Another busy sports week in L.A. and beyond:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES:
DODGERS vs. ST. LOUIS
Game 3 at Dodger Stadium, Monday, 5 p.m., TBS:
Zack Greinke isn’t coming back on two day’s rest. Clayton Kershaw isn’t coming back on one day’s rest. The rest of the Dodgers pitching staff couldn’t do much better than their co-aces, who surrendered a total of three runs in the first two games of the series. But that’s what they’ll essentially have to do in order to keep this going past Wednesday night, while the offense, scoreless in the last 22 innings, tries to figure out if Hanley Ramirez can make a return and if Yasiel Puig (0-for-10 with six strikeouts in this series) knows where the holes are in his bat. “We started off this season on a low note and we started this series on a low note,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “We have the ability to turn it around. Stay with us just like you did during the year and we’ll turn it around.” Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will make things even tougher on them in Game 3 against the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, while Lance Lynn is expected to go in Game 4 against Ricky Nolasco, unless he’s bumped again, this time for Greinke.
Game 4 at Dodger Stadium, Tuesday, 5 p.m., TBS:
Game 5 at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, 1 p.m., TBS
If necessary: Game 6 at St. Louis, Friday, 5 p.m., TBS
If necessary: Game 7 at St. Louis, Saturday, 5 p.m., TBS
THE BEST OF THE REST:
NFL WEEK 6:
INDIANAPOLIS at SAN DIEGO, 5:40 p.m., ESPN:
The Chargers are supposed to break out their powder blue jerseys for the first time this year. For the first time since 2011, the Colts will also be on Monday Night Football, against a team that has won five of the last six matchups, including twice in the playoffs.
AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES:
BOSTON vs. DETROIT:
Game 3 at Detroit, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11:
John Lackey against Justin Verlander at Tiger Stadium sizes up to be one to remember. Verlander has a 7-4 post-season career record – 4-0 in division series, 3-1 in the ALCS. Boston’s Mike Napoli is 7-for-23 (.304) lifetime against Verlander, including 3-for-5 in the 2011 ALCS as a member of the Texas Rangers. Lackey wasn’t sharp in the ALDS against Tampa Bay, giving up four runs on seven hits in only 51⁄3 innings of a 7-4 victory.
Game 4 at Detroit, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11
Game 5 at Detroit, Thursday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11
Game 6 at Boston, Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Channel 11
Game 7 at Boston, Sunday, 4 p.m., Channel 11
NHL: KINGS at TAMPA BAY, 4:30 p.m., FSW:
The Lightning may have been picked by many to be holding down the bottom of the Eastern Conference but they haven’t played that way to start the season.
Also this week:
Kings at Nashville, 5 p.m. Thursday, FSW
Kings vs. Dallas, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, FSW
LAKERS vs. GOLDEN STATE, in Beijing, China, 4:30 a.m., TWC SportsNet:
When these two teams get together in a foreign land for a practice game, you’ve got to throw out all the records. And get up pretty early in the morning. Any other clichés? Just hang onto your passports. It’s time for Kobe to improve on his world brand, even without playing.
Also this week:
Lakers vs. Golden State in Shanghai, China, 4:30 a.m. Friday, TWC SportsNet
WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: U.S. at Panama, 6:25 p.m., beIN Sports:
Can the U.S. improve on their No. 13 spot in the FIFA world rankings? Maybe if they clinch their group title in their final CONCACAF qualifier, coming off Friday’s game against Jamaica, a team it beat in June, 2-0, at Seattle on goals by Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson. “We want to finish qualifying on a high note and prove a point in our region,” said coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We don’t view these games as the end of World Cup qualifying. For us, it’s the start of preparations for the World Cup, and therefore we have to continue to raise the bar. We have had such amazing support from our fans throughout the last two years, and we owe it to them to put our best foot forward.”
DUCKS vs. CALGARY, Honda Center, 7 p.m., Prime:
The Flames, fourth in the league with a 3.6 goals-per-gave average, have had five days off since their last win. The Ducks are fifth in the league at 3.5 GPG.
Also this week:
Ducks vs. Phoenix, Honda Center, 7 p.m. Friday, FSW
Ducks vs. Dallas, Honda Center, 5 p.m. Sunday, Prime
GALAXY vs. MONTREAL, StubHub Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
The impact this will have on the playoffs depends, perhaps, on how the Galaxy handle the Impact at this late point in the season. Will Landon Donovan be back from the previous day’s World Cup qualifier in time?
PGA GRAND SLAM OF GOLF, from Bermuda, final day:
The foursome consists of Masters champ Adam Scott, U.S. Open champ Justin Rose, PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and not British Open champ Phil Mickelsen. The later bailed out, because of “end-of-season scheduling conflicts,” leaving Padraig Harrington, a three-time major champ and the winner of this thing last year, to take his spot at the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda for a $1.35 million purse. Mickelson has declined this event three times now — he didn’t when it was in Hawaii in 2004 and ’05.
TNT has coverage delayed from 4-8 p.m.; it’s also delayed Tuesday (4-7 p.m.).
USC at NOTRE DAME, 4:30 p.m., Channel 4:
Rather than rehash what happened when these two played a year ago – the top-ranked Irish held off the Matt Barkley-less and unranked Trojans, 22-13, at the Coliseum – go back to their last South Bend meeting. USC’s 31-17 victory was their unprecedented fifth win in a row in Indiana, in what was the first night game at Notre Dame Stadium in 21 years. Key play in that one: USC held a 17-10 lead when Notre Dame, wearing its new shiny gold helmets, drove to the Trojans 1 yard line and were about to tie it in the third quarter when a fumbled snap was returned by USC’s Jawanza Starling all the back for a touchdown and a 24-10 lead. Notre Dame still leads the all time series, 44-35-5.
UCLA at STANFORD, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
Stanford’s stunning loss at Salt Lake City on Saturday, ending a 13-game winning streak, may take some of the luster off this one. But not too much. So how is it that the Bruins have to play at Stanford two years in a row? Because last year’s meeting in Palo Alto on Nov. 30 was for the Pac-12 championship. The sixth-ranked Cardinal pulled out a 27-24 decision over the 16th-ranked Bruins before a sparse crowd announced at 31,622, marking back-to-back wins over UCLA in consecutive weeks. Stanford also knocked off UCLA at the Rose Bowl in the regular-season finale, 35-17, when all had already been settled in the division races. Stanford, by the way, has beaten UCLA in five straight games.
IRL MAVTV 500, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, 5 p.m., NBC Sports Net:
For the season-ending race, some of the star power is gone as Dario Franchitti recovers from an Oct. 6 crash in Houston. Ganassi Racing has replaced the four-time IRL series champ and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner with Alex Tagliani, who drove the first 13 races of the season for Bryan Herta Autosport. Franchitti, eighth in the driver’s standings, was just two seconds behind 2013 MavTV winner Ed Carpenter in last year’s finale at Fontana. Scott Dixon, a four-time winner this season with 546 points, leads Helio Castroneves by 25 points going into this finale. Defending series champ Ryan Hunter-Reay is sixth in the standings with 446, just behind teammate Marco Andretti.
Indy Lights Race, Saturday at 2:30 p.m., NBC SportsNet
NFL WEEK 7:
DENVER at INDIANAPOLIS, 5:30 p.m. , Channel 4:
Yup, Peyton Manning is back in Indy. With any Andrew Luck, the Colts’ fans can have it both ways: A victory, and watching Manning leave the field without injury.
SAN DIEGO at JACKSONVILLE, 10 a.m., Channel 2:
Because L.A. is locked in here, we’re stuck with the Jaguars, a team that even the Jacksonville market doesn’t want to see.
AVP CHAMPIONSHIPS, at Huntington Beach Pier, men’s final, 3 p.m., women’s final, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Net:
Talk about an endless summer. The last of seven stops on the abbreviated pro beach tour has Kerri Walsh Jennings, Phil Dalhausser, Todd Rogers, Jen Kessy, April Ross, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in the field. Open qualifying starts Thursday.