The two best teams in the 2021 regular season are set to do battle for what could be a five-game series here in the divisional round. Not only is Dodgers vs. Giants one of baseball’s best and most historic rivalries, but this is also the first time a pair of teams with at least 106 regular-season wins are squaring off in the postseason.
Giants vs Dodgers
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2021, Time: 9:07 p.m. ET
The Dodgers finished the regular season with a better run differential than the Giants, plus-269 to plus-210. That plus the Dodgers’ notable deadline additions — Trea Turner and Max Scherzer — mean you can argue that L.A. has the stronger roster on paper. That said, the Dodger rotation right now is missing Clayton Kershaw, who’s out for the entire postseason with an elbow injury.
It’s a tough draw for the Giants, who after setting a single-season franchise record for wins and producing the best record in baseball, are rewarded with a matchup against the defending champion Dodgers.
As well, that rotation isn’t lined up optimally, as Max Scherzer started Wednesday’s Wild Card Game. Infielder Max Muncy (elbow) is also unlikely to be available for the Dodgers in the series. On the Giants’ side of things, first baseman Brandon Belt (thumb) probably won’t be able to play in this series.
It took them just four batters into the game to grab a lead on a 2-run homer by Giants icon Buster Posey, their only player who has been part of their three World Series championship run, smacking the 3-0 pitch for an opposite-field homer over the right-field wall.
Wednesday’s win made it 16 in a row, and counting. The Dodgers will now open as dramatic a division series as baseball has had in quite some time on Friday in San Francisco, the first time the ancient-rival clubs have faced each other in the postseason since 1889, when the Brooklyn club of the American Association, a predecessor of the Dodgers, faced the National League’s New York Giants in what was then billed as a World Series.
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The exact behind-the-plate assignments are difficult to parse, but it seems that Hernandez will get a shot at some point, likely for Game 2. He, Barrett and Eddings are almost equally as bad. Which, in theory, doesn’t just hurt the Giants — it also affects their opponent, whether that’s the Dodgers or Cardinals. Just some additional chaos to what already promises to be an intense series.
Everybody knows this matchup between century-old rivals takes this best-of-five playoff series to another level. They finished with baseball’s two best records, the division coming down to the final day as the Dodgers wound up one game back with 106 wins, ending their run of eight consecutive West crowns.
Giants vs Dodgers stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 107-55, 1st in the NL West, 1st in the NL, 1st in MLB
Run differential: +210, 2nd in the NL West, 2nd in the NL, 2nd in MLB
Postseason seeding: 1st seed
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 8-2 in their last 10 games
Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 106-56 (1-0 in the postseason), 2nd in the NL West, 2nd in the NL, 2nd in MLB
Run differential: +269, 1st in the NL West, 1st in the NL, 1st in MLB
Postseason seeding: Wild Card/4th seed
Momentum: 8-game winning streak, 9-1 in their last 10 games
Walker Buehler is the starting pitcher for Los Angeles. He went 16-4 this season and posted a 2.47 ERA. Logan Webb will take the mound for San Francisco in Game 1. He went 11-3 this year with a 3.03 ERA.
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