Weekly Nickel 9-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Much will be expected from Mark Trumbo (left) and Albert Pujols (right) if the Angels want to make a playoff run.

By Josh Kramer

Football, football, and more football.  How nice was it to have a Saturday and Sunday jam-packed with football action?  Your weekends may be less productive, but more entertaining for the forseeable future.  Not to mention we are nearing the end of the MLB regular season and the Chase for the Cup is on.  Last week was fun, but you better believe that this week will be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Chase is finally on.  After 31 races spanning over nearly seven months, the field has been whittled down to 12.  There are ten races left starting at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  Who will take it home?  We know that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t.

4.  Strasburg is doneTeixeira could be done.  The injury-bug has struck as the season nears the final twenty games.  It is September and teams are doing all they can to land a spot in the postseason.  The races of note are taking place in the AL East, the AL Central, and of course for the four wild card spots this year.  My matchup of the week takes place in the friendly confines at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles AngelsWho else envisioned the Angels participating in the Fall Classic this year?  I know I am not alone.  Well the clock is continuing to tick and currently, the Angels will miss the postseason entirely.  Fortunately for them, they open up a four-game set tonight against the team they are chasing.  Got to love how MLB scheduling works out at times.

It is make or break time for the Angels.  There is no better way to track down the team you are chasing than to handle business against them head to head.  The Angels appear to finally be clicking at the right time led by the terrific trio of Trout, Trumbo, and Pujols.  Look for the Angels to close the gap by nabbing three of four in front of a very supportive home crowd.  Also, expect the Angels to catch and pass Oakland when all is said and done.  The remainder of the A’s schedule includes the likes of the Orioles, the Tigers, the Yankees, and lots of Texas.

3.  College football Week 3 is for me.  Weeks 1 and 2 were predominantly filled with inconsequential mismatches.  Though there were some interesting surprises sprinkled in such as Wisconsin coming home losers from Corvallis and Louisiana-Monroe shocking the Razorbacks.  Also, Savannah State has lost a combined 139 to 0 through seven quarters this year.  So even if your team did bad, they couldn’t have possibly done as bad as the Savannah State Tigers.

Here are the matchups to keep an eye on this week:

-Alabama at Arkansas (SEC throwdown)

-North Carolina at Louisville (BCS conference battle)

-Navy at Penn State (Will the Nittany Lions ever win a game?)

-Florida at Tennessee (Old-school SEC battle)

-USC at Stanford (Pac-12 elite)

-Notre Dame at Michigan State (Both undefeated and ranked)

(All picks for the big games will be released in my weekly college football picks on Thursday)

2.  Who else felt refreshed spending the majority of the day glued to the television set?  I know I did.  Nothing compares to America’s favorite league, the NFL. Week 1 is nearly in the books, but Week 2 is right around the corner.

Here are the marquee matchups for the week:

-Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (Old-fashioned NFC North throwdown)

-New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (Brees versus Newton)

-New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (Physical showdown in the Steel City)

-Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (NFC contenders)

-Denvers Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (Manning versus Ryan)

(All of the picks for Week 2 will be included in the weekly “TheSportsKraze Pick’em Challenge” on Friday)

1.  It hadn’t happened since the 2004 French Open.  But in Flushing this year, neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer qualified for the semifinals.  Go figure.  Maybe there is a major changing of the guard going on?  Either way, the Djokovic/Murray final shouldn’t disappoint as the reigning gold-medal champion looks to take home Grand Slam numero uno.  Djokovic leads the closely contested career series with Murray 8 to 6.  Strap in, because this match is going the distance.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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