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Dodgers Dugout: Previewing the first-place Dodgers vs. first-place Giants series

Chris Taylor
(Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and, what do you know, the Dodgers are tied for first.

It took a while to get here, but the Dodgers are tied for the division lead with the San Francisco Giants. And guess who they play next? The Giants. Three games in San Francisco. Max Scherzer put it best: “We know going into the Giants series that it’s gonna be a big series. We’re all looking forward to it. Obviously, they’re a great team. You want to go out there and play your best against them. These are the moments that you live for ... to have these types of opportunities to go out there and compete against the best. It should make for a great series.”

By the way, if the Dodgers and Giants finish the season tied, there will be a one-game playoff to determine who wins the division and who gets the wild-card spot.

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Let’s compare the two teams overall, and position by position.

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Record
Dodgers, 85-49
Giants, 85-49

Record by month
Dodgers
April: 16-11
May: 16-11
June: 17-9
July: 14-12
August: 21-6
September: 1-0

Giants
April: 16-10
May: 18-10
June: 16-9
July: 15-10
August: 19-9
September: 1-1

Runs per game
Dodgers, 5.07
Giants, 4.76

Run differential
Dodgers: +213
Giants: +142

One-run games
Giants: 25-15
Dodgers: 21-21

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Record vs. winning teams
Giants: 36-30
Dodgers: 33-29

Record vs. losing teams
Dodgers 52-20
Giants: 49-19

Extra-inning games
Giants: 8-7
Dodgers: 4-12

Batting average
Giants, .244
Dodgers, .241

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OB%
Dodgers, .330
Giants, .322

SLG%
Giants, .433
Dodgers, .423

Home runs
Giants, 201
Dodgers, 188

Walks
Dodgers, 517
Giants, 486

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Batter strikeouts
Giants, 1,228
Dodgers, 1,205

Steals
Giants, 57
Dodgers, 51

ERA
Dodgers, 3.01
Giants, 3.31

Starters’ ERA
Dodgers, 2.83
Giants, 3.42

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Bullpen ERA
Giants, 3.16
Dodgers, 3.31

Now position matchups:

Catcher
Will Smith: .267/.374/.513, 140 OPS+
Buster Posey: .303/.395/.503, 141 OPS+

First base
Max Muncy: .261/.388/.549, 153 OPS+
Brandon Belt: .245/.354/.543, 138 OPS+

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Second base
Trea Turner: .322/.368/.512, 140 OPS+
Donovan Solano: .275/.333/.394, 96 OPS+
Note: Solano is currently on the IL after testing positive for COVID

Third base
Justin Turner: .281/.370/.469, 128 OPS+
Kris Bryant: .270/.353/.513, 131 OPS+

Shortstop
Corey Seager: .270/.363/.437, 118 OPS+
Brandon Crawford: .286/.356/.503, 130 OPS+

Left field
AJ Pollock: .296/.352/.507, 132 OPS+
Alex Dickerson: .236/.305/.429, 95 OPS+

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Center field
Chris Taylor: .270/.360/.467, 124 OPS+
Mike Yastrzemski: .220/.302/.453. 100 OPS+

Right field
Mookie Betts: .269/.374/.515, 140 OPS+
LaMonte Wade Jr.: .252/.322/.516. 123 OPS+

Other key players
Cody Bellinger: .172/.247/.317, 53 OPS+
Darin Ruf: .275/.398/.536, 149 OPS+

Note: Evan Longoria (.289/.382/.516, 142 OPS+) is on the IL with a finger injury. When he returns, he plays third base and Bryant moves to the outfield. Longoria has played only 55 games this season.

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Rotation
Walker Buehler, 13-2, 2.05 ERA, 0.915 WHIP
Kevin Gausman, 12-5, 2.52 ERA, 1.006 WHIP


Max Scherzer, 12-4, 2.40 ERA, 0.863 WHIP
Anthony DeSclafani, 11-6, 3.38 ERA, 1.106 WHIP


Julio Urías, 15-3, 3.17 ERA, 1.035 WHIP
Alex Wood, 10-4, 4.08 ERA, 1.233 WHIP


David Price, 4-2, 3.88 ERA, 1.322 WHIP
Logan Webb, 8-3, 2.56 ERA, 1.111 WHIP

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Note: Wood is on the IL after testing positive for COVID. Johnny Cueto, the Giants’ other starter, is on the IL with a strained elbow.

Closer
Kenley Jansen, 2-4, 2.60 ERA, 30 saves, 5 blown saves, 15% IRS
Jake McGee, 3-2, 2.59 ERA, 29 saves, 4 blown saves, 33% IRS
Tyler Rogers, 5-1, 1.80 ERA, 12 saves, 5 blown saves, 38% IRS

Top six players ranked by WAR

Dodgers
Walker Buehler, 5.9
Max Muncy, 5.4
Max Scherzer, 5.0
Mookie Betts, 4.0
Justin Turner, 3.4
Chris Taylor, 3.3

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Giants
Kevin Gausman, 5.0
Brandon Crawford, 4.3
Logan Webb, 3.2
Kris Bryant, 3.0
Darin Ruf, 2.8
Buster Posey, 2.7

It should be a great series. The two teams are evenly matched. Someone will end Sunday in first place, but there will still be 25 games left in the season, plenty of time for the teams to reverse positions again.

Hall of Fame: the third basemen

Because of the heavy statistical nature of this week’s newsletters, we will continue our look at who the top Hall of Fame candidates at each position are in Dodgers history next week.

In case you missed it

Dodgers tell Phil Bickford to ‘be yourself,’ and he becomes an effective reliever

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Best coast, best rivalry: Bring on the Dodgers and Giants

These names look familiar

A look at how players from the 2020 Dodgers who are no longer on the team are faring this season (through Wednesday):

Pedro Báez, Houston, 0-0, 2.08 ERA (4.1 IP, 2 hit, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts)

Dylan Floro, Miami: 5-5, 3.00 ERA, 7 saves (51 IP, 45 hits, 21 walks, 47 strikeouts)

Kiké Hernández, Boston: .258/.346/.465 (30 doubles, 3 triples, 17 HRs, 51 RBIs, 115 OPS+)

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Adam Kolarek, Oakland: 8.00 ERA (9 IP, 15 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts), in minors

Jake McGee, San Francisco: 3-2, 2.59 ERA, 26 saves (55.2 IP, 38 hits, 11 walks, 56 strikeouts)

Joc Pederson, Atlanta: .234/.312/.418 (16 doubles, 3 triples, 16 homers, 56 RBIs, 94 OPS+)

Josh Sborz, Texas: 3-3, 4.28 ERA, 1 save (48.1 IP, 42 hits, 26 walks, 55 strikeouts)

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Ross Stripling, Toronto: 5-6, 4.34 ERA (93.1 IP, 86 hits, 28 walks, 91 strikeouts), on 10-day IL

Alex Wood, San Francisco: 10-4, 4.08 ERA (125.2 IP, 116 hits, 39 walks, 135 strikeouts)

And now, how players who were with the Dodgers this season are faring elsewhere:

Josiah Gray, Washington: 0-2, 4.73 ERA (32 IP, 30 hits, 11 walks, 33 strikeouts)

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DJ Peters, Texas: .186/.255/.411 (5 doubles, 8 homers, 22 RBIs, 81 OPS+)

Jake Reed, New York Mets: 0-0, 1.93 ERA (9.1 IP, 7 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts, on the IL)

Keibert Ruiz, Washington: .143/.143/.286 (1 homer, 2 RBIs, 37 OPS+)

Dennis Santana, Texas: 2-3, 5,40 ERA (41.2 IP, 40 hits, 27 walks, 34 strikeouts)

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Yoshi Tsutsugo, Pittsburgh: .187/.274/.360 (7 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, 18 RBIs, 75 OPS+)

Up next

Tonight, Dodgers (*David Price, 4-2, 3.88 ERA) at San Francisco (TBD), 6:45 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Saturday, Dodgers (*Julio Urías, 15-3, 3.17 ERA) at San Francisco (TBD), 6 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Sunday, Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 13-2, 2.05 ERA) at San Francisco (TBD), 4 p.m., ESPN, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

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*-left-handed

And finally

Vin Scully meets with Willie Mays. Watch it here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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