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


black 1Under the new MLB rules, the last day for teams to make a deal is Wednesday. “Our front office has shown that if there’s a need, we have no problem trying to address and line up on a deal,” says Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “But it’s got to be right for both clubs, too. I think that the history points to if something could happen or should happen, we’ll make it happen.”
Yeah, but …
The Dodgers’ history going forward will likely hinge on the acquisition of bullpen help (Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez?) and they could use first aid right away with another three games in Colorado that ends up as a fire drill for pitching staffs just trying to survive. Dodgers Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-2, 1.74 ERA, 0.96 WHiP) saw his last trip in Colorado on June 28 end up pretty upside down – giving up a season-high seven runs and nine hits (three homers) in four innings and taking the loss in a 13-9 decision. But his ERA went up only from 1.27 to 1.83. And the Dodgers have won his last four games since then. Ryu will pitch the Dodgers’ last game of July on Wednesday – he is 2-0 this month with a 1.35 ERA in four starts.

How the week plays out for the Dodgers (an MLB-best 69-36 mark in the NL West, 14 1/2 games up, after just a 2-3 week and still No. 1 on the ESPN MLB Power Rankings where they have been for seven straight weeks, since Week 9/May 27, plus Weeks 4-5-6, plus Week 1):
At Colorado:
Monday at 5:40 p.m. (Kenta Maeda vs. Jon Gray), SportsNet LA
Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. (TBA vs. Kyle Freeland), SNLA
Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. (Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. German Marquez), SNLA
Vs. San Diego at Dodger Stadium:
Thursday at 7:10 p.m. (Joey Lucchesi vs. Clayton Kershaw), SNLA
Friday at 7:10 p.m. (TBA vs. Walker Buehler), SNLA
Saturday at 6:10 p.m. (Chris Paddack vs. Kenta Maeda), SNLA
Sunday at 1:10 p.m. (Dinelson Larnet vs. TBA), SNLA

How the week plays out for the Angels (55-52 in the AL West, 13 back of the lead and 5 back in the AL wildcard, sticking to No. 15 in the ESPN MLB Power Rankings after two home wins against the Dodgers but just a 3-3  week after a walkoff win Sunday to avoid getting swept in four by the lowly Orioles):
Vs. Detroit at Angel Stadium:
Monday at 7:07 p.m. (Jordan Zimmerman vs. Jaime Barria), YouTube.com
Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. (Drew VerHagen vs. Griffin Canning), FSW
Wednesday at 1:07 p.m. (Daniel Norris vs. Jose Suarez), FSW
At Cleveland:
Friday at 4:10 p.m. (Felix Pena vs. Mike Clevinger), FSW
Saturday a 4:10 p.m. (Jaime Barria vs. Trevor Bauer), FS1
Sunday at 10:10 a.m. (Griffin Canning vs. Shane Bieber), FSW


black 2Both the LAFC (at New England, Gillette Stadium, Saturday at 4:30 p.m., YouTube TV, KVMD) and Galaxy (at Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Saturday at 2 p.m., Channel 11) head East for their MLS games – and there are only a dozen more for each of them the season heads toward the October ending). But the U.S. Women’s National Team’s “Victory Tour” starts at the Rose Bowl with a contest against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. It’s the squad’s first game on home soil since winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. This is the first USWNT appearance at the Rose Bowl in 17 years, and their third since winning the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup there. Parking opens at 3 p.m., gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets seem to be going for $40 at Ticketmaster with no real guarantee of which players will show up.
Future matches in this tour will be against Portugal in Philadelphia (Aug. 29) and in St. Paul, Minn. (Sept. 3).
More info: www.ussoccer.com


black 3The Sparks managed an 11-8 record at the All-Star break, including 5-2 at home and 7-3 in their last 10 games, but now meet up with the teams bunched at the top of the Western Conference standings for a chance to make some statement about their intent with 15 games left through early September:
How the week plays out for the Sparks:
vs. Las Vegas, Staples Center, Thursday at 7 p.m., ESPN2
vs. Seattle, Staples Center, Sunday at 2 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet


black 4Players dressed in uniforms of the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons will participate in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition game at Canton, Ohio (Thursday, 5 p.m., Channel 4), and some fans will actually pay a $199 face-value ticket to get in. This leads into the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday to honor Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed and Jerry Robinson. FYI: The first real week of exhibition games are Aug. 8-10. Well, it’s not really real. But …
More info: www.profootballhof.com


black 5Huntington Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi goes after his third men’s title in the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing on the south side of the famed pier, and event that began last weekend and concludes on Sunday. More than 250 surfers participate in the nation’s largest action-sports festival. This year, the prize money for the men’s and women’s winners will be equal — $30,000. Interesting, since the 21-year-old Igarashi won $100,000 for his men’s title in Huntington Beach last year. Courtney Conlogue of Santa Ana is back to defend her women’s title. The importance of this year’s event is that surfing will be an Olympic sport at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, with Igarashi representing Japan. More info: www.vansusopenofsurfing.com
The 57th International Surf Festival in the South Bay’s beaches of Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, Torrance and L.A. County (Wednesday-Sunday) includes its own ISF surfing competition (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. at the Hermosa Beach pier) and the classic six-man volleyball tournament (Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m., Manhattan Beach pier), as well as the Pier-to-Pier swim, two-mile beach run, bodysurfing championships and dory races. More info: www.surffestival.org  and www.southbayevents.com/international-surf-festival

MoreAlso this week:

* The U.S. National Swimming Championships at Stanford run Wednesday-Sunday. Does 22-year-old Caeleb Dressel, who won eight medals at the recent world championships, plan to swim here? It appears so. Coverage starts on the Olympic Channel (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.) and running up to NBC’s coverage Saturday (11 a.m., Channel 4) and Sunday (1 p.m., Channel 4).
* The Women’s British Open goes at Buckinghamshire, England, Thursday-Sunday. First two rounds on Golf Channel, Wednesday and Thursday, 3-to-10 a.m. Final two rounds on Golf Channel, Saturday and Sunday, 4-8:30 a.m.



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