THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
MLB: DODGERS vs. ANGELS
Details/TV: At Dodger Stadium, Monday and Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.; At Angel Stadium, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:05 p.m., SportsNet L.A. and FSW:
By the time this anticipated four-game, home-and-home, so-called World Series preview is finished, the Dodgers and Angels will have played each other 100 times in the regular season since inter-league play began in 1997 (yes, it’s been that long). And there’s no denying that the Dodgers need a few more years to catch up as they’re caught in a traffic jam in the Freeway Series standings (yes, it will take that long). Forget that long-standing exhibition thing they still do before each season. Focus on the fact the Angels have won 56 of the 96 when-it-counts meetings, including 26 of the last 40, and it could be a 60-40 split when this series ends. The pitching-stretched Angels won’t have Jered Weaver available, since he threw Sunday in Tampa — he beat the Dodgers 4-3 last year. But to show how to show how much a difference a year makes, the pitchers of record in those four games played in late May 2013 included Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and Robert Coello for the Angels (with Ernesto Frieri racking up two saves) while it was Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Ronald Belisario getting decisions for the Dodgers, and Brandon League netting a save. Former Angels Zack Greinke and Dan Haren will make appearances here for the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw, who hasn’t lost a game since May 28 and seen his ERA drop to 1.71, sports just a 2-2 record against the Angels lifetime in five starts with a 3.74 ERA. He is set to go Tuesday. At least with FSW handling all four games, a city mostly in the dark on other nights can see these all in one shape or form.
The rest of the week includes Tiger Woods paired up with Phil Mickelsen for the first two rounds of the 96th PGA Tour Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., the new-look Red Sox visiting Anaheim, while the Dodgers go to Milwaukee, USC and UCLA starting fall training camp, and Michael Phelps making a splash in Irvine for the U.S. National Championships. Here’s a link to the week ahead.