Dodgers and Giants Open Important NL West Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers visit the San Francisco Giants on Friday night for the opening game of an important three-game series.

The Giants lead the National League West by 1 ½ games over the Dodgers. San Francisco is 57-45 on the season, 28-25 at home and 7-3 over their past 10 games overall.

Los Angeles is 56-47 on the season, 31-23 on the road and 5-5 over their past 10 games overall.

The Dodgers have played poorly head to head against the Giants and that is why they currently trail by 1 ½ games. In 10 head-to-head games this season, the Dodgers are 3-7 against the Giants.

Because of that, Don Mattingly the manager of the Dodgers has aligned his starting rotation to have his top three starters on the mound for the three games.

Zack Greinke who is 11-6 with an ERA of 2.90 gets the start to open the weekend series, followed by ace Clayton Kershaw in Saturday’s game and Hyun-jin Ryu in Sunday’s matchup.

Mattingly said he did not want to downplay the importance of the series since they are fighting the Giants for the NL title, but he knows the division will not be won or lost during the series this weekend.

San Francisco was winners of 6 of their past 7 before losing the last game of a series on Thursday against Philadelphia.

On their road trip, the Giants were 5-2 and come in with confidence to this series having won 4 of the past 5 games against Los Angeles.

Bruce Bochy the manager for San Francisco said the series will be exciting and his team will have a tough task trying to figure out the three starters for Los Angeles starting with Friday’s starter Greinke

This season Greinke is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.77 against San Francisco. He has pitched 13 innings with 16 strikeouts versus the Giants in 2014.

Greinke is fourth in the NL with a 4.81 strikeout to walk ratio. However, he is coming off a loss to St. Louis 4-2 in which in walked 5 batters, which is a season worst for the right-hander.

Yasiel Puig was hit in the hand last Saturday by a pitch and has not made a start in the outfield since. He took some batting practice on Wednesday and his manager hopes he can play Friday.

Hanley Ramirez has missed three straight games after also being hit in the hand. His status is unknown for Friday’s opening game of the series.

Tim Lincecum will start on the mound for San Francisco. The veteran right-hander is 9-6 this season with an ERA of 3.65. He recorded the first save of his career on Tuesday during a 14-inning 9-6 win against Philadelphia.

The Giants have the last three of their starters set for this matchup with Los Angeles as Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner pitched earlier in the week against the Phillies.

Regardless of who is on the mound for the Giants, the team knows it has to play exceptional defense since runs will be at a premium against the top three starters for the Dodgers.

Pick: Dodgers 5-2

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