The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants will face one another for the first time in 2021 on Friday when they open a three-game set at Oracle Park.
Yeah, we’ve been waiting a long time for this, too.
Though the Dodgers-Giants rivalry is always “there,” it certainly lost its luster since 2017. Since then, San Fran has been an awful 243-303 while Los Angeles has been the best team in Major League Baseball. It just wasn’t the same … especially with the emergence of the Padres over the last couple of years.
But now? The Giants are leading the division and have surprised pretty much all of baseball with their 26-16 start. The Dodgers thought they’d just be trying to kick the Padres off their heels, but at this very moment, they may have two legitimate contenders to stave off as they hope to repeat as World Series champions.
If there’s a silver lining to take out of the Giants’ return to relevancy, it’s that LA’s rivalry with San Fran is back in full force. And what fans don’t like gearing up for tense, heated and competitive series with teams they absolutely hate?
3 reasons the Dodgers-Giants rivalry is officially back in 2021.
3. The Giants signed Alex Wood and Jake McGee
Think the Dodgers could use the services of Alex Wood and Jake McGee right about now with all the problems their pitching staff is enduring?
Even worse? Both left-handers are playing for the enemy. So far this year for the Giants, here’s what they’re doing:
- Alex Wood: 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in six starts (36 innings)
- Jake McGee: 4.82 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 26 strikeouts and 11 saves in 18.2 innings (one disastrous four-run outing has inflated his ERA)
These guys were on the Dodgers last year! Letting them go wasn’t a mistake, though. Los Angeles’ pitching staff is stacked and there was no room for them. What the Dodgers didn’t foresee, however, was Wood being among the ERA leaders for starting pitchers and McGee being among the saves leaders for closers.
Now, in the race for the NL West, these two will be doing all they can to make the Dodgers regret letting them go AND largely underutilizing them during their World Series run in 2020. There’s even more legitimate motivation from the other side to stick it to LA.