Friday is the start of a three-game set between NL West rivals when the San Francisco Giants head to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers. The rivalry hasn’t really been that competitive the last couple of seasons with how dominant the Dodgers have been. The last three seasons the Dodgers have taken the season series against their California rivals.
Not much has changed this season, as LA is one of the best teams in baseball, and San Francisco is struggling yet again. The Dodgers are only one of two teams in baseball with 92 wins, while the Giants are 24 games back in the division.
For San Francisco, Jeff Samardzija will get the ball and make his 29th start of the season. Samardzija is having yet another mediocre season, as has been the tune of his career. He’s only had one winning season in the last seven years, and this season is no different. He’s 9-11 with a 3.61 ERA, which is actually his best mark in five years.
Samardzija is currently on a four-start winless streak and only has two wins since mid-July. However, on the bright side, he has pitched fairly well against LA this season, all things considered. The first time out, he pitched five scoreless innings and gave up only two hits. While he got a no-decision, the Giants actually won the game 3-2. His second start against LA lasted into the sixth inning, but he gave up three runs total and took the loss.
For the Dodgers, future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for his 25th start of the season. As good as Kershaw has been, this might be the best we’ve seen him in five or so years. He should pass the 175-inning mark for the first time in four seasons, and could finish with 15 wins for the second time in four seasons.
His ERA has consistently been under 3.00 his entire career, and 2019 is no different at 2.96. Unfortunately for San Francisco, they have two owners. One is Charles Johnson. The other is Clayton Kershaw.
In his career, Kershaw is 23-11 with a whopping 1.68 earned run average against the Giants. That rings true again this season, as he is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA against San Francisco. Even that one loss he took, he went seven innings and only gave up one run.
Batters to Watch
The only answer here for the Dodgers is MVP frontrunner Cody Bellinger. Bellinger has been dynamite all season, batting .308 with 44 home runs and 104 RBI. He has had hits in seven of his last nine games, including two home runs and three doubles. On the bright side for Giants fans, he’s coming off his worst month of the season. He batted only .235 in August but still hit eight home runs.
The Giants haven’t had much to brag about this season, but the trade they made to acquire Kevin Pillar is one. He’s been the best hitter on the team, batting .268 with 21 homers and 72 RBI.
Is it that hard? Dodgers win. Not even a question.