BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Saturday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
— WASHINGTON — The Chicago Cubs start postseason ace Jon Lester, looking to take a 2-0 lead over Washington in the NLDS. Gio Gonzalez goes for the Nationals. Game starts 5:38 p.m.
— LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers, powered by Justin Turner, try to go up 2-0 lead in their NLDS against Robbie Ray and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Game starts 9:08 p.m.
— Previews on Sunday’s two ALDS games: Cleveland (up 2-0) at New York; Houston (up 2-0) at Boston.
— Clayton Kershaw, raked for four home runs. Corey Kluber, clubbed. Chris Sale, swatted. Luis Severino, slammed. This is October, right? It’s also the time of year when odd things happen.
— Notable Top 25 games: No. 1 Alabama-Texas A&M (7:15 p.m.); No. 7 Michigan-Michigan State (7:30 p.m.); No. 8 TCU-No. 23 West Virginia (3:30 p.m.); No. 13 Miami-Florida State (3:30 p.m.).
— For decades, dating to Lombardi and Landry, Packers vs. Cowboys has been one of the NFL’s juiciest rivalries. On Sunday, they meet again.
— ORLANDO Fla. — With Christian Pulisic repeatedly hacked during the 4-0 romp by the U.S. over Panama, former U.S. goalie Kasey Keller wants CONCACAF referees to crack down.
— LAS VEGAS — In a city reeling from the concert massacre, Demetrious Johnson chases an 11th title defense in a UFC bout that could decide Conor McGregor’s next opponent.
— NAPA, Calif. — Tyler Duncan is in front entering the third round of the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open. Defending champion Brendan Steele trails by a shot.
— CONCORD, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. opens the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs as the one most likely to waltz into the championship race. The second round, however, bit him last year.
— SUZUKA, Japan — Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton takes the pole for the Japanese Grand Prix, leading a 1-2 finish for Mercedes drivers.
— BEIJING — Rafael Nadal reaches the China Open final will play for his sixth title of the year. Simona Halep advances to the women’s final and will take over the top ranking.