The San Francisco Giants (76-76) and Los Angeles Dodgers (93-58) will begin a four-game series with major postseason implications tonight. First pitch for this classic NL West rivalry is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The starting pitching matchup will be a battle of rookies as Giants lefty Kyle Harrison (1-1, 5.18 ERA) will go up against Dodgers righty Emmet Sheehan (3-1, 5.44).
San Francisco has lost five of its last six heading into this series and is now three games back of the Cubs for the final NL Wild Card spot. After dropping three of four to the last-place Rockies last weekend, the Giants continued their spiral by getting swept in a quick, two-game series against the Diamondbacks. They dropped Tuesday’s ballgame 8-4 before getting hammered in a 7-1 loss last night.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles has won five of its last six ballgames and the team is coming off a a series victory over the Tigers earlier in the week. The team handily won the opener, 8-3, before a Max Muncy walkoff single lifted the Dodgers to a 3-2 victory on Tuesday. Detroit would avoid the sweep by handing L.A. a 4-2 loss last night. Despite being on a roll, the Dodgers’ chances of hawking down the Braves for homefield advantage in the National League are fading.
Los Angeles enters this game as a -180 favorite on the moneyline over at DraftKings Sportsbook, making San Francisco the +150 underdog. The run total is set at 9.
Giants-Dodgers picks: Thursday, September 21
Day-To-Day: SS Brandon Crawford (hamstring), SP Carson Whisenhunt (elbow)
Out: SP Alex Cobb (hip), SP Antony DeSclafani (elbow), RP Keaton Winn (COVID-19)
Out: SP Walker Buehler (elbow), SP Julio Urias (administrative leave), RP Gus Varland (knee), RP Daniel Hudson (knee), SS Gavin Lux (knee), SP Michael Grove (lat), OF Jake Marisnick (hamstring), RP Yency Almonte (knee), RP Wander Suero (back)
Kyle Harrison vs. Emmet Sheehan
Harrison has been subpar this month, giving up 12 earned runs off 18 hits and five walks over his last three starts. He lasted just four innings in the team’s 6-5 victory over the Guardians last Wednesday, yielding five runs during his outing on the mound. Left-handed hitters are shelling the rookie lefty with a .500 batting average and a 1.530 OPS and that means he’ll have to be extra careful when facing the likes of Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, and David Peralta this evening.
Sheehan has been mostly solid in his recent outings but wasn’t too hot in his most recent start against the Nationals on September 8. He was slammed for five earned runs in just 4.1 innings of action in a game that the Dodgers eventually won 8-5. The rookie has been his most comfortable at home this season, posting a 3.14 ERA with a .147 opponent batting average at Dodger Stadium.
Both of these teams have been mostly subpar at the plate over the last week, but have an opportunity to push several runs across this evening. This is a pitching matchup of two rookies who have been vulnerable and both clubs could be dipping into their respective bullpens by the fifth inning. I’d take the over in this one.
Pick: Over 9
As the season barrels towards its conclusion, L.A. is already in postseason mode while San Fran may be quickly fading out of the NL Wild Card conversation. With this being the start of their final home series of the regular season, I’d expect the Dodgers want nothing more than to bury their hated enemy from NorCal.