College Prep Professional Sports

SPORTS DIGEST: Dodgers vs. Yankees won’t be World Series preview

It could be a World Series preview.

The New York Yankees visit Dodger Stadium Aug. 23-25 in a three-game series that features the teams with the best record in the Major Leagues.

The Dodgers and Yankees are both 83-44 on the season, two games ahead of the Houston Astros for the best record in baseball.

The Dodgers have done it with the deepest roster in baseball: a lineup full of sluggers, a starting rotation full of aces and a bullpen that is the team’s weakest link.

Like the Dodgers, the Yankees can slug with the best teams in baseball. They have 229 home runs this season, six more than the Dodgers. They have scored 749 runs compared to the Dodgers’ 709.

Eleven Yankees already have 10 or more home runs, the Dodgers have eight players in double digits and three more players sitting at nine.

If there’s a difference in the two teams it’s pitching. The Dodgers have a team earned run average of 3.35. The Yankees have a 4.51 ERA.

The Yankees best starter is Domingo German, who is 16-3 with a 4.15 ERA, the best on the starting staff. The Dodgers worst starter in terms of ERA is Kenta Maeda, whose ERA is 4.18.

The Yankees biggest edge may be in the bullpen. Aroldis Chapman anchors the bullpen with 35 saves with a fastball that reaches 100 miles an hour. Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton and Tommy Kahnle are the bridge to Chapman.

Combined they are 11-5. Kahnle has the highest ERA at 2.82.

The Dodgers only relief pitcher with an ERA better than that is Julio Urias at 2.53. And he might be in the starting rotation come the playoffs.

The Yankees have been plagued by injuries all year. They currently have 16 players on the injured list. Those players take up $79 million of payroll and include Giancarlo Stanton, who has played in only nine games all season; center fielder Aaron Hicks (13 home runs in 70 games); and first baseman Luke Voit (19 homers in 94 games).

The Dodgers figure to start Hyun-Jin Ryu Aug. 23 and Clayton Kershaw Aug. 25, with rookie Tony Gonsolin possibly in the middle.

Both the Aug. 24 and 25 games will be nationally televised by FOX and ESPN, respectively.

Personally, I don’t think the series will be a World Series preview. The Yankees don’t have enough pitching to get past the Houston Astros in a seven-game playoff series.

But the Dodgers and Yankees are two of the best franchises in the history of baseball. They have met in the World Series 11 times and though the Yankees have an 8-3 record in those series, the last six series are 3-3.

ANOTHER RIVALRY: The rivalry between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club pales in comparison to the Dodgers-Yankees. After all, LAFC is only in its second year of existence and has yet to beat the Galaxy in three tries over the two years.

LAFC gets its last chance this season to defeat their crosstown rivals when they meet at 7:35 p.m. Aug. 25 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

LAFC continues to have the best record in Major League Soccer, with 18 wins, three losses and four ties. They have already clinched a playoff berth.

The Galaxy is third in the Western Division with a record of 13-11-2.

Carlos Vela continues to have a most valuable player kind of season for LAFC. He leads the league with 24 goals and is tied for second in assists with 15.

The Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is third in the league in scoring with 20 goals and goalie David Bingham leads the league in saves with 109 while recording eight shutouts.

I’m planning my television viewing schedule Sunday to go from the Dodgers-Yankees on ESPN to LAFC-Galaxy on Fox Sports 1. Just call it Rivalry Sunday.

WINNING AGAIN: I wrote about the Sparks last week for the first time all season and they went out and lost two games in a row.

They bounced back Aug. 20, defeating the Minnesota Lynx, 81-71, behind 20 points and 10 rebounds by Candace Parker. Chelsea Gray added 17 points and Alexis Jones scored 15, 14 in the second quarter when the Sparks scored 31 points to take a 49-32 lead. The Sparks continue to trail Las Vegas in the Western Conference standings, two games back with eight games to play.

NEWS AND NOTES: The high school football season gets underway this week. If you can’t get out to a local game, two of the best teams in the Southland, the state and the nation face each other with Santa Ana Mater Dei facing Corona Centennial. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket at 7:30 p.m.

Both schools have four – and five-star recruits who will be playing college football next year.

The teams could meet again for the CIF Southern Section open division championship. …

USC head coach Clay Helton announced that JT Daniels had won the starting quarterback job for the Trojans this year. Like the rest of the team, Daniels was inconsistent as a freshman last year. At least he had an excuse. He should have been attending classes as a senior at Mater Dei last year. …

I’ve always liked the way Joakim Noah played basketball since he was in college at Florida and leading the Gators to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007. At 34, I’m not sure how much he has left in the tank, but I would rather see the Lakers sign him than Dwight Howard to replace DeMarcus Cousins, who will miss the 2019-20 season after tearing a knee ligament last week.

If healthy, Noah will play hard and he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be happy. If Rob Pelinka is thinking about signing Howard he needs to talk to his former client, Kobe Bryant. I’m sure Kobe will give Pelinka an earful, if he hasn’t already.