The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants face-off is one of the most anticipated matches in baseball. These two teams have been facing off since the 19th century, with each squad taking turns dominating the other.
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It’s also got to be the only rivalry in sports history where both teams decided to move 3000 miles away from their original homes to continue the rivalry.
More than one player in this rivalry has refused a trade or retired rather than play for the opposing team. Recently, both teams have had to add extra security in and around their parks during Dodgers-Giants games, so this isn’t what you would call a “friendly” rivalry.
So let’s dive into Dodgers vs. Giants by previewing each team and looking at how this year’s matchups might turn out.
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Dodgers vs Giants History
The Dodgers-Giants rivalry stretches as far back as any in American professional sports. The teams began playing in the 1880s when the Dodgers were called the “Bridegrooms.” The teams even met in the 1889 “World Series,” in which the Giants won 6 games to 3.
In 1890, the Bridegrooms joined the National League, and the teams began to play one another in the regular season. After tiring of being Bridegrooms and trying on a couple of other names (Robins, Supurbas) in 1932, the Dodgers finally settled on the name we know them by today.
The Giants remained the Giants through it all, which was still confusing because of the New York football Giants.
The Giants were a force in the National League until the mid-1930s, when the tide began to change, and Brooklyn started competing for pennants. The Dodgers represented the National League in 5 World Series between 1941-1953, losing all of them, which makes you think they should have kept the “Bridegrooms” name.
The 1951 season was a highlight in the rivalry. The Dodgers led the Giants by 13 ½ games on August 11. In the next month and a half, the Giants would end up overtaking the Dodgers before ending up tied at the end of the season. This resulted in a three-game series to determine the pennant winner.
The two teams split the first two games before playing a thrilling tiebreaker that ended with Bobby Thompson’s legendary walk-off home run. Later, it was revealed that the Giants were stealing the signs, something teams would do to the Dodgers up through the Astros in the 2018 World Series.
After the 1957 season, both teams moved west to their current locations and brought the rivalry with them. They actually played another three-game tiebreaker series in 1962 with the Giants winning, but because no one cheated to relay signs and then hit a Historic home run, no one really mentions it – except us.
In recent years both teams have enjoyed success, the Giants won 3 World Series in 5 years from 2010-2014, and the Dodgers have appeared in 3 of the last 6 World Series, winning the title in 2020.
The Dodgers have dominated the National League West division in the regular season, winning 9 of the last 10 division titles. The Giants are the only team to win an NL West title in the last decade, breaking the Dodgers’ stranglehold on the division in 2021.
Despite the divisional dominance, the Dodgers generally haven’t dominated the Giants. In fact, since 2010, the Giants won the season series six times against the Dodgers, most recently in 2021, when their 10-9 advantage against LA provided the one-game margin in their upset Division title.
Remarkably, 2021 also marked the only time the Giants and Dodgers have met in the postseason (we’re not counting the Bridesmaids world series, apparently).
The two teams played a thrilling Divisional Series for seven full games. The Dodgers pulled out the victory in game seven, punctuated by Max Scherzer recording the only save of his career. Although the Dodgers would go on to lose the NL Championship series to the Braves, they must have felt good about ending the Giants’ dream season.
Last year the Dodgers returned to the top of the Division, while the Giants had a substantial drop in their performance, finishing 3rd in the NL West with a .500 record. In the head-to-head series, the Dodgers dominated the Giants, winning 15 and only losing four matchups.
This was the Dodgers’ most wins against the Giants since both teams were still in New York. It also brought the Dodgers within reach to tie the all-time record between the two teams.
Despite playing over 2500 games, these two teams are only 11 games apart, with the Giants holding a 1274-1263-17 record against the Dodgers (Robins, Bridesmaids, etc..). Perhaps the most impressive thing in that record is the 17 ties in a sport that supposedly doesn’t have them.
Remarkably, both teams have won 681 home games against the other. It’s incredible parity and just another sign of why this rivalry is considered amongst the best in sports.
If the Dodgers win the 2023 season series against the Giants 12 games to 1, the two teams would be tied 1275-1275 all-time. It may not seem likely, but just last year, LA was 11 games over .500 against San Francisco, so there is precedent.
Let’s preview both teams’ squads for the upcoming season.
Los Angeles Dodgers Odds Overview
2022 record 111-51 (1st in NL)
Additions: Miguel Rojas, Noah Snydergaard, JD Martinez
Subtractions: Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux (injury)
The Dodgers’ 2023 season got off to an inauspicious start before it even started when projected starting SS and leadoff man Gavin Lux tore his ACL in a spring training game.
Lux was being counted on to step into the departed shoes of Trea Turner, who left for the Phillies as a free agent. Since his injury, the Dodgers have been forced to deal with a revolving door at shortstop, with the position currently being manned by do-everything star Mookie Betts.
However, shortstop (where Betts has actually been quite good) is the least of the team’s concerns this season. Pitching is a much bigger issue, as injuries to starters like Julio Urias and Dustin May have forced young arms into the rotation sooner than the front office would have liked.
The results have been mixed. Top prospect Bobby Miller has been quite good in limited action, but fellow youngster Gavin Stone has been shelled in his few appearances.
This has forced the team to keep trotting former superstar Noah Syndergaard out every fifth start, despite the fact that no lead is safe when he’s on the mound. Thor has recently gone to the IL for a blister issue, and depending on how healthy the team’s other arms are in 15 days, he might not be back.
Luckily, run production hasn’t been a problem for LA this year. First baseman Freddie Freeman is an MVP candidate — and you could also make a case for catcher Will Smith and, of course, Betts.
DH JD Martinez is enjoying a huge bounceback year, as he’s in the top 10 in the NL for both HRs and RBIs. Utilityman Max Muncy is having a big season as well, and he trails only the Mets’ Pete Alonso in round-trippers.
The Dodgers are a team that’s still struggling to figure out their identity, and if the season ended today, it’s not clear who they could trust to take the ball in the postseason (other than the legendary Clayton Kershaw, of course).
Still, this is the Dodgers we’re talking about — “struggling” looks much different for them than it does for other franchises. They’re only 1.5 games out of first in the NL West, and most sharps expect them to figure out their various issues to claim yet another division title once the dust settles.
San Francisco Giants Season Preview
2022 record 81-81 (3rd in NL West)
Additions: Michael Conforto, Luke Jackson
Subtractions: Carlos Rondon, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria
Forrest Gump once famously said, “The San Francisco Giants are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
This is a team that shocked the world two years ago by making an improbable run to 107 wins and the division title, before falling back to Earth in 2022 in a .500 season. Which team would show up this year — the juggernaut or the mediocrity?
It’s too soon to tell for sure, but this team certainly seems to be more mediocre than intimidating. At just a few games over .500, they seem unlikely to make much noise in the playoffs, if they make it there at all.
This is San Francisco, though, and just as soon as you think you’ve got them figured out, they surprise you. They’re enjoying big seasons from players like 2B Thairo Estrada and 3B J.D. Davis, while perennial stars like SS Brandon Crawford have struggled.
Their pitching has been all over the place as well. Front-end starters Logan Webb and Anthony DeSclafani haven’t lived up to expectations, but the rotation has been buoyed by stronger-than-expected turns by Alex Cobb and a largely no-name bullpen.
While we don’t expect this team to make a surprise run to a World Series title, given how up-and-down both teams have been this season, a few wins over their southern neighbors wouldn’t surprise us.
LA Dodgers vs SF Giants Matchup Preview (13 games)
- At SF- April 10,11,12
- At LA- June 16,17,18
- At LA- Sept 21,22,23,24
- At SF- Sept 29,30, Oct 1
Dodgers vs. Giants Prediction
The teams will only play four series and 13 games against one another, thanks to MLB revising inter-division play in the schedule (again). Under the previous schedule used for the past several years, the two teams would meet in 6 series for 19 games. Theoretically, this will put more importance on the 13 games that remain.
Looking at the respective World Series odds (Dodgers +800, Giants +5000) tells you that the Dodgers will be favored in every series and probably in every game, regardless of the pitching matchups.
That said, if 2023 is like most recent years, these games will be close, and with a few lucky bounces, the Giants might be able to defy the odds and win a series or even two against their SoCal nemesis.
Dodgers vs Giants Series Outlook
In the teams’ first series this season, the Dodgers took two games to the Giants one, and none of the contests were particularly close. LA took the first game 9-1, only to be shutout 5-0 in the second. The Dodgers rallied for a 10-5 win in the capper.
However, while LA triumphed in that series, there was cause for concern. It was far from a team effort; rather, Max Muncy basically put the team on his back and carried them to victory, driving in 11 runs over the three games. LA also benefited from uncharacteristically strong performances from OF Trayce Thompson and journeyman reliever Andre Jackson.
While the first series was close, games-wise, expect the Giants’ chances to diminish as the season progresses. The final two series between the teams occur in late September when the Dodgers will likely be in a pennant race against the Diamondbacks (or possibly the resurgent Padres), and the Giants will likely not be in the same competitive position.
The rosters are likely to be different in the fall, too, with some superstars landing on the Dodgers and the Giants possibly unloading some veteran talent. This will call for another round of Dodgers vs Giants betting prediction.
Despite everything that seems to fall in LA’s favor, this rivalry generally ensures that the games are played at the highest intensity regardless of the records. Even in the years where one team or another has been dominant, the season series between the two teams have remained close.
Last year was an anomaly, with the Dodgers winning 15 of the 19 matchups. The Giants will remember this, and those two September series might provide an opportunity for them to deprive the Dodgers of the pennant.
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The Dodgers and Giants are two of the cornerstone franchises of the National League. They are amongst the most successful teams in the sport, both historically and in recent years. This rivalry has spanned over 130 years. Dozens of Hall of Fame players have taken center stage in these matchups.
Most impressively, when these two teams get together, sports networks lead their programming with Baseball.
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Why Bet on the LA Dodgers vs SF Giants Awards?
With 32 teams and a 162-game season, there are thousands of games to bet on. Few of those games will feature the intensity of Dodgers-Giants. With over a century of history between them, every game has bragging rights on the line.
Last season, the Dodgers were dominant in the regular season, particularly so against the Giants, going 15-4. That’s the most regular season wins by either team in this matchup since they were still in New York.
Here are some reasons why betting on the Dodgers vs. Giants represents much value:
- It’s fun to watch what you wager on: How many more times do we have to say these games are intense? If you are going to bet on a game, it might as well be an exciting one with tension and emotional stakes. Dodgers-Giants games usually deliver.
Sidenote: These teams play in two of the best ballparks in baseball. If you get a chance to go to either, don’t miss it.
- Unparalleled parity: We’ve established that the Dodgers should be favored in every game against the Giants this year, but the team’s all-time head-to-head records are separated by only 11 games after playing more than 5500 times!
The Giants hold the 11-game lead, meaning it is possible the Dodgers could tie the all-time series if they win 12 of the 13 games this season.
- September games: The last two series and seven games between these two teams will be played over the last two weeks of the season. The Dodgers should be jockeying for playoff position.
And while the Giants may not be playing for the postseason, they will surely be looking to damage the Dodgers’ chances at a pennant. Nothing warms you on a chilly Autumn night like smiting your enemy!
Guide to Betting on the LA Dodgers vs SF Giants Games
How Old is the Dodgers vs Giants Rivalry?
The Giants and the Dodgers first met in the 1889 World Series, when the Dodgers (then the Bridegrooms) were in the (Now defunct) American Association. The following year the “Bridegrooms” joined the Giants in the National League, and the teams have played one another numerous times every year since.
When Do the Dodgers and Giants Play?
The teams play four series against each other for the 2023 MLB Season.
- At SF- April 10,11,12
- At LA- June 16,17,18
- At LA- Sept 21,22,23,24
- At SF- Sept 29,30, Oct 1
Who Won the Dodgers vs Giants Series Last Season?
The Dodgers won the season series against the Giants 15-4. This was the most lopsided record between the teams in over 70 years.
What Do You Think About the Dodgers-Giants Odds this Season?
Coming off of a 111-win season and historic domination of the Giants, the Dodgers look like a lock for the playoffs and at least 95 wins. The question is, how many of those will come against the Giants, who are only two years removed from their own 108 wins?
This Giants team won’t let the Dodgers kick them around like last year, but it’s hard to see them winning the season series against a younger, more talented, and hungry Los Angeles squad.
We think the Dodgers will win three of the four series and 8 or 9 of the 13 games. But we’ll keep you updated with the latest Dodgers-Giants line movements.
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