San Francisco (79-70) at LA Dodgers (84-65)
When: Monday, September 19th 2016
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:10 ET | TV: CSN Bay Area, SportsNet LA
The San Francisco Giants still have hopes of winning the National League West and will get plenty of chances over the final two weeks as they get set to play the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first of six more meetings before the Playoffs. San Francisco trails Los Angeles by five games in the division and the Mets by one for the top Wild Card spot, but are a game up on St. Louis for the second spot. They will send their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound against the Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The Giants just finished up a 2-5 homestand with a four-game split against St. Louis and will play their last seven road games beginning tonight in Los Angeles and San Diego. If the Giants have a save opportunity Monday, manager Bruce Bochy said he might call on Derek Law or Hunter Strickland in the ninth instead of Santiago Casilla, who was roundly booed by the home crowd Saturday after recording his ninth blown save. The Dodgers used eight relievers in Sunday’s 12-inning, 10-9 loss to Arizona and will begin their final homestand of the season tonight and finish up with Colorado before hitting the road the last week of the year. Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal has missed the last two games with a sore right elbow but is expected to be in the lineup for Monday’s series opener.
Pitchers: Giants – Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.66 ERA) | Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw (11-3, 1.81)
Bumgarner suffered just his second loss since the beginning of August after allowing allowing three runs over 6.2 innings against San Diego on Wednesday. Bumgarner is 13-9 with a 2.78 ERA in 25 career games (24 starts) against the Dodgers but has gone 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in three outings this season. He has limited Adrian Gonzalez to 10 hits in 50 at-bats, while Howie Kendrick has managed just three hits in 18 at-bats against him, but Kike Hernandez is 11-for-19 with three home runs against Bumgarner.
Kershaw turned in a solid outing in his second game back from his time on the disabled list by shutting out the Yankees over five innings last Wednesday. The outing was an encouraging one for Kershaw, who worked around two rain delays and threw 64 pitches. Kershaw is 18-7 with a 1.62 ERA in 34 career games (33 starts) against the Giants – including 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts this season.
The Dodgers have a chance to all but put away the division this week by just winning this series with San Francisco. Bumgarner probably wins this game if he’s going up against anyone on the Dodger staff except Kershaw. I’m making my pick based on how these pitchers have done against the other team this season and the edge clearly goes to Kershaw. The Dodgers are also playing much better than the Giants as well. This is a high price to take, but I’m going to do it anyway. I was burned by the Red Sox not winning by two last night. I’m not going to do it again.
Pick: Dodgers -170