07.15.19: Five things for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

black 1The 148th version of The Open golf tournament, from Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951 in the seaside town of Portrush, puts the magnificent scenery in the sunlight more than anything else. All other 146 versions of this event have been in England or Scotland, so it’s far overdue. Defending champ Francesco Molinari won at Carnoustie in Scotland a year ago, but Northern Ireland native Rory McIlroy will be the real looker, having set the record at the Portrush Royal Golf Club with a round of 61 in 2005, when he was 16. The course has been rerouted a bit since then. Graeme McDowell is another countryman proud to be here, getting an entry because he won the RBC Canadian Open recently. Tiger Woods has three Open championships among his 15 majors.
The TV schedule:
Wednesday night: Golf Channel, 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday
Thursday night: Golf Channel, 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday
Saturday morning: Golf Channel, 1:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.; Channel 4, 4 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sunday morning: Golf Channel, 1:30 a.m. to 4 a.m., Channel 4, 4 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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black 2As we try to retain some of our soccer high from the recent Women’s World Cup activities, and the U.S. loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup, we come upon what we still believe should be called El Trafico – your LAFC heading down the Harbor Freeway and cutting up the 91N to Dignity Health Sports Park for one of two regular-season MLS meetings against the Galaxy for what’s also being called The Los Angeles Derby – Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN. Not so much because it’s a battle of the two top teams in the Western Conference.
The next Galaxy-LAFC meeting happens Sunday, Aug. 25, at Banc of California Stadium.
Also: The International Champions Cup goes to Dignity Health Sports Park for a Arsenal-Bayern Munich matchup, Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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black 3For any sort of memorable encore, does Felix Pena throw another seven no-hit innings again in his next non-start? We figure it comes up again on Wednesdays against Houston based on vagueness of how the team now doesn’t announce his starts. Pena (7-2, 4.32 ERA) leads the team with 86 strike outs in 81 innings, but in 18 appearances, he has only officially started four.
The formula works.
With more trade rumors swirling before the July 31 deadline:
How the week plays out for the Dodgers (an MLB-best 62-33, 14 1/2 up in the NL West, grinding out another week at the top of the ESPN Power Rankings after taking two of three in Boston):
* At Philadelphia:
Monday (Clayton Kershaw vs. Zach Eflin), 4 p.m., SNLA (ESPN national telecast blacked out in L.A.)
Tuesday (Walker Buehler vs. Vince Velasquez), 4 p.m., SNLA
Wednesday (Kenta Maeda vs. Nick Pivetta), 4 p.m., SNLA
Thursday (Ross Stripling vs. Aaron Nola), 9:35 a.m., YouTube.com stream
* At Dodger Stadium, vs. Miami
Friday (Zac Gallen vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu), 7:10 p.m., SNLA
Saturday (Sandy Alcantara vs. Clayton Kershaw), 6:10 p.m., SNLA
Sunday (Jordan Yamamoto vs. Walker Buehler), 1:10 p.m., SNLA
How the week plays out for the Angels (48-46, 11 back in the AL West, five back in the wild card, inching up to No. 18 in the ESPN Power Rankings):
* At Angel Stadium vs. Houston
Monday (Brad Peacock vs. Griffin Canning), 7:07 p.m., FSW
Tuesday (TBA vs. Andrew Heaney), 7:07 p.m., FSW
Wednesday (Gerrit Cole vs. TBA), 7:07 p.m., FSW
Thursday (Wade Miley vs. Matt Harvey), 6:07 p.m., FSW
* At Seattle
Friday (Jose Suarez vs. Mike Leake), 7:10 p.m., FSW
Saturday (Griffin Canning vs. TBA), 6:10 p.m., FSW
Sunday (Andrew Heaney vs. Yusei Kikuchi), 1:10 p.m., FSW

Also: The Baseball Hall of Fame annual induction ceremony (Sunday, 10:30 a.m., MLB Network) will see Mariano Rivera, the late Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Lee Smith and Harold Baines  get their plaques. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Pete Rose may watch via videostream if they care.
More information: baseballhall.org

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black 4So now we move thoroughbred racing to Del Mar to see what happens. Del Mar dealt with a 2016 season with 17 horses died, and coming off the Santa Anita season where 30 died, the narrative continues with more safety precautions in place. . The 80th Del Mar season, with 35 racing days, begins with 10 races on Wednesday (gates open at 11:30 a.m., first post is at 2 p.m.) and runs on a weekend schedule (dark on Monday-Tuesday) through Labor Day Sept. 2, highlighted by the Aug. 17 Pacific Classic and the Sept. 1 Del Mar Derby. Racing then goes back to Del Mar after the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita (Nov. 6-Dec. 3)
More information: www.dmtc.com

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black 5Manny Pacquaio, age 40, fights again, putting his career record of 61-7-2 and 10-year age difference against Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0),  Saturday at 6 p.m., on Fox Sports PPV, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, for the WBA welterweight world title. We may actually watch. If someone else pays the $74.99 fee. A recent story by Dylan Hernandez in the L.A. Times implies we shouldn’t worry about Pacquaio, because he has God on his side. He also has trainer Freddie Roach, who says he would not be surprised if Thurman becomes Pacquaio’s 40th career KO victim. “If Thurman comes straight in and goes after Manny, which I think he will, he is going to be cooked,” says Roach. “Chef Manny will be serving him up on a platter like Lobster Thurmandor.” We see what you did there.
More info: www.premierboxingchampions.com

More

The Sparks’ 12:30 p.m. matinee/youth camp day tipoff at Staples Center against Dallas on Thursday (Spectrum SportsNet) marks their one home game amidst five road games to finish the month of July. After this, they’re off to the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y., to face the New York Liberty (Sunday, noon, SSN), a team that handed the Sparks a 98-92 loss at Staples Center on June 15 where Swedish star Amanda Zahui B scored a career-high 37 points on 7-for-8 from 3-point range.

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