Here are the keys to the series.
1. Contain Hunter Pence:
Hunter Pence had a historic series against the Dodgers when the teams last met in Los Angeles. Pence went 8-17 with five home runs and 12 RBIs. He single handedly won the series for the Giants and hurt the Dodgers’ chances at finishing with the NL’s best record.
However, since the series with the Dodgers, Pence is only 1-for-21 with 4 walks & 7 strikeouts as he looks to get back on track against Dodger pitching.
2. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco Must Dominate:
The Dodgers need Ryu and Nolasco to bring their best stuff to the mound in order to give the Dodgers the best chance to win. More importantly,they’re both competing for the Game 3 start behind Kershaw and Greinke as Nolasco has struggled since his torrid start to his Dodger career.
In his last start against the Giants, Nolasco only lasted an 1.1 innings, allowing seven hits and five earned runs as he looks to right the ship.
Once again, the offense will be a key for the Dodgers to get a series victory. In their three game series against the Padres, the Dodgers only pushed across five runs in the three games. While that might be enough to beat the Padres, they can’t expect to win games like that in the playoffs.
Just like the beginning of the season, the Dodgers do a very good job at getting on base, but they have trouble getting those runners home.
Prediction: The Dodgers need these wins and they’ll grab all three in San Francisco. It will be a sweep at ATT Park and one could only hope the Dodgers jump into McCovey Cove to celebrate their three victories.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!