Giants vs Dodgers Pick and Preview – Tuesday will be game two of a two game series between the top two teams in the national league west with the San Francisco Giants (50-28, first in the NL West) heading on the road to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers (48-31, second in the NL West).
First pitch is slated for 10:00 pm eastern time, broadcast on ESPN.
The Dodgers lead the season series 5-3 after a 3-2 win last night. Mookie Betts and Max Muncy both homered in the first inning to help propel LA.
Trevor Bauer had another strong performance in six innings of work with two earned runs and eight strikeouts. The Giants were able to produce 11 hits in this one but just were unable to get guys across the plate leaving 11 guys on base.
Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski suffered a right leg contusion after taking a foul ball off his leg during a seventh inning at-bat. He is day-to-day.
We will start out with the home team and on the mound for the Dodgers is right-hander Walker Buehler. The first round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2015 is 7-1 this season with a 2.51 ERA which is good enough for 15th in all of major league baseball.
Buehler lost his first game this month in his last appearance against the Cubs this past Thursday. The 26-year-old gave up five hits for three earned runs including two home runs in a 4-0 loss.
Walker is 1-0 against the Giants this season in two appearances against their NL West rivals. Buehler had seven innings of work giving up six hits with just one earned run to get a 6-3 win.
The Vanderbilt alum faced the Giants in his very next outing a week later. He gave up three hits with two earned runs in six innings of work on a no-decision that the Dodgers lost in extras 8-5.
Buehler throws about 50% fastballs with an average velocity of 95.4 mph that he mostly puts up high in the zone. He switches around between a few other pitches including a curveball, slider and cutter.
Buehler does a good job of getting ahead in the count with 66% of his first pitches being inside the strike zone. He likes to use his curveball and rare changeup to put guys away with a combined 57% put away on those two pitches.
Walker Buehler has been flaming hot in the month of June with a 4-1 record that includes a 2.23 ERA in 32.1 innings of work. He also has a whopping 32 strikeouts with just eight earned runs.
San Francisco will trot out one of the best major league pitchers this season in Kevin Gausman. The right-hander is 8-1 which is a top five record in the MLB so far this season. Gausman has the second best ERA with a 1.49 and 112 strikeouts in 96.2 innings of work.
In his last outing Gausman had a no-decision in seven innings of work. He gave up four hits and one earned run paired with nine strikeouts in a 9-3 win against the Angels in 13 innings.
Gausman has played the Dodgers one other time this season in a win on May 30th in LA. The 30-year-old went six innings with two hits, no earned runs and seven strikeouts in a 5-4 win.
The LSU product has four pitches but really only uses two, his fastball and split finger. His fastball sits around 94.5 mph and opponents are batting just .190 against it.
Gausman’s split finger has been leathly in 2021 with opposing hitters batting just .101 against that pitch this season. His splitter has a 72% active spin rate which is among some of the best in the MLB.
As most good pitchers do, he throws strikes early with about 63% of his first pitches being called for strikes. Gausman had a ridiculous month of May with a .73 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched.
I expect this to be a very low scoring game with two of the best pitchers in the world on the mound in Los Angeles.
If I had to choose between the two I am going to lean towards the Giants due to their flamethrower Gausman who had been on a tear as of late.
The Giants will bounce back and win game two to even up the series in a game much like the first that is low scoring and may rely on guys to just put the ball over the fence.
San Francisco went 0-13 with guys in scoring position last night and I don’t expect that to continue. The Giants will pull out a close one on the road behind a dominant performance from Kevin Gausman.