When Major League Baseball unveiled its shortened 60-game schedule on Monday, fans around the league jumped at the chance to see who their favorite team would be matched up against.
Over in the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers start Thursday July 23rd with a four game stint against their NL West rival San Francisco Giants. Their schedule concludes with three-game series September 25th against city rival, California Angels.
The Dodgers play 40 division games against the Giants (seven home, three road), Arizona Diamondbacks (three home, seven road), San Diego Padres (four home, six road) and Colorado Rockies (six home, four road).
An Old Baseball Rivalry
Major League Baseball was smart to put the Giants against the Dodgers to start the season. The rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants began in the late 19th century when both clubs were based in New York City. At the time, the Dodgers based in Brooklyn and the Giants played at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan.
Each team has 23 National League Pennants, but the Dodgers have won the National League West 17 times, compared to the Giants’ eight since the beginning of the Divisional Era in 1969.
Overall, San Francisco has more total wins, head-to-head wins, and World Series titles (8–6) in franchise history.
Though San Francisco is picked to finish 5th in the N.L. West, the compressed 60-game schedule should help to reignite this rivalry again, especially if the Giants can play spoiler and hurt the Dodgers chances at winning the N.L. West.
Price Is Out. Is Mookie In?
With the July 4th news that David Price was opting out for the season due to COVID-19 concerns, the Dodgers pitching staff will look different than expected for the 2020 shortened season.
It likely won’t effect the Dodgers rotation that much though, because they still have some options on the mound.
Tony Gonsolin made 11 appearances in 2019, six of them starts. He had an impressive 2.93 ERA in 40 innings with 37 strikeouts and a WHIP of just slightly above one.
He also saw time in the bullpen in L.A. as well, and will likely be there for 2020. In 2018 though, Gonsolin was great in the Dodgers’ farm system. Between A+/AA , he amassed a record of 10-2, a 2.66 ERA and 155 strikeouts in just 128 innings.
Ross Stripling was left off the Dodgers original starting five when spring training began in March. Stripling, now age 30, is the most experienced candidate for Price’s rotation spot. In 52 starts, he has gone 13-15 with a 3.71 ERA.
The Dodgers rotation also includes Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Alex Wood, and Julio Urias. That’s a pretty strong rotation even without Price.
Mookie Betts, on the other hand, has suited up for the Dodgers training sessions. He said in his media session on Monday, that he doesn’t regret not accepting the Red Sox offers to stay in Boston.
Betts will come ready to play, and with him and Cody Bellinger in the same lineup, they should terrorize opposing pitchers while at the plate. He is slated to bat in the leadoff spot.
Betts also must play in order to maintain his active status and be able to enter free agency in the fall should he choose to do so.
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