A pair of longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, will play a doubleheader on Thursday to close out their season series. The two teams have split the eight games they’ve played this season, so bragging rights over the season series are on the line in Thursday’s doubleheader.
Before losing to San Francisco in extra innings on Tuesday, the Dodgers entered the series winners of 11 of their previous 12 games. They remain tied with Oakland with a league-high 22 wins and are the only National League team to cross the 20-win threshold this year. As a result, Los Angeles holds a four-game lead atop the NL West.
As for the Giants, they have come on strong lately, winning seven in a row. San Francisco has climbed within one game of .500 after a disappointing start, so a sweep of Thursday’s doubleheader will put them one game over .500. While they are seven games behind the Dodgers in the standings, the Giants would have the final playoff spot in the National League if the season ended right now.
In the Spider’s Webb
Rookie Logan Webb will start the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader for the Giants. The 23-year-old righty has been an important part of the San Francisco rotation this year. The Giants began the season with plenty of questions in their starting rotation, but Webb has helped answer some of those questions.
Through his first six starts of the season, Webb is 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA. Despite a couple of rocky outings, he seemed to get back on track in his last start, lasting seven innings against the Diamondbacks while allowing just two runs on five hits.
Webb began his season by facing the Dodgers, allowing just one run over four innings. Of course, he scattered eight base runners in that game while striking out only two, so he played with fire a little bit, which isn’t advisable against the Los Angeles lineup. Now that Cody Bellinger has kicked it into gear, the Dodgers are as potent offensively as many believed they would be at the start of the season.
After slow starts, both Bellinger and Justin Turner are coming around, joining Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and AJ Pollock, who have been productive all season. That group won’t make things easy on Webb, especially after failing to capitalize on scoring chances against him earlier this season.
A Long Walker
Walker Buehler will take the mound for the Dodgers on Thursday. After a sluggish start to the season, the Los Angeles ace is starting to look like his old self.
Buehler earned his first win of the season in his last start, striking out 11 Rockies over six innings while yielding just one run on four hits. On the season, Buehler owns an unimpressive 4.32 ERA. However, if his last start is any indication, he’s gearing up to have a strong second half of the season.
Perhaps more importantly, Buehler has an excellent track record against the Giants. Despite walking four batters and giving up two runs over 5.2 innings when he faced San Francisco earlier this month, Buehler struck out six and allowed just one hit.
Outside of Evan Longoria and Mika Yastrzemski, he has a great track record against all of the hitter’s in San Francisco’s lineup. Of course, the Giants are surprisingly deep offensively this year. In addition to Yastrzemski, Wilmer Flores and Donovan Solano are having productive years while veterans Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford are coming on strong lately.
Maybe, Maybe Not
While the Giants are trending in the right direction, so is Buehler. The L.A. ace appears to be back on track, and with the Dodgers being so potent offensively, it’s hard to pick against them, even when facing a red-hot Giants team.
Bet on the Dodgers to win the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader.