The two best teams in baseball (as far as records go), the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, will face off in a five-game National League Division Series to see who will advance to the National League Championship Series against either the Braves or the Brewers.
There’s two ways to look at this matchup coming so early in the 2021 MLB playoffs: first, it’s great that we get to see the two best teams go head-to-head, because you never know what could happen in the postseason; but second, why the heck are these guys only meeting in the NLDS!
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However we got here, it’s Dodgers vs Giants in a five-game series for the right to advance. Here’s everything that you need to know about this NLDS matchup, including schedule and how to watch.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants NLDS schedule
Here is the full schedule for the Dodgers vs Giants NLDS:
Oct. 8: Los Angeles Dodgers 0, San Francisco Giants 4
Oct. 9: Los Angeles Dodgers 9, San Francisco Giants 2
Oct. 11: San Francisco Giants 1, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Oct. 12: San Francisco Giants 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 7
Oct. 14: Los Angeles Dodgers 2, San Francisco Giants 1
Dodgers vs Giants matchup preview
Despite winning 106 games, which only trailed the NL West-winning Giants’ 107 wins, the Los Angeles Dodgers were forced to play in the NL Wild Card Game against the St. Louis cardinals, winning on a walk-off home run by Chris Taylor. The Dodgers were forced to use their big trade acquisition player, starting pitcher Max Scherzer, in the wild card game, but they are not exactly in dire straits behind him.
The Dodgers will roll out Walker Buehler in Game 1 of the NLDS after he finished the 2021 season with a 16-4 record and a 2.47 ERA; Buehler was a postseason hero in 2020 for the Dodgers, going 2-0 in five starts and a 1.80 ERA. Game 2 will see the Dodgers have Julio Urias pitch, who posted a 20-3 record and 2.96 ERA in the regular season. Scherzer could be ready to go again as soon as Game 3 as well. However, the Dodgers will be without starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who is likely out for the entire playoffs with ligament damage.
The Dodgers lineup is no less impressive than its starting rotation, featuring the likes of Justin Turner, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Will Smith, AJ Pollock, Trea Turner and the wild card game hero Chris Taylor. They are missing Max Muncy, who led the team in multiple categories during the regular season, but there is plenty of depth available for the Dodgers.
As good as the Dodgers were this season, the Giants have been just a little bit better — even in the head-to-head matchups in the regular season, the Giants won the season series 10-9. It should make for an exciting matchup up and down the roster, starting with the pitching duels.
Going up against Buehler in Game 1 will be Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03 ERA) for the Giants; and Kevin Gausman (14-6, 2.81 ERA) on the mound in Game 2 against Urias. After that, the Giants will likely choose between Anthony DeSclafani (13-7, 3.17 ERA) and Alex Wood (10-4, 3.83 ERA) to pitch Game 3.
The Giants offense, meanwhile, has been led all season by Brandon Crawford, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt, with former Chicago Cub Kris Bryant being acquired at the trade deadline to bolster things. Of course, Giants legend Buster Posey is still behind the plate as the team’s catcher; can he have another magical postseason run?
This should be one heck of a matchup, though it’s a shame it can only go at most five games. Heading into the series, the Dodgers actually are the betting favorites.
How to watch Dodgers vs Giants NLDS in the U.S.
TBS is the home of the entire National League playoff slate until the World Series. TBS is a cable network, so pay-TV subscribers must double check that their service includes the channel; TBS is a pretty basic component in a majority of packages, though, and is available on Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.
TBS also has its own app for viewers with access to their channel to watch the games on either their mobile devices, TV devices (Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Xbox and Google Chromecast) or through its website, TBS.com, on a computer.
How to watch the Dodgers vs Giants NLDS in the U.K.
Even though baseball is America’s pastime, any fans of the game over in the U.K. can still tune in for playoff and World Series action. BT Sport will broadcast the games to its subscribers through its ESPN subchannel.
You will need to be a BT Sports subscriber to watch the network’s coverage of the MLB playoffs. A monthly subscription is available at £25.
How to watch the Dodgers vs Giants NLDS from anywhere in the world
You don’t have to be in the U.S. (or even the U.K.) to watch the 2021 MLB playoffs from first pitch to the last out. MLB has shared all of the international broadcasters covering the games, but if you’ve cut the cord entirely and none of these options are immediately available to you, there’s still the option of a VPN, or virtual private network.
A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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