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Series Preview: The Dodgers Head to The Bay For Three Games

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats in the eighth inning of the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 03, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Giants 5-3. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

The Dodgers are coming off of a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh and are currently riding a four-game win streak. That streak is the best in baseball at the moment, and they will look to continue that against their long-time rivals. Los Angeles heads up to San Francisco to take on the Giants for three games, and the Dodgers kick off another six-game road trip.

The Giants are on a three-game losing streak after getting swept at home by the Yankees. San Francisco is in the cellar of the NL West with an 11-17 record, already seven games behind the Dodgers for first place.

Pitching Matchups

Monday– Kenta Maeda vs. Jeff Samardzija

Tuesday– Walker Buehler vs. Drew Pomeranz

Wednesday– Hyun-jin Ryu vs. Madison Bumgarner

The Dodgers were lucky enough to get their starting rotation back to full health this weekend, and it gives everyone a little bit of extra rest. Kenta Maeda will start things off for Los Angeles, having last thrown on Tuesday in Chicago. Maeda got rocked in that game, allowing six earned run across four innings of work for his worst start of the season. Up until that point, Maeda had been pitching relatively well. He owned a 3.80 ERA in the previous four games, keeping his walks down but getting hammered by the long ball.

The Dodgers draw Jeff Samardzija in the first game, and he is coming off of a decent start in Toronto. He tosses 5.1 innings and allowed two runs en route to his second win of the year. Samardzija has pitched past the fifth innings just one time in his five starts this year.

Walker Buehler is coming off of another questionable start, but he looks to be slowly finding his stuff. Buehler owns a 3.86 ERA in the month of May and has been slowly developing his put-away pitches with each start. He will go up against Drew Pomeranz, who is coming off a dominant start in Toronto. He pitched six shutout innings and allowed just two hits last Wednesday.

Thankfully, the Dodgers will also get to face off against Madison Bumgarner in this series. There is never a shortage of drama in a series featuring MadBum on the mound versus Los Angeles. Bumgarner is coming off of his worst game of the season in which he gave up five earned runs in 5.2 innings against the Yankees. Of all Dodgers, Enrique Hernandez has by far the most success against him. He is a career 21-42 hitter with four home runs off of him.

Matchups To Watch

Cody Bellinger vs. The Giants’ Pitching Staff

Bellinger has been tearing the cover off of the ball all season, and he will look to continue that trend in the bay. He is currently leading baseball in almost every major offensive category, including a ridiculous 427 batting average that far exceeds Tim Anderson’s(2nd in baseball) 385 mark. Bellinger has limited experience with San Francisco’s current staff, but he has hit very well in San Francisco. Over the past two seasons, Bellinger has put together a 305 average with 1 home run and 10 walks in his 59 San Francisco at-bats.

Walker Buehler vs. The Giants’ Batters

Buehler was incredibly effective against the Giants in his first full season at the big league level. Of the current members of the team, only three players even have hit against the kid. Giants’ hitters are a combined 5-25 against Buehler for a 200 batting average. He has also earned five strikeouts and given up just one home run to Gerardo Parra.

In his career, Buehler has pitched just one game in San Francisco. He allowed three earned runs in six innings as a part of a blowout win. It was also just the second start of what would be a dominant rookie season for Buehler.

Brandon Belt vs. Joe Kelly

Don’t expect to see Joe Kelly come into a high leverage situation if Brandon Belt is at the plate. In his career, Belt is 4-5 off of Kelly with a home run and double. It’s safe to say that Kelly isn’t exactly catching Belt guessing.

Final Word

The Dodgers are still off to a hot start, and 19 wins before May 1st is a great start. Los Angeles is only two games up in the standings though, as the National League West continues to shock the rest of the league. Arizona, San Diego, and the Dodgers have combined for 51 wins already, and Colorado is not that far behind after a slow start.

Keep an eye on the west all year long, it could be a tight race.

[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-lose-caleb-ferguson-to-oblique-injury-activate-rich-hill/2019/04/28/” type=”big” color=”red”] DODGERS LOSE CALEB FERGUSON TO OBLIQUE INJURY; ACTIVATE RICH HILL[/button]

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. This platooning is out of control. Dodger are a run behind and instead of letting Verdugo bat, you pinch hit for him with a batter that is a righty (Taylor) with a .168???? Yeah, I see how we lost the 2017 WS.

  2. I agree that decision was very frustrating and made absolutely no sense. Losing to the Giants is always trying, especially when we are playing in San Francisco. Its not that I expect (unrealistic) perfection from the Dodgers. Its simply a relief not to hear (delusional) Giants’ fans ridiculous, incessant, “Beat LA” chant.

    There is, however, a silver lining to yesterday’s game. Former Dodger LEFT-HANDER Tony Watson could do absolutely nothing against the Dodgers. Pederson, Turner and Bellinger (RBI) singled. And Muncy doubled.

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