Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Says Giants Are ‘Team To Beat’
The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants is one that is decades old and full of high and low points for both teams.
The Dodgers have won the National League West division title the last two seasons, including clinching with a win against the Giants in 2014. However, the Giants have won the World Series three out of the last five seasons; the Dodgers haven’t so much reached the Fall Classic since winning it in 1988.
While the two teams have a storied rivalry, the So. Cal-Nor. Cal feud can take a back seat dependent on which Dodgers fan is being asked who they view as the biggest rival. Brushes with the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres has resulted in both franchises drawing the ire of Dodgers fans.
Being eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in back-to-back postseasons has also placed the Red Birds in the crosshairs of some fans — with Yasiel Puig among them. The success and proximity of the Los Angeles of Anaheim has led to some fans, specifically younger generations, identifying them as the biggest rival.
For Clayton Kershaw, the Giants reign supreme as the Dodgers’ biggest threat to success, evident by his comments in a recent interview with Fox Sports 1:
It’s a great division. The Giants are obviously really good, they’ve won three of the last five so that’s kind of the team to beat. What the Padres have done, the Rockies are getting healthy, the Diamondbacks made a lot of changes, it’s a great division. Obviously, that’s the most important step, to get out of our division and this year is going to be a tough challenge for us.”
Kershaw started the would-be clinching game against the Giants last year and though he wasn’t particularly sharp — by his standards — he had 11 strikeouts in eight innings while limiting the Giants to one run on seven hits.
Fueling his MVP Award, Kershaw also added a game-tying, two-out RBI triple in the fifth inning of his MLB-best 21st win. He finished the season 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in four starts against the Giants in 2014, but was home watching while they celebrated another World Series title.
Despite ultimately falling short last season, Kershaw and the Dodgers have been selected to run away with the division title in 2015 and are among the favorites to reach and win the World Series.
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Kershaw is a smart guy, and putting the cross-hairs on the Giants instead of the Dodgers is a wise move. IMO Putting the spotlight on another team can only help take some of the pressure off of your own. Go Dodgers!!!