Analysis: Dodgers vs. Giants

If there’s one series the entire baseball world has been craving, it’s one that pits the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Giants, the two best teams in the MLB during the regular season. We could even consider this duel as the final before the final, since the two teams from California have accumulated 213 victories in 2021.

In the current campaign, the Giants have won Series 10 of 19 games and the Dodgers have outscored the Giants 80-79 in points in those games. No one seems to have a strong advantage.

It will be the first time the rivals have met in the playoffs. In 1951 and 1962, the two clubs met in a best-of-three tiebreaker.

Without further ado, here is an analysis of the forces at play for this series.


Walker Buehler is expected to get the start in Game One. He will be followed by Julio Urias and Max Scherzer, as Clayton Kershaw is kept out of the game. In Buehler’s case, he has won 16 games in 33 starts, including three against San Francisco this year.

For the Giants, Logan Webb will start the series after he was fantastic on the final day of the regular season as the Giants had to stay ahead of the Dodgers in the standings and avoid a tiebreaker. Kevin Gausman will take the mound the next day with a 2.81 earned-run average in 33 starts and 192 innings of work.

Both teams finished first two in all of Major League Baseball in earned run average (Dodgers: 3.01, Giants: 3.24). A classic in sight!

Relief enclosure

The Giants’ relief field is impressive with five relievers pitching in at least 57 games and posting earned run averages of less than 3.00. San Francisco probably has the most depth in relief, with multiple options on both the left and the must sides.

The Dodgers are not to be outdone, with a very deep enclosure as well. Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen are one of the best combinations, not to mention Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly who can put out fires at any time.

Starting line-up

The Giants set a franchise record with 241 long balls, the second-highest total in the major leagues behind Toronto (262). The attack will have to unfold without the services of Brandon Belt, who suffered a broken left thumb last week, a heavy loss. However, San Francisco isn’t all about one player, as the roster has 10 players who have shot 12 or more home runs. The Giants are number one in the MLB for the teams that launch the least on shots outside the strike zone.

The Dodgers are second in the same league and can get power from all ranks in the batting lineup, as Chris Taylor demonstrated to us on Wednesday night. Cody Bellinger seems to have emptied his excruciating season and if he’s in the right frame of mind, could do his share of damage. However, the two Turner, Mookie Betts and Corey Seager will have to remain the offensive leaders.

Depth on the bench

The Dodgers could also have a missing piece in their roster for this series, as Max Muncy’s elbow is damaged. Never mind, Los Angeles does not lack depth, as evidenced by the presence of Albert Pujols, Austin Barnes Gavin Lux, Taylor and Matt Beaty in the shelter.

Same story with the Giants, they who every time they bring a player from the bench, seems to find the spark sought. Wilmer Flores, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Donovan Solano, among others, are no stranger to it. Gabe Kapler had a happy hand throughout the 2021 season in this area.


Speaking of Gabe Kapler, he did an outstanding job throughout the regular season, bringing a roster that has been expected to be the best record in the MLB. He knew how to handle his relief pen with a masterful hand, relying most of the time on advanced statistics. The latter played 12 seasons in the major leagues and, including the 2004 season when he was a reserve with the Boston Red Sox, alongside Dave Roberts, his counterpart for the Division Series.

Roberts, meanwhile, has faced some criticism in recent campaigns, mostly over questionable decisions. That could have been the case in Wednesday’s suicide match, but his choice to remove Scherzer earlier than expected was the right one. He will have to continue in this vein, because the manager will not be entitled to the error vis-a-vis the Giants.


The game of chess which will begin this evening between the two managers will be one of the Major ones (it is the case to say it). The management of starters, lifters, players coming off the bench, will be at the heart of the duel, and every little mistake could be very expensive.

Los Angeles clearly has the advantage of playoff experience. However, the Giants have proven throughout the 2021 season that they can face the music and take the pressure of remaining in charge of the National League’s West Division.

The Dodgers will want to charge the Giants for their section title, while looking to repeat their exploits from last year. Conversely, San Francisco will want to confirm that his presence in the lead was not a flash in the pan. The rivalry will be at its height.


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