#5ToFollow

by | April 23, 2014 at 2:00 AM | #5ToFollow, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, MLB, NBA, Soccer

Vance McCullough, the voice of @XFINITYSports, delivers his analysis of the five key games to watch online, paired with five Twitter follows to give you insider information on the matchup. Have a matchup that you’d like Vance to feature? Tweet @XFINITYSports with the hashtag #5ToFollow.

1. Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

Details: Wednesday, April 23 @ 3:00 PM ET – Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid, Spain

Watch Here: FOX Sports 1 on XFINITY

Why Watch? Two teams that have already collected trophies this season, will look to get one step closer to a Champions League Title. If you look at the recent results of their fixtures, both clubs are standing on shaky ground. But, their super play has gotten them to the UCL semi-finals and the superstars will prove their worth on the pitch of the Bernabeu, Wednesday night. Garreth Bale has been magnificent without Ronaldo, netting the game winning goal in El Clasico and displaying his full arsenal of attacks. Ribery, Munich’s Ballon d’Or hopeful, has been his best on the grandest of stages, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Take a late lunch, or just get your live streams going, as the #UCLonFOX beings Wednesday, at 3:00 PM ET!

#5ToFollow Insider: Warren Barton
Barton is all aboard with Bayern. He originally predicted that we’d see a Real Madrid – FC Bayern final, but we get it in the semis! Let’s see if they can hold off Arsenal, and Barton will bring his best analysis of the pitch to Twitter during Wednesday’s big match on FS1.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

2. Yankees vs. Red Sox

Details: Wednesday, April 23 @ 7:00 PM ET – Fenway Park – Boston, MA

Watch Here: ESPN on XFINITY

Why Watch? They haven’t started with the nickname, but Michael Pineda could be known as Magic Mike if he tames the Red Sox sluggers in Fenway Wednesday night. Pineda, with or without the pine tar, has been dealing this season with an ERA of 1.00 and a 2-1 record. The BoSox will give their Game Six winner, John Lackey, the ball in this riveting rivalry game. Lackey has been solid in big game situations his whole career, and with Boston dropping three straight they’ll need Lackey’s ace-ability. Ellsbury will be back in Bean Town for the first time and Papi will be waiting for him!

#5ToFollow Insider: Ian Browne
MLB.com’s beatwriter for the Bo-Sox will be live from Fenway tweeting the game live, giving updates on the biggest plays, and tidbits on the top players in this historic rivalry.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

3. Trail Blazers vs. Rockets

Details: Wednesday, April 23 @ 9:30 PM ET – Toyota Center – Houston, TX

Watch Here: TNT on XFINITY

Why Watch? The first game had to be settled in OT, and Portland stole home court advantage from Houston with an amazing come-from-behind win. The Blazers were down 10 with under four minutes to play and relied on their All-Star power-forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, to sink the game-tying bucked with 00:02 left on the clock. It was another max effort display from PDX, as they held on to the lead with under 10 seconds to play in OT. What we saw seemed to be the perfect storm for Portland, as James Harden missed 20 shots and Houston shooting 22% from 3 (average 35% on the season). Game 2 will have adjustments on both sides and plenty of excitement, as the West will get wilder when the Rockets and Blazers tip off Wednesday night.

#5ToFollow Insider: Steve Bunin
The ex-basketball coach turned analyst will be in the zone when OKC and Houston tip. Click follow for bench talk from a former floor leader Friday night.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

4. Thunder vs. Grizzlies

Details: Thursday, April 24 @ 8:00 PM ET – FEDEx Forum – Memphis, TN

Watch Here: TNT on XFINITY

Why Watch? Will the Thunder roll or will the Grizzlies strike, as another NBA Playoff game story is told on a sleepless Thursday night. Game 1 was all OKC. Game 2 we saw what Memphis’ grit and grind was all about. Game 3 we get the same star players in a new setting, balling out on Beale Street. The Grizzlies could not be shaken. Their nine-point lead slipped away in the game’s final moments, but they stood their ground and split the series in Oklahoma City. The Thunder will look to return the favor and send some of Grizz Nation home unhappy when Game 3’s final buzzer sounds. Will Durant and Westbrook be able to shoot the Thunder to a W, or will Gasol and Randolph dominate down low and secure a series lead for Memphis? Tweet me who you like in Game 3 before they get started Thursday night on TNT.

#5ToFollow Insider: Kurt Helin
He’s the Blogger-In-Chief of NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk. You won’t find a more informative follow than Helin, and he’s live tweeting the #NBAPlayoffs. Make sure you follow for Game 3 and the duration of this year’s postseason play.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage:

5. Clippers vs. Warriors

Details: Thursday, April 24 @ 10:30 PM ET – Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA

Watch: TNT on XFINITY

Why Watch? The Warriors took it to the Clippers in Game 1 and came away with a road win. In Game 2, it was ALL LA! Blake Griffin went Griffin Force on Golden State, scoring a career playoff-high 35 points and played with zero fouls after fouling out of Game 1. It will be a completely different series as the Clippers and Warriors enter the Oracle all square at 1-1. This is one of the best home crowds in the NBA and you will see a true playoff atmosphere. How big is home court for GSW? We will find out when they get Game 3 started in the Bay.

#5ToFollow Insider: Monte Poole
The CSN insider for GSW is going be in the arena Thursday night for Game 3. If you want to get the vibe of the game, the scenes of the crowd, and the stats you need to know, follow Poole.

Up-to-the-Second Coverage: