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Dodgers-Giants: A series of great pitching matchups & very good offense

Best two records in the National League meet at Dodger Stadium.

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers are on pace for 98 wins and are tied for the fourth-best record in MLB, but it seems like every other Zoom call features questions about how the team can turn things around. There are valid reasons for this feeling, as the Dodgers haven’t been consistent, especially on offense, even beyond the injuries.

“We have a lot of good players. I think that the players we plug in, on the pitching side and the position-player side, just gotta be good, and play good,” manager Dave Roberts said Sunday. “It certainly makes us better when you’re at full strength. But I just try not to go there.”

Another reason the preseason-favorite Dodgers are looked upon more critically is their opponent for the next two nights at Dodger Stadium. The Giants come to town with the best record in baseball, and a 3½-game lead in the division.

One of the ways San Francisco improved was by upgrading the depth. There are fewer holes, and sometimes none at all, in their lineup. They have nine players with at least 100 plate appearances and a 100 wRC+ (plus Donovan Solano at 99), and eight of those players are at 122 or higher.

The Dodgers also have nine such 100 wRC+ players, plus Cody Bellinger and his 115 wRC+ lurking with 89 plate appearances, and six players at or above 122 wRC+.

The Giants lead the National League in home runs (114) and are second in runs scored per game (4.96), behind only the Dodgers (5.08).

By wRC+, which adjusts for park and league, the Dodgers are tops at 111, with the Giants right behind at 110. But San Francisco seems better balanced.

A tale of two very good offenses

Team wRC+ vs. RHP wRC+ vs. LHP PA with platoon advantage
Team wRC+ vs. RHP wRC+ vs. LHP PA with platoon advantage
Giants 112 (2nd) 106 (1st) 57.9%
Dodgers 118 (1st) 95 (9th) 51.4%
ranks are within National League Source: FanGraphs

Having so many good hitters to plug into the lineup, Giants hitters have had the platoon advantage — left-handed batter facing a right-handed pitcher, and vice versa — in 57.9 percent of their trips to the plate this year, compared to 51.4 percent for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have had problems with left-handed pitchers this season, more specifically against southpaw starters, who own a 3.15 ERA in 23 games against Los Angeles this season.

San Francisco will not use a left-handed starter in this two-game series, but will instead throw their two best starters all year. The Dodgers have their two best ERAs in the rotation heading to the mound in this series.

Dodgers-Giants pitching matchups

Day Pitcher ERA FIP K rate IP/start
Day Pitcher ERA FIP K rate IP/start
Mon Anthony DeSclafani 2.77 (19th) 3.33 (22nd) 23.1% (42nd) 5.84 (29th)
Mon Trevor Bauer 2.57 (16th) 3.93 (40th) 31.9% (8th) 6.35 (6th)
Tue Kevin Gausman 1.49 (2nd) 2.39 (3rd) 30.8% (14th) 6.44 (4th)
Tue Walker Buehler 2.51 (15th) 3.69 (37th) 25.2% (30th) 6.44 (4th)
MLB ranks among 63 qualified starters Source: Baseball Reference & FanGraphs

The Dodgers tagged DeSclafani for 10 runs on May 23 in San Francisco, and the right-hander has allowed only six runs in five starts since. He’s allowed only 18 runs in his 14 other starts this season, including just two against the Dodgers five days later in Los Angeles.

Game info

Teams: Dodgers (47-31) vs. Giants (50-27)

Location: Dodger Stadium

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA