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The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing their best baseball in weeks, but they’re still two games behind St. Louis for the second National League wild card with three to play. Even if the Dodgers sweep their three-game series against the San Francisco Giants, they’ll need the Cardinals to lose two of three against Cincinnati. If St. Louis and Los Angeles end up tied at the end of the regular season, the teams would meet Thursday at Dodger Stadium. The Giants have little at stake in the season-ending series since they already clinched the NL West, but manager Bruce Bochy has indicated that he’ll start most of his regulars.
Los Angeles carries a five-game winning streak into San Francisco, with Matt Kemp leading the way. Kemp is 11-for-20 (.550) with three doubles, four home runs and nine RBIs in his past five games, and the Dodgers’ offense has finally come to life after starting September in a slumber. Los Angeles has scored seven runs or more in four of its last five games, and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 12 games Sunday. The Giants are preparing to face either Washington or Cincinnati in the first round of the playoffs, with Monday’s starter, Matt Cain, set to get the ball in game one. Cain is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in three starts against Los Angeles this season.
Giants Dodgers Betting
When: 10:10 PM ET, Monday, October 1, 2012
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, CSNBA (San Francisco), PRIME (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Matt Cain (16-5, 2.77 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Aaron Harang (10-10, 3.68)
Cain has not lost a decision since Aug. 6 and is 6-0 with a 2.18 ERA over his last nine starts, including Wednesday when he tossed seven scoreless innings against Arizona. Andre Ethier is 25-for-55 (.455) in his career against Cain, who is 4-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 career games against the Dodgers.
Harang, who will be making his first start of the season against the Giants, threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Padres on Wednesday. Harang has failed to get past the sixth inning in each of his last six starts and has allowed 10 earned runs in 25 1/3 innings with a 1-2 record over that span.
1. Giants C Buster Posey leads the NL in batting with a .337 average, with Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen in second at .329.
2. Dodgers C A.J. Ellis has hit safely in his last six games (9-for-23, .391) and has driven in at least one run in all six.
3. The Dodgers are 58-4 when they’ve scored five or more runs this season, including 13 straight wins.