The Los Angeles Dodgers begin a pivotal three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Friday that could ultimately determine who wins the National League West.
Both teams enter the series opener tied for first place in the division with an 85-49 record. They have been equally matched all year, with each club winning eight times in 16-head-to-head matchups thus far.
One player to watch in this weekend’s clash at Oracle Park is Max Muncy. He has absolutely dominated the Giants this season to the tune of a .327/.422/.800 batting line with two doubles, eight home runs and 12 RBI over 64 plate appearances (16 games).
Prior to a recent matchup, Giants manager Gabe Kapler offered high praise for Muncy, deeming him one of the more complete hitters in baseball, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“He’s so good,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “So good.”
Since playing his first season with the Dodgers in 2018, Muncy has been a thorn in the side of the Giants and their fans. He is part of several memorable moments in the rivalry, including the time he homered off Madison Bumgarner in 2019 and told him to get the ball out of McCovey Cove.
Muncy has since added eight home runs against the Giants this year, which is the most by a Dodgers player in a single season since the club relocated to California in 1958.
If he were to hit three homers this weekend, Muncy would tie Dolph Camilli’s franchise record of 11 home runs hit against the Giants in a single year.
Muncy: MVP chants from Dodgers fans ‘one of cooler moments’ in career
Muncy’s success against the Giants this year is a reflection of what has been an overall terrific season. He enters play hitting .261/.388/.549 with 21 doubles, 30 home runs, 78 RBI and 5.6 WAR in 482 plate appearances across 116 games.
Muncy has begun receiving MVP chants from Dodgers fans, which he recently described as one of the more surreal moments of his career. “That’s probably one of the cooler moments I’ve ever had in my career. It was kind of wild,” Muncy said last month.
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