The rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants is unquestionably one of the best in sports. Yet for all the history between these longtime rivals, this will mark the first time they meet in the postseason.
It all begins on Friday at Oracle Park in a best-of-five NL Division Series.
“It's what baseball wants,” added Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Giants, Dodgers, one of the great rivalries in sports, and it's happening.”
The matchup proves to be one of the best in recent memory. San Francisco ended Los Angeles’ eight-year reign atop the NL West by winning a franchise-record 107 games. The Dodgers tied a franchise-record of their own with 106 wins. It was the first time two teams in the same division won 105 or more games.
Their 213 combined regular-season wins will be the most in any postseason series all-time.
None of that matters now, of course. Bragging rights will go to the team that is able to win three games first. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know leading up to Game 1:
When is the game and how can I watch it?
The game will air on TBS at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 PT on Friday. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
What might the starting lineups look like?
Dodgers: With Max Muncy sidelined with a left elbow injury, the Dodgers will continue to talk through their options at first base. Albert Pujols, Billy McKinney or Cody Bellinger could be candidates to draw a start there. But it’ll most likely be Matt Beaty, who started the NL Wild Card Game. The rest of the order will likely look the same.
Giants: San Francisco led the National League with a franchise-record 241 home runs this season, so it’ll have plenty of power up and down its lineup even after losing Brandon Belt, who crushed a team-high 29 home runs before landing on the injured list with a left thumb fracture last week. With Belt unavailable for the NLDS, the Giants are expected to use some combination of LaMonte Wade Jr., Darin Ruf and Wilmer Flores at first base:
Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA) made six starts against the Giants this season, going 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA. His last start, however, didn’t go as planned as Buehler allowed a season-high six earned runs over three innings. He had a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts in 2020.
Giants: Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03) emerged as the Giants’ most dominant starter in the second half, going 10-0 with a 2.40 ERA over 20 outings since May 11. Webb’s 20 consecutive starts without a loss are tied for second in franchise history with Jack Sanford in 1962 and Rube Marquard from 1911-12. Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell holds the record with 22 straight from 1936-37.
Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: The Dodgers will be without Max Muncy, who is out for an extended period of time after dislocating his left elbow in the regular-season finale. They’ll also be without Clayton Kershaw, who will be out for the remainder of the postseason with a left elbow injury.
Giants: Brandon Belt will be sidelined for the NLDS, but the Giants are holding out hope that their veteran first baseman might be able to return for the postseason if they manage to advance to the next round. The Giants are also without veteran reliever Tony Watson, who is nursing a moderate left shoulder strain.
Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: Trea Turner wrapped up the NL batting title (.328 average) on Sunday with his second grand slam of the weekend. He followed that up by recording two hits in the Dodgers’ win over the Cardinals. Including the regular season, Turner has hit safely in 20 consecutive games. Chris Taylor hit .121 in his last 22 games during the regular season, but he erased those struggles with his walk-off homer to lead the Dodgers into the NLDS.
Giants: Brandon Crawford capped an MVP-caliber season by posting a 1.053 OPS over 25 games in September, but two other key veterans ended the regular season in a bit of a downturn. Kris Bryant, the Giants’ top Trade Deadline acquisition, posted an underwhelming .788 OPS with seven homers over 51 games after coming over from the Cubs and ended the regular season by going 5-for-30 (.167) with eight strikeouts over his last nine games. Evan Longoria, meanwhile, is mired in a 3-for-37 (.081) funk with 18 strikeouts over his last 11 games.