With Clayton Kershaw having an uncharacteristically slow start and two other starting pitchers injured and out for the year as we head into June, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves battling to hold on to their first place rank in the National League West — with the San Francisco Giants close behind them.
The battle continues with the St. Louis Cardinals coming to Dodger Stadium June 4-7, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks June 8-10. Then, the Texas Rangers visit for a two game set June 17-18, immediately followed by the San Francisco Giants — in what will likely be a battle for first place — June 19-21. The Dodgers will then be out of town for the rest of the month.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have managed to climb over the .500 mark, but still find themselves in second place in the American League West, a handful of games behind the Houston Astros.
The Angels open the month at home at Angel Stadium, hosting the Tampa Bay Rays June 1-3. After that, they are on the road until they host the Oakland Athletics June 12-14 and a quick, two-game battle with the Arizona Diamondbacks June 15-16. They will then have a chance to gain on the first place Astros, who are coming to town June 22-24, followed by the Seattle Mariners June 26-28. The Angeles close out the month hosting the always popular (to love or hate) New York Yankees June 29-30.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres, who join the Dodgers in the National League West, are struggling to stay ahead of the Colorado Rockies and out of last place.
The New York Mets visit the Padres at Petco Park June 1-3, followed by the Dodgers June 12-14, the Oakland Athletics June 15-16 and the Arizona Diamondbacks June 26-28. The Padres close out the month on June 30, facing the Seattle Mariners.
If you prefer minor league baseball and the unique charms it offers, Southern California is home to the Lancaster JetHawks, the Inland Empire 66ers, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Lake Elsinore Storm and the High Desert Mavericks — all of which have plenty of exciting June matchups.
Continuing the baseball theme, the NCAA baseball playoffs are now in progress. In the Super Regionals, which will take place in Southern California at Jackie Robinson Stadium, the Los Angeles regional champion will play the Lake Elsinore regional champion, Virginia, in a best-of-three battle to determine who moves on to the College World Series in Omaha Nebraska later this month. The Los Angeles regional champion will be determined in a June 1 game between the nation’s top-ranked team, UCLA, and Maryland — a game that also takes place at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Moving on to other sports, women’s basketball is getting started, and our own Los Angeles Sparks will open their home season with the Seattle Storm at the Staples Center on June 14, followed by the Minnesota Lynx on June 16 and the Connecticut Sun on June 21.
For soccer fans, the LA Galaxy has the Vancouver Whitecaps visiting the StubHub Center on June 6, followed by the PSA Elite on June 17 and the Philadelphia Union on June 20, before they close out the month against the Portland Timbers on June 24.
And, while June is the loneliest month for fans of the NFL, you can get your football fix at the Honda Center in Anaheim with our local arena football team, the Los Angeles Kiss. They’ll be hosting the Portland Thunder on June 7, the Philadelphia Soul on June 20 and will close out the month with the Arizona Rattlers on June 27.
For all the events listed above, detailed information is available on the team and event websites. Be sure to check the dates, times and ticket availability. And, please know that this short column only touches the surface of the various sporting events available for your viewing pleasure. I typically try to cover the “bigger events” and a couple of those that might be less known. If you find an upcoming event that you think would be of interest, or one I missed this month but should note for next year, just drop me a line. Enjoy!