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Originally Trevor Bauer was slated to start on Thursday to finish the 4 game series against the Diamondbacks. After relatively low usage of the bullpen all series, the Dodgers felt comfortable enough turn Thursday in to a bullpen game. The bullpen ended up allowing only 2 runs as the Dodgers went on the sweep the Diamondbacks with their 3-2 win on Thursday.
Dodgers push back Bauer a day
One thing the Dodgers showed by moving Bauer’s start one day is initiative. They are not taking this series lightly and they’re showing that by sending their hottest pitcher to the mound to start the series. Buehler and Urias are scheduled to start games 2 and 3 of the series. Needless to say, the Dodgers are sending their best to face the Giants, although Kershaw is currently not scheduled to pitch.
This series will mean a lot to both the Dodgers and the Giants. Despite the recent rise of the San Diego Padres, the Giants have always been the true divisional rivals. Their rivalries are rooted in their history. And to add to all the drama, the Giants are in first place of the NL West. The San Francisco Giants have been the surprise of baseball this year. While they had a good team, everyone expected the NL West to be a two-horse race between the Padres and Dodgers.
Three-horse race in NL West
Heading into Friday, the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres have all won at least 4 games in a row and are within 2 games of each other. Needless to say the standings are going to be shifting dramatically over the weekend. The Dodgers can take first place with one Padres loss and a sweep of the Giants. While it would not be the end of the world if the Dodgers didn’t win their division, it certainly won’t help their moral going into the playoffs. A win of the division sets them up pretty well to get to the World Series since the winner of this division looks certain to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Dodgers favorites for game 1 of the series
Today’s matchup between Alex Wood and Trevor Bauer will mark the first time the Dodgers and Giants have faced each other. Both are arguably pitching their best arm today in the opener. The Giants currently don’t have anyone listed to start their game on Saturday against Buehler. The Dodgers are currently listed as favorites to win today with a money line of -125 on Bovada.