Dodgers Compete Again, Giants Go the Wrong Way

Dodgers as well as San Francisco Giants with the 10th time in 2022 on Monday evening. Dodgers won 8-2 start a four-game streak without much of a pot. When the opposition play again on Tuesday, they will no doubt enter Oracle Park with different lineups for various reasons.

The Dodgers are once again in contention for the championship, and this is their 10th straight postseason game with the highest winning percentage in the major leagues. Giants are not. A 107-game win and a Western National League title last season seemed to be a stunning mirage. They’re 18 1/2 games behind the Dodgers with 59 left. The wild card remains within reach – they finished 4 1/2 games out of the final spot on Monday – but a deep run in October is unlikely.

How unlikely? It is unlikely that the San Francisco front office will reportedly go into sell mode before the Tuesday 3:00 pm trading deadline. The Dodgers are on the other side. They buy, and buy where it’s expensive.

The Dodgers are still interested in Juan Soto, the best available player of the summer, according to people in the know. Chicago Cubs All-Star Ian Happ is on the radar if the Washington Nationals trade Soto elsewhere. In regards to pitching, the Dodgers discussed right-handed starters. Pablo Lopez with the Miami Marlins.

Each player will be a roster upgrade with no glaring issues other than a tricky situation they can resolve internally in October. But the Dodgers don’t need to make a move. They can win the World Series as they are currently built. They are operating from a position of strength, once again ready to pounce on another All-Star who will follow Rich Hill, Yu Darvish, Manny Machado, Max Scherzer and Traya Turner in deadline deals in recent years.

This position is the envy of San Francisco. The Giants have holes everywhere in their roster. They are old. They don’t have as many top-notch talent as the Dodgers. Their farming system, by all accounts, is lagging behind. As such, they are expected to trade future free agents for contenders for a minor league spot by Tuesday afternoon.

Outfielder and former Dodger Jock Pederson expects to be traded after being named to the National League All-Star team last month. Left-hander Carlos Rodon, the club’s other All-Star, maybe. Veterans Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria are also awaiting free agent appointments, which could be in a different shape by Wednesday.

Jock Pederson of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Dodgers.

Jock Pederson of the San Francisco Giants plays the Dodgers on July 21 at Dodger Stadium.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

The sell-off would have left the Giants playing for third – where they finished two years before last season’s surprise success – before entering an expected busy off-season with just $100 million in balance for 2023.

Between rivals in the NL West standings are the San Diego Padres. A.J. Preller, president of the Padres baseball team, is known for aggressive maneuvering. That trait came to light again on Monday when he traded four minor league players to the Milwaukee Brewers for Josh Hader, arguably the best major league player.

They may not stop there. The Padres are one of two other teams fighting for Soto along with St. Louis. Louis Cardinals. They were linked to Happ and All-Star Seeker Wilson Contreras of the Cubs. They nearly beat the Dodgers last summer because of Scherzer and Turner. The rumor mill doesn’t work without the Padres.

And yet, even if Soto lands in San Diego, the Dodgers are likely to remain favorites for the pennant. According to FanGraphs, they are 12 games ahead of San Diego with a 100% chance of making the playoffs. Walker Buhler, Dustin May, Blake Trainen, Chris Taylor and Edwin Rios may return to the team at the end of September. They are loaded and better than the 106-winning club that finished behind the Giants last season.

The franchise’s reverse trajectories were evident on the field on Monday.

The Dodgers have scored six runs out of five against Logan Webb, one of the few giants who haven’t regressed this year. Andrew Heaney held the Giants to one try in four innings in his second start on the injured list. James Outman, the Dodgers’ No. 9 hitter, hit base four times in his second career game. Will Smith did two takes. Three Turner and Max Muncie Homered. The firepower crushed the giants.

The clubs will meet three more times this week. They will make a move. One looks at October, the other admits that this is not the year.