It’s been nearly two months since the Dodgers and Giants played one another, going back to mid-June. They start a three-game series on Monday as the Dodgers look to get back on track after losing three of four in Colorado.
Coming out of tough stretch of schedule since the All-Star break, the Dodgers are in a portion of the calendar that will see them play 29 of the final 47 against NL West opponents.
They are 26-25 to this point in their own division and with a three-horse race, winning games against NL West opponents has to happen if they are to win for the sixth straight year — or even make the postseason at all.
Just like any team, the Dodgers and Giants have both had to overcome injuries. Since they last played, Johnny Cueto was put on the shelf for the year with Tommy John Surgery and Brandon Belt had to go back on the DL with a bum knee. Jeff Samardzija is on the DL for the third time this season, while reliever Hunter Strickland broke his hand in June.
That has led to mediocrity for the Giants who had hoped trading for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria prior to the season would pay dividends. Instead, they sit at 59-60 and are six games out of first place.
The Dodgers are in a whole new world of hurt with their struggling bullpen after losing Kenley Jansen. They very well could’ve swept the Rockies over the weekend but blew two leads and Colorado walked them off twice. The late innings are something the Dodgers need to figure out — and fast.
Both teams will send lefties to the mound in all three games, starting with Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner Monday. Neither pitcher has been as dominant as they once were, fighting injuries this season and last.
Monday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA, MLB Network*)
Kershaw and Bumgarner will face each other for the 11th time in their careers. Kershaw is 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA over his last eight starts, striking out 42 against seven walks.
Bumgarner is 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA since June 21 and the lefty has allowed one or less in five of those nine starts.
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA)
Rookie Andrew Suarez is 4-8 with a 4.64 ERA in 20 starts with San Francisco in 2018. The 25-year-old has yet to face the Dodgers and has allowed 22 runs in his previous 26 2⁄3 innings.
Alex Wood will make his return from the DL looking to continue his successful run. Wood is 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA over his last nine starts.
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA, MLB Network*)
Hyun-jin Ryu makes his first start for the Dodgers since May 2 when he left a start in Arizona with a torn groin. The lefty was 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA before heading to the disabled list.
Derek Holland will make his fourth start against the Dodgers this season. Holland has allowed 12 runs (nine earned) in 13 1⁄3 innings, going 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in those starts.