The Dodgers take on the Giants Saturday in a National League West battle.
For the second straight weekend, NL West rivals the Dodgers and Giants find themselves facing one another. After Friday’s game was rained out, Saturday’s game in San Francisco will mark the fifth time the two have played each other this season. The Dodgers are a -150 favorites to win the game.
After splitting their four-game series against the Giants to start the season, the Dodgers then proceeded to get swept by the Diamondbacks. As a result, Los Angeles has fallen three games below .500 early in the season at 2-5.
The Giants, meanwhile, split a two-game series with the Mariners after leaving Los Angeles last weekend. Considering the fact that they’ve started the season without Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija, the Giants should feel good about being 3-3 at this point in the season.
Rich Hill is poised to make his second start of the season on Saturday. Of course, Hill started against the Giants last Sunday and looked quite sharp. The lefty tossed six shutout innings, striking out five and allowing just five hits in a 9-0 win. He will be looking to replicate that kind of performance on Saturday.
Of course, there are quite a few Giants who have had success against Hill in the past. Both Buster Posey and Brandon Belt doubled off him during Sunday’s game. Those two are a combined 13 for 28 against Hill in their career and represent San Francisco’s best chance of getting something off the 38-year old southpaw.
However, San Francisco’s biggest offseason acquisitions, Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria, are both off to dreadful starts. The two are a combined 3 for 43 (.069) on the season, and the Giants desperately need them to get it going.
Despite the rainout, the Giants decided to stick with Chris Stratton as the starter for Saturday’s game. Stratton faced the Dodgers last Sunday, giving up three runs over 5.1 innings, taking the loss. Things actually went well for Stratton the first two times through the order. However, when he started to face the Los Angeles hitters for the third time, the wheels fell off.
The key for the Giants this time around could be getting Stratton out of the game before he faces the Dodgers for a third time through the order. The San Francisco bullpen has also been quite effective early in the season. If Stratton can keep the Dodgers under wraps for four or five innings and then turn the ball over to relievers like Cory Gearrin, Sam Dyson, and Hunter Strickland, the Giants should feel good about their chances.
After Hill was so dominant against the Giants last weekend, there’s no reason to expect anything different. With the middle of San Francisco’s lineup struggling to get going, Hill should give the Dodgers another quality start. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles lineup will only need to scratch out a few runs against Stratton and the San Francisco bullpen to get a win. Bet on the Dodgers -150 to get their first road win of the season.