They say a series doesn't truly start until the road team wins a game. Well, I guess that only applies to a playoff series. But if we apply that concept here, the Dodgers and Giants haven’t really started their season series.
|Record||48-43 (.527)||60-30 (.667)|
|Split||22-21 away||30-13 home|
|Run diff.||+51 (8th)||+169 (2nd)|
|wRC+||107 (10th)||119 (2nd)|
|HR||111 (10th)||117 (t-7th)|
|SB||43 (18th)||58 (8th)|
|ERA||3.84 (12th)||2.96 (1st)|
|FIP||3.38 (1st)||3.44 (3rd)|
|K rate||22.1% (18th)||24.6% (6th)|
|BB rate||7.3% (5th)||6.7% (1st)|
The Dodgers swept two games at Dodger Stadium at the beginning of May and the Giants took all three games in the Bay Area June 10-12. But we can wait to figure that one out when the two clubs open August up north at Oracle Park.
The two franchises start the four-game series Thursday in much different places in terms of the plan for the rest of the year. With the trade deadline only two weeks away on August 2, the Dodgers are exploring ways to make themselves better for the playoffs while the Giants are trying to decide if they’re buyers or sellers.
Starting with the three-game sweep of the Dodgers, San Francisco won seven of eight in mid-June to pull within three games of first. But they lost 14 of the next 18 to throw their season into jeopardy, falling to 12.5-games back.
Having said all that, the Giants have won seven of their last 10 and some of their hitters are doing well in July. Wilmer Flores is 15-or-48 (.316) with four homers and 11 RBI in 17 games played, Brandon Belt is 13-for-39 (.333) with three homers and Darin Ruf is 9-for-33 (.273) with three home runs of his own.
There is a long way to go in the season and for the time being, the Giants are only a half-game out for the newly added third wild card spot, winning seven of 10 heading to the break to keep them in the hunt. The Dodgers could play a significant role in keeping the Giants out of the playoffs since they play their rival 14 of the next 55 games.
Los Angeles starts their second half hoping to continue the momentum started by winning 15 of their last 17. At the heart of the upswing is first baseman Freddie Freeman reaching base in 20 of his last 29 plate appearances. Freeman has won NL player of the week honors in two of the last four weeks and is hitting a scorching .382/.445/.677/1.122 with 21 extra-base hits and 29 RBI since June 18.
The pitching matchups have yet to be determined but there will be plenty of opportunity to see this series outside of LA. Thursday will be nationally televised on ESPN (7:09 p.m. PT), Friday will be on SportsNet LA but also on MLB Network (7:10 p.m.) for out-of-market viewers and Saturday will be nationally televised on FOX (4:15 p.m.). Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. start will be the usual SportsNet LA experience.