Dodgers-Giants Rivalry Heats Up …

Older baseball fans may remember when the Dodgers and Giants called Brooklyn and Manhattan home. In those long ago days (it dates back nearly sixty years) these two teams, then known as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, competed with equal ferocity for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.

It was almost an annual event back then. The Dodgers prevailed in 1949. Bobby Thompson’s miracle home run sent the Giants to the championship series in 1951. 1952 and 1953 belonged to the “boys of summer” while the Giants won the World Series in 1954. Finally, Brooklyn won its only World Series in 1955.

Baseball historians refer to that magical time as baseball’s golden era. Now, in 2015, history seems to be repeating itself.

Both teams reside in the National League’s Western Division. And both teams are among the elite squads playing baseball this season.

As the second half of the baseball year gets underway, the Dodgers, with a record of 53-41, have a three-and-one-half game lead over their rivals from the north. The Giants currently have a win-loss record of 49-44. The other teams in this division, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies, are already planning their winter vacations.

There are two series left to be played by the frontrunners, a total of seven games. Each game will be critical and will very likely decide which team advances to postseason play.

The first big showdown begins on August 31st in Los Angeles where the teams will compete against one another in a three game series. The Dodgers home record, to date, is a nifty 33-17 which means, of course, that they are very tough to beat on their own turf.

Ace starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw will almost certainly start two of the three games. Greinke is riding a scoreless streak of more than 39 innings, the equivalent of 4½ games. Kershaw, of course, is a three time Cy Young award winner.

Graphic via cbssports

The Giants will counter with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Chris Heston. Bumgarner was spectacular in last year’s World Series and Matt Cain is a former all star.

The Dodgers also present a powerful lineup to their opponents. Players such as Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins and former Met Justin Turner give the team from Chavez Ravine an imposing infield that is strong defensively and offensively.

Graphic via panamericanworld

For their part, the Giants have one of the great young catchers in Buster Posey and a true game-changer in outfielder Hunter Pence.

This three-game set should be exciting to watch and nail biters for the Dodgers faithful who attend the games. But, here is the best news …

The Dodgers will close out the season when they visit the city by the bay for 4 games beginning on September 28th. These final games will very likely decide which of these two dynamic squads advance to postseason play and which goes home to lament what could have been.

Of course, there is always the chance that win or lose, both teams will play past the end of the regular season. One team will do it as a wild card.

Graphic via upout

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