The Los Angeles Dodgers begin Cactus League play on Friday, but an intriguing Opening Day matchup against the San Francisco Giants sits just five weeks away.
The Giants, after a last-place finish in the National League West last season, acquired the likes of Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen over the winter in effort to bolster their lineup. Most recently, the club signed left-hander Tony Watson to a two-year deal to aid their bullpen.
Nearly two weeks ago Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that Clayton Kershaw will face the Giants and make his club-record eighth consecutive start on Opening Day.
To no surprise, San Francisco will counter with their own ace in Madison Bumgarner, via Chris Haft of MLB.com:
Madison Bumgarner climbed higher in the rarefied territory occupied exclusively by Giants greats when manager Bruce Bochy announced Thursday that the left-hander will start his fifth consecutive season opener March 29 at Los Angeles.
Bumgarner’s 2017 campaign was cut short due to a dirt bike accident, but he still managed to make two starts against the Dodgers. In those outings, he posted a minuscule 0.61 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over 14.2 innings, with 12 strikeouts to just two walks.
The four-time All-Star owns a lifetime record of 15-9 against Los Angeles across 29 games (28 starts). Furthermore, Bumgarner has compiled a 2.53 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 184.2 innings, accumulating 185 strikeouts and 34 walks in those outings.
Kershaw is a career 3-4 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in the previous 10 meetings against Bumgarner and the Giants. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s ace is 4-3 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in such matchups.
The Dodgers and Giants have split their last 10 head-to-head meetings, though Los Angeles has won the last four.