Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
MLB: Dodgers vs. San Francisco, Dodger Stadium:
Monday at 1 p.m., Prime, ESPN
Tuesday at 7 p.m. , Prime
Wednesday at 7 p.m., Channel 9, ESPN2:
They’ve carved a new “LA” logo into the center field grass, re calibrated the scoreboards, upgraded the concession stands, set up kid-friendly areas and . . . oh, right, spent a Ravine-load of cash on a roster upgrades. So now we’ve got this giddy Guggenheim ownership group committed to a giant $213 million payroll (compared to $95 mil and change a year ago), and they’ll happily roll it out against a Giant payroll of $137 million (a $20 million upgrade over a year ago) that supports a loose collection of players who just won their second World Series title in three years. The latest came, somehow, without Juan Uribe. San Francisco’s gamep lan has come with outstanding pitching (all throwing to defending NL MVP Buster Posey, who has a new nine-year contract). It starts with Matt Cain in the opener against Clayton Kershaw (making his third Day 1 start in a row), while Madison Bumgarner is up for Game 2 against Hyun-Jin Ryu and former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum takes his new short haircut against Josh Beckett in the finale. Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong are spared.
MLB: Angels at Texas:
Friday at 11 a.m., FSW
Saturday at 1 p.m., Channel 11
Sunday at 5 p.m., ESPN2:
How can you not look ahead to Josh Hamilton’s return to Arlington, Tex., to face the team that gave up on him for giving up on them? So much intrigue already that the networks take over for the last two games of the series. This is also the Rangers’ home opening series after playing three in Houston. There’s even more drama for those wondering if Nolan Ryan will even show up by the Sunday finale, where Jered Weaver should circle back to pitch for the Angels after his Opening Day start.
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