The Dodgers won their fourth straight game over the Giants without a loss this season as they started the four-game series with a win. It’s far from panic time, but the Giants would feel much better with a win against L.A.
San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday, 28 May 2021, 10:10 PM ET at Dodger Stadium
It’s still May, with plenty of season left for the best sportsbooks, and the Giants and Dodgers still have 15 head-to-head games remaining this season.
The Dodgers knocked off San Francisco Thursday night in the opener of the four-game weekend series between the two rivals. The win comes on the heels of a three-game sweep by Los Angeles in San Francisco last weekend and puts L.A. up 4-0 in the season series.
The Giants have been a surprise contender in the National League West, leading the division for a month against two teams that looked much better on paper entering the season, the Padres and Dodgers. Still, the losses to the Dodgers are cause for concern for a team that many have been looking to write off as more pretender than contender.
It’s too early for a must-win game, especially since the Dodgers and Giants entered the series in a flat-footed tie for the wild card spot, a game behind the Padres. And with that said, the Giants could really use a win.
Who’s on First
Making matters worse for the Giants, the team is going through first basemen like they’re going out of style. A day after Brandon Belt was placed on the 10-day injured list with an oblique strain, his replacement, Darin Ruf, joined him on the list with a hamstring strain suffered in Wednesday’s game.
For those of you not keeping track, that would be the fourth Giants’ option at first base to go on the injured list. The team, and betting sites, hopes to get Wilmer Flores back, but not until Saturday.
Going five deep at any spot is going to test the depth chart for a team, but rookie Jason Vosler made a good first impression, hitting a home run in Wednesday’s game. After Vosler, called up to replace Belt, the next option is LaMonte Wade, called up to replace Ruf.
Wade’s more of an outfielder, but Gabe Kapler isn’t ruling him out. “He hasn’t played first base in Sacramento, but he is prepared to play the position,” Kapler said. “We want to open up the possibilities at first base and LaMonte falls into that category while Ruf is down.”
The Giants will start Anthony DeSclafani on Friday. He is 4-2, 3.54 this year, but he was hammered the last time out when the Dodgers, of course, scored 10 runs in 2.2 innings to send DeSclafani to the showers in his shortest start of the year. He had given up 12 earned runs in 53.1 innings this year before facing L.A.
Knocking on the Door
The Dodgers moved to within a half game of first-place San Diego with the 4-3 win over the Giants on Thursday and pulled a full game in front of San Francisco. They won for the ninth time in 10 games with a bullpen game in the opener against the Giants. Of course, it helps to be deep enough that you can call on a former Cy Young Award winner to start your bullpen game, and David Price got things started off on the right foot.
L.A. is still planning to get injured MVP Cody Bellinger back on Saturday, along with utility man Zack McKinstry. Both will likely be activated from the injured list.
With the bullpen game out of the way, the Dodgers can go back to their four-man ace parade. Walker Buehler will get the start on Friday. He’s 3-0, 2.78 this year and shut down the Giants in his last start, allowing one run and seven baserunners in seven innings.
The Dodgers had an emotional series against the hated Astros in between the weekend tilts with the almost as hated Giants. They were due for a letdown, and a bullpen game in the opener seemed like the prime time for it to happen. Now that the Dodgers sidestepped that trap, it’s tough to see them losing with Buehler on the mound. Look for L.A. to continue to confound S.F.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.