Mike Trout’s number comes up Tuesday – No. 27 turns 27. If they’re thinking of retiring those two digits for him as a birthday wish … poppycock. They’ve still got to consider that another former halo No. 27, Vlad Guerrero, was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame last week. Plus, Trout has missed the last four games with this wrist thing, they can’t be sure what his availability will be on this day-to-day basis.
Still, let’s crunch some more numbers:
*In this, his age 26 season, Trout is on a pace to hit .309 with 43 homers, 87 RBIs, 30 doubles, 30 steals and 143 walks (vs. 140 strike outs). Mickey Mantle’s age 26 season was 60 years ago, in 1958: .304 with 42 homers, 97 RBIs, 21 doubles, 18 steals and a league-high 129 walks (vs. a league-high 120 strike outs). Mantle was coming off back-to-back AL MVP awards and was fifth in the voting in ’58.
*So to date – eight seasons-plus — Trout’s career WAR is already 61.9, which is 111th best all time in the game’s history. By the time Mantle’s eighth season was over, he had a career WAR Of 61.6. Mantle finished his 18-season career with a 110.3 career WAR, 15th all time. Trout hasn’t played enough seasons to even be considered for Baseball Hall of Fame induction.
*By the way, you know a team gets 27 outs in a baseball game, right?
Surely that’ll be all up for discussion as the Angels have a T-shirt giveaway in Trout’s honor during the middle game of a three-game set at Angel Stadium against Detroit.
The Angels this week:
Home vs. Detroit: Monday and Tuesday at 7:07 p.m., Wednesday at 1:07 p.m., Fox Sports West
Home vs. Oakland, Friday at 7:07 p.m. (a Guerrero HOF bobblehead giveaway), Saturday at 6:07 p.m., Sunday at 1:07 p.m. (Trout youth jersey giveaway). All on Fox Sports West
The Dodgers’ 9-8 record in the 17 games post-All Star Game might be something that looks slightly above average. But considering the quality of opponent, it’s better than falling below .500, and they’ve held onto a tie for first with Arizona in NL West to this point at 62-51. Two more nasty-type opponents make up the upcoming week. A two-game trip to Oakland against the 67-46 Athletics, who are in as the AL second wild-card at this point, and then four more against the 59-52 Rockies in Denver, who could come out of this series trading places in the standings, get the Dodgers attention again. Rich Hill has two scheduled starts this week – the first game in Oakland and the last game in Colorado, where his spinball may not be up to the altitude challenge. He has yet to get on the hill this year at Coors Field, but the 38-year-old Hill has a career 0-2 record in three starts there with an 8.80 ERA – 15 earned runs, 18 hits, three homer and 11 walks in 15 1/3 innings.
As for the A’s … who spend their week ahead against the Dodgers and Angels, here’s a graphic from ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” that tells their recent story:
The Dodgers this week:
At Oakland, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., SportsNet LA
At Colorado: Thursday and Friday at 5:40 p.m., Saturday at 5:10 p.m., Sunday at 12:10 p.m., SportsNet LA
What happens to L.A. traffic when LAFC and the Galaxy go head-to-head at home on the same night at the same time? We’ll find out. At the same the when the Galaxy is at StubHub Center in Carson facing Minnesota United FC, the LAFC has its Banc of California Stadium filled for an appearance by Sporting K.C. – both on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Galaxy just had their 10-game unbeaten streak end with a 2-1 loss against Colorado, but perhaps Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s work on the phones to get season seat sales will manifest itself in some other way. The LAFC comes off a 2-1 loss at New York Red Bull. Before Saturday, LAFC also has a U.S. Open Cup semifinal contest in Houston against the Dynamo (Wednesday, 6 p.m.)
Can you name the guys who’ve won the previous three majors in golf this season? Patrick Reed took the Masters, Brooks Koepka captured the U.S. Open and Francesco Molinari somehow was victorious at the recent British Open. Justin Thomas is the defending PGA Championship’s Wanamaker Trophy winner, and he’s given 16-to-1 odds of a repeat here – the same 16-1 that Tiger Woods has to pass up favorite Dustin Johnson (19/2), Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth (both 12-1). McIlroy is looking for his third career PGA Championship title while Spieth continues to seek a career grand slam. Woods, McIlroy and Thomas are paired up for the first two rounds of this 100th PGA Championship, which happens at Bellervice Country Club in Town and Country, Missouri, just west of St. Louis. Yes, back at the PGA’s Genesis Open at Riviera, it was a threesome of Woods, McIlroy and Thomas together, and McIlroy was amazed at how Woods plays with all that attention. “I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field,” McIlroy said at the time. “Like it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around him.” Bellerive last hosted a PGA in 1992, when Nick Price won his first major. More info: www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship
TV: TNT has the first two rounds Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. CBS (Channel 2) has the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When NBC covered the Baltimore-Chicago participation in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game last Thursday in Canton, Ohio, the ratings average of 4.1 and 6.77 million estimated viewers was actually more than what Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final did (3.9 rating, 6.59 million viewers). Therefore, we predict the NFL exhibition openers for the Rams (at Baltimore, Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Channel 2), Raiders (home vs. Detroit, Friday at 7:30 p.m., Channel 5) and Chargers (at Arizona, Saturday at 7 p.m., Channel 7) have a heck of a good chance to be the most-watched things in L.A. TV on those nights.
*The return of the Premiere League Soccer season happens Friday with Manchester United-Leicester City (noon), continues Saturday at 4:30 a.m. on NBCSN with Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur, followed by Chelsea taking on Huddersfield Town at 7 a.m., and bleed over to Sunday on NBCSN with Liverpool vs. West Ham United (5:30 a.m.) and Arsenal vs. Manchester City (8 a.m.). More info: www.premierleague.com
*The West Regional final of the Little League World Series tournament – the winner advances to Williamsport, Pa. – happens in San Bernardino (Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN). More info: www.littleleague.org/world-series/2018