In the weeks leading up to their series with the rival San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers adjusted their starting rotation so that Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw would both start in the three-game set.
However, before the pair of aces get their opportunity to take the hill, Brett Anderson starts Monday’s series opener in what will be his fifth look this season at the team that’s been a thorn in his side.
Given the division race between the Dodgers and Giants, Anderson said he’s looking forward to the anticipated series, according to ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
We’ve still got quite a bit of time left and you try to treat it like any other start, but you say that now and then when you get out there, you get amped up and the crowd will be amped up and kind of crazy,” Anderson said. “But that’s one of the reasons why I signed with the Dodgers is to pitch in games like this. It’s kind of funny that I’m leading that series off, but I’ll take it. I’m excited to be healthy at this point and go out there and try to prove why they signed me as well. “Any time you face the Giants, it’s a big game just because of the rivalry, but at this time of the season it means a little bit more.”
Los Angeles enters play with a 3.5-game lead in the National League West, which is a better standing than the 2.5 games they led the Giants for over much of the last week; their lead was cut to 1.5 games on Aug. 21.
With his success tied to inducing ground-ball outs, Anderson has been hurt by infield singles when he’s faced the Giants this season. On the year he’s 1-2 in four starts against San Francisco with a 4.71 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.
The Dodgers have dropped nine of 12 to their rival this season, but are 3-3 in the games played at Dodger Stadium. Following Monday’s Anderson-Jake Peavy matchup, Greinke and Madison Bumgarner are slated for Tuesday, with Kershaw and Mike Leake the probables for the series finale.
Excluding the next three games in Los Angeles, there are four remaining between the Dodgers and Giants — all to be played at AT&T Park beginning Sept. 28.