Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve acknowledges fans during the third inning of Game 4 of the ALDS against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball's 2021 ALCS and NLCS, dozens of football games and the first weekend of the NHL season top the weekend sports schedule. NASCAR's playoffs and soccer games also air from Friday through Sunday.
The PGA Tour's CJ Cup also teed off Thursday and ends Sunday in Las Vegas.
But the main event this weekend will involve the final four teams that remain in MLB's postseason. The Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers will start their respective championship series this weekend to determine which teams advance to the World Series.
The Astros host the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS at 8:07 p.m. EDT Friday at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The first playoff game of the weekend airs on Fox. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Houston.
Left-handed pitcher Framber Valdez is expected to start for the Astros. The Red Sox are expected to start right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
The Astros are heavy favorites in the series. They went 95-67 in the regular season to win the American League West division title. The Astros beat the Chicago White Sox in four games to advance to the ALCS.
The Red Sox finished second in the American League East and beat the rival New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game to advance to the ALDS.
They then knocked off the Tampa Bay Rays, who posted an American League-best 100-62 record, in four games to advance to the ALCS.
The Dodgers face the Braves in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday in Atlanta. Game 2 of that series is Sunday in Atlanta. The NLCS airs on TBS.
The Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers in four games to reach the NLCS. The Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card Game. They then edged the rival San Francisco Giants in five games in the NLDS.
The NLCS and ALCS could continue through next weekend. The World Series starts Oct. 26 and could extend through early November.
Two teams ranked in the Top 25 of the college football Coaches Poll take the field Friday to start the weekend schedule.
No. 10 Oregon hosts California at 10:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN. San Jose State hosts No. 24 San Diego State at 10:30 p.m. on CBSSN.
Several more top-ranked teams play Saturday. No. 9 Michigan State battles Indiana in a Big Ten matchup at noon Saturday on FS1. No. 17 Florida faces LSU in an SEC matchup at noon on ESPN. No. 19 Arkansas battles Auburn in another SEC game at noon on CBS.
No. 3 Cincinnati hosts UCF at noon on ABC. No. 12 Oklahoma State faces Texas at noon on Fox.
No. 1 Georgia hosts No. 11 Kentucky in the only matchup between ranked teams this weekend. That game airs at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS.
No. 2 Iowa hosts Purdue at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. No. 5 Alabama faces Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on ESPN. No. 3 Oklahoma hosts TCU at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
In the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) will leave the country and attempt to win their first game of the season Sunday in London. They face the Miami Dolphins (1-4) at 9:30 a.m. EDT on CBS.
An additional seven games air at 1 p.m. Sunday on CBS and Fox. The Cleveland Browns (3-2) host the Arizona Cardinals (5-0) at 4:05 p.m. Sunday on Fox.
The Denver Broncos (3-2) battle the Las Vegas Raiders (3-2) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday on CBS. The New England Patriots (2-3) face the Dallas Cowboys (4-1) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday on the same network.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3) host D.K. Metcalf and the Seattle Seahawks (2-3) in the final NFL game of the weekend. That Sunday Night Football matchup airs at 8:20 p.m. on NBC.
The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2 in the first game of the 2021-22 NHL season Tuesday in Tampa, Fla. The Vegas Golden Knights also beat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on opening night.
An additional 10 teams started their seasons Wednesday and 11 more teams started Thursday. The six remaining NHL teams play Friday and Saturday.
The Chicago Blackhawks face the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. EDT Friday on NHL Network. The Buffalo Sabres host the Arizona Coyotes at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday on the same network.
The Blackhawks also battle the Penguins at 7 p.m. Saturday on NHL Network. The Ottawa Senators host the Dallas Stars at 5 p.m. EDT Sunday on NHL Network.
Weekend schedule (in EDT)
Ligue 1: Angers at PSG at 3 p.m. on beIN Sports
CJ Cup: Second round from 5 to 8 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel
Clemson at Syracuse at 7 p.m. on ESPN
California at Oregon at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN
San Diego State at San Jose State at 10:30 p.m. on CBSSN
ALCS Game 1: Red Sox at Astros at 8:07 p.m. on Fox
Premier League: Liverpool at Watford at 7:30 a.m. on Peacock Premium
Bundesliga: Mainz at Borussia Dortmund at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN+
Premier League: Manchester United at Leicester City at 10 a.m. on USA
Premier League: Burnley at Manchester City at 10 a.m. on Peacock Premium
Premier League: Chelsea at Brentford at 12:30 p.m. on NBC
MLS: Philadelphia at Montreal at 1 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: San Jose at LAFC at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Inter Miami at Columbus at 6 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Chicago at New England at 7 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Nashville at DC United at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Orlando at Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Atlanta at Toronto at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Seattle at Houston at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Minnesota at Austin at 9 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Colorado at Real Salt Lake at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN+
Portland at Los Angeles Galaxy at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN+
Michigan State at Indiana at noon on FS1
Florida at LSU AT noon on ESPN
Auburn at Arkansas at noon on CBS
Texas A&M at Missouri at noon on SEC Network
UCF at Cincinnati at noon on ABC
Nebraska at Minnesota at noon on ESPN2
Oklahoma State at Texas at noon on Fox
Kentucky at Georgia at 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Purdue at Iowa at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Miami at North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN2 or ACC Network
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN2 or ACC Network
Fresno State at Wyoming at 3:30 p.m. on Fox, FS1 or FS1
BYU at Baylor at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Alabama at Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on ESPN
Ole Miss at Tennessee at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Iowa State at Kansas State at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2
TCU at Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. on ABC
N.C. State at Boston College at 7:30 p.m. on ACC Network
UCLA at Washington at 8:30 p.m. on Fox
Air Force at Boise State at 9 p.m. on Fox, FS1 or FS2
Arizona State at Utah at 10 p.m. on ESPN
Xfinity Series Playoffs: Andy's Frozen Custard 335 at 3 p.m. on NBC
CJ Cup: Third round from 5 to 8 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel
ALCS Game 2: Red Sox at Astros at 4:20 p.m. on Fox/FS1
NLCS Game 1: Dodgers at Braves at 8:07 p.m. on TBS
Premier League: West Ham at Everton at 9 a.m. on NBCSN
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich at Bayer Leverkusen at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN+
Premier League: Tottenham Hotspurs at newcastle at 11:30 a.m. on NBCSN
MLS: NYCFC at New York Red Bulls at 1 p.m. on ESPN
Serie A: AS Roma at Juventus at 2:45 p.m. on beIN Sports
La Liga: Valencia at Barcelona at 3 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Kansas City at Vancouver at 10 p.m. on ESPN+
Dolphins at Jaguars at 9:30 a.m. on CBS
Chiefs at Washington at 1 p.m. on CBS
Rams at Giants at 1 p.m. on Fox
Texans at Colts at 1 p.m. on CBS
Bengals at Lions at 1 p.m. on Fox
Packers at Bears at 1 p.m. on Fox
Chargers at Ravens at 1 p.m. on CBS
Vikings at Panthers at 1 p.m. on Fox
Cardinals at Browns at 4:05 p.m. on Fox
Raiders at Broncos at 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Cowboys at Patriots at 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Seahawks at Steelers at 8:20 p.m. on NBC
Cup Series Playoffs: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at 2 p.m. on NBC
NLCS Game 2: Dodgers at Braves at 7:37 p.m. on TBS
CJ Cup: Fourth round from 5 to 8 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel