The Los Angeles Dodgers have been chasing the San Francisco Giants in the National League West all year long.
On paper, the Dodgers should have dominated this division from the gate, but the Giants have exceeded expectations at every turn this MLB season.
San Francisco was able to keep an arm’s length away from Los Angeles in the standings for most of the summer, but the two clubs are tied atop the NL West now.
It figures to be an entertaining race down the stretch, and it has the potential to get very intense this weekend when the teams meet for a three-game set.
The Dodgers and Giants are both 85-49 (.634 win pct) entering this weekend's series.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 3, 2021
The winner of the series will exit the weekend with the division lead.
Today, we’re going to preview each game and take a look at the pitching matchups.
Friday’s Probables: David Price Vs. Anthony DeSclafani
Friday’s pitching matchup is an intriguing one.
David Price found himself thrust into the Dodgers rotation when the team lost some key arms.
He has been very solid since getting the opportunity.
The lefty has a 3.92 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 11 starts this season.
Some of his “starts” have been just two or three innings in length (by design), but he has also pitched into the fifth and sixth inning in many of his outings.
In all 11 of his starts, he has allowed three runs or fewer.
Anthony DeSclafani, on the other hand, is having a stellar year himself.
He has a 3.38 ERA, 3.85 FIP, and 1.11 WHIP over 25 starts.
The Giants are 16-9 when he gets the ball.
Save for one or two bad outings, the righty has given San Francisco a chance to win in all of his starts.
Saturday’s Probables: Julio Urias Vs. TBD
Here’s where things get interesting.
The Giants have not yet named a starting pitcher for Saturday or Sunday.
That’s obviously very poor timing.
The Giants are going to have to get creative, because this isn’t a series they can afford to lose.
For the Dodgers, it’ll be Julio Urias on Saturday.
Urias has been outstanding of late.
Over his last seven starts, he has managed a 1.40 ERA.
On the year, he has a 3.17 ERA, 3.41 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP.
He leads the league in wins with 15.
The Dodgers are certainly hoping the 25-year-old will deliver in a big way this weekend.
Sunday’s Probables: Walker Buehler Vs. TBD
Again, we only know L.A.’s starter for Sunday’s game.
Whoever the Giants roll with, they’re going to have a tall task on their hands, as the NL Cy Young frontrunner will be on the mound for the Dodgers.
Walker Buehler has been electric all year long.
He leads the NL in ERA (2.05) and ERA+ (193), and he also has a 3.10 FIP, 0.92 WHIP, and 13-2 record.
The Dodgers are 19-8 in his 27 starts.
As good as he has been all season, he has been even better lately.
The 27-year-old has a 1.53 ERA over his last 16 starts.
— Stadium (@Stadium) September 2, 2021
L.A. has to feel good about its chances in Sunday’s game.NEXT: What Is Wrong With Padres All-Star Yu Darvish?