Dodgers need to capitalize on next two series with weak opponents
While the Giants have a solid closer in Wil Smith, the perfect antithesis to the Dodgers’ own Will Smith, they have little else. Smith has done well against the Dodgers though, holding LA to a .150 batting average with no home runs and nine strikeouts in 20 at-bats.
Beyond Smith, the Giants have two others arms who give the Dodgers trouble. Both are right-handed and both reside in the starting rotation. More importantly, they both last pitched on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 against the Cardinals, so they will both be starting against the Dodgers.
Due up first is veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who beat Kershaw and the Dodgers on Friday night. Coming into that game, the long-haired hurler known as “The Shark” had held the Dodgers to a .214 batting average without allowing a home run in 42 ABs. He’s having a resurgent season, as he is 9-11 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. In the loss, he provided the Dodgers with a good test for when they face some of the actual ace right-handers they’ll square off with in the postseason.
After Samardzija, the Dodgers faced Tyler Beede. Beede, a 26-year old rookie, has actually struggled this season. He has a 5.61 season ERA and 91 strikeouts to a whopping 40 walks in 96.1 innings in 2019. And yet the Dodgers have struggled against him; the team has hit a collective .143 against Beede with their lone run coming via a solo home run. It would be nice for the Dodgers to demonstrate their newly deep lineup and come through against a pitcher so many other teams have tagged this season.
Outside of the rotation, the Giants don’t have too much on the offensive side that could hurt the Dodgers. In fact, their best hitter is probably rookie right fielder Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Mike has hit 18 home runs with a .269/.322/.528 in his 290 ABs this season.
Against the Dodgers, he’s got a pair of home runs, one each off of Ross Stripling and Caleb Ferguson, both pitchers the Dodgers want to get hot headed into the postseason out of the bullpen. He also, like most NL hitters, has an RBI off of Kenley Jansen.