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by Bovada Sportsbook Staf
The Los Angeles Dodgers hold down a lead on the rival San Francisco Giants heading into their series this week, but the Giants will be looking to use homefield to their advantage and cut into that gap in the National League's spotlight matchup for baseball bettors. The series will open at AT&T Park on Monday night, with the first pitch slated for 10:15pm ET.
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Dodgers took care of business in first meeting of rivals
The Dodgers and Giants met for the first time this season back in early May, with Los Angeles managing to win two of the three contests at home behind strong efforts from their starting pitchers. The Dodgers allowed just five runs while scoring 16 in those three games, with Chad Billingsley (two runs in four innings) and Ted Lilly (one run in six innings) pitching in the wins, and Clayton Kershaw (two runs in eight innings, with seven strikeouts) getting tagged with a loss despite a solid outing in the middle game of that set.
Kershaw was beaten by the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong, who outdueled him by allowing only one run on eight hits in his 7 1-3 innings of work. Barry Zito got hit with a loss for San Francisco in that set after giving up three runs over six innings against Lilly, with Tim Lincecum taking the other loss for the Giants after he surrendered four runs in five innings.
Kershaw, Vogelsong slated for second battle on Tuesday
And in a repeat of their early-May matchup, Kershaw and Vogelsong are set to oppose each other once again in the middle game of the set on Tuesday night at AT&T Park. Kershaw, who went a sparkling 21-5 last season, is only 5-3 so far this season despite his solid numbers across the board – a 2.73 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 95 strikeouts and 25 walks over his 102 1-3 innings of work. Vogelsong, who has pitched the Giants to wins in eight of his last 10 starts, has a 2.41 ERA, a WHIP of 1.15, and he's fanned 64 over 89 2-3 innings.
Monday's opener has Zito taking on the Dodgers' Nathan Eovaldi, who is looking for his first win of the season in his sixth outing of the year; the righthander has been effective, though, giving up only eight runs in 30 2-3 innings of work for a 2.35 ERA. Lincecum and Billingsley are then the probable pitchers for the series finale on Wednesday afternoon. San Francisco had lost nine straight Lincecum starts until beating Oakland with the righthander on the mound last Friday night; Lincecum is 2-8 on the year with an ugly ERA of 6.07.
Giants looking to buck the trends against the Dodgers
Including the three-game series from earlier this season the Dodgers are 7-3 over their past 10 contests against the Giants, although they're only 4-6 over their last 10 games in San Francisco. The OVER/UNDER went 5-4-1 in those 10 latest contests at AT&T Park.
Heading into Sunday's action the Dodgers held a three-game lead on the Giants in the NL West, with the Arizona Diamondbacks lurking farther back of the top two clubs in those division standings. On the injury front, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (hamstring) is expected to be out of action until early July, while Lilly is also on the DL with a sore shoulder. Giants closer Brian Wilson (elbow surgery) is likely to be out for the season.
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