By: Steven Vulpis
October is arguably the most exciting month for sports in America, as it is the only month where all four major sports leagues have regular season or playoff games simultaneously. Starting on October 1st, the Major League Baseball playoffs will begin as ten teams will compete to be crowned World Series Champions. With the defending champion Boston Red Sox nearly eliminated from playoff contention, it is almost guaranteed that a new team will reign supreme over the baseball world. But who are the favorites to win the title? There are three teams who seemed to have separated themselves from the rest of the league this year. Those teams are the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. The first game of the World Series will take place on October 22nd, and we will know which team will be our new world champion no later than October 30th.
We will also be entering the second quarter of the regular season in the National Football League this October. The Buffalo Bills will play three games this month as well as enjoy some rest during their bye week. Led by second year quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills will look to make their second playoff appearance in three years, as well as win their first playoff game since 1995. As for news around the rest of the league, two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks suffered major injuries. Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will have surgery on his right elbow and will miss the remainder of the season and New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees will miss around six weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb. The NFL season is long and grueling for the players, but the remainder of October will be interesting for NFL fans, as some will see their teams’ playoff hopes slip away as others will watch their team develop into possible Super Bowl contenders.
Two sports leagues will be starting their respective seasons this month; first we have the National Hockey League. For Buffalo fans, we have a special season approaching us as we celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Buffalo Sabres hockey. This year the, Sabres will be led by new head coach Ralph Krueger, as he looks to improve the team in all facets of the game. The Sabres finished as the 5th worst team in hockey last year, scoring the 8th least amount of goals and allowing the 9th most goals in the league. All eyes will be on the Sabres trio of offensive stars, Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Jeff Skinner. While it is highly unlikely that the Sabres will be competing for the Stanley Cup, if the young core of the team progresses significantly under Krueger, it is possible we can see the Sabres competing for a playoff spot late in the season.
Finally, the National Basketball Association will tip off on October 22nd in Toronto, as the Raptors will begin their title defense after losing superstar Kawhi Leonard in free agency this offseason. The NBA offseason is always filled with big money signings and this summer a total of three billion dollars was given out in contracts in the first day of free agency alone. The headline signings were Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant joining forces with the Brooklyn Nets, as well as the aforementioned Kawhi Leonard signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. We also saw a few blockbuster trades this summer. First Anthony Davis got his wish to be traded away from the New Orleans Pelicans, as he will be teaming up with LeBron James and wearing the purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers this season. We then saw Paul George get traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers to pair up with Kawhi Leonard on what should be one of the best defensive teams in basketball. The last blockbuster move was the trade between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder that reunited former teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden in Houston. This year is poised to be one of the most exciting and competitive seasons in recent memory as we have seen an increased amount of parity throughout the league.