The San Francisco Giants have a rather luxurious week. After seven straight games at home — six of which were wins — the Giants got a day off on Monday to travel a short distance to Disneyland, where they’ll play only two games before getting another day off on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will be duking it out, so the Giants have a prime opportunity to gain ground on one of those teams. Or lose ground to one of them.
Either way, they should try to win, in my humble opinion.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Angels
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
When: Tuesday (6:38 p.m. PT) and Wednesday (1:07 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Wednesday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 46-26, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +90, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
Los Angeles Angels
Record: 36-36, 4th in the AL West
Run differential: -12, 9th in the AL
Postseason standing: On the outside by quite a bit
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 6-4 in their last 10 games
Season series: Tied 1-1
Three Giants to watch
Alex Dickerson: Dickerson was activated on Monday after missing two weeks due to injury. And if you want to see how unhappy fans are that LaMonte Wade Jr. was optioned, just take a peek at the comments. After tremendous years with the Giants in 2019 and 2020, Dickerson has struggled this season with a sub .300 on-base percentage and a sub .400 slugging percentage. His value rests solely as a hitter, and so far he’s been a below average one in 2021. With Wade and Steven Duggar playing so well, Dickerson could feel a little bit of pressure to perform, and the Giants could certainly use some of his power.
Kevin Gausman: The Giants are sending their ace to the mound on Wednesday against the Angels ace, Shohei Ohtani, and that sure should be a great game. Gausman hasn’t been at his best lately: after allowing two or more runs just once in his first 11 games, he’s allowed two runs in three straight appearances. That said, “not at his best” is still really, really good, as Gausman has allowed just 12 baserunners in 19 innings over that span, while striking out 20.
Buster Posey: With off days bookending this two-game series, expect to see Posey play both games. That’s great news for those of us who like watching Posey which, I assume, is all of us.
Three Angels to watch
Shohei Ohtani: Giants fans missed out on the Ohtani Experience when the Angels visited San Francisco, as LA decided they would rather not have the contributions from one of baseball’s superstars than risk him getting injured while standing in the outfield. As a result, the greatest show in baseball only had one pinch-hit appearance in the series. Things will be different this time around, as Ohtani is the starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game, and will presumably be the Angels designated hitter on Tuesday. So here’s your reminder that Ohtani leads the Majors with 23 home runs while also sporting a 2.70 ERA as a pitcher with 73 strikeouts in 53.1 innings.
Andrew Heaney: The Giants faced Heaney earlier in the year, and it did not go particularly well. They lefty went 6.1 innings and allowed just 5 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run, while striking out 7. Hopefully they learned something about Heaney in the process and can have better luck against him this time around.
Jared Walsh: Walsh is having a cracking year, with a slash line of .290/.355/.576 and 18 home runs. Not bad for a 39th-round pick. The first baseman is also a lefty, and the Giants are using a pair of right-handers in this series: Anthony DeSclafani and Kevin Gausman. They’ll have their hands full.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed