Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Photo by Maria Lysaker/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Three World Series games, NASCAR's playoffs and more than 100 NFL and college football games fill this weekend's sports schedule. A UFC title fight and regular-season NBA, NHL and soccer games also pack the slate.
MLB's finale owns the spotlight over the next week. The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros split the first two games of the series in Houston. The best-of-seven matchup continues with matchups Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
All World Series games air on Fox.
Game 3 of the 2021 World Series starts at 8:09 p.m. EDT Friday at Truist Park in Atlanta. Right-handed pitcher Luis Garcia will start for the Astros. The Braves will start fellow right-handed pitcher Ian Anderson.
"I'm going to try to be on the attack, try to feed off the energy of the crowd and put the pressure on them," Anderson told reporters Thursday.
The Astros, who own home-field advantage in the series, lost Game 1, but tied the series with a 7-2 triumph in Game 2 on Wednesday in Houston.
The Braves are undefeated (5-0) in games played this postseason at Truist Park. The Astros' last game at Truist Park was in 2017.
"That's a long time ago to not be familiar with the field, the dimensions, caroms and the corners," Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters Thursday. "We are going to try to go out there and learn the best we can."
The series will include at least five games because of the Braves' road victory. Game 4 is at 8:09 p.m. Saturday in Atlanta. Game 5 is at 8:15 p.m. Sunday in Atlanta.
Game 6, if necessary, will be Tuesday in Houston. A potential Game 7 would be Wednesday in Houston.
The Braves and Astros are expected to name their Game 4 starters after Game 3. Charlie Morton started for the Braves in Game 1, but broke his leg in the victory and won't return to the series. Framber Valdez started Game 1 for the Astros.
Max Fried and Jose Urquidy were the respective Braves and Astros starters for Game 2.
Astros outfielder Michael Brantley hit a series-best .556 with a total of five hits in nine at-bats through the first two games. Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker hit .429 (3 for 7) and infielder Yuli Gurriel hit .375 (3 for 8). ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez hit .200, with one hit in five at-bats for the Astros.
NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario hit .222 (2 for 9) through the first two games for the Braves. Ozzie Albies and Travis d'Arnaud each hit .375. Shortstop Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler each hit .333. Soler, d'Arnaud and Adam Duvall tallied one home run apiece for the Braves.
"Braves Country is real," Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters Thursday, when asked about the advantage of games in Atlanta. "It has been around for a while. This has been a special area. The fans come out in droves. It's a great place to play.
"I don't know if this group needs a lot more energy, but they can draw on the energy of the crowd."
NASCAR's postseason is near its end, with two races remaining in the Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Cup Series. Kyle Larson is the only competitor to clinch a spot in the four-driver field for the Cup Series Championship.
Larson won four playoff races, including the last three-consecutive events.
Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch sit in the next three spots and could clinch with good performances at the Xfinity 500 on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. The Round of 8 race airs at 2 p.m. on NBC.
Martin Truex Jr., Larson, Elliott, Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, William Byron and Christopher Bell are among the favorites to win at Martinsville.
The Truck Series starts the weekend racing slate with the United Rentals 200 at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday on FS1. The Xfinity Series Dead On Tools 250 at 6 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN.
Navy and Tulsa face off in one of three games Friday to kick off the weekend college football schedule. That game airs at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN2.
The schedule continues with more than 100 games Saturday. Cincinnati, the No. 2 team in the Coaches Poll, faces Tulane in one of 16 noon games. That game airs on ESPN2.
No. 6 Michigan and No. 7 Michigan State face off in the latest edition of their rivalry at the same time on Fox. No. 10 Iowa battles Wisconsin at noon on ESPN.
No. 1 Georgia faces Florida in an SEC rivalry game at 3:30 p.m. on CBS. No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 8 Oregon each kick off their games at 3:30 p.m. The Sooners host Texas Tech on ABC. The Ducks host Colorado on Fox.
No. 21 Auburn hosts No. 9 Ole Miss at 7 p.m. on ESPN. No. 5 Ohio State battles No. 17 Penn State in a Big Ten matchup at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
No. 11 Notre Dame faces North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
Week 8 of the NFL season features eight 1 p.m., two 4:05 p.m. EDT and two 4:25 p.m. games Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings (3-3) host the Dallas Cowboys (5-1) at 8:20 p.m. in NBC's Sunday Night Football matchup.
The Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) face the New York Jets (1-5) in the first wave of games on CBS. Derrick Henry's Tennessee Titans (5-2) battle the Indianapolis Colts (3-4) at the same time on the same network.
The Los Angeles Rams (6-1) face the Houston Texans (1-6) at 1 p.m. on Fox. The New Orleans Saints (4-2) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1) at 4:25 p.m. on Fox.
Weekend schedule (in EDT)
Ligue 1: Lille at PSG at 3:30 p.m. on beIN Sports
Panthers at Red Wings at 7 p.m. on ESPN+
Navy at Tulsa at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2
World Series Game 3: Astros at Braves at 8:09 p.m. on Fox
Premier League: Arsenal at Leicester City at 7:30 a.m. on NBCSN
La Liga: Real Madrid at Elche at 8 a.m. on ESPN+
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich at FC Union Berlin at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN+
Bundesliga: FC Cologne at Borussia Dortmund at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN+
Premier League: Brighton & Hove Albion at Liverpool at 10 a.m. on USA
Premier League: Crystal Palace at Manchester City at 10 a.m. on NBCSN
Premier League: Chelsea at Newcastle United at 10 a.m. on Peacock Premium
Serie A: Juventus at Hellas Verona at noon on beIN Sports
Premier League: Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur at 12:30 p.m. on NBC
MLS: NYCFC at Miami at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN+
La Liga: Alaves at Barcelona at 3 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: San Jose at Salt Lake City at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Montreal at New York Red Bulls at 4 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Toronto at Atlanta at 6 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Columbus at DC United at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Austin at Dallas at 8 p.m. on ESPN+
Iowa at Wisconsin at noon on ESPN
Cincinnati at Tulane at noon on ESPN2
Michigan at Michigan State at noon on Fox
Miami at Pittsburgh at noon on ACC Network
Texas at Baylor at noon on ABC
Iowa State at West Virginia at 2 p.m. on ESPN+
Washington State at Arizona State at 3 p.m. on FS1
Georgia vs. Florida at 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Texas Tech at Oklahoma at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Colorado at Oregon at 3:30 p.m. on Fox
Florida State at Clemson at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Purdue at Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2
Duke at Wake Forest at 4 p.m. on ACC Network
Wyoming at San Jose State at 4 p.m. on FS2
Ole Miss at Auburn at 7 p.m. on ESPN
Kansas at Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. on fS1
SMU at Houston at 7 p.m. on ESPN2
Kentucky at Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on SEC Network
Arizona at USC at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU
Penn State at Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. on ABC
North Carolina at Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. on NBC
UCLA at Utah at 10 p.m. on ESPN
Virginia at BYU at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN2
Fresno State at San Diego State at 10:30 p.m. on CBSSN
Washington at Stanford at 10:30 p.m. on FS1
Truck Series Playoffs: United Rentals 200 at 1 p.m. on FS1
Xfinity Series Playoffs: Dead On Tools 250 at 6 p.m. on NBCSN
Islanders at Predators at 1:30 p.m. on NHL Network
Jets at Sharks at 7 p.m. on NHL Network
UFC 267 on ESPN+
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan at Oezdemir at 2 p.m.
Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev after first fight
Alexander Volkova vs. Marcin Tybura after second fight
Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker after third fight
Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen after fourth fight
Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira after fifth fight
World Series Game 4: Astros at Braves at 8:09 p.m. on Fox
La Liga: Real Betis at Atletico Madrid at 11:15 a.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Kansas City at Minnesota at 1 p.m. on ESPN
Serie A: Napoli at Salernitana at 1 p.m. on beIN Sports
MLS: Colorado at Houston at 3 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Nashville at Orlando at 4 p.m. on ESPN+
MLS: Cincinnati at Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+
Bengals at Jets at 1 p.m. on CBS
Titans at Colts at 1 p.m. on CBS
Rams at Texans at 1 p.m. on Fox
Steelers at Browns at 1 p.m. on CBS
Eagles at Lions at 1 p.m. on Fox
49ers at Bears at 1 p.m. on Fox
Panthers at Falcons at 1 p.m. on Fox
Dolphins at Bills at 1 p.m. on CBS
Patriots at Chargers at 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Jaguars at Seahawks at 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Washington at Broncos at 4:25 p.m. on Fox
Buccaneers at Saints at 4:25 p.m. on Fox
Cowboys at Vikings at 8:20 p.m. on NBC
Cup Series Playoffs: Xfinity 500 at 2 p.m. on NBC
World Series Game 5: Astros at Braves at 8:15 p.m. on Fox
Rangers at Kraken at 9 p.m. on NHL Network