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Preview: Beat LA, but different

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The Angels are coming to town.

MLB: MAY 28 Giants at Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants have played the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven of their last nine games, so you’ve gotten fairly comfortable chanting “Beat LA!” over the last week and a half.

You can keep chanting it.

There’s no rivalry in this series. No bad blood. No divisional tension.

But the Angels are from Los Angeles — in name, at least, if not technically in the city — so ... yeah. Beat LA.


Series details

Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Angels
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (1:05 p.m.) and Tuesday (6:45 p.m.)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (MLB Network, out of market only)


Where they stand

San Francisco Giants

Record: 33-20, 2nd in the NL West
Run differential: +64, 3rd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st Wild Card, 0.5 games out of NL West lead
Momentum: 3-game winning streak, 6-4 in their last 10 games

Los Angeles Angels

Record: 24-29, 4th in the AL West
Run differential: -44, 13th in the AL
Postseason standing: 5 games out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 2-game winning streak, 5-5 in their last 10 games


Three Giants to watch

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Steven Duggar: It’s too early to call Duggar a success store the way that Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano have been in recent years. The 27-year old outfielder has just 62 plate appearances to his name, so we’re not really at a stable sample size yet. But my oh my has he done well with the sample size he’s been given, rocking a .924 OPS and playing his usual strong defense. There are concerning signs — he has 21 strikeouts to just 4 walks, and his BABIP is .441 — but he’s also just been good. Especially with the Giants injuries, Duggar maintaining this performance could go a long way.

Johnny Cueto: In Cueto’s three starts before his injury, he pitched 20 innings and allowed 13 hits, 4 walks, and 4 earned runs, while striking out 18. In his four starts since returning, he’s pitched 17.1 innings and allowed 29 hits, 2 walks, and 12 earned runs, while striking out 13. The Giants could use the first version in the series opener.

Donovan Solano: Donnie Barrels showed up over the weekend, hitting his first homers of the season. He also had a few errors, but we’ll ignore that for now, and hope that his defense — which had looked improved — can hold. The Giants lineup is a lot more dangerous when Solano is hitting well, and they’ll continue to rely on him given all the injuries.


Three Angels to watch

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani: Ohtani is not just the player to watch in this series, but he’s the player to watch in all of baseball. And frankly, it’s not even remotely close. Ohtani took the hype and made it look silly he outperformed it so dramatically. His wRC+ of 156 ranks him as the American League’s 6th-best hitter, while his ERA sits at 2.72.

He ranks 10th among all pitchers in baseball in strikeouts per nine innings, and is one home run away from the MLB lead. He’d be an MVP candidate if he were just a position player, and a Cy Young candidate if he were just a pitcher. For better or for worse, the Giants won’t see Ohtani on the mound this series, but they’ll sure see him in the box, and he is nothing short of electric.

Dylan Bundy: The Giants start the series against Bundy, a right-hander who has an ERA of 6.50 (though an FIP of 4.57), and has allowed 9 home runs and 13 walks in 45.2 innings. There’s a good opportunity there.

Andrew Heaney: The Giants end the series against Heaney, a left-hander who has an ERA of 5.24 (though an FIP of 4.42), and has allowed 9 home runs and 16 walks in 44.2 innings. There’s a good opportunity there.


Poll

Who wins the series?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Giants sweep
    (159 votes)
  • 20%
    Split
    (42 votes)
  • 1%
    Angels sweep
    (4 votes)
205 votes total Vote Now