Play It Forward — Sept. 29-Oct. 5 on your sports calendar: An MLB postseason fit for a So Cal dentist

orenstein_Candyland-1949THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

MLB PLAYOFFS:

NL DIVISION SERIES: DODGERS vs. ST. LOUIS
Details/TV: At Dodger Stadium, Game 1: Friday, 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

AL DIVISION SERIES: ANGELS vs. OAKLAND/KANSAS CITY
Details/TV: At Angel Stadium, Game 1:  6 or 6:30 p.m., TBS

091114-mlb-2014postseason-pi-mpIf we’re going to continue to excite ourselves in this mental sweet spot and jump three giant steps head on the Candyland board in anticipation of the first World Series/Freeway Series title match up between the Dodgers and Angels, now is the time to check your insulin levels. Fill all cavities with realistic data and properly brush up on just what hurdles lie ahead before venturing through the Gumdrop Mountains. A year ago, the Cardinals became nothing more than a Molasses Swamp for the Dodgers, with Yasiel Puig’s meltdown coinciding with how  Clayton Kershaw’s final pitching performance felt like a root canal for the entire city. “That experience will help, especially since we have basically the same team,” Kershaw said Sunday morning before the final game of the regular season. “For me, personally, all of what happened will give me a better idea on what’s coming up.”  In nine post-season appearances (six starts), Kershaw has just a 1-3 mark and 4.23 ERA, with two of those losses to St. Louis a year ago. There’s no sugar coating the Angels’ three-year post-season drought, either. They may have the big-league’s best record going in, but there’s doubt if Josh Hamilton will be healthy enough. baseball-lollipopTo get through the Lollipop Woods here, make sure veteran ace Jered Weaver sets the tone in his Game 1 start. Weaver has a 2-1 career mark and 1.88 ERA in his division series appearances from 2007, ‘08 and ‘09.  The 18-game winner, who’ll next pitch on the day before he turns 32, has lost just three games since the All-Star break, one of them in what was essentially a tune-up against the Mariners in his final start. The Angels won 10 of the 19 meetings against Oakland this season as the two battled for the AL West title for a long while.

Continuing the NLDS for the Dodgers this week:
Game 2: At Dodger Stadium, Saturday, 6:30 p.m., MLB Network

Continuing the ALDS for the Angels this week:
Game 2: At Angel Stadium, Friday, TBA, TBS
Game 3: At Oakland/Kansas City, Sunday, TBA, TBS

Also:
AL Wildcard game: Oakland at Kansas City, Tuesday at 5 p.m., TBS
NL Wildcard game: San Francisco at Pittsburgh, Wednesday at 5 p.m., ESPN
NLCS: San Francisco/Pittsburgh at Washington, Game 1: Friday, TBA, Fox Sports 1
ALCS: Detroit at Baltimore, Game 1: Thursday, TBA., TBS

THE REST OF THE WEEK:

They’ve figured out that after USC plays Arizona State at the Coliseum on Saturday (4:30 p.m., Channel 11), then UCLA can play host to Utah at the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN), which also works well for those Westwood fans who celebrate Yom Kipper. plus the Lakers and Clippers start training camps. Need more? It’s linked here.

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