1. Dodgers, Cards meet in possible playoff preview
If the regular season had ended Sunday, the Dodgers and Cardinals would meet in the first round of the National League playoffs. So there's an undercurrent of foreshadowing when the two most decorated clubs in NL history open a three-game series Monday at Chavez Ravine (10:10 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
2. Shaq Vs. debuts on ABC
Ever wonder how Shaquille O'Neal's unique athletic skill set might translate to other fields of play? That's the delicious nutshell concept of Shaq Vs., the new reality show where the 7-foot-1, 325-pound NBA champion faces off against top athletes like Albert Pujols, Michael Phelps, Oscar De La Hoya and Serena Williams in their respective sports. Tuesday's premiere (8 p.m. ET, ABC) pits O'Neal against Ben Roethlisberger in a quarterback skills challenge, culminating with a 7-on-7 game at a Pennsylvania high school.
3. Real Sports scores again
The outstanding monthly sports newsmagazine once again delivers high-level journalism Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, HBO) with the story of Nick Schuyler, the former University of South Florida quarterback who was the sole survivor in the February boating accident that killed three people (including NFL players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith). Schuyler recounts what went wrong in an exclusive interview with Bernard Goldberg.
4. Eagles, Colts clash in the preseason
If you're looking to catch a glimpse of Michael Vick in midnight green, you'll have to wait another week: The newest member of the Eagles isn't making his debut until Aug. 27 against the Jaguars. But if you just want to catch a pair of Super Bowl contenders in preseason form -- while making those final tweaks to your fantasy draft cheat sheets -- the Eagles meet the Colts on Thursday in Indy (8 p.m. ET, Fox).
5. Inglourius Basterds hits theaters
Say what you want about Quentin Tarantino's violent sensibilites and dialogue wankery, the director still makes movies that are impossible to ignore. Having already paid homage to film noir (Pulp Fiction), blaxploitation (Jackie Brown) and Hong Kong martial arts flicks (the Kill Bill diptych), Tarantino reimagines World War II in this revenge fantasy about a band of American soldiers -- led by a scenery-chewing Brad Pitt -- on a Dirty Dozen-style mission to topple the Nazi empire. It premiered in May to promising reviews at Cannes, and parachutes into theaters nationwide on Friday.
6. U.S. striker Altidore makes English Premier League debut
When it comes to pumping out top-flight soccer players for the top European leagues, the United States has always held its own with goalkeepers (see: Brad Friedel, Marcus Hahnemann, Tim Howard, Kasey Keller). But outfield players? Not so much. Dynamic American striker Jozy Altidorehopes to change that. The 19-year-old goal-scorer is expected to make his English Premier League debut Saturday for Hull City against Bolton (10 a.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel) after missing last weekend's opener at Chelsea thanks to a delay in obtaining a work permit.
7. Brooklyn's Jacobs gets HBO spotlight
The main event on Saturday's Boxing After Dark (9:45 p.m. ET, HBO) is a good one -- former lightweight champion Juan Diaz moves up to face former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi at 140 pounds -- but we're even more excited to see Brooklyn's Daniel Jacobs take a step up in competition against Ishe Smith on the undercard. The electric Jacobs, an up-and-coming middleweight prospect from the same Brownsville neigborhood that produced Mike Tyson, is 17-0 during his 19-month pro career. Nine of his 15 knockouts have come in the first round.
8. Murray-mania hits Cincinnati
It's a brave new world in men's tennis: Andy Murray is the first top-two player not named Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal since Lleyton Hewitt in July 2005. The 22-year-old Scot, who nabbed his fifth title of the season Sunday in Montreal, heads south this week to defend his Cincinnati Masters title in the penultimate tournament before the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31. ESPN2's coverage begins Thursday with the Round of 16, but you don't need cable to catch Sunday's final (12:30 p.m. ET, CBS).
9. Little League World Series picture comes into focus
The regional finals air on ESPNU throughout the week before coverage moves over to the big network for the weekend. Highlights include Saturday's pool-play contest between the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast champions (3 p.m. ET, ABC) and Sunday's meeting between the Great Lakes and Southwest champs (2 p.m. ET, ABC).
10. Yankees, Red Sox renew hostilities at Fenway
The Yankees and Red Sox close their weekend three-game series (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Fenway Park with an attractive clash of aces on Sunday Night Baseball: New York's CC Sabathia vs. Boston's Josh Beckett.