Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants Series Preview

Apr 23, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dodgers are coming off of a series defeat in Arizona where they were outscored 26 – 11. The club has gotten off to yet another relatively slow start and sit in the middle of the NL West with a 9-10 record, 4 games behind the Colorado Rockies.

On to this week now, the Dodgers travel to San Francisco for a four-game set before returning home this weekend to host the Philadelphia Phillies for three games. Let’s take a look at the matchup probable and key players to look out for.

Here’s a breakdown of how the upcoming series shapes up

Monday 4/24/17: Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-3, 5.87 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (1-0, 3.31 ERA) – 7:10 PT, SNLA, MLBN

Tuesday 4/25/17: Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.54 ERA) vs. Ty Blach (0-0, 4.76 ERA) – 7:15 PT, SNLA

Wednesday 4/26/17: Alex Wood (1-0, 3.29 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (3-1, 5.25 ERA) – 7:15 PT, SNLA, MLBN

Thursday 4/27/17: Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05 ERA) vs. Matt Moore (1-3, 5.87) – 12:45 PT, SNLA

What to Watch For?

The Dodgers back-end of the rotation – While Alex Wood is currently penciled in as the probable starter on Wednesday, there’s been noise about Julio Urias joining the team during this series. Whether Julio Urias makes his season debut Wednesday or Thursday remains to be seen. But early reports are that he’s expected to join the team during this series.

Per Ken Gurnick, Julio Urias is not listed as a probable starter for any of the next four games in Oklahoma City, leading us to believe the next time we see him on the mound will likely be in the big leagues.

Urias last pitched on Friday where he pitched 5 ⅔ innings scoreless innings with six strikeouts. Urias could be the reinforcements the Dodgers need because the Dodgers starters currently rank 23rd in the league with a 4.28 ERA.

Whether Urias takes Alex Wood or Kenta Maeda’s spot in the rotation is yet to be seen. Dave Roberts did say after Maeda’s last start on Saturday that Maeda may benefit from additional rest. So it could be possible that Maeda gets skipped this time through the rotation. I’d imagine that be the most probably outcome. 

Who’s Hot?

Chris Taylor since getting called up last week has been a force in the Dodgers lineup, collecting 5 hits in his first 8 at-bats with the team. Taylor is hitting .625 with one home run and two doubles. Taylor’s presence has also brought a spark to Kike Hernandez as Hernandez is hitting .333 with two home runs and triple in his last 7 games. Hernandez led the team this past week in total bases with 14.

Who’s Not?

Yasiel Puig has regressed quite a bit. Puig had his hot start come to a halt this past week only collecting 2 hits in 24 at-bats. On a positive note regarding Puig’s rough week, he’s still not striking out all that often, he only had 4 last week. But Dodger fans would love to see this lineup get on the same page and continue to score runs consistently.

More from Dodgers Way

Players to Watch:

Ty Blach – This past weekend the Giants suffered a huge blow when their ace Madison Bumgarner suffered a shoulder injury in an ATV car accident. That injury is expected to make Bumgarner miss 6-9 weeks. That injury also spoils the potential Kershaw vs. Bumgarner “ace off” on Tuesday’s game and now reliever Ty Blach is scheduled to make a start. Blach is off to a pedestrian start with a 4.76 ERA in 5 ⅔ relief innings. Blach is a left-handed pitcher, so it will be interesting to see how the Dodgers fare against him.

Julio Urias – I just mentioned earlier that Urias is expected to make his debut sometime this week. The Dodgers rotation has been one of the most disappointing aspects of the team thus far in the season. It will be nice to see if Urias can bring some consistency to the back-end of the rotation.

Newsworthy Notes:

Joc Pederson left Sunday’s game with an injured groin running out a ground ball. Pederson is sitting out Monday’s series opener, but it would be a tough blow for the Dodgers if Pederson has to go on the DL. David Vassegh is reporting that Brett Eibner traveled with the team to San Francisco and that he’d likely be the replacement option should Pederson be heading to the DL.

*Update* Per the Dodgers Twitter page, Joc Pederson has been placed on the 10-Day Disable List and Outfielder, Brett Eibner will be reinstated from Triple-A.

Sergio Romo is returning to his old confines, but only this time as a Dodger. Romo got hit hard this past weekend in Arizona, allowing 5 runs in just over 1 1/3 innings pitched. You can expect for him to be looking for a bounce-back performance.

Next: Dodgers vs. Giants Baseballs Biggest Rivalry

It’s going to be an exciting series between these two teams. Everyone knows the games get much more intense when these two teams meet on the diamond. The Dodgers are looking to turn around their early season bad luck.