Very few in baseball could have predicted that the Giants would be at the top of the division just past the halfway point of May. And absolutely no one could have predicted they would have the best record in baseball playing in the same division as the Dodgers.
But the 2 NL West rivals finally get to play their first games tonight in San Francisco, and it starts at a time where the Giants are playing great baseball. The Dodgers had a rough stretch of games in May as well but just came off of an 8-1 homestand capped off by a 4-game sweep of the Diamondbacks.
The funny thing about the Giants is that they’re not doing anything extremely well. They don’t lead the NL in any important offensive or defensive categories, but they’re finding ways to get guys on and move them over. They’re also getting big outs when they need them most.
Friday Night: Trevor Bauer vs. Alex Wood
Alex Wood came over from the Dodgers and has flat-out shoved since his arrival. Wood is putting up crazy reverse splits, holding right-handed batters to a low .165 average versus .300 for left-handers. He’s not striking out a ton of batters, but he’s got his walk totals down from years past. With the struggles Los Angeles has had against southpaws, this one could be a struggle.
Saturday Night: Walker Buehler vs TBA
The Giants could go with a number of arms, including former Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir. If they do go that route, it would be his first start in the big leagues since 2016. He’s reportedly pitched very well at Triple-A but has tossed just over 6 innings in 2 appearances.
Sunday Afternoon: Julio Urias vs. Anthony DeSclafani
DeSclafani seems to have found himself since coming over from the Reds, and that’s bad news for the Dodgers. He’s another guy that’s not striking out a ton of guys but is keeping his walks down and getting a lot of groundballs. DeSclafani has also been phenomenal against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .152 average and .433 OPS.
Giants Players to Watch
Buster Posey: Posey seems to have found the fountain of youth after taking the year off. The Dodgers are going to have to attack him with a steady mix of offspeed stuff because he’s absolutely crushed fastballs. Posey is slashing .374/.451/.657 through 28 games.
Brandon Crawford: Crawford has never been a big power guy, but he’s already got 11 homeruns on the year. But the good news is that the majority of his homers have come away from Oracle Park, so it might be just a little too big for him.
Caleb Baragar: Baragar has been one of the few bright spots out of the Giants bullpen. A relief core that has combined for an ERA of 4.29 can only benefit from a guy that has allowed just 1 run in 17 games. Baragar does have a pretty high walk-rate though, something the Dodgers will look to take advantage of.