Cubs at Pirates (6:10 p.m., ESPN): It’s MLB’s third annual Little League Classic, which is, like, so perfect because whenever the Cubs are away from Wrigley Field, they totally play like little leaguers! But seriously, folks, how charming must it be at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field? And we know for sure the field is historic, because they capitalize the “H” and everything.
Brewers at Cardinals (6:45 p.m., MLBN): It’s impossible to tell which team is the bigger threat to the Cubs in the NL Central, but fans are advised to behave at as though the answer is whichever one happens to be losing the game at that particular time. Hey, as painful as watching the Cubs has been, one must derive scraps of joy from wherever he or she can.
49ers at Broncos (7 p.m., ESPN): It’s not the biggest game of the preseason, but it is the debut of “MNF” — and we’re all going to need to start getting into prime watching shape if we’re going to be able to sit on the couch with buckets of cheese puffs on our bellies for the next 20 Mondays.
Giants at Cubs (7:05 p.m., NBCSCH): It’s Yu Darvish’s next turn to pitch, which can mean only one thing — another terrific outing followed by, well, maybe another catastrophic bullpen meltdown? Then again, the ’pen has been excellent at home. Wait, but Darvish himself has been far better on the road. OK, fine, anything could happen.
Rangers at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH): It’s Elvis Night at Guaranteed Rate Field, which might not be quite as groovy as Beatles Night, as nerdy as Game of Thrones Night or as festive as Margarita Night, but whom are we kidding? If Steve Stone wasn’t born to don a rhinestone jumpsuit and shimmy to the intoxicating delight of the masses, we don’t know who was. Aside from the King himself, of course.
Bears at Colts (6 p.m., Fox-32): Some of us are old enough to remember a time when a team’s third preseason game equaled a sizable day’s work for each of its starters. Those familiar with coach Matt Nagy’s style are well aware that he’d be more likely to sneak 11 mannequins onto the field if he thought he could get away with it. Needless to say, several of them would have to come from big-and-tall stores.
Florida vs. Miami (6 p.m., ESPN): This one’s on a neutral field in Orlando and is the unofficial kickoff of the college season. Oh, for the days when it was nearly a given that a Gators-Hurricanes matchup would have serious national-title implications. Still: real football. Yes, indeed, we’re here for it.