Dodgers @ Giants April 29, 2019: Maeda vs Samardzija to start the series

Following up a sweep of the Pirates, the Dodgers take their show back on the road to open a six-game road trip, starting with a three-game series in San Francisco. The Dodgers sit atop the NL West at 19-11, while the Giants are coming off getting swept by the Yankees and sit in last place at 11-17. On Friday, the Giants scored a first inning run for the first time this season. As a team, they’re slashing .210/.271/.346. Despite their struggles, the Giants always tend to play the Dodgers well (or the Dodgers just suck against the Giants), so this is probably gonna be a stressful series.

Dodgers
Giants
6:45 p.m.
San Francisco
LF
Pederson
2B
Panik
SS
Seager
LF
Solarte
3B
Turner
1B
Belt
RF
Bellinger
C
Posey
1B
Muncy
3B
Sandoval
2B
Hern√°ndez
SS
Crawford
CF
Verdugo CF Pillar
C
Barnes
RF
Parra
P
Maeda (R)
P
Samardzija (R)

Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers following his worst outing of the season in Chicago. Maeda only lasted four innings and allowed six runs and seven hits while walking three. Out of six starts in 2019, Maeda has issued three or more walks three times. He did that six times in 20 starts/39 outings in 2018, so his control has definitely been off to start this season. There’s an argument to be made that perhaps Maeda should have been relegated to the bullpen instead of Ross Stripling, but despite his struggles it’s a bit reassuring that the Dodgers aren’t limiting Maeda’s innings given his incentive-heavy contract.

While Maeda has struggled with command early on, he’s been limiting good contact. His average exit velocity of 82.2 MPH is the lowest of his four-year career and he’s only allowed a 21 percent hard-hit rate. The contact against Maeda has been fine, but he’s currently running the lowest strikeout rate and the highest walk rate of his career.

Jeff Samardzija starts for the Giants for the sixth time this season. His 3.00 ERA is the best in the Giants rotation and he’s coming off a solid start in Toronto. Last time out, Samardzija allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. After not allowing a homer in each of his first three starts, Samardzija has allowed three in his last two, both coming on the road.

Samardzija only threw 44 2/3 innings last season due to a shoulder injury after throwing over 200 innings in each of the previous five seasons. So far this season, Samardzija hasn’t thrown over 90 pitches in a game. In 2019, Samardzija has turned into a cutter-reliant pitcher, throwing it more often than any other pitch. He still throws a four-seam, sinker, slider, curve and splitter.

The Dodgers run a mostly standard lineup against Samardzija. Alex Verdugo gets his third start in the past four games, starting in center over A.J. Pollock. Evan Longoria is out of the lineup for the Giants for Pablo Sandoval.

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Shit.

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There’s like no tweet update stuff to put here. I blame the 6:45 PT start time.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.