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|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-1.5 (+120)
|O 7 (-117)
|San Francisco Giants||+1.5 (-143)
|U 7 (-105)
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Both of these teams are red hot, coming in a combined 16-4 in their past 20 games and winners of at least four in a row. The Giants have been on an absolute tear at home, winning 22 of their last 30 datings back to last season, and don’t care when they’re underdogs — they’re 5-1 the last six times they were picked to lose a game. Meanwhile, after a nearly month-long slide, the Dodgers have righted the ship and are back to winning baseball.
|This rivalry is hard to pick when both teams are good and that’s the case for tonight’s game, but it’s just hard to bet against the deeper lineup. We like the Dodgers money line and the under, as Los Angeles pulls out a tight, low-scoring game.|
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Garcia’s 2021 record: (20-14-2)
|Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants Information|
|Teams||Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants|
|Location||Oracle Park, San Francisco, California|
|Time||Friday, May 21, 9:45 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||NBC Sports Bay Area, MLB.TV|
This storyline feels like it’s getting old. After all, it’s now more than a decade old.
The San Francisco Giants haven’t been “sexy” since they had Barry Bonds (steroid debate aside). There hasn’t been a star player — maybe Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgardner or Pablo Sandoval — or anybody who puts fear in you the way some of the games’ top professionals do.
Yet, somehow, once again, we’re almost two months into the season and who has the best record in baseball? The freaking San Francisco Giants. Winners of five in a row, eight of their last 10 and 10 of their last 13, the Giants have gone from a .500 team to one atop the National League’s best division How? Let’s dive in.
The first number to look at is their meteoric rise in the strength of their rotation. According to FanGraphs, the Giants rotation was ranked 23rd in Wins Above Replacement for their starting rotation last year. This year? They leapfrogged every team in their way and are now No. 1.
Their rotation of Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeScalfani, and Alex Wood — all of whom were acquired in the past two offseasons — is responsible for more runs than Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias.
Wood will be on the mound Friday night against Los Angeles and looks to build on an already stellar season. The righty is a perfect 5-0 on the season and has given up two earned runs or fewer in each of his six starts. Wood has a 1.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts compared to just nine walks in 36 innings.
That’s not to mention their improvement offensively. It’s been an area the Giants have struggled for years, but this season San Francisco has the third most runs scored of any NL team and is ranked in the top 10 in that category of all of baseball.
Oh, and they’re doing this as the oldest team in baseball, with an average age above 31 years old.
Rivalries in baseball aren’t quite what they used to be, but the Giants and Dodgers is always a good one.
Add to it that the Dodgers come off a World Series, the Giants finally appear to be the real deal this season and it’s the first ‘real’ season after a pandemic and we expect this series to have some fireworks.
Let’s not forget — almost every game with Trevor Bauer pitching will have fireworks. The defending NL Cy Young Champion is off to a lights-out start in Hollywood — he’s 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA and ranks third in baseball in WHIP (0.75) and fourth in strikeouts (77).
The Dodgers had lost three straight Bauer starts until last week when he had his best performance to date in LA — seven shutout innings, with just two hits, no walks, and 10 strikeouts in a 7-0 win over the Marlins.
There are a number of players who will play a significant role in the outcome of this rivalry game, but for San Francisco, we’re going to pick one of the senior-most members of the organization. Brandon Crawford has been gobbling up groundballs at shortstop for more than a decade and that entire time, he’s been a sneaky-good hitter. And after an extremely slow start to the season — the 34-year-old hit just .205 in the month of April — he has been on fire in May. Crawford is batting .348 the past three weeks, with a .436 OBP and insane 1.262 OPS. Crawford has belted seven home runs (including four in his last six games) and driven in 19 RBIs in just 14 games this month.
For the Dodgers, it’s going to be Max Muncy, a very similar story to Crawford. Muncy batted just .222 in April for Los Angeles, but the man who has a top three eye in baseball (Juan Soto and Carlos Santana are the other two on this subjective list) still had a .432 OBP because he drew so many walks.
Now, he’s hitting again. Muncy is batting a scorching .357 this month with five home runs and 12 RBIs. He went 5-for-7 in the final two games against Arizona last series and his .450 OBP is now behind only Mike Trout for best in baseball.
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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