Series Preview: Dodgers vs. Giants

The Giants are having a strong homestand so far after having a horrible roadtrip. They took advantage of the struggling Cubs, and will now welcome the rivals from down under for the first time this season. The Giants took the series in these two team's first meeting. Both teams are coming into this series with identical records, and one team will emerge on top of the other when this weekend is over.

Game #1: Brad Penny (2-1, 2.98) vs. Matt Morris (2-3, 6.16)
Penny has been doing really well so far this season, and his success extends to the Giants' lineup. Steve Finley is just 6-24 against Penny with one jack, and Pedro Feliz is only 3-18 with two doubles. Randy Winn has better numbers, going 5-14 with a double and three homers. Barry Bonds, still at 713, is 5-13 against Penny with three jacks. Ray Durham, who is eligible to come off the DL on Friday, is only 1-10 against Penny.

Morris has been struggling after his strong start. He'll look to bounce back against a team he's had moderate success against. Jeff Kent is 18-51 with two doubles, a triple and four jacks. Ramon Martinez is just 5-24 with four doubles, and Bill Mueller is 4-19 with two doubles. Kenny Lofton is 7-21 with a double, but Cesar Izturis is just 3-15 with a double and Rafael Furcal is just 2-14 with three strikeouts against Morris.

The Edge: Dodgers
Penny has been one, if not the only one, of the Dodgers' best starters so far this season. Morris has been struggling as of late, pitching according to scouting reports that say Morris can be either really good or really bad. Hopefully for the Giants, Morris will be really good, but statistics work out more often than luck.

Game #2: Aaron Sele (1-0, 1.35) vs. Noah Lowry (1-0, 2.08)
Sele was a longtime pitcher in the AL, so only a few Giants have extended experience against him. Durham has the most at-bats, but going only 11-58 with five doubles. Omar Vizquel has much better numbers, going 19-47 with two doubles, two triples and a roundtripper. Winn is 9-26 with three doubles and a triple, Finley is 2-10 with a jack and Mark Sweeney is 3-7 with a homerun.

Lowry's return was more than welcomed as he got the better of Roy Oswalt in the Giants' makeup game against the Houston Astros. His numbers are also good against Los Angeles. Izturis is 0-8 against Lowry, and Olmedo Saenz is 0-6 with three strikeouts. Furcal is just 1-6, and Kent is 1-5, but with a homerun. Martinez is 2-6 with a triple and Nomar Garciaparra is 2-5 with a double.

The Edge: Tie
Sele has done well for the Dodgers this season so far, and since Opening Day, Lowry has pitched well for the Giants also. This should be a great pitching matchup with little runs scored.

Game #3: Jae Seo (1-2, 6.00) vs. Jason Schmidt (3-2, 3.29)
The Giants have limited at-bats against Seo as well. Winn is 3-7 with two doubles, Durham is 1-3 and Sweeney is 2-3. However, Finley is 0-6, Vizquel is 1-5 with a double and Mike Mathney is 0-4.

Schmidt has been sensational in his last two starts, which were both complete games. He will face the Dodgers, another team he's had great success against. Kent is just 6-28 with two doubles, and J.D. Drew is 3-27 with a double and a triple. Furcal is 7-25 with a double, and Izturis is 7-23 with a jack. Lofton is 5-20 with a double, a triple and a roundtripper, and Jose Cruz, Jr. is 2-13 with a triple and a jack against Schmidt.

The Edge: Giants
Schmidt had excellent games in his last two starts, and will look to continue that streak in the series finale. He'll go up agianst Seo, who has not been doing well at all for the Dodgers.

Closing it Out: Danys Baez (8, 2.50) vs. Armando Benitez (2, 0.00)
Baez has worked out well for the Dodgers with Eric Gagne on the DL. Durham is 6-14 with two doubles against Baez, and Winn is 4-11. The only other Giants who have hits against Baez are Finley, Bonds and Lance Niekro, each lodging one hit.

Benitez did not get a chance to close out any games in this homestand. However, he has been dominate against the Dodgers. Garciaparra is just 1-11 with a double and two strikeouts against Benitez. Ricky Ledee and Furcal are both 1-9 and have three punchouts each. Loften is 1-6, but Kent is 3-5 with two homeruns.

The Edge: Dodgers
Baez has done a good job closing games out for Los Angeles. Benitez is still waiting for his chance to establish dominance, but with either the Giants' starters going all the way or blow out games, Benitez hasn't been able to test out his closing skills yet.



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