SF Giants: Fast facts for the Opening Day series against the Dodgers

SF Giants (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
SF Giants (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The SF Giants will open up the season on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On July 23, the SF Giants play in Major League Baseball’s second game of the 2020 season. The Thursday night contest will be the first of a four-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

The Giants are picking up where they left off in 2019. In their final series of last season, the Dodgers swept Bruce Bochy’s squad. Gabe Kapler has since replaced Bochy, as San Francisco looks to improve upon its 77-85 record from 2019.

Below are the projected universal-DH Opening Day lineups, via MLB.com.

Projected Universal-DH Opening Day lineups — SF Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers

1) Mike Yastrzemski, RF
2) Brandon Belt, 1B
3) Evan Longoria, 3B
4) Alex Dickerson, LF
5) Hunter Pence, DH
6) Brandon Crawford, SS
7) Mauricio Dubón, CF
8) Yolmer Sánchez, 2B
9) Tyler Heineman, C

1) Mookie Betts, RF
2) Max Muncy, 1B
3) Justin Turner, 3B
4) Cody Bellinger, CF
5) Corey Seager, SS
6) Joc Pederson, LF
7) Matt Beaty, DH
8) Will Smith, C
9) Gavin Lux, 2B

Opening Day Pitching Matchup: Johnny Cueto @ Clayton Kershaw

Pitching Matchups for the rest of the series: TBA

The SF Giants had difficulty scoring against the Dodgers in 2019

The Giants scored just 2.4 runs per game against the Dodgers in 2019, and that performance was their third-worst against any team. For comparison purposes, San Francisco scored around three runs per game against the Dodgers in 2017 and 2018.

In 2016, which was the last year that the Giants won the season series against the Dodgers, San Francisco averaged 4.1 runs per game.

The SF Giants did not just difficulty scoring against the Dodgers

Last season, the Giants ranked in the bottom five in home runs, runs, and all four slash numbers (AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS).

Meanwhile, the Dodgers ranked in the top five in home runs, runs, OBP, SLG, and OPS.

More from Golden Gate Sports

What should you know about the Opening Day Matchup?

San Francisco pitching was much better than its hitting during 2019, as the team finished in the middle of the pack of the important pitching numbers like ERA, WHIP, FIP, and xFIP.

Cueto returned from Tommy John surgery in September 2019, and he made four starts. The first two starts were impressive — 10 combined innings, no runs allowed, a slash line against of .129/.206/.129/.335, and he threw just 140 pitches.

Then, it took a turn for the worst in his final two starts.

After allowing four runs in four innings in Atlanta, Cueto faced the Dodgers. In two innings, he allowed five hits, five runs, and a whopping three home runs.

Corey Seager, who had two home runs heading into that September 27 contest, launched a solo home run in the 9-2 Dodgers win.

Meanwhile, Cueto’s opponent Clayton Kershaw was a part of a Los Angeles pitching staff that was arguably the best last season. Kershaw pitched well when he faced the Giants in 2019, as he made three starts against them and allowed a total of just five runs.

Next. SF Giants: Chadwick Tromp could earn the Opening Day catcher job. dark

However, the Giants defeated him twice in those three contests. On opening night, the Giants hope to do the same.