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Logan Webb had a wonderful season — impressive enough to make Giants fans wonder if he could be a front-end of the rotation guy for years to come.
He finished his first full season in the bigs with an 11-3 record, 3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 158 strikeouts in 148.1 innings pitched. It’s only because he missed June with an injury that he wasn’t truly able to get into the Cy Young discussion.
But he’s never pitched in the postseason and certainly never seen this moment. That’s why while his season might seem on par with that of the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler — they’re not equally prepared for this moment.
Buehler will likely finish somewhere in the top three of Cy Young voting; there’s a chance he could win it (if I had a vote, that’s probably where it would go), but this is one of the closest and deepest years of the award in many years.
In all, his season too, was wonderful, by far the best of his career. Buehler started a career-high 33 games and had a 6.7 WAR — almost twice as good as previous career best (3.4). He also posted career bests in nearly every stat and finished second in baseball in innings pitched (207.2), third in ERA (2.47), tied for third in wins (16) and fourth in WHIP (0.97).
After a sloppy start to September, Buehler finished the season on a high note, going 2-0 in his final two stats, giving up just one run in 12 innings on six hits while striking out 16.
The Dodgers are the deepest team on paper in baseball. Los Angeles has a star at almost every position — eight different players this season posted a WAR of 2.5 or better.
That said, Los Angeles will be without its most productive player for likely the entire series with Max Muncy — who led the team in home runs, RBIs and WAR — out for the series and likely the postseason with an elbow injury.
Still, the Dodgers can and will show off their riches. Mookie Betts had a down-year by his standards, yet in the Wild Card game led the way with two runs scored.
Corey Seager and Trea Turner make up the best middle infield in the entire league — Turner led baseball with a .328 batting average to go with 28 home runs, 77 RBIs and a team-high .950 OPS while Seager wasn’t far behind, hitting .306, with 16 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .915 OPS.
We haven’t even mentioned one of the best hitting catchers in the game, Will Smith, the 2019 NL MVP runner up, Cody Bellinger, a top-10 third baseman who belted 27 home runs and 87 RBIs in Justin Turner or the other outfield spots like AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor, who both had WAR’s above 2.7
The lineup is deep and filled with stars which may make the Dodgers the sexy pick, but don’t sleep on the Giants.
The balance in San Francisco is unbelievable. Nobody has more than 30 home runs, yet nine people have at least 12. Nobody has more than 90 RBIs yet nine people have at least 30. Only one player had a WAR above 3.5 yet 12 (!) had WAR’s of 1.1 or better.
The point, as it always is with the Giants, is this. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, Mike Yastrezemski, Steven Duggar, Evan Longoria, Lamont Wade Jr. and Kris Bryant are the same level of star as the Giants — but it’s not an accident this team won the division.
San Francisco makes you earn every out.
The man to watch on San Francisco is the guy who has been at his best against the Dodgers, Wade Jr. He was great against Los Angeles this year, hitting .316 (12-of-38) with a 1.040 OPS, two home runs and six RBIs.
For the Dodgers, Turner was great when away from Dodger Stadium. The man with the large, red beard hit .285 away from home this season, with a team-high 14 home runs and 47 RBIs.
|Teams||Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants|
|Location||Oracle Park, San Francisco, CA|
|Time||Friday, Oct. 8, 9:37 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||TBS|
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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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