Houston in the late afternoon game and then NBC has Minnesota-San Francisco at 8 PM ET. If the theory that NFL teams play to win with greater intensity in Week 3 holds true, both of those games could be pretty decent.

TheSportsNotebook will have college football coverage today. The only conferences not covered in our August preseason run are the MAC and Conference USA, and both omissions will be rectified by the end of today.