Baseball is great. 

Look at Tuesday night’s epic National League wild-card game. Tony Wolters, Colorado’s  third-string catcher, delivered the RBI-single in the top of the 13th that pushed Colorado past the Chicago Cubs and into the next round. 

Don’t worry, I had to Google Wolters, too. The third-year player entered the postseason with a .170 batting average. His last hit was on Sept. 10. 

But there he was, with the season on the line, in the box for the Rockies. 

And that is why baseball is great. You never know who is going to be the hero.

Would you ever see the last man on an NBA bench taking the final shot in a playoff game? I doubt it. But in the MLB, the entire roster is needed to win a title. 

I’m glued to the television this time of the year, watching baseball and all of the new shows that fill the TiVo. 

The Mariners and Brewers were my preseason World Series picks. The Mariners are done, while the Brewers are still kicking. 

I’ll stick with the Brewers, and now root for the Astros in the American League. 

Gizmo took it to his owner last week, going 11-5. I went 9-7. It’s been hard to live with him this week.  

I begin Week 5 with a 34-28 record, while Gizmo is 24-38

Week 5

Indianapolis (1-3) at New England (2-2) — For those who said New England is done, think again. Led by the two-back attack of James White and Sony Michel, the Patriots dashed Miami’s thoughts of taking over the AFC East. New England gets a short week and plays Indianapolis tonight. After throwing a career-high 62 passes last week against Houston, we will see if Andrew Luck’s shoulder can bounce back. 

Derek: Patriots

Gizmo: Patriots

Atlanta (1-3) at Pittsburgh (1-2-1) — Atlanta is not winning games, but it is scoring points. Sooner or later the wins will come for the Falcons. The offense is too good. It could be in this game against a Pittsburgh team that is struggling without Le’Veon Bell, who is reported to be returning in Week 8. 

Derek: Falcons

Gizmo: Steelers

Tennessee (3-1) at Buffalo (1-3) —The Bills are bad and they are not even using their best player, LeSean McCoy. The running back has rushed for 85 yards on 21 attempts in three games. Time to start shopping the Pro Bowl back. The Titans have won three straight and are a surprising 3-1 under rookie head coach Mike Vrabel. One of the NFL’s feel-good stories pick up another win. 

Derek: Titans

Gizmo: Dolphins    

Miami (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1) — Andy Dalton is putting together a solid season for the Bengals, passing for 1,197 yards and 11 touchdowns. He will have one less weapon to throw to as tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a gruesome season-ending injury last week. 

Derek: Bengals

Gizmo: Dolphins

Baltimore (3-1) at Cleveland (1-2-1) — I must admit, I’ve enjoyed watching the Browns this season. Must be all the hype surrounding Baker Mayfield, who nearly led Cleveland to a victory over Oakland in Week 4. The Browns will be wearing their Color Rush jersey against the Ravens. The last time Cleveland donned those jerseys was in its Week 3 win over the Jets. Cleveland will remain undefeated in the Color Rush duds. 

Derek: Browns

Gizmo: Ravens  

Denver (2-2) at New York Jets (1-3) — With the Rams looming in Week 6, this is an early must-win game for Denver. The Broncos have lost two straight and are slight underdogs against the Sam Darnold-led Jets. The rookie quarterback will struggle against Denver’s pass rush. 

Derek: Broncos

Gizmo: Broncos

Green Bay (2-1-1) at Detroit (1-3) — Green Bay continues its tour of the NFC North by playing its third divisional game in the opening five weeks of the season. The Packers have owned the Lions, winning 19 of the last 25 meetings. Aaron Rodgers might be down a few receivers, but it shouldn’t matter. 

Derek: Packers

Gizmo: Packers 

Jacksonville (3-1) at Kansas City (4-0) — Oh boy, this one is going to be fun. In what could be an AFC Championship game preview, the Jaguars will look to slow down Showtime Patrick Mahomes, who kept Kansas City undefeated with a fourth-quarter comeback win over Denver last week.

Derek: Chiefs

Gizmo: Jaguars   

New York Giants (1-3) at Carolina (2-1) — Despite an offense that contains Odell Beckham and rookie back Saquon Barkley, the Giants have only scored 73 points, which ranks 29th in the league. I have as many touchdown receptions as Beckham does this season, while Barkley has been as good as advertised. The No. 2 pick has hit the 100-yard mark in scrimmage yards in each of his first four NFL games. Beckham finds the end zone on Sunday, but it is not enough to take out the rested Panthers. 

Derek: Panthers

Gizmo: Giants 

Oakland (1-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) — I would have never predicted that Marshawn Lynch would gel with new coach Jon Gruden. But the two are seemingly getting along. Lynch posted his first 100-yard game of the season in last week’s shootout with Cleveland and has rushed for 300 yards and three touchdowns, further adding to his Hall of Fame resume. 

Derek: Raiders

Gizmo: Raiders

Los Angeles Rams (4-0) at Seattle (2-2) — The Rams are entertaining to watch, but I’m not looking forward to watching them on Sunday. This could get ugly, especially without Earl Thomas, who suffered a season-ending injury and then flipped the bird to the Seahawks’ sidelines afterwards. 

Derek: Rams

Gizmo: Seahawks

Minnesota (1-2-1) at Philadelphia (2-2) — Minnesota’s defense has been burnt for 65 points in back-to-back losses and now get to defend the Eagles, who scored 38 points against the Vikings in last year’s NFC Championship game. I suspect Minnesota’s defense will rebound against Carson Wentz. 

Derek: Vikings

Gizmo: Eagles  

Arizona (0-4) at San Francisco (1-3) — David Johnson showed signs of life last week against Seattle, rushing for a season-high 71 yards and a touchdown. The all-pro back still only has 187 yards on the season as the Cardinals new coaching staff still figures out how to use the versatile player. 

Derek: Cardinals

Gizmo: 49ers

Dallas (2-2) at Houston (1-3) — This just in, Ezekiel Elliott is good at football. The running back from Ohio State University, despite not having an elite offensive line, leads the league with 426 rushing yards — nearly 100 yards ahead of No. 2 rusher Todd Gurley. Dallas needs to feed Zeke on every play in order to win this season. 

Derek: Cowboys

Gizmo: Texans 

Washington (2-1) at New Orleans (3-1) — Alvin Kamara is also pretty good at football. The versatile back does most of his work in the passing game, though, which is why it will be interesting to see how he will be used this week when Mark Ingram returns from his four-game suspension. I suspect a lesser workload, but he should still be plenty involved. 

Derek: Saints

Gizmo: Saints

 

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