Giants Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Chance To Eliminate San Francisco From NL West Title Contention

The Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants with a chance to eliminate their longtime rival and reigning National League West champion from contention in the division this season.

Although the Giants’ number to avoid is three by the math, the Dodgers hold the tie-breaker due to winning the season series, effectively making San Francisco’s elimination number two. If the Dodgers win any of the three games this series, the Giants will be eliminated.

With the San Diego Padres losing earlier, the Dodgers’ magic number to win the NL West is eight and the earliest they can clinch their ninth division title in the past 10 seasons is Saturday.

Andrew Heaney takes the mound for the Dodgers after being pushed back a day from his scheduled start.

The left-hander has had a strong season while on the mound, but over his last three starts, he has allowed six home runs after giving up just one in his previous seven outings.

Heaney has remained effective despite the uptick in homers, but it is a somewhat concerning trend given his track record of struggling to contain the long ball.

Through 10 starts, Heaney owns a 2.12 ERA and 3.28 FIP while striking out 13.50 batters per nine and walking 2.31 per nine with a 1.05 WHIP in 46.2 innings. Among pitchers with at least 40 innings, only Atlanta Braves rookie Spencer Strider has struck out more hitters per nine innings, and Heaney ranks within the top 10 of strikeout to walk ratio.

He made one start against the Giants this season, which came on Aug. 1, when he went four innings, struck out seven, walked two and gave up one run on four hits.

The Giants counter with Logan Webb, who the Dodgers have become quite familiar with.

Webb is one of baseball’s most talented arms, but he allowed five runs or more three times in August, granted with some help from the Giants’ defense as only nine of the 17 runs were earned. Overall this year, Webb has pitched to a 2.89 ERA and 3.18 FIP while striking out 7.47 per nine and walking 2.51 per nine with a 1.18 WHIP in 165 innings.

The right-hander has faced the Dodgers twice this season, throwing six innings of one-run ball in his first outing before giving up six runs in five innings in his next start.

Mookie Betts makes his fourth start of the season at second base. Betts has swung a hot bat regardless of which position he’s played, and so has Justin Turner, who enters play with a 14-game hitting streak.

The Dodgers are 6-3 on Labor Day since 2012 and have won two in a row on the holiday. They did not play on Labor Day in 2020.

Moreover, the Dodgers are 10-3 against the Giants this season, which includes a 6-0 record in their meetings at Dodger Stadium thus far.

At 32-11 overall in the second half, the Dodgers have the most wins and best winning percentage in baseball since the All-Star break.

Ahead of the game, the club recalled Justin Bruihl from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned Ryan Pepiot to make room on the roster.

Dodgers lineup

2B: Mookie Betts
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
3B: Max Muncy
RF: Trayce Thompson
LF: Joey Gallo
DH: Miguel Vargas
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Austin Barnes

Giants lineup

CF: Lewis Brinson
2B: Wilmer Flores
DH: J.D. Davis
3B: Evan Longoria
LF: Thario Estrada
SS: Brandon Crawford
C: Austin Wynns
1B: David Villar
RF: Bryce Johnson

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