2. San Fran’s defense and pitching can stop the Dodgers
If we’re looking at the stats, it’s obvious that what the Giants have been doing is clearly designed to stop the Dodgers. Is that a coincidence with Farhan Zaidi, a former Dodgers top executive, running the show in San Fran?
The Giants lead MLB with a .991 fielding percentage and are fourth with a 3.25 ERA. There wasn’t much they could do about upgrading their offense since they’re stuck with Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt. Though they made some shrewd additions in Tommy La Stella and Mike Tauchman, they’re not exactly moving the needle when it comes to competing with the Dodgers’ cavalcade of MVP-caliber sluggers.
So what’s the next best way to neutralize a high-powered offense? Stack the rotation and put above-average defenders behind the pitchers.
The additions of Wood (1.75 ERA) and Anthony DeSclafani (2.03 ERA) coupled with Kevin Gausman (1.84 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (3.62 ERA) have paid massive dividends. Is it luck? Some of it could be. But right now it’s legitimate.
Additionally, the power has returned for the aforementioned hitters. Crawford (10 HRs), Belt (8 HRs), Posey (8 HRs) and Mike Yastrzemski (6 HRs) are tearing the cover off the ball. Crawford, Belt and Yastrzemski may not be hitting for average, but their on-base and slugging percentages are keeping the offense productive.
If the Giants are going to take advantage of the Dodgers in any series, it will be by putting the ball over the fence and preventing runs. At this moment, the formula seems to be working.