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San Francisco Giants
What was once a staple of the Giants' success the past three years has now turned into a detriment to their success.
The Giants' pitching staff, which was considered to be one of the premier units in baseball, is now—quite literally—average. The team ERA of 3.90 over the past two weeks ranks it 15th in the league. There have been some improvements, however, since the staff's ERA on the entire season is 20th in the league.
Tim Lincecum has put together back-to-back promising starts, and Matt Cain has been his dominant self for five starts in a row dating back to June 7.
The Giants will have Madison Bumgarner and Chad Gaudin—who will be fresh off the disabled list—starting the first two games of the series, and both have been dependable starters for manager Bruce Bochy thus far. They'll be followed by Lincecum, who needs to find a way to restrain from imploding in the sixth inning.
Los Angeles Dodgers
While the Dodgers could use another starter, their staff as a whole has been nothing short of dominant during the past two weeks. A team ERA of 3.37 ranks them eighth in the league.
Just like the most recent series where the Dodgers swept the Giants in Los Angeles, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Stephen Fife and Clayton Kershaw will be making the three starts again in this upcoming series. The trio happens to be the three hottest pitchers on the staff, as they've accumulated ERAs of 2.75, 1.83 and 2.54 respectively over their last three starts.