Fan’s Preview: Will San Francisco Giants Sweep Los Angeles Dodgers to Return Favor from Late July?

Yahoo Contributor Network

A lot has changed for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers since their last series in late July. In the games taking place at AT&T Park, the Giants were swept by a Dodgers team that just welcomed their greatest trade acquisition in Hanley Ramirez. In that series, Ramirez went 4-for-15 with a homer and six RBIs.

As for the Giants, they made their own moves since the series by acquiring Hunter Pence from the Philadelphia Phillies and Marco Scutaro from the Colorado Rockies. Pablo Sandoval has also recently returned to the lineup, sporting a .269 batting average in eight games since coming off the disabled list. While the team has welcomed in some new players, the biggest change for the team has been the removal of suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera from the lineup.

Despite missing the All-Star Game MVP, the Giants have excelled in the first two games of the series and look for their first sweep at Dodger Stadium since 2007. If the Giants win this game, this will also give them their largest lead in the NL West since the team was 2 1/2 games up prior to being swept by the Dodgers from July 27-29. With Matt Cain excelling in his last two starts (allowed three runs over 15 1/3 innings) and Angel Pagan excelling since moving back into the leadoff spot on August 3 (.343 batting average, .424 on-base percentage, and 20 runs scored), the Giants have a very good chance at returning the favor and leaving Los Angeles with a three-game sweep under the belt.

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will visit the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium located in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 7:10 p.m. PT. This will be the third game in a three-game series.

Season series:

Giants lead season series 6-5.

Standings:

San Francisco comes into the matchup with a 68-55 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 33-29 when playing on the road and have won seven of their last 10 games.

Los Angeles enters the game with a 67-57 record and in second place in the National League West. They are 33-27 when playing at home and have won six of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

San Francisco: Matt Cain

2012 season: 12-5, 2.90 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 154 Ks

Numbers vs. Dodgers in last five years: 3-6, 2.89 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 80 Ks

Los Angeles: Chris Capuano

2012 season: 11-8, 3.14 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 143 Ks

Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 0-3, 4.26 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 14 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched live locally at the following:

In San Francisco: NBC Bay Area & KNBR 680

In Los Angeles: KCAL, 570 Fox Sports L.A., & KTNQ 1020

Next series on tap:

Following this series, the Giants will host the Atlanta Brave from August 23-26 and visit the Houston Astros from August 28-30.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers' next two series will be at home against the Miami Marlins from August 24-26 and on the road against the Colorado Rockies from August 27-29.

Sources:

After staking claim to first, Giants eye LA sweep, MLB.com

Giants-Dodgers Preview, AP

Hanley Ramirez Game Log, Yahoo! Sports

Pablo Sandoval Game Log, Yahoo! Sports

EXTRA BAGGS: Pagan helping Giants' cause, and his own, CSN Bay Area

More from this contributor:

Fan's Preview: Can San Francisco Giants Maintain NL West Lead Over Los Angeles Dodgers with Tim Lincecum on Mound?

Giants Not Letting Melky Cabrera Suspension Slow Down Offense Against Padres: Fan's Preview

Fan's Preview: How Will Giants Fare Against Padres Without Melky Cabrera?

San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera Suspended 50 Games for Positive Testosterone Test, Out for Rest of Regular Season: Fan's Reaction

Stephen Strasburg vs. Tim Lincecum Dream Matchup Concludes Nationals-Giants Series: Fan's Preview

Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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