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

NUMBER 1The Dodgers and Yankees won’t be tough to distinguish on the field for their three game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers will be in all white.
The Yankees will be in all black.
And you’ll be paying plenty of green to attend.
As part of the continually ridiculous MLB Players Weekend marketing thing, where players wear nicknames on their backs that could lead to some double entendres and little kids then buying the jerseys and wearing them to school, all teams will do the white-black contrast look. Far less colorful than the past, but now we’re making it easy for fans to see the good guys from those are bad, right?

So now the specialness of a Dodgers-Yankees regular-season historic logo-vs.-historic logo event goes sideways.
The two teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the ESPN MLB Power Rankings with nearly the same record – hey, the Yankees actually have a mark better than the Dodgers if you’re keeping track.
As for the color scheme issues: The Dodgers’ game earlier in the week – Wednesday against the Blue Jay of Toronto — will feature an “L.A. Bleeds Blue” cap giveaway. Yes, it’s against the Blue Jays.
Meanwhile, the Angels’ week in Texas trying to catch up in the AL wildcard includes an extra game against the Rangers – it’s the makeup contest from July 1 that was postponed after the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

How the week plays out for the Dodgers (82-44 in the NL West, 18 ½ games up after a 3-3 road trip):
vs. Toronto at Dodger Stadium:
*Tuesday at 7:10 p.m., SNLA (Sean Reid-Foley vs. Clayton Kersshaw)
*Wednesday at 7:10 p.m., SNLA (Jacob Waguespack vs. Walker Buehler)
*Thursday at 7:10 p.m., SNLA (Trent Thornton vs. Kenta Maeda)
vs. New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium:
*Friday at 7:10 p.m., SNLA (James Paxton vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu)
*Saturday at 1:05 p.m., FS1 (CC Sabathia vs. TBA)
*Sunday at 4:05 p.m., ESPN (Domingo German vs. Clayton Kershaw)

How the week plays out for the Angels (62-64 in the AL West, 11 ½ back of the wildcard, with a 0.1 percent probably of making the playoffs according to the latest ESPN standings projection):

At Texas:
*Monday at 5:05 p.m., FSW (Dillon Peters vs. Kolby Allard)
*Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., FSW (Andrew Heaney vs. Brock Burke)
*Tuesday at 5:05 p.m., FSW (TBA vs. Joe Palumbo)
*Wednesday at 4:05 p.m., FSW (Patrick Sandoval vs. Mike Minor)
At Houston:
*Friday at 5:10 p.m., FSW (Jose Suarez vs. Zack Greinke)
*Saturday at 4:10 p.m., FSW (Griffin Canning vs. Wade Miley)
*Sunday at 11:10 a.m., FSW (Dillion Peters vs. Aaron Sanchez)


NUMBER 2There is plenty of baggage to unpack for a LAFC-Galaxy meeting.
For the previous meeting this season in Carson, a 3-2 outcome by the team a bit lower in the standings was all the result of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat trick. It also means the Galaxy has never lost to the expansion team in four meetings. In this version of El Trafico at  Banc of California Stadium (Sunday at 7:30 p.m., FS1), LAFC (18-3-4, with a 16-point lead over second place Minnesota and 17 points up over the 13-11-2 Galaxy) may be pumping the breaks having already secured a playoff bid, or enlivened by their crowd to do something they haven’t done yet.
Also this week:
* LAFC vs. San Jose, Banc of California Stadium, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., UniMas
* Galaxy vs. Cruz Azul in MLS/LigaMX Leagues Cup match, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


NUMBER 3The timing of the PGA’s Tour Championship is odd, yes. It’s not a major, but only the conclusion of the shifted FedExCup playoff run. Then, it’s done. “For all the bellyaching, the season basically ends three weeks earlier – not a big deal,” Alan Shipnuck wrote recently in Golf.com. There’s a reason for that – the playoff doesn’t get buried in the NFL season. The goofiest part of this event (Thursday-Sunday, Golf Channel, Channel 4) is the FedExCup leader, Justin Thomas, who won last week at Medinah, will start at 10 under, and Long Beach native Patrick Cantlay, who is second, is 8 under. Then Brooks Kopeka is at 7 under …. So the lowest 72-hold scorer won’t necessarily win. Masters champ Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth didn’t make the 30-player cut. Woods won this tournament last year.


NUMBER 4It’s called Week 0, but there’s hardly zero interest in the launch of the CIF Southern Section and City Section prep football seasons. A match up of Mater Dei and Centennial Corona at the Santa Ana Bowl (Friday, 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket) highlights a night where the network’s Prep Zone will also stream Oaks Christian-Chaminade, Sierra Canyon-Westlake, Rancho Cucamonga-Roosevelt and Downey-Corona Del Mar. Other games Friday: Alemany at Gilbert (Arizona) Higley, Bakersfield at Calabasas, JSerra at Salt Lake City East and Mission Viejo at Kealakekua (Hawaii) Konawaena. Thursday includes Long Beach Wilson vs. Mayfair at Bellflower.


NUMBER 5The Sparks’ back-to-back losses at Dallas and Chicago last week were a bit of a setback after a five-game wins streak. They still have an eight-game win streak at home and meet their national nemesis, the Minnesota Lynx, whom they knocked off 89-85 in Minneapolis on June 8 behind Riquna Williams’ 25 points and 21 from Chelsea Gray. This time, Williams isn’t available, still serving a 10-game WNBA suspension for a domestic violence incident.
How the week plays out for the Sparks (15-10, two back of Las Vegas in the Western Conference, with nine games left in the regular season):
*Vs. Minnesota, Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
*Vs. Indiana, Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Net, Spectrum SportsNet
*Vs. Connecticut, Staples Center, Sunday at 2 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet


== Again Week 3 of the NFL exhibition season still implies they aren’t real games, so wagering is discouraged:
*Rams vs. Denver, Coliseum, Saturday at 6 p.m., Channel 2
*Chargers vs. Seattle, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Saturday at 7 p.m., Channel 7, NFL Network
*Raiders vs. Green Bay in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Thursday at 5 p.m., Channel 5
*Jacksonville at Miami, Thursday at 5 p.m., Channel 11
*Buffalo at Detroit, Friday at 5 p.m., Channel 2
*Arizona at Minnesota, Saturday at 10 a.m., NFL Network
*Houston at Dallas, Saturday at 4 p.m., NFL Network
*Pittsburgh at Tennessee, Sunday at 5 p.m., Channel 4

= College football starts with Miami vs. Florida in Orlando (Saturday at 4 p.m., ESPN) and Arizona at Hawaii (Saturday at 7:30 p.m., CBSSN)

= Little League Baseball’s 2019 tournament  in Williamsport, Pa., will finish up Sunday. More info: www.littleleague.org


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