Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
LA Dodgers at San Francisco
When: 10:15 PM ET, Friday, September 28, 2018
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

The Los Angeles Dodgers have answered a scintillating 10-2 stretch with back-to-back losses to put their postseason plans in jeopardy. The Dodgers (88-71) aim to return to their winning ways Friday when they play the opener of a three-game series versus the reeling San Francisco Giants (73-86), who have lost 18 of their last 23 contests.

Los Angeles dropped two straight to Arizona and trails first-place Colorado by one game in the National League West, but lead St. Louis by one game for the second wild-card spot. Cody Bellinger was mired in a 1-for-12 rut before recording consecutive two-hit performances, highlighted by his RBI single in Wednesday's 7-2 setback to the Diamondbacks. While the Dodgers are entertaining postseason aspirations, the Giants -- manager Bruce Bochy contends -- will look to gain valuable experience while playing the role of spoiler. "I've never liked being in this position," Bochy told reporters. "I like being in the other position, but it's good for the guys. These games are going to mean a lot. It's good experience for the young guys. There's a lot at stake."


TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network; Sportsnet Los Angeles, NBCS Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) vs. Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20)

Ryu has scattered four hits in back-to-back scoreless outings, highlighted by his eight-strikeout performance versus San Diego on Sunday. The 31-year-old South Korean has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 14 appearances this season and has permitted only two earned runs with 13 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings in two starts versus San Francisco. Hunter Pence (13-for-31, seven RBIs) and Gorkys Hernandez (3-for-8) have rattled Ryu in his career.

Bumgarner has given the home fans plenty for which to cheer, as the 29-year-old has not yielded a run in his last three starts (20 innings) at AT&T Park. Bumgarner followed up a 3-0 win versus Colorado on Sept. 15 by allowing three runs in six innings of a no-decision at St. Louis six days later. Enrique Hernandez is a robust 16-for-36 with four homers and eight RBIs versus Bumgarner, however the hurler has flustered Yasmani Grandal (1-for-13, seven strikeouts).

WALK-OFFS

1. San Francisco SS Brandon Crawford (6-for-51, 14 strikeouts) and 3B Evan Longoria (9-for-48, 10 strikeouts) have struggled mightily versus Los Angeles this season.

2. Dodgers SS Manny Machado is 7-for-24 with two homers, eight RBIs and three runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.

3. Pence is 8-for-19 with a homer and four runs scored during his five-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Giants 3, Dodgers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
LA Dodgers 88-71 L2 44-37 44-34 19-13 16-18 41-32 12-8
San Francisco 73-86 L1 42-36 31-50 16-17 11-22 38-35 8-12
Last Meeting
LA Dodgers San Francisco
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/15/18 SF 3 LAD 4 x .326 0 .878 .146 1 .430
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Dodgers C. Bellinger .255 13 .737
San Francisco B. Belt .261 12 .772
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Dodgers E. Hernandez 2 4 8
San Francisco E. Longoria 2 5 6
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Dodgers 2.96 .237 147
San Francisco 3.22 .213 123
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Dodgers M. Kemp .286 130 .809
San Francisco B. Crawford .255 134 .718
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Dodgers M. Muncy 33 72 73
San Francisco E. Longoria 16 51 54
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Dodgers 3.42 .248 1533
San Francisco 3.85 .240 1247