Every week during the 2017 season, we’ll check in with California’s five MLB teams. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who has the cheapest ticket this week and who will play in the best series? The Golden State is home to the best position player in baseball, the sport’s best pitcher, and the 25 October vacationers who play for the San Diego Padres.
Written by Kyle Magin
Best Record Last Week: Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2
Worst Record Last Week: San Diego Padres, 1-4.
Best Attendance (cumulative avg.): Dodgers, 46,302.
Worst Attendance (cumulative avg.): Oakland Athletics, 18,503.
Huell Howser Memorial ‘Is This Guy Serious!?’ Outstanding Performance Video:
Cody Bellinger *crushed* the second pitch he saw against the Nationals Saturday for a solo home run to set the National League’s rookie round-trip record at 38. Bellinger and his Dodgers teammates are re-heating after going prolifically cold earlier this month, and the NL is on notice that the king is back.
.@Cody_Bellinger crushed a baseball today?
*Pretends to be shocked.* pic.twitter.com/cwU0a0VOFx
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 16, 2017
Gob Bluth’s Huge Mistake of the Week: It’s not fair that Los Angeles Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia should come in again for this ignominious honor during the finest season of his fine career, but here we are. Pitching to the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre on Sunday (a double, 2 RBI in a 4-2 victory) KILLED the Angels, and wasn’t necessary. Beltre (.310, .923 OPS), batting cleanup, has iffy protection in left fielder Nomar Mazara and catcher Robinson Chirinos, who are both much more assured strikeout victims than the future Hall of Famer. Besides, Beltre is hurt, so why the Angels didn’t let him just clog the basepaths is a total mystery to me.
Cheapest Ticket This Week: $6, Colorado Rockies @ San Francisco Giants, 9/19.
California Series to Watch: The Angels are hanging on to their playoff hopes by their fingernails, sliding to 2 games behind the Twins for the final wild card spot on Sunday with the Rangers loss. With two weeks to go, there’s a razor-thin margin for error. Because of that, I’m calling both of their series this week the Golden State’s most important, starting with their three 9/19-9/21 tilts vs. Cleveland. Two (Monday and Tuesday) will be nationally televised on ESPN, and they’ll likely need to take two of three to stay in spitting distance of the Twins. Starting Friday, they kick off a three-game 9/22-9/24 set at Houston, with another nationally-televised showdown Sunday against the ‘Stros. The schedule lets up significantly after that, with series against the White Sox and Mariners to close out the 2017 regular season campaign.
Athletics: 9/18-9/20 @ Tigers, 9/22-9/24 vs. Rangers.
Giants: 9/19-9/20 vs. Rockies, 9/22-9/24 @ Dodgers.
Dodgers: 9/18-9/21 @ Phillies, 9/22-9/24 vs. Giants.
Angels: 9/19-9/21 vs. Indians, 9/22-9/24 @ Astros.
Padres: 9/18-9/20 vs. Diamondbacks, 9/21-9/24 vs. Rockies.
Home series in bold.