October sports: A harvest

Fat Guy Corner

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

The days of September have left us and the month of October has arrived. The beautiful thing about October is the fall colors and the world of sports.

The long grind of the baseball season is over and playoff baseball is here.

The college football season has brought us to the in-state football battle between Michigan and Michigan State for Saturday night.

The Detroit Red Wings open up the hockey season in their new home Little Caesars Arena.

The NFL season, believe it or not, is 25 percent done already and the Lions are tied for first place with the Green Bay Packers. Let’s dive in and get started and clap our hands collectively for the month of October.

Let’s start with baseball. The playoff wildcard games are this Tuesday and Wednesday. Let me also state I am glad the Tigers’ miserable season is over! The American League will start Tuesday with the Minnesota Twins taking on the New York Yankees. The winner will move on and play the Cleveland Indians. My gut tells me it will be the Yankees, although I am pulling for the underdog Twins. The other wildcard match-up in the National League features two surprising teams in Arizona and Colorado. The Colorado Rockies struggled down the stretch and barely hung on to make the postseason. I like Arizona in this one. My picks mean nothing, really, but here is how the first round looks in the other three series. The Boston Red Sox take on the Houston Astros. I am pulling for our man Justin Verlander to advance and defeat the Red Sox. I like the Houston team to advance and the Indians over the Yankees or Twins. The Cubs will advance over the Washington Nationals and look to repeat as World Series champs. The L.A. Dodgers will also advance over Arizona or Colorado. I love it when every at-bat and pitch means everything!

Houses divided

How many houses will be divided this Saturday night when the Spartans take on Michigan in the Big House? The rivalry will be under the lights for the first time. How cool is that? The Big House will be loaded up with maize and blue with some sprinkles of green and white in the stands. The boys in Vegas have installed the Wolverines as 10-point favorites.

The big news is Michigan will have a new quarterback under center in John O’Korn replacing the injured Wilton Speight. I expect a hard-hitting physical game, as both coaches preach defense and a physical style of football. I think points will be hard to come by in this tilt. The one thing we know is the bantering will be huge between Spartan and Wolverine fans all week long. The Fat Guy cheeseball spits out this prediction: The Boys of Harbaugh 23 and Boys of Dantonio 16. Sorry, Spartan fans. That’s how I see it going down.

Winning ugly

The first-place Lions won an ugly contest against the Minnesota Vikings 14-7 Sunday. However, style points mean zero; a win is a win in the NFL. Let’s be brutally honest, though. The Lions are one bad call from being 4-0. I like how this team is playing defensively this year. I didn’t see this type of defense starting this season. It’s overachieved for sure. I like the balance offensively running the ball and passing the rock. The running game is still below average, but at least the Lions don’t abandon it early and keep trying to run it.

A tough game awaits Sunday as Cam “The Scam” Newton and the Carolina Panthers invade Ford Field. The Panthers just took out the Patriots on the road last week. I love the Lions at home this weekend. The cheeseball says: The Cardiac Kats 26 and Not Sweet Caroline 20.

Pizza Bowl open for business

The much anticipated Little Caesars Arena home hockey opener is tonight. The Minnesota Wild will be the Red Wings’ opponent. How good is this Red Wing hockey team going to be in 2017/18? My feeling is, not very good. The playoffs will be missed for the second year in a row. thefatguy@mihomepaper.com.

Roll the picks. The Fat Guy is hot!
TAMPA BAY + 5.5 over New England
N.Y. GIANTS – 3.5 over L.A. Chargers
CINCINNATI – 3 over Buffalo
CLEVELAND – 2 over N. Y. Jets
PITTSBURGH – 9 over Jacksonville
MIAMI + 2.5 over Tennessee
San Francisco + 2 over INDIANAPOLIS
PHILADELPHIA – 6.5 over Arizona
DETROIT – 3 over Carolina
Seattle + 2 over L.A. RAMS
OAKLAND – 4 over Baltimore
DALLAS – 2 over Green Bay
HOUSTON – 1 over Kansas City
CHICAGO + 3 over Minnesota
Last Week: 11-4; Season: 35-25-1
BEST BET: Philadelphia

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