Dodgers @ Giants May 21, 2021: Bauer vs. Wood in potential playoff preview

Photo by: Stacie Wheeler

The NL West is lit. The Los Angeles Dodgers (26-18) and San Francisco Giants (28-16) meet for the first of 19 games on Friday night at Oracle Park. We finally get to see the rivals clash on the 45th game of the season. The two storied franchises have never met in the playoffs, but this may be the year it happens.

6:45 PM San Francisco
RF Betts RF Yastrzemski (L)
LF Taylor C Posey
3B Turner SS Crawford (L)
1B Pujols 1B Belt
C Smith 3B Longoria
SS Lux (L) LF Dickerson (L)
2B Neuse 2B Solano
CF Peters CF Tauchman (L)
P Bauer (R) P Wood (L)

The Giants are riding a five-game winning streak coming into the three-game series and sit two games ahead of the Dodgers in the division. They’re a genuinely good team with baseball’s best record and 2nd best run differential (+57).

Bauer (4-2, 2.20 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 12.09 K/9) has never faced the Giants in his major-league career (214 games). He’s coming off one of his best starts of the season. He allowed two hits and struck out 10 in 7 innings of shutout ball against the Marlins for the win. Bauer leads NL starters in strikeouts (77 in 57 1/3 innings), and he’s in the top 10 in ERA (2.20).

Old friend Alex Wood (5-0, 1.75, 35 K) is starting for the Giants. He’s been very good this year after signing a one-year $3 million contract with the Giants. Of course, he has. He’s also become a favorite among Giants fans, so I’m sure he’s looking to shut down his former team. The left-hander spent five seasons with the Dodgers over two stints. Wood’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA with 20 strikeouts five games (three starts) and 23 1/3 innings against his former team.

Wood allowed one run on eight hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings in a win vs. the Pirates in his last outing. With his 61.5% groundball rate, Wood will make it difficult for the Dodgers to hit it in the air, and they better watch out for those dirty sliders. The Dodgers are hitting .218 aganst LHP, 2nd worst in the league.

Dave Roberts only has one left-handed batter, Gavin Lux, in his lineup against Wood. Max Muncy gets the day off, but will be available off the bench. Pujols went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and a strikeout in Thursday’s 3-2 win over Arizona. So far, with the Dodgers, the future hall-of-famer is slashing .273/.333/.545/.879 12 plate appearances. He starts at first base and bats cleanup in the series opener.


The bullpen is running on fumes tonight.

Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry are getting closer.


First pitch is at 6:45 PM PST from ‘Frisco. Let’s hope for bad Wood and not good Wood.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.