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

NUMBER 1So we’re a year out from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if Simone Biles decided to switch from gymnastics to beach volleyball …
Who represents the U.S. at the beach volleyball venue will likely be on display at this AVP annual trip to Manhattan Beach. Those who are in town for the 59th Manhattan Beach Open, complete with the ceremony honoring the winners with plaques on the iconic pier, know the value of the sixth of eight stops on the 2019 schedule, less than a month removed from Hermosa Beach, with events in Chicago (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) and Hawaii (Sept. 20-22) to cap it off.
A year ago, Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser pulled off the men’s title and April Ross with Alix Klineman were victorious on the women’s side. All but Klineman have Olympic experience, while the 29-year-old out of Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach has experience with the U.S. women’s national indoor team year ago before joining the beach scene in 2017.
Lucena-Dalhausser ended up winning four of the eight 2018 events, and Ross-Klineman won three as they worked in several overseas events. Lucena-Dalhausser have won once in ’19, in New York, from the No. 2 seeded spot. Ross-Klineman have won twice this year, in New York and Huntington Beach. Ross has played nine AVP events with the 6-foot-5 Klineman, winning six, as well as winning 11 of 27 overall when overseas are included, including the FIVA Itapema Open last May. They were runner-up in the 2019 World Championships in Hamburg recently.
More info: avp.com


NUMBER 2With 42 games left, and needing only to play .500 to win 100 games, how brave are the Dodgers taking their highly successful home show (a 48-16 record) onto the road (a 31-25 mark) in Atlanta against the leaders in the NL East, and against a team that shored up its bullpen at the trade deadline? The Braves picked up Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Chris Martin for the stretch run, but Greene has had a rough start of it after coming over from Detroit and actually, they’re still trying to sort it all out. Still. The Braves (.263) and Dodgers (.259) rank seventh and eighth in MLB team batting average. They are fifth (Dodgers, with 648) and sixth (Braves, with 647) in runs scored. They are fifth (Dodgers, at .466) and sixth (Braves, at .460) in slugging percentage. Team pitching is where the Dodgers hold several advantages to date, starting with No. 1 ERA (3.29) in all the MLB, with 13 shutouts. And Hyun-Jin Ryu is apparently A-OK.

How the week plays out for the Dodgers (an MLB-best 79-41 record, 19 games up in the NL West, but falling to No. 2 in the ESPN Power Rankings after a 5-1 week with their only loss in extra innings? Yup):
At Miami:
* Tuesday at 4:10 p.m., (Clayton Kershaw vs. Jordan Yamamoto), SNLA
* Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. (Dustin May vs. Elieser Hernandez), SNLA
* Thursday at 12:05 p.m. (Walker Buehler vs. Caleb Smith), SNLA
At Atlanta:
* Friday at 4:20 p.m. (Kenta Maeda vs. Mike Soroka), SNLA
* Saturday at 4:20 p.m. (Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Mike Foltynewicz), SNLA
* Sunday at 10:20 a.m., (Clayton Kershaw vs. Max Fried), SNLA

How the week plays out for the Angels (58-61 in the AL West, two wins in a row after eight straight losses, 11 games back in the wildcard and slipping to No. 20 in the ESPN Power Rankings):
Vs. Pittsburgh at Angel Stadium:
* Monday at 7:07 p.m. (Mitch Keller vs. Jose Suarez), Fox Sports West
* Tuesday at 7:07 p.m., (Trevor Williams vs. TBA), FSW
* Wednesday at 5:07 p.m., (Chris Archer vs. TBA), FSW
Vs. Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium:
* Thursday at 7:07 p.m. (Reynaldo Lopez vs. Andrew Heaney), FSW
* Friday at 7:07 p.m., (Lucas Giolito vs. Patrick Sandoval), FSW
* Saturday at 6:07 p.m., (Dylan Cease vs. Jose Suarez), FSW
* Sunday at 1:07 p.m. (Ivan Nova vs. Dillon Peters), FSW


NUMBER 3.pngAloha to the NFL exhibition season. Not yet meaning we’re saying good bye after one week. But we’re saying hello to Hawaii, where the Rams and Cowboys have decided to take things for Week 2 of the league’s pretend games.
Again, wagering is not only discouraged, but will cause us a huge eye roll:
* Thursday: Raiders at Arizona, 5 p.m., ESPN, Channel 5
* Saturday: Rams vs. Dallas at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, 7 p.m., NFL Network, Channel 2
* Sunday: Chargers vs. New Orleans, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, 1 p.m., Channel 2
* Chicago at N.Y. Giants, Friday at 4:30 p.m., NFL Network
* Cleveland at Indianapolis, Saturday at 1 p.m., NFL Network
* Kansas City at Pittsburgh, Saturday at 4:30 p.m., NFL Network
* Seattle at Minnesota, Sunday at 5 p.m., Channel 11


NUMBER 4.pngA day after Team USA basketball suits up to face Spain in an exhibition leading into the World Championships, Honda Center in Anaheim puts on UFC 241 (Saturday, 7 p.m.), which gives Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic a second chance of making a first impressions. They met in UFC 226, when Cormier moved up from light heavyweight to take on Miocic and ended it in about four-and-a-half minutes with a right hand over the top to floor Miocic. The 40-year-old Cormier has since defended his title against Derrick Lewis last November and was targeting Brock Lesnar, but Lesnar retired in May. The main card has five events, with the preliminary card on ESPN holding four more and UFC Fight Pass staging three, including women’s strawweight and flyweight.
More info: https://www.ufc.com/event/ufc-241


NUMBER 5A Galaxy slate of two-games-in-one-week deal awaits those wondering if and when the team will pull out of a three-game losing streak, and four of the last five. At least Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back pitching it. LAFC (17-3-4, 55 points), with wins over defending champion Atlanta, a hot New England team and defending Supporters Shield-winning N.Y. Red Bulls, continues to pull away from the Galaxy (12-11-1, 36 points) in the Western Conference after the two were dominant Nos. 1-2 for a while.
The schedule this week:
* LAFC at Real Salt Lake, Saturday at 7 p.m., YouTube TV, KVMD
* Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
* Galaxy vs. Seattle, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Saturday at 7 p.m., ESPN2

= The NBA announces its 2019-20 regular season schedule, including an anticipated Lakers-Clippers game on Christmas Day, during a NBA TV show Monday at noon.
= The second stop in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup finale to the season goes to the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club in Illinois (Thursday-Sunday, Golf Channel, Channel 4).

= The U.S. Amateur Golf Championship goes to Pinehurst, N.C., runs from Monday through the final twosome on Sunday (12:30 p.m., Channel 11)
= How the week plays out for the Sparks (15-8 in the Western Conference): At Dallas, Wednesday at 5 p.m.; At Chicago, Friday at 5 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
= Little League Baseball’s 2019 tournament  in Williamsport, Pa., will start Thursday and conclude on Aug. 25 on ESPN and ESPN2. More info: www.littleleague.org


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