09.24.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneMagic numbers. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t win an MLB division title without ‘em, apparently. One lousy week left on the regular-season schedule to rack up personal launch-angle related stats. The Dodgers have only to tackle what is in front of them: Three in Arizona, three in San Francisco. So there is only an outside chance of clinching NL West with a pool party at Chase Field, where the teams play Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights (all 6:40 p.m., SportsNet LA). It would take a Dodgers sweep and the Rockies to lose three in a row. That will mean the games in San Francisco on Friday (7:15 p.m.), Saturday (1:05 p.m.) and Sunday (12:05 p.m.) could be more than an mere exercise. You really want to cut it that close?
Also this final week for the Angels, all at home:
At Angel Stadium vs. Texas, Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:07 p.m., Fox Sports West
At Angel Stadium vs. Oakland, Friday at 7:07 p.m. (Oktoberfest Beer Festival), Saturday at 6:07 p.m. (Mike Scioscia bobblehead on what could be his final homestand as a manager), Sunday at 12:07 p.m., all on Fox Sports West

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1twoNFL Week 4: The not-so-great part of all this is that the Rams have the short week that includes flying. Their game at the Coliseum against Minnesota (Thursday at 5:20 p.m., Channel 11, NFL Net, Amazon Prime Video) might be something highly anticipated for fans trying to measure their team’s value, but some of the luster may have faded considering the Vikings suffered a rare home loss to Buffalo last Sunday, and now have to make the L.A. trip.
Meanwhile, the Chargers stay in StubHub Center in Carson to host San Francisco (Sunday at 1:25 p.m., Channel 2)
Also finishing Week 3:
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, Monday at 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Also in Week 4:
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, Sunday, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
Cleveland at Raiders, Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
N.Y. Jets at Jacksonville, Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11

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1threeLeBron James may have been on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter last week, but from here on, it’ll likely just be ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated – or the New York Times, trying to spoil L.A.’s buzz. His Lakers’ career becomes more official with training camp opening Tuesday (a day after Monday’s media barrage in El Segundo). The exhibition opener is at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego against Denver (Sunday, 6:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet and ESPN). FYI: Courtside seats in this 16,100-seat arena formerly known as the San Diego Sports Arena in Point Loma are already priced at $305.
The Clippers, mindful that Jimmy Butler may come over sooner or later to share a popsicle, start with a media day Monday in Marina del Rey then head to Hawaii to start camp Tuesday, with the first exhibition game on Sunday against someone called the Australian Sydney Kings (not the Sacramento Kings) featuring Andrew Bogut (Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, 6:30 p.m., Prime Ticket)


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1fourNo sooner is the PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta finished than the U.S. sends a sizzling-hot Tiger Woods to go with Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka, meeting up with Jordan Spieth at the Albatros Course of Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Paris for the Ryder Cup. Woods and Mickelson were two of the captain’s picks for Jim Furyk. The European Team also had Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari playing in Atlanta before jetting across to France. Each of the first two days includes one four-match session of four-ball and one four-match session of foursomes. The final day is reserved for 12 singles matches. The TV coverage:
Day 1: Thursday: 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, Golf Channel (replayed from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Golf Channel)
Day 2: Friday: 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Golf Channel; Saturday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Channel 4 (replayed from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Golf Channel)
Day 3: Sunday: 3 a.m. to 10 a.m., Channel 4 (replayed from 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Golf Channel

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1fiveCollege football Week 5: With UCLA students back in school on the quarter system, this is the time in every season we usually target as the time glorious September starts begin to meet the reality of the extra classload of work. Which is usually the time to predict the Bruins’ first loss of the season. Except that’s already happened. Three times. The Bruins’ trip to Colorado on a Friday night doesn’t make this any easier (6 p.m., FS1). USC, meanwhile, has a trip to Arizona to face the slumbering Wildcats (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Also in Week 5:
Thursday: North Carolina at Miami, 5 p.m., ESPN
Friday: Memphis at Tulane, 5 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday:
Stanford at Notre Dame, 4:30 p.m., Channel 4
Ohio State at Penn State, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
Mississippi at LSU, 6 p.m., ESPN
Baylor at Oklahoma, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Arkansas at Texas A&M, 9 a.m., ESPN
Syracuse at Clemson, 9 a.m., Channel 7
West Virginia at Texas Tech, 9 a.m., ESPN2
Texas at Kansas State, 12:30 p.m., FS1
Tennessee at Georgia, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
BYU at Washington, 5:30 p.m., Channel 11
Oregon at Cal, 7:30 p.m., FS1
Oregon State at Arizona State, 7 p.m., Pac 12 Net
Utah at Washington State, 3 p.m., Pac 12 Net
Louisiana at Alabama, 9 a.m., SEC Network

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