California Baseball Weekly: Snowmaker

Ice in Kansas City Sunday forced Shohei Ohtani's next start back two days—to the Big A, against the Red Sox. Photo

Every week during the 2018 baseball season, we’ll check in on California’s five MLB teams. Find out who’s winning, who’s losing, and which stadium has the cheapest ticket. The sport’s best pitcher and best hitter call the state home (that might be the same dude), so let’s put it down for Californ-I-A.

Best record this week: Los Angeles Angels, 6-0

Worst record this week: San Francisco Giants, 2-5

Best attendance: Los Angeles Dodgers, 46,701

Worst attendance: Oakland Athletics, 15,202

Huell Howser Memorial ‘Is This Guy Serious!?’ Outstanding Performance Video:

Mike Trout put one out to left field in the snow in Kansas City on Saturday. Despite the weather, the Halos’ center fielder is white-hot, going 10 for his last 26 ABs with 4 home runs after a (for him) pedestrian early season. The Angels’ are on a 7-game win streak largely because Trout is designing another MVP campaign.

Gob Bluth’s Huge Mistake of the Week: 

The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda got pantsed on two wild pitches in Friday’s 8-7 loss to the Diamondbacks. One can’t help but wonder if Dave Roberts’ inability to find more meaningful work for Maeda between his first start of the season on March 31 and his second Friday (he threw three innings in relief work between the two) didn’t contribute to some of his pitcher’s rustiness.

Cheapest ticket this week: Chicago White Sox @ Oakland Athletics, FREEThe A’s are letting everybody in for nothing on Tuesday to celebrate their 50th year in Oakland. It’s a promotion that would bring a tear to Charlie O. Finley’s eye… largely because he probably couldn’t believe that his beloved club is still playing in the concrete dump that is the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The A’s may still draw less than 20,000 in their forgotten corner of baseball’s memory lane.

California Series to Watch: Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox, 4/17-4/19. As if the clash of baseball’s two hottest teams needed more sizzle, this series has now got it: Shohei Ohtani will start game 1 for the Halos. After a snow-out Sunday in Kansas City, Ohtani will get his first shot at a non-A’s team Tuesday night under the Big A. This is a dream matchup for the league office and we can only hope the product lives up to the hype (it probably won’t.) Look for the two-way Japanese phenom to pick up a bat in Thursday’s game.

Upcoming Games

  • Los Angeles Angels: 4/17-4/19 vs. Boston Red Sox, 4/20-4/22 vs. Giants
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: 4/16-4/18 @ Padres, 4/20-4/22 vs. Washington Nationals
  • Oakland Athletics: 4/16-4/18 vs. Chicago White Sox, 4/20-4/22 vs. Red Sox
  • San Diego Padres: 4/16-4/18 vs. Dodgers, 4/20-4/22 @ Arizona Diamondbacks
  • San Francisco Giants: 4/17-4/19 @ Diamondbacks, 4/20-4/22 @ Angels

Notes: Ohtani collected his first triple and double this week, and clocked the fifth-fastest time of the season from home-third… The A’s Andrew Triggs has made two straight solid starts and has an ERA+ of 1.40. He’s the type of cheap piece who could draw interest closer to the trade deadline…